“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” Mahatma Gandhi
"Every day, wake up and be the director in your own life play" Rory Callaghan
What we Focus on Expands
What is the first thing you do each morning when you wake up? Do you grab your phone and scroll social media. Falling into the trap of being a passive observer, comparing and tuning into the lives and narratives of others?
Or do you wake up and take control of your own mind, thoughts, feelings and emotions?
These tools are designed to helped you find stillness in your mind. Close the tabs that have been open for days and weeks. When you lack clarity in life, stillness is the answer, not stimulus. If you want to let a muddy pond settle, you have to stop stirring it. With time the mud settles and water becomes clear again.
The IceBerg Model & Your 3 Minds
Let’s consider more deeply the chemical reactions within our brains known as thoughts. How do we know they are even our own? Are they inherited from past generations handed down unconsciously as “truths,” “beliefs” and other streams of consciousness?
On the surface you would probably disagree and answer that of course your thoughts are your own. However we actually have at least three minds3 that are constantly working together, mostly without our conscious awareness. Understanding why you think the way you think, do what you do and live the way you live requires unraveling these three minds to uncover constructs and biases that have been implanted in your mind since you were born or even earlier.
In addition there is an energetic mindstream of collective consciousness and unconsciousness in the world around us, imperceptibly influencing our thoughts and actions as individuals and as a species. Added to this is our virtual mind or our virtual consciousness known as artificial intelligence (AI) that is even starting to create a whole new virtual reality and virtual mind stream!
In James Justin’s book Mindset: How To Transform Your Life From Ordinary To Extraordinary, the life coach and speaker uses the “iceberg” model to explain how our three minds work. Justin relates our conscious mind as similar to a ship’s captain standing on the bridge giving orders. It’s “the surface crew” on the deck (the subconscious) and “the deep crew” in the engine room below deck (the unconscious) that actually implement his orders; our actions. The captain may command the ship, but the collective crew actually guide the ship according to the level of training they have had over the years.
We all know that calms seas never made great sailors. The sailors that succeed have experienced storms and tempests in their life experiences and have practiced how to act and react with character, keeping their internal compass in check and true north in sight! The ship, the crew and the vessel can work in harmony together to survive and thrive, or they can fight amongst themselves creating a disconnect between the inner workings of the crew and what the captain sees and commands. This can cause the vessel to run in circles, stop completely and potentially even sink!
Finding harmony within is the key to finding harmony in our external world. Imagine the “conscious” captain in your mind casting a future vision and direction that the crew are internally aligned with and commit to persevering against all weather. This creates a vessel that is resilient to go the journey, no matter what storm it faces!
THE THREE MINDS THAT STEER YOUR LIFE
MIND 1 - The Captain
The conscious mind communicates to the outside world and the inner self through speech, pictures, writing, physical movement and thought.5
MIND 2 - The Surface Crew
The subconscious mind is responsible for our recent memories and is in continuous communication with the depth and beliefs of the unconscious mind.
MIND 3 - The Deep Crew
The unconscious mind is the storage center for memories and past experiences, these memories and experiences can be forgotten, sifted out as “unimportant” or even repressed due to trauma. This library of memories and experiences form our beliefs, habits, and behaviors.
When considering The Captain’s choices we need to remember something bigger is at play. There is a collective consciousness and energetic mindstream in the world around us that is influencing our crew and even our captain’s conscious thoughts.
The Collective Mind
The collective consciousness is a fundamental sociological concept that refers to the set of shared beliefs, ideas, attitudes, customs, identities and knowledge commonly belonging to a social group or society. The Collective Mind forms our sense of belonging, identity and our behavior. Sociologist Émile Durkheim used this concept to illustrate how individuals are also bound together in deeper ways that reflect collective thought or behavior.
For example, consider the world you were born into versus the world your parents were born into. Our collective consciousness had engineered this current reality. Think about the Industrial and technological revolutions and all the amazing revelations as well. Think of the global challenges we are all currently facing together. We chose this. Which means that if we can shift underlying systems of belief that have been handed from generation to the next, then we can change the future reality for us all. Consciously engineering a world that works for all, not just for some.
The Collective Unconscious
This is a concept originally defined by psychoanalyst Carl Jung and is sometimes called the objective psyche.7 It refers to the idea that a segment of the deepest unconscious mind is inherited energetically or genetically from previous generations and is not shaped by personal experience.
For example, have you ever considered the accepted norms? That 9–5 job, the houses we live in and even how we live together as communities. Consciously and unconsciously we have directed our individual and collective efforts here. As captains of our own fate, we have played within the current rules and norms to end up here today. Choosing our global leaders and captains, giving our power to governments, people and others to captain the fate of spaceship earth. What if we appointed different captains? Imagine more women in positions of power. How would their underlying belief systems, guide and shape the world? What would happen if we chose more leaders— “captains”—that were working against the collective unified beliefs that we each hold as captains of our own lives and environments. Perhaps we need to address the collective unconsciousness, bring it to the surface and ensure that the captains we choose are leading our spaceship earth in the right direction. Not towards a 6th mass extinction or a world where health is not a basic human right available to all.
When left unchecked, the captain and crew may feel that they are forging their own path, when in fact they are simply following the routes of other captains and ships that have gone before them. Deep down it would be like wanting to go to Hawaii because that’s where the captain, the crew and vessel are happiest. But finding that you continue to end up in the busy ports of Shanghai where no one is surprised to see you there—except you! You wonder why it keeps happening.
With realization you can course correct your ship by choosing your true north and calibrating your internal compass at any time.
What if you took a minute to pause, go inwards and allow your conscious captain to speak and align directly with the crew? Cast that new vision together, commit to weathering the storms and navigate the way to your new destination rather than the one you never really wanted to go.
Our conscious mind is still a big player in who we become. In the early 1900’s E. Stanley Jones shared that, “The conscious mind determines our actions and choices, the unconscious mind determines the reactions, and the reactions are just as important as the actions.”8
Perhaps it’s the sum of how we act and react that shows the true character of our being. Not just how we think and consciously choose, but how we react in tough, painful and emotional situations that draw from our unconscious. Do we become a product of our choices and actions, or a product of our unconscious reactions based on past experience and perhaps emotional pain or trauma? Perhaps it is both.
Some people might be spending their life healing ancestral trauma, whilst others might have the breathing space to consciously engineer a whole new reality for us all. Some might not be thinking at all.
Regardless of how you view mind, the one thing that all neuroscientists, psychologists and philosophers agree on is that it’s mighty powerful. The main thing to know is how to use it well. Yogachara-Chittamatra (an integration of quantum physics and Buddhist philosophy) have summed up “mind” saying that:
“The mind is the principle creator of everything because sentient beings accumulate predisposing potencies through their actions, and these actions are directed by mental motivation. These potencies are what create not only their lives, but also the physical world around them.”9
This is a fancy way of saying that thoughts literally become things! This is a whole journey to explore on its own but mostly take from it that our mind is the most powerful generator of all! The karmic instigator!
CALL TO ACTION
Be the captain of your own fate. Be the director in your own life play. Or live as a character that you were never truly born to be.
Start by scripting a positive vision for your life. Make it meaningful and unique to your vision, values and the type of person you were born to be.
This is directly referenced from the best-selling amazon SelfCare Book "Lifestyle Medicine For the People" by Rory Callaghan. If you would like to read more content like this. Grab the free online chapters of the book or a hard copy.
We have done our best to reference everyone’s expert opinions, peer-reviewed science, and original thoughts, all references available here and referenced in the text.
We also understand that most thoughts are not our own and there is a collective unconsciousness, unconsciousness, and universal mind stream of energy that is always at work. How are references are sorted and filtered is here.
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