Are you hypnotised by thoughts?

I find myself mesmerised and hypnotised by thoughts, all the time, often without realising it. It seems many people do, and seek out ways to help themselves. With self help articles, videos, and books about calming the over-thinking brain, how to relax without your thoughts bothering you and ways to distract you from your thoughts. (For example with exercise, meditation, music, hobbies or rituals).

That’s all fine. But in my view, a lot of that is just dealing with the ‘symptoms’. And things like zen buddhism for example, gets to the root of the problem and changes the relationship we have to our thoughts.

I would argue, that thoughts aren’t meaningful or real, they’re mechanical and phantom-like. They’re a tool, and sometimes they’re the wrong tool for the job.

They have no basis in reality. They are an infinite fractal playground of ideas and concepts. We can only create a map about reality in thoughts, and a map is not the same as the territory.

Thoughts just happen, then we give them power over us, by putting our attention on them and our faith in them. And when we do this, it is possible to do the darkest things imaginable. Like kill yourself or kill and torture others. By believing such thoughts as ‘things will never get better’, or ‘ours is the true religion.’

To stop thoughts from bothering us; we don’t need to distract ourselves, we just need to stop putting our attention on them. Stop engaging with them. See them for what they are: just thoughts.

Energy flows where attentions goes.

We don’t have to listen, solve, or get away from them.

Let the thoughts come and go, even if they’re dark or scary thoughts. They can’t hurt us. Disengage, take your hands off the wheel. Drop the attention on them like it’s a hot potato. Don’t grab a hold of the thought, don’t wish it away. These are all forms of engaging with it, as if it’s means something, as if it can hurt us.

Allow the thoughts to be there, accept them, they will drift away like all thoughts ever have.

By Annie Charnley.
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Don’t let thoughts make you their bitch.

Just because thoughts appear in our awareness, it doesn’t mean we have to do what they say.

We don’t have to listen to thoughts, or engage with them or believe them.

We can instead just see them happen, not judge them, not try to get away from them, or fight them, and not follow them down the rabbit hole.

Sometimes, it can feel like thoughts are our friend or that they’re in fact ‘us.’ But in my view, thoughts are impartial tools to be used how we like.

To see that thoughts aren’t you, notice how when a thought appears and disappears, you were aware of that happening. You stay, while thoughts come and go.

Maybe you think you are the thinker of the thoughts?

This is how it intuitively feels and it evolved this way for good reason. However, take a moment to notice right now that you have no idea what thought will appear next. Also notice that you have no idea where that thought came from, where it got made, who ‘wrote’ it before you ‘heard’ it.

Maybe you think you can control thoughts?

To see how we can’t control thoughts; stop thinking, (like you would stop running when you didn’t want to run anymore).

We can seem to fight with thoughts, reject them, deny them, judge them, believe them, listen to them, engage with them, or we can not do any of that and allow and accept them instead.

I find it much more helpful to allow thoughts to appear, see them and not engage with them if I don’t want to or if they’re hurting me.

Be the master of the thoughts, not a slave to them. (Easier said than done, eh?)

By Annie Charnley.

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Dreams can teach us about ourselves

In my view, dreams can often have very powerful and meaningful symbolic messages that can inform us about what’s going on inside us and in our lives. But most people I know don’t seem to realise this.

We can learn about ourselves and grow, thanks to these messages (from our subconscious?). Everything in those kinds of dreams is a representation of you. The people, the buildings, the animals etc.

One powerful example would be if someone dies in your dream, (someone you know, a character, or celebrity), it can mean that an aspect of your personality is represented in them, and that part is changing, or losing it’s power.

Sometimes however, dreams don’t seem to be meaningful, and seem to just be random nonsense, in my opinion. These can include people you are crushing on, TV shows you’ve seen, things you’ve read about, for example. Just processing the day that’s gone, or just random ideas and imaginations bubbling up from the subconscious.

A site I like to use for interpreting dreams is this. There are many websites and books for interpreting dreams (I imagine some will be better than others).

There are different ways to interpret symbols, it’s not an exact science, (same with religious symbols and metaphors, in my view).

The meaning of the symbols themselves are important to think about in the context of other symbols in the dreams and your feelings at the time. You will get a more accurate and relevant interpretation if you do this.

Carl Jung has been a pioneer in dream symbolism and interpretation. He has a book called ‘The undiscovered self, with symbols and the interpretation of dreams.’ I’ve just started reading it, so I can’t comment on it yet, but he’s a genius so I can’t wait to read it.

One big way we mess our kids up

“We’ve spent lifetimes thinking about our problems, but so little time actually shining the light of awareness on what is actually happening.” – Joey Lott

In my opinion and from what I have learned, one big way people can and do mess their kids up, is by not being aware of and integrating their own shadow parts of themselves (unwanted & rejected parts of self) and then they can project whatever issue they might have, big or small onto their kids, and the kids grow up and do the same to their kids and it perpetuates.

All is not lost though, because at any time, anyone can do this inner work, although hard, it’s possible. And we can undo our conditioning and integrate our shadow parts, not only for the wellbeing of kids, but for the wellbeing of ourselves and every single person we have relationships with/interact with.

We don’t have to do anything, we can do what we want, but if people are suffering, I believe this is important work.

Carl Jung’s, Jordan Peterson’s and Joey Lott’s work on this is a God send.

For anyone suffering with problems for a long time that they have never found a way to fix them; problems like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, obsessions etc. Joey Lott has an incredible online course that I can personally vouch for, that you can check out here. (Hopefully it’s still open to join, if not you can sign up to his email and receive updates of when it will next be open) Obviously this isn’t the only way, and there’s lots of good help out there. But this is one that I have found to be very effective and really get to the root of my problems.

Helping strangers.

Mind Fuel Pick-Ups

What do we all do when we read a really good book or see a great film? We lend it to someone or recommend it to someone, who we think would like it or benefit from it. Which is great, passing on good stuff, helping our tribe out.

But what if we expanded our feelings and cared about strangers too? I had the thought of wanting to do this, and I wish there was some sort of community board to add things to, but a lot of people wouldn’t look at that and it would only be in one place. I like the idea of leaving things on buses and benches, for people to pick up if they like the look of it.

So now, after I’ve read a print out, flyer or poster, instead of putting it in recycling, is put them around my environment, so that strangers can benefit from them too.

Some people might consider this littering, but I don’t because the idea is that someone will take it – that is the intention of the post-it saying ‘take me’ on each one.

It’s valuable information that I’ve gotten something from, and I want to share with fellow humans, in the hope they will get something from it to. And I’d like to believe that fate will determine who will pick it up, and maybe it will enter someone’s life when they need it or are ready for it.

So we’re calling them Mind Fuel Pick-up’s, and we will keep doing it. We have much compassion for our fellow humans. We all want to be happy. Hopefully this action goes towards improving people’s minds, lives, and society, even just a little bit. Even just to know that strangers care about them, could maybe improve their day. Imagine if more people did this…

Thanks for reading. Get in touch at: mindfuelstuff@gmail.com, we’d love to hear from you. If you enjoyed it, help us out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.
 
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How I landed in depression by ignoring all the warning signs.

There were at least four warning signs in my life, that unbeknownst to me, were signalling depression on the horizon. If only I could have stopped to reflect on how I was feeling at the time, and sought help before things got really bad. But I didn’t listen to how I was feeling at all, and I didn’t slow down.

This lead to a breakdown/quarter life crisis, meltdowns, chronic back pain, an anxiety disorder, burn out and finally depression. It’s ironic – I never listened to how I felt and now I’ve lost the ability to feel.

For me, I believe this is how it went down:

Warning sign 1: Stress > Warning sign 2: Chronic stress > Warning sign 3: Anxiety > Warning sign 4: Burnout > Last stop: Depression

If you can relate to any of these, I don’t need to tell you the awful effects any of them have on your mental & physical health, wellbeing, relationships, work and life in general.

I’ve learnt lots about myself going through all these things, but I don’t want anyone else to end up with depression if I can help it. So i’m writing this blog post in the hopes I can help you or someone you know, become aware of the warning signs you have, and to seek help, before things get worse.

I think that with either chronic stress, an anxiety disorder, burnout or depression: your brain is maybe telling you that something seriously needs to change in your life-style, situation, or thinking habits. Maybe you’ve been strong for too long.

For me, my life wasn’t balanced at all. I placed no value on healing, play or rest. It was like 24/7 work/achievement/productivity for most of my life. And my thinking habits were unhealthy and unhelpful. I would constantly over-analyse and over-think. My personality was always a worrier, conscientious, highly sensitive, introvert, deep thinker, strong sense of responsibility, inability to set limits, excessively ambitious, high standards and a perfectionist, with a real compulsion to achieve my high standards and goals.

All of those attributes combined, make an outcome like burnout and depression seem pretty predictable, in hindsight.

You can arrive at depression from many different routes, (trauma, genetics, social or environmental factors). For me, it started with simple stress, (and my innate inability to cope with it).

I believe if I noticed and dealt with any of the warning signs, I could have avoided depression. So watch out for those signs of yours! Best of luck on your journey.

In summary:

– Listen and pay attention to how you feel
– Be aware of your personal limits
– Schedule time to relax and play
– Identify warning signs
– Identify causes
– Identify triggers
– Talk to someone, especially GP
– Minimise triggers

By Annie Charnley.

#DepressionAwareness


Do you have any thoughts you want to share? Please get in touch at: mindfuelstuff@gmail.com, we’d love to hear from you. If you enjoyed it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.

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Acceptance = liberation

Sorry there’s been a lack of fuel from me recently, but now I’ve quit my job I’ll have more time to dedicate to this blog that I love so much!


“If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have 3 options: 1. Remove yourself from the situation, 2. Change it or 3. Accept it totally.” – Michael Singer

I often read/hear that practicing gratitude will put you in good stead for a healthy wellbeing and state of mind.

I’ve tried to do this many times. I think about what I’m grateful for and write it down, and, at the time, I don’t necessarily feel happier for doing so. But, I have felt grateful out of nowhere before; so practicing can only be a good thing. On days that I’m really, really low, when I have no motivation or energy, and where anything but sleeping is too much effort, I find it really hard to practice gratitude.

I realised that maybe it might help me to practice acceptance first: acceptance of my current situation, personality, life, problems, pain and feelings, acceptance of my depression, that I feel like shit right now, that my back is in pain and has been for 5 years, acceptance of the fact I have no motivation or inspiration right now.

I first realised the power of acceptance when shivering in the cold, waiting for the bus. I thought ‘just accept the cold, accept it….it’s okay go on, accept it’, then all of a sudden, I released my fight against the cold and I relaxed and felt a bit warmer for a while. So I’m trying to practice that with more aspects of my life.

I have a constant inner conflict inside that takes a lot of energy, which means I end up unhappy and distracted a lot of the time. In fighting my pain and suffering I’m trying to control one part of myself with another part. I want to feel happy and get rid of these bad feelings, and if fighting it doesn’t work (which it never does) I want to run away and escape myself entirely.

But in rejecting/bullying myself this way, it’s like saying to myself: “Stop feeling down, be happy for god’s sake, what’s wrong with you? There’s no reason you should feel depressed, I wish I wasn’t you and I was someone else, someone happier, I wish I had someone else’s life, not this one.”

If I accept my low feelings, stop fighting them and berating myself, accept that I’m the product of my genes and upbringing, and that I can’t help being depressed, I let go of the grip my mind has on itself and life becomes easier to deal with. I feel more compassion for myself, and feel more liberated and validated.

I think to some people, acceptance seems like giving up, giving in, and the other person or situation has won. But if it’s something you can literally do nothing about, and not accepting it causes you more pain, then maybe accepting it would be a healthier/happier choice for you.

Things to practice fuelling your mind with (easier when you have the mental energy to do it):

Mindfulness (Be mindful of unhelpful thinking styles – more on that in another post).
Acceptance (When you feel down or upset instead of feeling bad and fighting the feeling, try accepting that you feel low, allow yourself space and time to feel how you feel, validate yourself, it’s okay to feel shit right now. If that’s too hard, first try to accept the cold and see if you feel warmer even for a few seconds).
Gratitude (Trying to notice people and things in your life that you’re grateful for regularly, even the smallest of things).

I would love to know if this helps anyone else, try it out and let me know? You can email me at mindfuelstuff@gmail.com


I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought-provoking stuff. If you did enjoy it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.

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