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    A penny for your thoughts: Affirmations help us to circumvent brain's 'gatekeeper'

    By Dan Baker

    Before I talk to you about an amazing phenomenon that occurs constantly in your mind, let's have a refresher course on the difference between the conscious part of your mind and your ever-powerful subconscious. Your conscious mind is the part used for thinking. If I asked you to add 2 + 2, hopefully the number 4 will jump into your conscious mind. But from where did the number 4 originate? It came from its storage facility in your subconscious mind. Your mind is literally a computer made of meat.

    One of the tasks of the powerful subconscious is to act as a robotic gatekeeper for your conscious mind (in previous columns we've called this gatekeeper — your "robot”). Remember, you cannot add 2 and 2 while thinking about the capital of Denmark. Because the conscious mind can only think one thought at a time, your subconscious acts as a filter to keep unnecessary stimuli from affecting your conscious thoughts.

    Example: Can you feel the shoes on your feet? Of course you can. But where was that sensation a moment ago? Because that feeling is of no importance to your current activity, your subconscious gatekeeper filtered it away from your conscious mind. But what if a snake or insect begins to crawl on your foot?

    Suddenly the gatekeeper of your subconscious will send a signal to your conscious screaming "Look out!” In a nanosecond, whatever was on your conscious mind will be gone and 100 percent of your focus will be on discovering and getting rid of that unwanted intruder on your foot. Get the picture? But why is understanding this phenomenon important to building your future in a predetermined direction? Your gatekeeper neither knows right from wrong nor good from bad. It only knows what it's been told (programmed).

    If you wish to change something about your life, it is critical that you believe in that change. If not, your gatekeeper will block every possible signal that could take you to your dreams. We call this programming "self-talk”; that's just a different way to say "thinking.” Use affirmations to program your gatekeeper so this powerful giant will help you fulfill your dreams. Example: You weigh 150 and wish to weigh 115. Tell your gatekeeper you weigh 115; then visualize yourself standing on the scales and watching the needle stop at 115. See yourself at 115 in your new clothes; feel the excitement you would feel. Do this as often as possible and make it seem real. To your subconscious gatekeeper, it's as though it actually happened.

    Are you starting to understand and accept the importance of "Positive Thinking?” The age-old axiom "We become what we think about” is right on. In summary, your brain is the most powerful computer on earth. And yet, like any computer, it is no better than the data that is being fed into it. Start feeding your mind with positive, building thoughts and your gatekeeper will help you become the person you want to be. Remember those 10 two-letter words: If it is to be, it is up to me. Carpe diem!

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