Who Am I?
Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”. He said this at his trial for heresy, where he was on trial for encouraging his students to challenge the accepted beliefs of the time and to think for themselves. No one’s life is free from heartache and challenges. But those who spend time to explore who they are, and to understand what drives them to think and behave the way they do, are on the way to living an inspired life and fulfilling their dreams. When you set aside time to examine your life, you become more aware and you begin to make choices that are congruent with who you are.
Most of the time, we are not aware of what drives us and how our thoughts and actions are impacting others and indeed ourselves. In his book Awareness, Anthony de Mello says, “There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.”
Dr Joe Dispenza and other scientists claim we have about sixty thousand thoughts a day. Even more startling is that ninety five percent of them are the same as yesterday and the day before and the day before that. The next statistic is that for the average person, eighty percent of those habitual thoughts are negative. Dr Daniel Amen, an award-winning physician and psychiatrist, calls them automatic negative thoughts (ANTs). Each day, most people have forty five thousand negative thoughts! In Marci Shimoff ’s book Happy for No Reason, she shares the story of a Cherokee elder who is telling his grandson about the battle that goes on inside of people.
“My son, the battle is between the two ‘wolves’ that live inside us all. One is Unhappiness. It is fear, anger, jealousy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment, and inferiority. The other is Happiness. It is joy, love, hope, serenity, kindness, generosity, truth, and compassion.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Muscle testing is an effective way to demonstrate how pleasant thoughts keep our bodies strong and how unpleasant thoughts weaken our bodies.
Stand facing a person. Ask that person to raise an arm straight out, to the side at shoulder height. Don’t use arms/shoulders that have been injured in any way.
Ask the person to think of people or events that are joyful memories. While they are thinking those thoughts, place a hand or two fingers above the wrist and ask the person to resist your downward pressure. You need to give them time to tighten their arm to resist before you push down. Apply downward pressure on their wrist. Usually, when the person is thinking pleasant thoughts, they resist your downward pressure.
Then ask the same person to think of a person or event that they regard as unpleasant. Ask the person to resist, and apply downward pressure on their wrist. Usually, while thinking unpleasant thoughts, the person’s arm will not resist your downward pressure.
This muscle test is easy to do and a good visual demonstration of the immediate impact our thoughts have on our bodies.