You know what it's like to "change your mind" about something. You've had an opinion, or idea about what you wanted, and then decided on something else. Your taste, your desire has changed. You thought you wanted steak for dinner, but now you realize you really want salmon. You thought you'd vote for one person, now you've decided to vote for someone else. Generally, we have no problem with this kind of mind-changing.

However, the kind of mind-changing that's needed if we're going feel differently inside ourselves requires a deeper look at the way our minds work, and where our thoughts come from in the first place.

Our capacity to think is a feature that distinguishes us from most other creatures. The cognitive, thinking part of the brain, the left hemisphere, likes to organize information, analyze, examine details, place things in sequential order, enabling us to see many facets of a situation. This ability is extremely useful as we pursue knowledge and seek understanding.

Yet, we know that for all our "thinking," our verbal, analytical, left-brain is not very good at providing solutions to problems or answers to "life's persistent questions." For real problem-solving, and for deeper understanding, the left brain needs to communicate across the corpus collosum with the right side of the brain.

The right hemisphere of the brain has the ability to grasp the whole picture. It sees the connectedness among the parts. The right brain likes to play with ideas rather than examine them. This is the creative, imaginative aspect of our minds. Right-brainers generally have a rich fantasy life. Their unbridled imagination can be a powerful source of creativity. They are often the artists and musicians and designers. They can envision how a project will look before it's begun. They may hear the complete symphony before the first note has been written down.

If we can calm our verbal, thinking left brain, the right brain will take the information that the left provides and will see all possible outcomes, the probabilities. Taking into account all facets of a situation, it will present us with the answer. We need to get quiet long enough to give the right brain a chance to do its job. If we're so busy examining, analyzing, or obsessing over a problem, we'll be unable to access this important creative energy. As long as we keep on 'thinking,' we're preventing ourselves from receiving the very answers we seek.

When left and right brain aspects work together harmoniously, we come up with the most elegant solution. When we quiet our minds, take our attention off the problem and let go, we're more likely to have an 'aha' experience - the perfect solution pops into our conscious awareness. When we quiet our thinking mind, we open the way for a deeper knowing to come forth. This intuitive knowing will always guide to the most appropriate actions, bring us the most important insights, and show us the way to the most successful outcome.

Cultivating an active imagination, and trusting our intuition, will enable us to be more aware and more creative on many levels.

...excerpted from "Wake Up Your Power," by Elizabeth Mass

Author's Bio: 

Elizabeth Mass is the former Director of the New Life Institute in Staten Island, N.Y. Elizabeth has practiced as a Spiritual Therapist, conducted workshops, lectured and taught classes in Personal Growth and Spiritual Development since 1974. She has lectured widely, been interviewed on radio and television and is highly respected as a pioneer in her field. She has written many articles and books and has produced numerous audio programs for healing and growth. She presently resides, and has a private practice, in Asheville, N.C.