COGITO, ERGO SUM is often attributed to Renee Descartes as the foundational theorist of existentialism; that is, the theory that we think and by thinking prove that we exist. From there, philosophers dive into other forms of theoretical thoughts that seem tantalizing but obscure any bit of wisdom with melancholy policy.
Instead, I'll tell you a truth. It's not a philosophical Metaphor.
You are what you think.
It's not a literary metaphor or allegory, although it kind of is - I mean, literally.
You think = You Are, which as a whole is the verb: becoming. The French "tu deviens," comes from the ancient latin "divinus" which is the verb "to divine," and has to do with the concept of foresight. Presently we use it in French today as "you guess," and with it shows how much we doubt ourselves even as a society in the capacity to divine our own futures. In fact the word, "Divine" is also where we get the first person non-autonomous "Divinity." From the idea that we must guess where this luck or this bad luck might have come from... "Who is God?" Why he's divine! No, he's "Divine!" No matter what, we all divine where we come from, but it's the creators of this human species who can actively "devinient" (or become) by intelligent design.
Not everyone has it. Not everyone knows how to teach it or imbue it, but it is possible to change the behaviours and thought patterns of your person and thus, through repetitive action and habit, Become.
It's often called "Fake it till you make it." Here's a great TED talk on the topic:
Heard of Neuro-Plasticity?
What about "Cognitive Therapies?"
The ability to get oneself out of addiction and out of the cycles of violence that society wrests us into, is at it's core the ability to rewrite your own story. Not on a page but biologically, in the chemistry of your brain. "Bit by bit."
If we are what we eat, does it not also stand to reason that we are what we think?
Watch this and tell me, is it simple?
If I believe that I am no good, that my disability limits me, or that my capacities are less than those of others, then I will forever view the world from that vantage and it becomes my daily life and literal story, every day. If I wake and decide I will give ground on the side-walk to younger people who move faster because I am scared, then am I not also giving them permission do this in the future?
You are what you think. Not what you thought.
Repeat it if you have to.
Here's a pretty design you can add to Pinterest or a Mood Board to remind yourself:
Weeks could go by and one day the same configuration of kids coming out of school may bump into me not realizing I was not going to move this time. Because I caught myself. Because I had been changing my behaviour to suit my angst.
Angst is not quite anxiety. It's the rumble in my throat, or the pressure in my chest. The weight on my shoulders, the pressure of my nails in my palm. The twitch behind my right eye when I secretly want to smash like the Hulk. (She-Ra the new series on Netflix is so awesome. She has this same eye twitch. I think all super heroes have them, secretly....shhhh!)
Last week folks in the north and around Canada, participated in Orange T-Shirt Day. A day dedicated to the defence of children from not only bullying, but systemic prejudices like those held against First Nations, Indigenous, and Metis children and the families that were affected and are still living the reality of the Residential School system and the way John A MacDonald, through the use of the Indian Act, was able to create a "Confederation." You see, the British and many others had made agreements with various First Nations, and these were internationally recognized treaties made in good faith.
"Good Old John A." had land owners, developers, and investors complaining about the "Indian Problem" which was a systematic annihilation story. White Colonials wanted the land and a fast way to mobilize white support was "Confederacy!"
I have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. I don't consider it a disorder, and there's so many reasons folks ought to be patient with neurodiverse folk like me, but one of the many perks of this natural brain development, is that I can tell and identify when the wool is being pulled over my eyes.
Words to me are like numbers to Rainman, savy? Yes, I have a learning disability and I am a high-functioning autistic Northern Health will not test me for it because it's not "disruptive enough." Neither is my child's.
So no, I don't celebrate Thanksgiving; despite Canadians celebrating it next weekend. No, I don't want to talk about real estate, or the market, or economic theories, because it's all colonial mercantilism.
And no, it doesn't benefit anyone who makes under $500,000 per annum. Honest.
And I want to decolonize myself.
The ideas that prioritize materialism over humanity, or money over people, or the rich over the poor, are social hierarchy, but there are many hierarchies.
I've been trying to for a few years now but it's been difficult to decolonize myself.
How does a white chick,18th generation colonized in either family tree, in any direction, shake the stain of colonial thought and ideology?
How do I do it when I am disabled and I have less money than society expects me to have?
How do I do it when I face social barriers including my gender, my sex, my personality, my disability, my mental health, and ultimately my sanity when the entire machine is a conveyancer of gaslight-forming bricks into the colonial walls that Pink Floyd warned us about?
Could we at least pick the colour of our own bricks?
I pick glitter. Cerulean glitter. Go talk to Martha Stewart, I trust anyone who hangs with Snoop and she has the best glitter line!
Hey Martha, is there any way we can make it environmentally friendly? Like mica-based, like makeup almost?
Okay, that was one hell of a diatribe, but I'll cut to the end before I get worsely distractrified. (Yes, those are two new words. Mark your calendar, you were present at their birth.)
So what am I doing that helps me keep my mind focused, present, and allows me to set my intentions for the day in a way that isolates the behaviours I want to track?
I have created a regimen that I am excited to share for free. It's based on several tools I would like to share first in sequence, each with printables (coming soon!) that folks can download and test out for each method.
These tools capture my moods and feelings visually making it easier to understand and manage my health at a glance. If you would like to find out more, please stay tuned.
Oh, and please subscribe! It's free!