Heartfulness eMagazine|July 2020

In the earlier articles of this series, RAVI VENKATESAN introduced the Heartful Strategist framework. He covered how consciousness is limited by certain vicious cycles of negative emotions. He also looked at examples of shifts that can be made to allow consciousness to expand through broadening our perspective and “thinking” for the benefit of broader and broader circles of influence. In this article he explores tendencies and thought patterns, and how specific practices can help with shifting these. As background, you can read parts 3 and 4 of this series again.

In part 3, we looked at how consciousness has an active part and an unconscious part, that in turn can be viewed as two parts, subconsciousness and superconsciousness. What is interesting is that while we focus on the active consciousness, a lot of what influences us is in the subconsciousness. To understand this better, think about the tendencies that we observe in ourselves, our family, our colleagues etc. Given the same situation and inputs, people respond very differently.

Take, for example, the current COVID-19 crisis, and the responses of world and regional leaders. They range from leaders who are optimistic and do not take extreme measures to lock things down, to leaders that are locking everything down for as long as they can. The decisions made by these leaders, given the same inputs, should not be puzzling. Whether it is the CEO of a company or a parent, everyone responds to situations based on their tendencies. These tendencies have their source in our thought patterns. Here is an exercise to assess your own thought patterns:

  • At the end of the day, sit calmly in a quiet location with your eyes closed. Let the day replay in front of you, from morning till now. Make yourself an “outside” impartial witness of your own reactions and responses through the day, not in terms of actions you took, but in terms of the thoughts that you had, which in many cases would have preceded your actions.


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July 2020