My first reaction to this question is, "I think about what I want, dammit! My thoughts are my own!" My second reaction is, "Oh my... my thoughts are 100% tainted by the environment and people around me."
Case in point, a client tells me the other day while I'm giving him a massage about the best sushi in Santa Cruz. We debate the pro's and con's of the various cafes, meanwhile salivating heavily, almost obnoxiously, while massaging his back. It's been four days of craving sushi now. I will have to submit sometime soon, because my mind is so wrapped around the idea of eating sushi. Would I have automatically started craving sushi at this exact moment in time had it not been for that conversation? I think not. I'm relatively sure that a person who has never tasted sushi or doesn't live in an area that serves sushi, wouldn't have a spontaneous and lasting sushi craving. Therefore, it must have been a thought that was planted by my conversation.
Now, I do understand that he wasn't setting out to "teach" me what to think. So, I slanted the thought process a bit, but the overall truth is that in some way or another, we are taught, encouraged, pushed into thinking about things a certain way.
And, our families.... whoa... that's a whole other story! Imagine just from the time you are the littlest baby, over time you are taught to cry to alert your parents to your needs. Then you are taught what foods to eat, based on what foods your parents choose to buy at the store and feed you. Then you are taught a specific language, with a certain accent, because you are parroting what you hear around you. Then you decide what type of God, or none at all, that you believe in because your family makes you go to church, or temple, or you live in a New Age hippie commune. You're taught right from wrong, based solely on the mores of your immediate society, which has been so diluted from our intrinsic truths, that we can't even trace back with complete accuracy whomever made the rules of "right and wrong" in the first place!
It's crazy, isn't it?
My head spins in circles as I ponder what is true for me, and what I think I may have always believed to be true because I unquestionably trusted that it was. And, now that I have this consciousness, it is my right and responsibility to do my own self-exploration to know, without a doubt, what I believe and why. And, then to live my truth without feeling like I need to push it on others. I think there is plenty of pushing to go around, so I'll bow out of that experiment!
Ladies and gentlemen, I implore you to think on this. Learn who you are and what you believe and why you believe it. Test your beliefs against your gut. If you get a twinge of fear, negativity, doubt, or just the physical feeling of "yuckiness", it's probably your intuition that's telling you the belief isn't authentic. And, that's your cue to dig deeper, get more clear, so you can live fully, thinking your own thoughts.
If you want some help in this process, call me and set up an appointment for either in person or the phone. I'm not going to tell you what you should believer, but I will walk you through some different tools that will open up your own self-discovery!