The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Monday, May 7, 2018

Mind Nutrition

My good friend Sav Sandhu does some amazing work on fitness and wellbeing with high level executives and traders in the city. His regular videos on LinkedIn take fascinating and inspiring perspectives on maintaining the body as a key element in our wellbeing – plus he takes these perspectives from a strong, maintained and integrated mind-body approach. In his latest video he asks, “What is good nutrition?” and he outlines 4 key principles to help you with your nutrition even if you’ve tried every diet under the sun.

Which got me thinking along the lines … so, what is good “mental nutrition.”  

Food for Thought

Essentially, nutrition is defined as ‘the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.’
Nutrition for the Mind, therefore, might be the process of providing or obtaining the mental “food” necessary for mental health and mental growth.
Now, as an emergent descriptor or label, mental “food” is an interesting subject! So, I’d invite you to walk a way down this path merely to see what we might pick up along the way.

Our Relationship with our Thinking is a key aspect with regards to food for thought, rather in the same way that our relationship with our eating is a key aspect with regards to our bodily nutrition.

The acronym GIGO was well known in computer science as being “Garbage In Garbage Out,” meaning that if the input data is incorrect or invalid then the output will be incorrect.

And so, in bodily terms, eating bad, or incorrect food will lead to poor outcomes – and may even lead to our being invalid!
In thought terms however, it relates to how we process – how we ‘digest’ – the thoughts we select from the stream of thought energy flowing through our lives.

Thought energy just flows past via our consciousness, and the moment we notice, latch on to, select particles of that energy as it flows through, then the particles morph into OUR thoughts.
So, then commences the Relationship we have with our Thinking.


There are criteria at play, with each and every one of us, that help us what to select from the stream of thought energy. And the WHAT that we select are filtered for us by our Beliefs and Values, Our Memories, Our past Experience.

Our brain functions, in terms of our perceptive apparatus, are driven to provide the rest of the mind-body some predictions as to WHAT IS HAPPENING. **

In the simplest of terms, at a certain time of day when we see the sun approaching the horizon coupled with a drop of temperature, we run this sensual data past our experience and memory and get a close match which the brain predicts as SUNSET. At this point, a number of other responses take place to add into the next required prediction. And the process continues in a similar way across our every thought process from sensual to cognitive.
Likewise, in a more complex way, if we are about to attend a meeting and we see that a rather surly, argumentative and uncooperative colleague is there, we’ll run this data input past our experience and memory and get some predictive filtering that leads our mind-body to responses of a different kind!

Both of these examples above are part of our relationship with our thinking.
Both are based upon predictions of filtered data, with the filters put in place by our Beliefs and Values, Our Memories, Our past Experience.
Both of these examples are Food for Thought. Yet – if we want to have a different experience from both the sunset but particularly the meeting, then we just have to change the Food. 

And the change of Mind Food would be to bring something more mentally nutritious to our filtering criteria – by altering our Beliefs and Values, Our Memories, Our past Experience.
This is exactly the same if we want to give our body better outcomes from our next month’s meals. Changing the food for things more nutritious will help our physical wellbeing on all levels.

Changing our Minds

There is a perspective on the nature of reality that is underpinned by the Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought.** It is known as the Inside-Out perspective, and I would describe it as being good nutrition for the Mind.

Part of our ability to understand the Inside-Out nature of reality, is to have an open mind. With an open mind we can acknowledge that our Beliefs and Values, Our Memories, Our past Experience, are not ever set in stone in quite the way that we might imagine. And that, as a consequence, we can change our view of the world – by changing the filters that we use on our raw data input.

In practical terms for example, this would mean that our colleague who was previously labelled as surly, argumentative and uncooperative, is now seen as just a colleague. We have removed the emotional portion of his labelling – but only for as long as we keep our judgements of him at bay. For it is our judgements of him that led to our labelling of him before – and it will be our present and future judgements of him that lead to labelling changes in the future. And that will be for good OR bad in equal measure.

For, as with all judgements, it is our THINKING that makes it so!

Good Mind Nutrition

So, good Mind Nutrition is about allowing our minds to be open to accepting change.

 It is about understanding that our Beliefs and Values, Our Memories, Our past Experience, are a vital filtering component of our predictive and perceptive apparatus, AND yet are never set in stone.

 It is about understanding that our Beliefs and Values, Our Memories, Our past Experience contain emotional elements that are there to enrich, flag up, be noticed. **
These emotional elements can be adjusted, enhanced, discarded at any time and we are not ever “at the mercy of them” unless we choose to be so.

 It is about understanding that whilst it is common for our predictive brain to be directed towards noticing sameness, that we do have the facility to direct our perceptions towards difference as well.


We make up our experience on a moment-to-moment, day-by-day basis through the way we harness the power of thought – through the relationship we have with our thinking. If we believe our thinking and our thought processes, then the product will be our reality.

Whether you blush easily, feel the cold more than others, stammer, freak out at spiders, hate being ignored, don’t go too near to the edge, like to be in control, get scared going to the dentist, and so on ad infinitum, it is all perceived through a thought process of one form or another.

This is why if believe you can – you can
And if you believe you can’t – you can’t
And it is the open-ness of your mind that maintains or changes everything.

It is ALL food for thought. And you can decide what you put on your plate!

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Sacred Relationship

This week’s topic emerges from my conversations with clients about the relationship that we, as human beings, have with our thinking.

In Theory

The whole notion that our thoughts are our own, that they have an almost tangible form to them, is pivotal to how we make sense of the world we live in; from the horizon and the rising and setting of the sun, to the way people are talking to us, to the potholes in the roads, to a delicate fragrance or the taste of a lemon, to a hug or a kiss, to our fears or worries, to our work or play, and so on … it is the endless list of experience.

We rely on our senses to provide us with the raw data – and that includes ALL our senses, not just the usual five. The phrase “the sixth sense” reminds us that, in our culture at least, we most times just have an awareness of THE five senses.
Yet there are others such as time, balance, humour, even awareness itself, leading us all towards “the big one” … SELF.

Our sense of self, our sentience, is the overarching umbrella sense of all the others. It takes all the raw data provided by all the other senses and processes the data.
And how it processes the data determines how we experience the reality of the world, and our place in it. And this entire processing faculty is driven by the power of Thought.

The difference between “your world” and “my world” – what differentiates your experience from mine – is embedded in the how of our thought processes.

All our individual HOWs are part of the relationship that each of us has with our own Thinking.   

Now “your world” and “my world” may bear some resemblance to the “true world” – yet we’d both agree that “our worlds” are not the “only worlds.”

Except when we Don’t!

When THAT happens then the scenario is that “My View of the World” is right and yours (or theirs) is wrong.
All of this is just Thought driven of course – and is merely the difference between what is produced by the HOW of your Thought Processes and what is produced by the HOW of my Thought Processes.

It is The Sacred Relationship we all have with our Thinking.

It is that relationship that helps us to answer the question, “What is it like TO BE?”

It is also that relationship that distorts THE world the more we believe our thinking.
And the more we believe OUR thinking to be RIGHT, the more our mind is set in that one place. Set there, in stone, until we CHANGE our mind.
The moment that we change our mind, about anything, is the moment that Sacred Relationship is tweaked and morphs into something (even only slightly) different.

We sometimes process that change, by getting shown from externally sourced data. We might call this “learning.”
We sometimes process that change, by getting shown from internally sourced data.
We might call this “intuition” or “wisdom.”

Yet we can only ever change our mind, about anything, if we allow our mind to first be open – to permit ourselves to be “shown.” A closed mind can never change.

To understand the Inside-Out nature of reality, is to have an open mind.

We also need to relieve ourselves of the pressures we place on our human frailty – by acknowledging that in our minds there will be those moments of temporary closure. There is always the reset button that will open our minds once again.

In Practice

In a practical sense, this is what happened for a client who I had worked with earlier this year for her fear of flying

She had an open mind – and in our conversations she changed her perceptions by having some light thrown upon that fear. She processed that change from both the externally sourced data as illuminated by me, and from internally sourced data from her own intuition. 

She “got” what I was saying about her fear of flying. She got a felt sense of the change. We both questioned the evidence of that felt sense, and she was reassured by that questioning and testing of the evidence. She maintained her open-mindedness.

I checked with her a few days later and she was still of the same (open) mind. I wished her well in the anticipated experience of her upcoming flights.

Just this week I checked in with her again, to find out how things had been.
She reported that everything was good and that she was looking forward to further flights next month.
She ALSO reported that she had experienced some frailty, in the moment. The moment was a period of air turbulence on one of the flights – where the stimulus had caused her to follow her previously held pattern of response. She had the sensations of the onset of a panic attack.

Part of the work we had done – which I’ll describe again as her “learning” from externally sourced data – was for her to have resources to point her (in the moment) to that RESET button.
She didn’t freeze, nor was she caught like a rabbit in headlights. She used the resources and alleviated her experience. She “saw” where the RESET button was, hit it, and returned to the grounded state she had been in prior to the ‘plane encountering the air turbulence.


We can all understand theory, because we are thinking creatures, imbued with the facility to gain knowledge through varieties of cognitive logical thought processes.

Yet, amusingly, this quote often applies -
“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice – in practice there is!”

Except when it doesn’t, when we understand the Inside-Out nature of reality enough to trust the fusion of our intuition with our learning.

My client trusted her understanding enough to deal with her stimulated sensations in the practical moment they were happening, and not just in the theory moment when we were talking together in our one session.

You could say her outcomes were sensational!