It All Starts With Your Mind

It All Starts With Your MindChange your thoughts and change your life.  It’s more than just a platitude.

I have noticed that when I talk of the work I am doing, which involves life coaching and facilitating ‘The Desire Map’ workshops,  that I occasionally get the odd look. Don’t get me wrong, there are many who embrace this work and get a great deal from it, but every now and again there is some resistance. I get it. I have to remember that there was a time, a few years back, when I might have reacted in the same way.

Breaking It Down
When I look at it, much of the work covered in the workshops, is really breaking things down to their most simplistic form. It’s an opportunity to strip back many of the superficial layers and to get back to what matters most. It is also an opportunity to explore and examine thoughts and feelings in the key areas of your life, to reveal what you truly desire. Sometimes you can lose sight of your hopes or dreams or sometimes you stray too far from who you truly are.

I know personally, whenever I have strayed too far from who I am, who I really truly am, I become quite miserable. When I am saying, doing or behaving in a way that really is not who I am, to conform or fit in, then I am basically betraying myself. I pay for that in a big way and the cost is my happiness.

New Research
What is so exciting about the work I am doing is the new research and information that is becoming available.  In a world that is constantly changing, at a rapid rate, it is so easy to feel at the mercy of external circumstances and events. Much of what I am discovering is that you have so many inner resources and that so much of it starts with your mind and the way you think.  This can have an enormous impact on your general well-being and every aspect of your life.

Many breakthroughs through research and new levels of understanding have occurred in the past decade or so. If I can embrace this new information, to get more out of life, then I am all for it. I like to bring some of this information to my workshops and so I touch on the following three areas.  These are neuroplasticity, epigenetics and the relationship between gratitude and joy.

In the late 1990’s, there was a landmark study which revealed that the human brain is malleable. This is referred to as neuroplasticity. This finding was a significant advancement in the field of neuroscience because prior to the 1990’s study, the human brain was believed to be pretty much hardwired and rigid. What you were born with, you were stuck with. It was thought that you were born with a certain number of brain cells, you lost a few of them each and every day and they were never to be replaced.

The new groundbreaking findings revealed that the brain was not only able to produce new brain cells, replacing the lost cells but in being malleable, it was able to transform itself. This transformation occurs in the brain’s structure, function and connections and is in response to internal and external stimuli. This stimuli includes your thoughts and beliefs.

So what does this mean for you? In her book, ‘Sane New World – Taming the Mind’, Ruby Wax explains that, “you can change your mind and how you think. When your mind changes, your brain changes and because our brains are so malleable, the sky’s the limit”.

Ruby Wax, a writer and a  comedian, has dealt with depression most of her adult life. She has experienced some very challenging times with this mental illness.  It has resulted in her being hospitalised when she has been particularly unwell.

Initially, Wax began doing her own research and investigation and then went on to gain a masters in mindfulness and a degree in psychotherapy. The knowledge she has acquired helps her manage her illness and she shares this information with others. She is now an active mental health campaigner.

From reading ‘Sane New World – Taming the Mind’, I gained an understanding of the way in which the brain works and the way in which neuroplasticity works. Her book is a great read and there are many practical exercises on living more mindfully.  There is also so much humour in her style of writing, you might find yourself laughing out loud often.

Another recent advancement in science is in the area of epigenetics. Bruce Lipton, in his book, ‘The Biology of Belief’, states that this new science “literally means ‘control above the genes’”. What this means is that, “the activity of our genes is constantly being modified in response to life experiences”, as Lipton explains it.  Your environment, diet, behaviour, beliefs and thoughts can all affect your genes and the way in which they are expressed.  In the past it was believed that we were at the mercy of our genes.  According to Lipton, that is not the case and that “we are not victims of our genes, but masters of our fates, able to create lives overflowing with peace, happiness and love”.

In ‘The Desire Map’ workshops I facilitate, there is a component of the course which concentrates on gratitude.  It’s basically where you take stock of where you are at and you examine what is working and what is not.

Brene Brown is a Research Professor. whose extensive research has resulted in her becoming a thought leader in the areas of vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame.

In her book, ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’, she devotes a chapter in the book to Cultivating Gratitude and Joy. Brown makes the point that, “one of the most profound changes in my life happened when I got my head around the relationship between gratitude and joy”. Her research findings on joy revealed that those people who actively practiced gratitude “described themselves as joyful”. It was so much more that just an attitude. Those people “attributed their joyfulness to their gratitude practice”. The practice of gratitude included such things as maintaining gratitude journals or taking time out to do daily gratitude meditations.

So, it all starts in the mind.  If you ever hear the expression “change your thoughts and change your life” there is actually some scientific and factual evidence now to support the statement. The statement is more than just a platitude.

If you would like to learn any more about the workshops or coaching I offer, visit

Clare Lavender is a Mother, Creative Entrepreneur, Mentor, Accredited Life Coach and Mosaic Artist who will be hosting the Level 1 Desire Map workshop at the Creative Fringe. For further information about the workshops, contact Clare at or you can visit



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