Power of choice
Dr. Carolyn Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, has been researching the brain since 1981. She explains that as we journey through life, we must actively make choices about what thoughts to accept. Toxic memories take up space and affect the way you think as well as the way the brain functions. If you accept toxic thoughts, “you push it into a ‘memory tree’ of up to 200,000 branches. She shows a picture of the brain that has accepted a toxic thought. It looks like a tree, having many branches and looks dark and troubled.
Toxic thoughts spread through the body like a virus or vine, growing and twisting through other thoughts, all impacting your mind and body. Your immune system must activate and respond to it. She says it contains toxic emotions and toxic chemicals, increasing toxic load, creating abnormal brain patterns, foggy thinking, all of which are precursors to disease.
How do you accept a thought or belief? You’ve accepted a thought or belief when “you choose to ask, answer, discuss, and analyze to give meaning to”. Toxic thoughts create a forest of tangled trees that take up space in your brain, preventing the easy flow and development of creative thoughts.
Dr. Leaf says an unforgiving attitude can cause such things as high blood pressure, angina, strokes, and aneurysms. Saying or thinking things like “I can’t do it”, “I always mess up”, “things will never change”, “that’s not fair”, and “you always hurt me” overtime can make you sick. 
Dr. Leaf says everyone has the ability to become their own neurosurgeon! By our thinking and choosing, moment by moment, we are redesigning the landscape of our brain. Matter does not control us; we control matter through our thinking. Constantly thinking or talking about some pain reinforces those neuro-pathways and increases the number of receptors for pain in the body!
In Quantum Physics, the Copenhagen definition says, “you the observer outside the system have the power to collapse a probability into an actuality.” What we think and choose happens. Everything that happens in our life begins with a thought.
Most often choices come from a reaction to life circumstances; they are not truly creative, but originate from habits, co-dependence, and addictions. A fully realized person does not react. They act. Freed from self-destructive behavior patterns, beliefs, and judgments; one acts, creating flawlessly from the direct perception of the need of the moment. This is freedom.
What control we have over our world may be limited. But we do have complete control over how we use our own minds. We may have completely forgotten this fact; we may feel we are victims to forces, external and internal, that are quite beyond our control. But it is not so.
Making choices for freedom is more than just positive thinking. We can look for the “good things of life”, but we miss the Source of Life. We miss Life itself. If we think that peace & joy is the goal of life, we miss the point. If we are devoted to material gains or material possessions, the focus is on the temporary. All attention goes to the changing and not to that which never changes.
Regular practice of the Art of Ascension not only roots out these troubled trees, but takes the mind to the Source. Using the eyes-open practice gives a simple way to actively choose for Praise, Gratitude, Love or Compassion that will magnify the root of all Life; as a result, the old trees of duality atrophy and wither away.
 Leaf, C. P. (2008). Who Switched Off My Brain? Controlling Toxic Thoughts and Emotions.