Even when you’ve released a lot of issues your thoughts are likely to have both residue from those issues and many tapes still playing based on lots of beliefs you’ve taken in from childhood on. While I’ve never found that repeating affirmations and/or positive thinking alone can turn around all those thoughts, I think you can have a big impact on your patterns of thinking by what you choose to focus upon.
Most traditions have affirmations (though not always by the same name) and I like them for helping my mind to form new channels. When I am aware of particular negative patterns in my thinking I like to write a “turnaround” affirmation and to stay mindful enough to notice every time the old tapes start running so I can repeat the affirmation instead. It really helps me to form new patterns.
I also keep some tapes of things like Louise Hay‘s affirmations and excerpts of the Course in Miracles around so that I can run some positive thinking in the background. And I like to watch DVD’s like What the Bleep or You Can Heal Y our Life when I feel like I need a new direction for my thoughts or maybe just because I want to reinforce my beliefs.
I live in a place where my beliefs are far from the norm. All these tools really help me to hold my space in the midst of a maelstrom of attitudes and opinions that are very opposed to mine. It’s given me a new appreciation for what the Buddhists call Sangha. Traditionally it was a spiritual community like a monastery or ashram where people who shared a system of beliefs lived together and supported one another in practice and spiritual progress. It can also mean any community of like-minded people who support one another on their path.
When I lived in Marin I had an apartment at a teacher’s house and was so surrounded by sacred events and like-minded friends that I could hold the space for my beliefs without thinking about it. Since I’ve moved to a place where I’m often surrounded by people who don’t share my beliefs I’ve found I have to consciously work at keeping supporting thoughts around me and the moments I share with the friends who are also on this journey are among the most precious I have.
Whatever your circumstances it never hurts to reinforce positive thinking by reading, watching and/or listening to materials that support a world view like yours. And I encourage you to find others who share your views, preferably locally so you can have face-to-face encounters but reach out on blogs or Ning networks for support from a virtual sangha if you can’t find one near you. The energy of two or more sharing their beliefs is a powerful support on the journey to peace.
- Finding the way to peace (bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com)
- Mindfulness: the key factor (bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com)
- Louise L. Hay: You Can Heal Your Life (annecarolinedrake.com)
- The Power of Positive Thinking (zazenlife.com)