Changing mental patterns

Scenes of Inner Taksang, temple hall, built ju...

Scenes of Inner Taksang, temple hall, built just above the cave where Padmasambhava meditated (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I read a thoughtful post by Tracie Carlos today about complaining and shifting your thoughts.  I think a lot about mental patterns.  I come from long lines of worriers/complainers on both sides of my family.  Among many of them I think they actually feel that’s what’s interesting and I definitely imprinted the pattern in the core of me.  It’s been one of the toughest things in all these years of working on “creating reality” or Law of Attraction.

While I agree with Tracie that we can change our minds, I have yet to make a complete shift.  It isn’t that I don’t sincerely want to be positive in my thoughts but I’ve never figured out how to completely break the pattern.  I’ve made huge inroads.  Meditation has helped a lot.  Affirmations have helped a lot.  Mindfulness has helped a lot though I’ve never become so consistently mindful that I’m monitoring my thoughts at all times.  Gratitude practice is also a boon.

One thing I’ve been up to for about a year-and-a-half–sporadically–has been looping a playlist of Dick Sutphen’s affirmation recordings in the background (i.e. so softly it’s almost subliminal) on the computer that’s either in my lap or sitting next to me a great deal of the time.  I wandered away from it for quite a while and a few weeks ago realized that I’d been forgetting to put it on.  This time I could really tell what a difference it made in my general thinking to have all those positive messages streaming for eight or ten hours a day.  See below for another post I wrote about it.

I have the list on Spotify, so you can check it out to see if it helps you.  

With all the various practices I’ve improved.  And I can now catch myself pretty quickly and shift my thoughts in a more positive direction.  But I’ve never stopped the negative thoughts from arising.

I still don’t have a formula that guarantees a change of mental patterns and I seriously don’t get how some people seem to just flip a switch and become positive thinkers.  Have to admit I wonder if all the thoughts in their heads are as positive as what they say out loud…  I know I’m not alone in having ingrained childhood patterns plus generations of cellular memory adding up to deep mental patterns of worry, complaining and negativity.  Has anyone else figured out some great way to shift all that?  And no, lobotomy doesn’t count :>)  Do you have one thing that does it for you or is it a combination?


16 thoughts on “Changing mental patterns

  1. Sometimes being positive is just an appeareance… But then I wonder do we have to show people we are happy just to please them?.. And if it is the general attitude (it is online) what do we earn through it?
    Great post . Truly ready-witted. Thanks for sharing and best wishes, Aquileana 😀

    • Thanks so much. Yes, I do think there’s a prevailing attitude that you have to present a happy face all the time. Not the same thing as being truly positive and I think it hurts people more than it helps them.

  2. The key for me is to release the fear. Only then is the mind clear enough for me to use positive thinking and have it draw to me what I want. As long as I am experiencing negative thinking or emotions, I know the fear is still there. I don’t have to know what it’s about – I just have to release it.

  3. Our favourite teacher Adyashanti once said that if you go to war with the mind you’ll be at war forever. In fact his teacher said it to him.
    Awareness is all you need. Don’t put any more energy into trying to change yourself so that you always think positively. Put your attention into being simply aware of the negative thoughts. Instead of trying to make them go away, or judging them, or wishing they wouldn’t happen, (and in this way giving them more traction) practice simply observing them with the thought – oh there’s that again. Shrug.
    Maybe this all help.
    Alison ❤

  4. I can be such a worrier myself Leigh. I’m sure, like you, it’s an ingrained childhood programming. My mother certainly has ‘worry’ in her DNA. 🙂 I don’t have any formula that I can recommend. What I have realized though is, all the ‘I’m-so-positive-so-upbeat-so-cheerful-all-the-time-which-makes-me-so-spiritual-and-highly-evolved’ is anything but that! Life and the human experience is both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ and finding the ‘good’ and taking the ‘good’ with the ‘bad.’ I’ve become content with giving myself a pat on my back that I am aware of my pattern of worrying, I am able to catch myself when I fall in the pattern, and I laugh at myself at some of the really ridiculous worrisome thoughts and ideas that I come up with! I can be so creative and imaginative! 🙂 I think the ability to laugh at myself is the most potent medicine. As Alison also pointed out, I can will myself to simply observe. Awareness is probably all there is and there ought to be. Infinite Blessings… ❤ ❤ ❤ NadineMarie ❤ ❤ ❤

    • I don’t really think there is a formula either — at least not one size fits all. And I so agree with you and Sindy (below) that no one gets rid of all the negative thoughts. Also that a determined happy face that ignores issues isn’t helpful. I love the idea of adding laughing at myself to the repertoire. I’m pretty good at catching myself and either taking a deep breath and letting it go or chanting for a few minutes to center myself again, but laughing at how silly I’m being sounds great — because it so often is just goofy thinking!

  5. Leigh I do not believe that as long as we are 3D humans it is possible to be positive 100% of the time. I also believe that the “bad guys: send out negativity. I don’t give it focus but not all our thoughts are I own. Perhaps? Have you ever noticed how horrible things happen in the world at pivotal times for lightworkers?

    Anyway that is theoretical, I really don’t know. I think we get to dance the dance of choice, making these choices of love, meditation, affirmation and so on.

    Thanks for the affirmations.

    • YES! I so agree that dealing with the yin and yang of it all is part of life. I just have a bit of a fixation on lessening the looping of old programming…
      I also think as lightworkers raise the energy it creates shifts for people on other levels that initially seem “bad” — but that means they’re moving up through another level of being.
      It is so the dance of choice — as Tracie noted in the post that sparked me.

  6. Wonderful post Leigh — for me, the question is… will this thinking create more or less of what I want in my life? When the answer is ‘less’ then I ask myself — what can I do to create more. It takes my thinking off of how stinkin’ my thinkin’ is, to putting myself into action away from my stinkin’ thinkin’! 🙂

    It also means I stay out of judgement of my thinking — it isn’t that I see what I’m thinking as ‘wrong’ or bad, it simply means, I acknowledge it is not creating the more I desire.

    And yes, it is the dance of choice.

    Blessings to you my friend. Spotify is not accessible in Canada — but soon they say! 🙂

    • Oh that’s another lovely way to work with it. Thanks so much for adding this!
      Too bad about Spotify– this is about the only thing I’ve used it for, but I’m very pleased I can since I only own a few of the ones on my list.

  7. LOVE this, Leigh! Vipassana meditation has helped me immeasurably. If I hadn’t begun to practice “VM”, I don’t think I could have ever retired, because I wouldn’t have known what to do with myself. VM gradually, over a several-year period, to “just be”. The “doing” grew organically out of that quieted consciousness. Long story, as you might imagine!

    • Yes, vipassana is so helpful. I sat with a group for a year a while back and it definitely stays with me though I went back to other meditation styles that suit me more. Just being is so nice, isn’t it?

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