Mental attitude has a huge impact on your life and what you draw into your life. If you want to be an emissary of peace your thoughts need to be peaceful. Most of us have a lot of negative tapes playing in our heads, beliefs and ideas planted in early childhood and running on endless loops in the background. This piece of the series explores some of the things you can do to “change your mind”.
It is tough to break this down into separate parts because all our “parts” are so integrated, but I do think there are practices for each aspect of being and it helps to work on all levels. Still, it’s been a struggle to separate this piece.
The mental body winds up ruled much of the time by unconscious issues and beliefs held in the emotional body, for instance, so it helps to dig into what lies beneath. But that’s for the emotional body piece…
When I began this journey affirmations, visualizations and general positive thinking were front and center in the New Age movement and many of us thought we’d spout affirmations for a few months and our lives would be forever changed. The choice to move in that direction probably did change our lives but we found it takes more and longer for most people.
While I’ve always had some degree of success with visualizing and/or affirming something and creating that reality, this has really been one of the toughest aspects of the journey for me — the “simple” act of changing my mind. Oh, I thought I’d done it. Become Miss Positivity. I was 20 years down the road before I really “got” how many negative tapes looped through my head all day every day.
If you spend 10 or 20 minutes a day purposefully repeating some positive affirmations/statements and then the other 23 hours and 40 minutes running negative tapes, guess which wins? When negative issues and beliefs are running the show from the unconscious, I think affirmations are kind of like dripping water onto a mountain and waiting for erosion to take it down…
By the time I realized how negative my thinking really was, I’d done a LOT of emotional release work. Once I began concentrating on positive thinking I could see how much more impact it had than before all that clearing.
Some of the things I’ve used:
- I set up a “mindful” watcher to pay attention and alert me to negative tapes and their patterns. When I realize a given tape is running a lot, I write a positive turnaround/affirmation and every time I catch the negative thought, I instantly repeat the turnaround multiple times.
- I created a long playlist of Dick Sutphen’s affirmations on Spotify and generally if I’m on the computer, it’s playing very softly in the background; soft enough to be almost subliminal rather than heard. Sometimes 8, 10, 12 hours a day, affirmations about just about every subject you can imagine, speaking positive thoughts to my subconscious.
- Over the years I’ve put together a small collection of movies like Louise Hay’s Heal Your Life, What the Bleep, and The Secret and I try to watch one or another of those fairly often.
- YouTube has some good affirmations videos and I have a collection of affirmations recordings, so I often go to sleep with affirmations playing on my tablet.
- I love the Lovingkindness Chant and I say it as an affirmation. I generally chant it for 10 minutes a day but I also just repeat it to myself off and on and I often go to sleep and/or wake up and say it to myself. To me the chant covers every major area of life and in a way that invites the Universe to fulfill it in whatever way is best — that for me is the perfect affirmation: I am filled with lovingkindness, I am well, I am peaceful and at ease, I am happy. If you chant it enough to make all those things true for you, what more could you want?
- I re-read some of my old favorite books on metaphysics like Jack Kornfield’s Path with Heart or Shakti Gawain’s Living in the Light or I find a new one to love like Elizabeth Lesser’s Marrow. Books that support my ever-more-positive world view.
- I hang around as much as I can with people who believe in positive thinking, to attend events that involve ceremony or chanting or a talk on “New Age/New Thought” ideas, and to stay away from negative thinking. I’ve unfriended a person or two from Facebook and hidden others from my wall.
- I have a regular practice of singing Sanskrit chants. These chants are basically affirmations and I like singing them in a language I don’t know. I think our souls know all the ancient languages and singing in an unfamiliar language helps you to take in the message on other levels and to bypass your brain and its tendency to question and criticize. The ancients designed them well to align chakras, open heart, impact the nadis (energy channels), etc. so they heal on many levels.
If anything inside you is clinging to some other belief, repeating affirmations may bring it to the surface. I’ve been chanting regularly ever since the election and I’m both feeling positive effects and changes and suffering frequent bouts of major crabbiness — which tells me I’m bringing some anger issues to the surface.
I still have some negative thinking to work on, but by and large several years of concerted effort have shifted a lot of old negative patterns into positive patterns — and it’s clearly favorably impacting my health issues.