The longer I live, the more gems of wisdom I try to stuff in my brain mass. I mostly read books and articles, and listen to interviews and podcasts. Sometimes the authors are in sync and their messages really support each other. Other times, they’re in direct conflict.
Sorting through these ideas to find what resonants with me and works for me can be challenging, but it has become progressively easier over the years. I know who I am much better now (took me 30+ years!) so I know which voices speak more to the type of person I am and the tendencies I have.
One specific topic I’ve thought a lot about over the years is positive thinking.
Boy, this is a toughy. If I just “think positive” will everything magically be well? What happens to all the negative emotions? Am I holding myself back in life because I have negative emotions? What do I do about them??
All my meditation and Buddhist philosophy classes have shown me how damaging an untamed mind can be. A mind full of ill thoughts makes us unhappy, sick physically and mentally, and then can start leaking over to our relationships and how we treat other people. They say “right view” and meditation are the keys.
I also think often about the book/movie, The Secret, which has motivated me in the past and has great promise with it’s encouragement of visualization and taking your power back to create what you want in your life.
However, I feel like it gets too extreme by pushing the mind into positive thinking instead of working with the mind. I don’t want to ignore the negative emotions and push them deep down. I can also start being way too hard on myself when I think I have somehow caused my situation or deserve what’s happening to me.
I’ve been using meditation to get in touch with what I’m feeling and experiencing, but I still need to go a step farther.
I need a way to process the harmful thinking patterns and replace them with positive thinking patterns.
So, recently I’ve started a “practice” that has been working pretty good for me. I do it almost daily at home, and I also incorporate some of it in the lessons I teach.
Here’s what I’ve been doing:
1. I process harmful or negative thought patterns by acknowledging they’re happening and interrupting them by labeling them as “thinking.” Nothing more. No story to follow. No change to be made. Labeling a thought just as a thought takes it’s power away. I do this during meditations and during the day whenever I become aware of my thinking patterns. Thanks Pema!
2. I introduce positive thoughts daily through mantras. I say the mantra out loud. Nothing more. No story to follow. I say it, let it resonate, and then move on.
I’ve created something I call my “Morning Mantras” that I say to myself daily. I used to say mantras spontaneously, but the same ones kept coming up, so I decided to write them down.
Here are a few:
I am strong.
I am healthy.
I am intelligent.
I am beautiful.
I am loved.
I free myself from worry and anxiety.
I free myself from doubt and fear.
Another one I’ve added in recently is: “I am a professional woman.” This makes me feel like I’m finally an adult and am worthy of the positions I currently have and want for myself.
I also say mantras to Pookie daily such as:
You are loved.
You are intelligent and beautiful.
You are accepted exactly as you are.
You bring light and love to those around you.
It can be a pretty powerful thing. It doesn’t matter if I believe it or not. I’m just trying to train my mind to have a new habitual way of thinking.
I do feel it’s important to speak them aloud, not just read them. The voice has power!
I also wanted something aesthetically pleasing to look at, so I created a poster. I then realized this is something I could easily share!!
This is the snazzy poster I put together! I’m able to send you a high quality pdf and jpeg version with one request.
Right now, I have to rely on announcements via social media for people to know there’s a new post up and I would love to have a bit more freedom with letting my followers know what I’m up to!
All you have to do is enter your email address and I’ll put you on the alert list. I’ll also get to send you the original, high-quality poster files (in pdf and jpeg). I respect your inbox and will protect your email like a momma bear! Rawrrrr!!
Thank you for your support and following me on my journeys! xoxoxo
Onward, upward, and inward!