Change your thoughts Change your life
Have you ever thought that the way you think effects the way you feel that effects the actions that effects the results and outcomes in your life
I was a person that was very much in my thoughts as a young girl, and even now sometimes find myself up in my head, going over and over the same scenarios, thinking. It hardly ever gets me anywhere except most of the time more suffering and I don’t think I am the only one. In my coaching practice I meet people every day that have this similar issues. We all suffer or struggle and some point or another and feel we are victims to circumstances in our life. So I asked the following questions:
Why do we suffer & struggle, or why do we allow ourselves to suffer?? What really keeps us struggling, or be a victim in life, or to our circumstances?
Author of Excuse me your life is waiting…..Lynn Grabhorn tells us that “We will never know the greatness of our selves until we know the source of our pain and struggle”In my understanding the source of our pain, struggle and suffering begins and comes from our thoughts. Our thoughts create our existence and our beliefs. The constant non-stop dribble which we tell ourselves good or bad. What we think about ourselves, about life, about others. Thinking creates an idea or set of ideas that we believe to be true and we create our experience and reality from this in our lives, and everyone in it. Every thought we accept as valid is a cause for some type of effect in our life (law of cause and effect). The thought is the cause that allows something to happen (the outer experience) and the effect is the result of our thoughts (inner thoughts). It may seem true; all these “problems” we’re wrestling with and juggling in our lives. We listen to the continuous minds dialogue without questioning it.
For example if someone believes that they are unworthy of earning good money, they will most likely take jobs that are in accordance with this thought and belief, accept to be low paid, undervalue their services, be unable to negotiate or accept anything better. They then give momentum to this story by repeating it to everyone around them over and over again. In this way they have doubted themselves, their true self and begin to look to the outside/exterior world to see who is creating this, who is to blame (e;g economic crisis) looking at themselves through their thoughts and meanings of what other people are saying and therefore becoming a victim. This system creates what we believe to be a problem and this problem has created negative emotions and negative outcomes.The thought has created a negative emotion, we then feel bad, perhaps sadness or unworthiness, rejection or abandonment and we believe it to be true. We have allowed the thoughts to shape our experience of what is happening in our life and how we are feeling. We may then begin to wallow in it creating even more negative outcomes. …..
THE ONLY THING WRONG WITH ME IS THAT I BELIEVED MY THOUGHTS.
Imagine how different life could be if we decided not to believe our thoughts and question what they are telling us, especially if it is negative. Micheal Neill, author and super coach, tells us “We don’t experience the world we experience our thinking.” Change your mind about how you see and experience things to create peace, harmony and balance in our minds, in our thoughts and find it in our lives. Eckart Tolle, author and spiritual teacher reminds us that “the primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it”.
It is not your experience it is your thoughts about your experience that change your life. Our thoughts become our reality. Life becomes a state of mind.
We are always going to have what we call “problems” or "struggles". I prefer to call them issues, it seems to help the brain find a solution rather then feeling stuck in the problem and focusing on that. It’s what we do about them that makes a difference our choices, being honest with oneself and choosing what we focus on. The inability to accept something about a situation and the thought, for example, that keeps it in place.
WE ARE NO MORE THE FRUIT OF OUR THINKING
Of course the thoughts are not always negative, the cause of some of the thoughts in our mind are positive, happiness, and we feel good. If it is a good thought and causes the effect to be positive we don’t necessarily want to get rid of it, it serves us; we want to create more of those. However if it is negative and makes us suffer we would be far better to try not listen to it and see the negative causes it has on our lives – Depression, feelings of unworthiness, being unloved, arguing with our partner. So what is a thought?? Here comes the science!!!
Scientists are just beginning to understand our thoughts. A thought generally refers to any mental or intellectual activity involving an individual’s consciousness. It can refer either to the act of thinking or the resulting ideas or arrangements of ideas. Thought underlies almost all human actions and interactions. Thinking allows beings to make sense of or model the world in different ways that are significant to them or which accord with their needs, attachments or desires etc.
Most of us as per the scientists believe the mind and brain are one. While the brain does not create thought it accepts and transmits it. It is the first place thought lands on in its journey though the body. The brain is what makes it work, the receiver. The brain as the receiver of thought transforms thoughts into electrical impulses which are sent through the nervous system to every point of our body to be translated into an understanding of some sort, an impulse, a feeling, an emotion.
Basically thoughts create electrical impulses which are passed down through the body to create an emotion which in turn creates a feeling either good or bad depending on the thoughts we are having. This thought links to your emotion and how it makes you feel. This feeling then triggers your behavior. e.g good or bad, love or fear However in Buddhas teachings he tells us one does not need to know where the suffering comes from it is to know how to get rid of it and release it.
Is it therefore possible to decide not to believe these thoughts, be aware of them without acting on them or believing them to be the truth? To become instead the observer of this mind chatter. I believe it is possible to discipline ourselves to be the observer and be aware of the thought and the feeling that this thought is creating, whether negative or positive, good or bad. With the awareness of the thought, the feeling we are getting from it, the emotion it is creating, it is then about choice, choosing what thoughts I wish to listen to and believe and whether I will act on them.
My boyfriend has a tool that he uses to decide whether the thought is worthy of attention or not and if it isn't he lets it go. We can decide to accept or question the thought, is it really true? If we can change our thoughts around to see the situation from a different aspect, from an objective point of view or in the opposite form, often we stop suffering. We change the result of the emotion it is creating and the effect in our life.We are no more then the fruit of our thinking.
Scientists have found that with discipline and different electrical impulses (thoughts) you can change the make-up of the neurons in the brain to create new ones new paths and break the old ones. This is much the same as repeating to yourself over and over again the same story until you believe it 100 percent or it becomes reality. E.g Fake it until you believe it. Do you remember at school the teacher used to make you write out a 100 times, I will not talk in class or something similar. After the first 20 you begin to believe it and act upon it. Imagine writing out something positive affirming it a 100 times, you will eventually believe it.
It is also the words that come from our thoughts that have the power to create reality, love or fear. I would like to tell a story that I read from ( Dr Caroline Miller) about actress Sophia Loren. “As a child; Sophia was ruthlessly teased for being illegitimate, ugly, skinny, and poor. With such a disadvantaged beginning, Sophia attributes her success in life largely to her maternal grandmother. As a baby, Sophia’s grandmother made up a song that contained words confirming that when she grew up, she would be happy, rich, beautiful and adored. All of her dreams and aspirations would magically come true. Over and over throughout her childhood, Sophia’s grandmother sang this song to her. As we know this eventually became her reality”. The words generate the thoughts that generate the reality.
SO HOW DO I STOP BELIEVING MY THOUGHTS?
I know that it is not easy to suddenly start changing the way you think and the feelings that go with it, and even the cause of the thoughts and feelings. However, if we start somewhere slowly and begin to observe our thoughts and that which we don’t want to think or feel we realize we can create better thoughts and feelings.
It then becomes a habit and we start to see the positive effects it has in our life. We can ask ourselves consciously do I want to feel this feeling that this thought is creating. If it is a good thought and a good feeling, sure I do. If however it is a negative thought that is making me suffer, feel bad, low, depressed, inadequate, certainly not. It is like consciously picking up the hammer and slamming it down on your finger on purpose to create self-inflicted pain. Who would want to do that?
So I am now aware of this thought or bad feeling creating a negative effect in my life, or causing me anguish how do I question and change it? What is the intention behind this thought?
Start with self compassion, acknowledge the thought and then ask yourself what is the intention behind these thoughts, to make me feel good or to make me feel bad? The thought may come from a fear, what is the fear behind this thought? Am I telling myself something about myself that is false or comes from perceptions that are externalized, e.g others ideas?
Then say to it, I decide not to believe you, I don’t need you. There will most probably be a lot of resistance at first. You are trying to re-pattern something that has been ingrained and learned a long time ago. Our ego likes us to suffer and does not like to let go of limiting beliefs. “Research has shown that after repeating a new pattern for 40 days, you can change the neural pathways in your brain to create long-lasting change.” I tried that out on myself, I repeated the sentence "I love myself therefore.... and filled in the blanks over and over again for about 50 times. After 40 days it was amazing the difference in my attitude towards myself and the increase of self love.
It bought up all the issues I needed to deal with that stopped me loving myself and finding more self respect. Gabrielle Bernstein, spiritual coach tells us“Metaphysicians and yogis place much emphasis on the repetition of a 40-day practice. Mythical examples range from Moses’s 40 days and 40 nights in the desert to the story of the Buddha reaching enlightenment on the full moon in May after meditating and fasting under the Bodhi tree for 40 days." There are also other theories about 66 days.
To conclude, here are a 3 steps to begin your journey to changing your mind and thoughts around...
Step 1: Firstly bring yourself back to the presence of that which you are, to feel the thought in your body and the emotion that it is giving off. You can do this with a slow breath in and out and begin to feel the energy of your hands, your body your arms your legs. Then ask yourself what is this emotion or this story I am telling myself, is this really true (stick to the facts). How am I allowing this to be true? Is it coming from my true self or false self from ego and exterior influences? How are you feeling by telling yourself this story or believing this thought, what is your reaction, what happens when you believe the story the thought? The outcome is most likely negative.
Step 2: Ask yourself questions - how would my life be without this thought this story? Give yourself permission to imagine your life without it, the difference in what you would feel. Once you begin to feel this, turn the thought around e.g I am broke, turns to I have 50c in the bank. Already this changes the dynamic. By telling myself I am broke it limits me, I feel despair. By telling myself I have 50c in the bank it is a fact and empowers me back into seeking action to do something about it, it is a fact I am not broke I have 50c in the bank.
Step 3: Forgive yourself for believing these thoughts and give yourself self compassion for what you are feeling, validation. Then give yourself permission to accept another one. E.g I forgive myself for believing I am broke. I give myself permission to accept abundance into my life. I forgive myself for believing I have to struggle for money. I am willing to allow more bliss, love and money into my life.I use mindfulness or meditation to help.
Another method that I often use is to find the fear behind the thought or feeling. To do this take a piece of paper and write the negative thought at the top of a piece of paper. As you write it listen to any other thoughts or resistance that comes up to the idea. Divide the piece of paper into 2 columns. Then on the left hand side write down that which you really want to feel or have or be. In the column opposite this, write any thoughts or resistance that come up to this thought. It is like talking to the voice in your head that is resisting (your saboteur or your monkey). Continue to do this until you see that the voice in your head is agreeing with you and says I believe that is possible or something similar. Once you can get the voice of resistance to accept and say the same thing as that that you really want you can begin to change your thoughts and feelings to get to the place you really want to be and let go of the negativity that the thoughts created.
“When you truly change the way you think about all of life, the world begins to look very different”WAYNE DYER, FROM HIS BOOK CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS, CHANGE YOUR LIFE If you want to learn more about various methods of changing and re-patterning your thoughts please check out Byron Katie who offers a facilitation guide to help with this or Suze Casey’s books about re-patterning your beliefs.
If you want to learn more about thoughts and the law of attraction I suggest Lynn Grabhorns book Excuse me your life is waiting.
If you want to know more about how to use your thoughts to create the life you want through a scientific explanation of thought creation, watch Gregg Braden, The Divine Matrix conference which can be found on youtube.