“If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” ~Lao Tzu
In my quest for personal development, I’ve done a ton of processing, meditating, reading, praying, exercising, eating well, and helping other people. All of these things are amazing, and I still do them regularly, but none of it matters if I don’t guard my thoughts as though my life depends on it.
The quality of my life literally depends on my thoughts.
I never thought of myself as a negative person, and most people who know me will tell you I’m a bubbly, outgoing, super positive individual.
This is definitely the version of me that shows up in the outside world, and this is absolutely who I want to be. However, when I am under the spell of my “stinking thinking,” I don’t feel so good and happy. I also begin to experience circumstances that are most certainly not what I want.
One thing that’s been really difficult for me is recognizing when I’m thinking negative thoughts. More often than not, they’re totally subconscious thought patterns playing themselves out over and over again, and kicking my butt in the process.
I’ve decided that most of the time, it really doesn’t matter what these subconscious patterns are. What’s important is to shift my thinking immediately, using my feelings and mood as cues.
By staying dedicated, loyal, and committed to positive thinking, I’m able to stay in alignment with the life my heart desires.
When we know what we want, yet something less than ideal continues to show up over and over, we have to ask ourselves what we’re creating, even if by default. This can feel frustrating sometimes because it isn’t easy to take responsibility for what’s showing up.
Sometimes the first step is just shifting your perception of what’s there so you can create something better moving forward.
When I see obstacles as opportunities to learn, and therefore create different results in the future, I begin to feel good again, and I automatically begin to attract more of that.
It can be really easy to disempower ourselves if we have a belief system that’s set up that way. For example, lately I’ve felt a strong pull to do certain things, like dance regularly, build a Kundalini yoga practice, and invest in my business.
When I picture this and really see and feel myself engaging in these actions, I feel a sense of energetic freedom. In this place, anything feels possible.
What happens to me next, unfortunately, is that I slap that little girl on the hand and tell her, “I’m sorry, but we can’t do those things. We don’t have the time, money, or freedom they require.”
Then I begin to plummet into feelings of defeat, frustration, and sadness. I begin to feel like a prisoner in my own body.
My heart tells me to expand in every way I can in my business because I am ready, but then my mind quickly shuts it down.
Recently, my life coach helped me realize I could do the things I want to do without having the resources I previously thought I needed.
I don’t need to sign up for a twenty-pack of classes at Golden Bridge Yoga and a twenty-pack at Millennium Dance Studio, or to spend thousands of dollars on my business. This is the direction I’m moving in, but for now I can do something more accessible with the resources I currently have.
I can buy yoga and dance DVDs, and then schedule them into my day when they fit best, rather than having to adhere to a studio’s schedule. This will also be less expensive, allowing me to make small investments in my business.
I can focus on making changes on my website and blog that cost nothing—things that no one can do but me anyway. I might not have the resources for a complete overhaul, but I can invest my own time and energy into the things I’ve been procrastinating on.
When I change my mind—and therefore begin to see what’s available to me rather than unavailable to me—I feel free and fully expressed rather than stuck.
By following my intuition and finding ways to do the things I want to do for myself with my current means, I move into a place of allowing myself to create the life I visualize. This means I will continue to attract the opportunities, people, and resources that I need to keep me moving in the right direction.
Guarding and transforming our thoughts can feel like a lot of work in the beginning. Even when we feel like we’re really positive people, it can be alarming when we realize how often we feel bad deep down.
The more we shift our perceptions, the quicker we get to experience peace, joy, health, wellness, abundance, and prosperity—and the more regularly we will attract these things in our lives.
When I’m feeling bad, these steps help me get into a positive place that allows me to create the life my heart desires.
1. Have an imaginary conversation.
Sometimes people must think I’m crazy, but who cares! Talk to an imaginary friend; pretend it’s your parent, sibling, or friend. I like talking to the Universe or a power greater than me.
Talk in a normal way about all the things that you want to create as if they’ve already happened. As you describe your trip to India, your wedding, pregnancy, or new job venture in detail, you will begin to connect to the feelings behind these desires.
These feelings will come over you like a big “whoosh,” and before you know it, you’ll be in the right mindset to attract and create the things you visualize.
Do this for at least fifteen minutes a day. The more you do this, the easier it will get to connect with the feelings your possibilities invoke in you, and you will find yourself being able to shift within seconds. Before you know it, you’ll be actively creating the tomorrow you’ve previously only dreamed about.
2. Just do it.
Keep it simple and agree with your higher self to shift immediately. No ifs, ands, or buts—just do it. Otherwise, you will find yourself justifying your pity party.
Remind yourself what you want your life to feel like, and remind yourself that you have a choice. The quicker you jump into a different conversation with yourself, the sooner you will begin to experience more peace and joy. It’s really that simple if you let it be.
3. If you can’t transform your thoughts, sit with them.
Sometimes we need to sit with feelings that are standing in the way of the positive ones we’d like to create. Until we feel though them, they’ll continue to show up, creating circumstances that force us to pay attention to them.
If you have really tried everything to let go of negative thinking, just give yourself permission to feel the feelings in your body without any judgment or mental attachment to them. Take at least fifteen minutes a day to sit in silence and just be with what is there.
Are they in your heart, your throat, your gut? Really explore your body and go into the feelings, wherever they are showing up, until you begin to feel a little bit lighter and freer. You will begin to feel your negative thoughts and feelings dissolve.
If we’re committed to fostering awareness and shifting our thinking, it will be a lot easier to leverage our present circumstances to create the future we visualize.
Photo by spisharam
About Erin Lanahan
Erin is an Internationally Certified Life Coach, Yoga Instructor, and Motivational Writer and Speaker. Her mission is to inspire as many people as possible to return to their natural state of peace, abundance, health, inspiration & love so they may create the life the deeply desire. Visit her blog and You Tube Page.