Much of what I read at the start of this journey to awareness led me to understand that my life is a reflection of my thoughts. It is said that just about 60,000 thoughts run through our minds in one day and many say the average is closer to 70,000. This bit of information was key for me. Following the flow of a “thought” enabled me to observe this cycle in whatever experience I was having at the time. I became aware that my thoughts dictated my feelings. My feelings about a situation then created my actions. In turn my actions manifested my experience which supported my programming. The programmed mind is a long way away from mindfulness because it continually seeks out more thoughts to validate the experience or story. It is the cycle that we all live with daily, invoking chaos or peace. I, in the early stages was living inside in my mind and spinning like a hamster on a wheel, going nowhere.
Once I began to observe the thoughts running through my mind I also recognized how much power words have in my life. Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret says “Every word you speak has immense power, because it is a thought in action.” My programmed mind was oftentimes speaking and acting from my mind instead of my heart. It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon with slogans and phrases that sound catchy without thinking about the energy or tone each word creates. I learned early on that what follows the words “I Am” sends a direct message to the universe and in return sends the energy of that declaration back to me. This we all know from experience. By declaring “I am always late”, then you are declaring this to be a fact and are summoning the energy of what it means to be “late” in your life. Some of my biggest eye openers were the constant use of the following phrases:
I can’t wait until- Putting energy into the thought about the future instead of the present moment. Projecting that something in the future is better than what is occurring in the present moment and relying on the future to bring fulfillment. In these moments I was denying the present and the opportunity for growth.
It wasn’t meant to be- This was a big one for me. I realized that I have used this phrase in my life as an excuse when something did not go the way I wanted it to. It became my crutch and allowed me to blame external forces in my life rather than take responsibility for the thoughts and feelings (energy) I brought into my experience. Many years ago, I was supposed to move to Philadelphia for graduate school. I auditioned for graduate school and was very excited about following my passion to become a dance therapist. While this was exciting to me, I also held many negative thoughts/feelings about my life at that time and was very fearful about making such a big life change. My living conditions were not the best, my position as a teacher had been cut, I was in the midst of a break up, my financial situation looked bleak and I felt like I had hit rock bottom. I was looking for an escape more than I was seeking opportunity. Suddenly, my financial aid was not approved and as a result, I was forced to deal with all of the drama that was happening in my life. Looking back now, I had many negative thoughts about myself, fear was prominent, and instead of looking for the lesson in that experience, looking to God for direction I simply gave up the dream saying it was not meant to be. There were no cosmic forces waving a wand over my life, my thoughts about the situation, about my life at that time, invited more challenging events to manifest. I welcomed a space in which disappointment could consistently be present.
Our words have energy, they can bring peaceful thoughts just as easily as they imprison the mind, they are our thoughts in action. It can be difficult to change your thought patterns if there is no awareness or understanding of the words you use daily. Even in real estate, I have been trained to use scripts whenever dealing with certain situations. The words used summon positivity, position me as an expert and bring results. When I do things off the cuff as opposed to using my scripts, there is a significant difference. Choice of words will get you off the hamster wheel.
I learned quickly that affirmations and mantras are useful tools for changing thought patterns. I love affirmations because it is an easy way to turn a negative to a positive. For example, when I am feeling tired, instead of dwelling on the fact that I am tired, I often say “I am tireless and full of energy” or “I am ready for my second wind”. I tend to use mantras more in meditation and prayer, allowing the energy of the words to fill me up, then release into the universe.
“If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” ~Lao Tzu