Monday, October 24, 2016

How To Change

We know that if we change our thinking, we change our life.  But therein lies the rub.  How do we go about changing our thinking?  Research tells us that 95% of the thoughts that we had yesterday are the same thoughts that we will have today.  Our minds and bodies prefer the familiar patterns that we have grown accustomed to.  This holds true even in the case of difficult patterns like accepting neglect or abuse.  It generally takes something big to wake us up to change.

Most of the people, who successfully make changes in their lives, have experienced something fairly major like a bad diagnosis or the death of a friend.  These big emotional experiences open our eyes wide, so we can freshly see who we have been and who we have become.  This is when we suddenly find ourselves free to choose differently.  We see where the old thought patterns have taken us and we decide that we don't prefer that version of our reality anymore.

For me, it was three major injuries back to back, requiring two separate years spent in bed and ten consecutive years focused on healing my body.  There is a saying that I love about how God helps us to change.  It is this, "First she throws a pebble, then she throws a brick."  Some of us, myself included have required the brick in order to bring about change.  How much nicer it would be to respond to the pebble.  A much gentler course indeed. 

So, how do we initiate that more gentle 'wake-up call?'  Fortunately it is fairly simple.  One of the traits of successful change is to become more conscious, more present-moment focused, more active in the right hemisphere of our brain.  Another way that we can help ourselves to change our thinking is through knowledge and understanding.  The more we know about our new potential way of being, the more we can embrace it. 

While it is true that trauma can catapult us into these types of changes quickly, we can also bring about quick personal changes in these more gentle ways.  As we increase our knowledge and understanding we see why we'd like to change.  Keep that new information flowing; read books on the subject; notice how other people do it.  Spend more time around those who focus there, where you want to be.  Infuse your awareness with the positive emotions associated with the changes you are choosing in the present moment.  Let those emotions be big.  Bigger than the brick.  Soon this will become the new habit, and the old familiar patterns simply fall away.   

Fortunately our habit minds, our sub-conscious minds, reason logically and follow orders from our conscious mind.  This is why intention plus attention brings manifestation.  We grab the meaning behind our will to change, which is our intention and then give it our full attention by staying in the present moment with it.  We focus on it.  We watch how other people do it.  We gather new and novel approaches to solving the problems of our lives and that holds our energy to the changes that we wish to make.  

In my mother's day, people would tie a string around their finger, as a reminder for themselves. That little string would constantly get their attention and help them to remember.  In this case, we might use that little trick to help us remember how and what we want to think.

And then, just like me, injured for those many years, we need something that helps us to drop our former sense of self, our belief in who we are and who we have been.  This can happen when we go away on a new vacation or an adventure.  Another way that we can help ourselves to embrace our new changes is through meditation, especially if we do this in the early morning while we are first waking up, or at night, just before we fall sleep.  As we infuse our our bodies and minds with the emotions of the new desired state of being, then the reality of it quite naturally follows.

I'll leave you with this little affirmation that I learned during the time while I was gaining knowledge for change.  It helped me to catch myself and stay in the present moment in order to embrace the new.  I would say this to myself whenever my old thought patterns would try to assert themselves.  It is a very polite and loving affirmation.  And it is addressed to the dutiful habit mind which is still trying to hold onto the old thought patterns.  It goes like this, "Thank you for sharing.  You used to serve me well, but you no longer serve me now.  I now choose differently and reap the rewards of those new positive changes in my life,"  Then give yourself a big smile and feel how good it feels.  

Bless you on your journey of gentle change into a healthier and more joyous life.

© Josephine Laing 2016

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