Thursday, August 13, 2020

Finding Peace From Within

Several years back a large research study was done on human population responses.  In it the researchers noted that when a significant portion of a population was focused on an aggressive behavior, like a boxing match, the crime rate in that area rose by a notable percent.  Similarly, the results showed that if a certain portion of the population focused on a peaceful event, like a group meditation, the crime rate in that area dropped accordingly.  I find this phenomena quite compelling and worthy of note in these COVID-19 times.  

Fear can be very seductive.  It grabs ahold of our minds and focuses our thoughts there.  So, I'm writing today to ask a favor.  Think good thoughts.  Find a way to calm your mind and open yourself to inner peace.

The thoughts we choose to think are exclusively our own choice.  No one else has the power to decide what goes on inside of our heads.  We alone actively choose what we'd like to focus on.  And whatever we habitually dwell on thickens the neuropathways in our brains, causing us to think that way more frequently.

One might ask, 'How do we change the way we think if we have fallen into a pattern of negative thoughts?'  The movie What the Bleep Do We Know, and it's sequel, What the Bleep Down the Rabbit Hole, both, address this problem very clearly.  To get out of a negative thought pattern, we need to find an alternative inspirational thought, a different way of thinking about things.  This is what helps us to change.  And then we need to practice that new way of thinking.  It is the practice that helps us to lay down and thicken new neural pathways.  And as we change our individual minds, we help to change the group mind, one brain at a time.

There are many tools out there to help us with these changes.  The folks at The Heartmath Institute have meditations where you focus on what you love.  Emotional Freedom Technique, (EFT,) or tapping, offers similar techniques.  Inspirational and motivational speakers help us to think more positively.  So does working with our subconcious mind, like Lee Milteer or Dr. Cathy Collautt do.  Either of these techniques can really help to turn a bad mental jag around. 

I love Louise Hay's work with her stellar book, You Can heal Your Life, and her powerful use of affirmations for healing our minds.  And there is no underestimating the power of good nutrition.  Donuts and a cup of coffee do not make for good thoughts.  But lots of vegetables and fruits in the diet certainly do.  They provide good minerals for good cellular health.  And healthy cells make for good blood, which cleans and feeds our brains.

A walk out in nature and time spent alone, allowing yourself to notice what has your attention and considering additional viewpoints is also helpful.  Resting our attention for a moment or two, while focusing on the beauties of nature around us, can give the deeper parts of our brain a chance to function.  This allows inspirations and creative solutions to arise from within us.  

I love journaling.  It lets me get it all out, and then after that, my mind pauses in quiet reflection.  This lets me come up with new perspectives that serve me better.

For PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome Disorder) related negative mind habits, I've had good luck releasing those thought patterns with skilled counseling.  But in more severe cases, techniques like NLP or EFT can help.  And I understand that MAPS will be coming available in 2021 with it's ground breaking results for healing the more severe cases of PTSD.

Another great tool is simply tuning off the news.  We have a fear-based, violence-addicted media.  Reading or listening to the news every day holds our minds to that style of thinking.  It isn't good for us or for our group mind to have us all be agreeing that things are terrible out there, when actually things are pretty good, right here.  Most of us have homes to live in, food to eat, shoes on our feet and clothes to wear.  Rather than focusing on what we don't have, can't do and catastrophizing everything, it serves us all much better to remember to be grateful for all the many blessings we do have and for what we can do.  And fear not, the news of the day will reach us one way or another.  I always mange to get informed sooner or later.

I've also been learning a lot, about positive thinking and celebrating life, from my cat, lately.  She wakes up in her little bed, wherever that may happen to be and stretches and begins to purr.  She cleans herself, then she goes out and luxuriates in the warm sunshine.  And I do mean luxuriate.  She rubs her chin on the corner of a rock, lies down and makes herself long and rolls in the dust.  Then she jumps in my lap for pets and loving and life becomes bliss for both of us.

So, let's think good thoughts and frequently find and focus on peace from within.  We know from the science of human behavior that it will do us and our world, a world of good.

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