Our ability to manifest our thoughts speeds up as we move into states of higher-consciousness.
The people closest to us bear the brunt of our brainwaves. See how we bless and sabotage the ones we love.
If you want to take control of your life, first you have to take control of your thinking.
Likewise, children are susceptible to their parent’s thoughts and can be easily influenced by them. For their sake, if not for everyone else’s, we have a certain responsibility to raise the quality of our thoughts in order to create a happy and healthy environment. It is not enough to keep our negative thoughts to ourselves; we actually have to eradicate them in order to spare our children the burden of them. If we don't, our children may acquire our negative attitude.
A negative attitude can come in many forms. It can be hostile, depressing, or judgmental. If it is the latter, those of whom we have formed our judgments will often know how we feel about them even though we do not tell them. Our spouse, our children, our friends sense if we see them in a positive or negative light. Through our thoughts, we can bless those around us or doom them by casting negative expectations on them. Parents will sometimes inadvertently doom their children though they are making every effort on the exterior level to do the opposite. They develop an image of little Johnny as stubborn, and though they don't tell him this, Johnny picks up on their thoughts and fulfills their expectations. Oddly enough, it seems that children are more receptive to their parents' thoughts than to what their parents say. Perhaps it is because thoughts are sincere; words are sometimes not.
The best way to ensure that you do not impact your children, or anyone else, with negative brain waves is simply to clean up your thoughts. I say "simply" but in reality, cleaning up your thoughts takes some effort. We are so accustomed to letting our thoughts run amok that we have trouble reining them in. If you find yourself in this situation, below are some practical steps you can take to change your negative thoughts.
Drown out a judgmental thought with a mantra.
Recite a mantra when you are stuck on a negative image of someone. It might be something like "I free you of my negative thoughts" or "I wish you freedom from my limited vision of you." You can recite this in your head until the negative thought subsides.
Stop thinking of people in absolutes.
Remind yourself that the Universe is evolving and so is everyone in it. We are not the same people we were 10 years ago or even one year ago. We have changed. So have the people around us. Try to see them with fresh eyes each time you encounter them.
Above all, remind yourself everyday that your negative perceptions of others are delusions. God did not create faulty people. The faults you perceive in them are a consequence of them trying to experience the world through their ego rather than their Spirit. Liberate them of their ego by allowing them the chance to step out of it. Know them for their spiritual essence, and they will begin to know themselves the same way. Remember, it is not so much what you tell people that they believe, but what you think.
By definition, the word “no” is a negative word. We learned this in elementary school when our English teacher taught us to steer clear of the dreaded double negative: I don’t want no more lima beans. But just because we use the word “no” does not indicate that we ourselves are negative. Or does it? It all depends. If it has become a shield we wear to ward off people and the world around us, then yes, it is a good indication that we are indeed negative.
To gauge if you are a “no person” consider the following scenarios. How many of these would illicit a "no" from you?
It may be hard to face, but if “no” has become your default response to the world around you, chances are you are stuck in negativity. We are meant to share our lives. To resist doing so hurts us more than anyone. It is the equivalent to living our life in a box.
Some of us prefer the box to our life. We go to great lengths to avoid people and situations. We dodge our neighbors and screen our phone calls. We seek escape from life in all sorts of vices. But our attempts to skirt it eventually backfire. Life will not be sidestepped. It demands that we jump in and get our hands dirty.
Take a lesson from Mother Earth if you want to see how life is meant to be lived. It is constantly changing…evolving…unfolding. Sometimes it is messy, sometimes violent but the results are always miraculous. Life is that way for us too: messy at times, even painful, but always miraculous. The only way it fails to be miraculous is when we resist it.
This is what Carl, played by Jim Carrey, humorously discovers in the movie, Yes Man. In the movie, Carl is a borderline recluse who tries to keep the world at arm’s length. He passes up invitations from friends, avoids his neighbor, and sidesteps his boss, all the while becoming more trapped in a miserable existence. When he finally acknowledges that he is stuck, he accepts a challenge to say “yes” to whatever comes his way. He is not permitted to say “no” to anything. His life begins to miraculously change as a consequence. Every uncomfortable encounter leads to something wonderful happening to him.
No doubt, Carl takes saying “yes” to the extreme. “No” does have a place in our life, but not in regards to shutting out others, and not in regards to resisting our present situation. The situations and people presented to us in life are exactly the ones we need to grow. Think of them as a gift from the Universe. In them lie our best opportunities for happiness.
Saying “yes” to life can feel awkward at times but just remind yourself that it is not really awkward. “Awkward” is just a concept that the mind generates. It has no basis in reality. On the contrary, nothing could be more natural than living fully in the moment. Therefore, go forward and live boldly. Let the word “yes” be your guiding star. Get to know your neighbors, embrace your crazy family, and eat from the dish served to you. Take the step the Universe is inviting you to take. A miraculous life awaits you when you do.
If you don’t focus on staying fit, chances are, you won’t. Almost 70% of Americans are overweight or obese according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle in this country just lend themselves to gaining weight. It takes real effort not to.
The same can be said for shedding your negativity. If you want to be free of it, you have to apply real effort to do so. Mostly, that requires you to be conscious of your thoughts. The thing about thoughts is they create our reality. We think reality is just that -- real and objective, and it is. The problem is that what we perceive as reality and what it actually is, are often two different things. Don't trust your eyes, and definitely don't trust your perceptions! Those that are filtered through your ego have been seriously distorted.
By paying attention to your thoughts, you can determine how they are being filtered. This includes your most trivial thoughts because none of them are neutral. When you begin to notice the ego’s influence on them, you gain the ability to separate delusion from reality. And since God created reality, it is a vast improvement over the one our ego presents. That is what effort gets you – an unobstructed view of God’s reality.
Consider the following examples to see how the ego filters our perceptions. Each is based on the thoughts of the same person, but with different degrees of influence from the ego.
Example One: Resentful Robert
Resentful Robert is a young man that is not totally jaded. In fact, he has lots of hopes and dreams for the future, despite the fact that he thinks his life really “sucks” at the moment. He would like to improve his situation, including his attitude, but he feels his ex-wife makes it impossible. She is always nagging him about paying child support and complaining about him to the kids. He feels stuck.
Work is not much better in his opinion. He works as a waiter and does not make a lot of money. Besides, his boss is a real “jerk.” Many times he has wanted to tell his boss to shove it, but since he has not gotten around to finding another job, he is stuck there until he does. Fortunately, he has a couple of close buddies that he works with, and they help him to blow off steam about the boss and the “whiny” customers.
When he gets off work, he feels a little down because he has no one to go home to. He knocks on Laura’s door, the girl in the apartment next to him. He thinks she is really sweet and has a crush on her. But when a guy answers the door, his opinion of her quickly changes. He imagines her to be shallow and self-centered. He makes a lame excuse for stopping by and quickly retreats.
He consoles himself with a cold six pack and turns on a movie where the hero is assured to get the girl. At the movie's climax, his phone rings. It is his 3 year-old daughter. “Could you come over and tuck me in, Daddy?” she asks. “Sissy is spending the night with her friend, and I am scared to go to bed by myself. Mommy said it would be okay. “
“I can’t, sweetheart.” he replies. "Daddy is busy now. Your momma can tuck you in." He tells her he loves her and gets off the phone quickly, annoyed that he has missed the best part of the movie. He imagines that his ex is somehow to blame for the interruption; she would like nothing better than to ruin the movie for him.
The next morning, Laura comes over. She is going to volunteer at an animal shelter for the next couple of hours and ask if he would like to join her. He lies and tells her he has to help a friend move and then goes back to bed. As he drifts off, he laments his bad luck in life.
Example 2: Resilient Robert
Resilient Robert is a positive young man that has many hopes and dreams for his future. However, due to his recent divorce, he is having to rebuild his life from scratch. At times, he feels discouraged that the marriage failed and is tempted to lay blame on his ex. But he makes himself face the reality of the situation: they were too young when they got married and were clueless about what it takes to make a marriage work. They shared in the blame. He closes his eyes and wishes them both a better future.
Already he feels his life is looking up. His job as a waiter pays his bills and allows him to support his kids. Better still, his boss works around his schedule for school. He is taking classes to become a helicopter mechanic. He loves his classes. He even enjoys his job as a waiter since it allows him to meet all kinds of people.
When he gets off work, he feels a little down because he has no one to go home to. He knocks on Laura’s door, the girl in the apartment next to him. He thinks she is really sweet and has a crush on her. But when a guy answers the door, he realizes she has a boyfriend. He sticks out his hand and introduces himself as Laura’s neighbor. Her boyfriend invites him in and soon the three of them are bonding over pizza that he orders and pays for.
When he goes home, he takes time to reflect on his day before going to bed. He wants to make sure that his thoughts and actions are lending themselves to happiness. He considers his attitude and coaches himself on how to improve it.
The next morning, Laura comes over. She is going to volunteer at an animal shelter for the next couple of hours and ask if he would like to join her. He accepts, grateful to have a friend to hang out with and to do something positive in the process.
Both Roberts shared the same reality, but they perceived it quite differently. It is easy to imagine that their lives will unfold differently. Happiness and success will likely elude the first and flourish for the other.
Our reality is not any different than theirs; it is influenced by our ego. Without a concentrated effort to override the ego, it will guide our thoughts and create a depressing, though false, sense of reality. It will make circumstances appear negative when they are not. God did not create the ego, nor negativity, and so neither exist outside the reality we give them. We usurp the ego when we refuse to react to the picture it paints. Deny it, and you will never go wrong.
Shedding negativity is no small accomplishment. It takes real effort, or better said, real focus. Considering the number of distractions in our busy lives, focus can be a hard thing to come by. But the truth is that negativity rises and falls proportionally to our level of focus on it. If we want to reduce negativity in ourselves, then focus is the tool we need to weed it out. The only question is: is being less negative worth the effort it takes?
To answer that question, let's contrast the lives of two men at opposite ends of the spectrum -- Adolf Hitler, a man heavily burdened with negativity, and Mahatma Gandhi, a man that, by all accounts, was relatively free of it. Without negativity, Hitler would not have been capable of initiating the atrocities that he did. And with negativity, Gandhi would not have been able to lead the peaceful revolution that he did. The destiny of both of these men were directly tied to their level of negativity.
Now let's try to imagine how negativity plays out in our own lives. Assuming a scale of negativity from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least negative and 10 being the most, at what level of negativity do you feel you operate? The answer can be hard to quantify based on how we view ourselves. For instance, Hitler probably did not see himself as negative as most people do. But proof is in the pudding, as they say, and the same applies to us. So base your rating on your interactions with others. Answer the following questions to help you gauge your level of negativity.
How did you do? Take heart if you fell short of being "Gandhi"; most of us do. But it is never too late to shed your negativity. And when you do, good things will follow, the most immediate being your perception of life. This is because negativity works as a filter for your perceptions. Depending on your level of negativity, life can seem anywhere from heavenly to hellish. Check it out for yourself if in doubt. Rate your life on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 representing damn good and 10 representing drudgery. Does your rating correspond to that of your level of negativity? Be glad if it does, because that indicates that you have cracked the code for happiness: simply shed your negativity. Heaven on Earth awaits you when you do... without therapy, without drugs, and without your own spiritual guru. The challenging part of the equation comes back to focus. It takes focus on negativity to let it go. How much focus? That all depends on how much happiness you can handle.
Coming up: setting a goal for shedding negativity and the focus required to achieve it.
Freud got us thinking about the ego when he broke down the psyche into three parts: the Id, the ego, and the super-ego. His definition gave us a detached way of thinking about our own mental processes. That was a good thing, because without that distance, we were too identified with our thoughts to do much to change them. But even today, with the concept of "ego" being widely accepted, we still have difficulty detaching from our thoughts... we still fall into the old trap of identifying with them.
To help us examine our thoughts and where they originate, let's put a face to them.
In order to access your higher-self, that wonderful superhero that has been repressed much of your life, you have to get a handle on your super villain, namely the ego. Unmask him, and you won't be tempted to do his bidding anymore. In fact, the better you understand him, the better you will be able to plot your course in life: when he says go left, you go right!
By tempering your ego, your negativity will automatically dissolve, and your higher-self will step forward to fill in the void. The transformation is a win-win for you because you not only shed unwanted habits and behaviors, but you also discover strengths you didn't even know you had. Everything you need to succeed is already programmed into your higher-self. Your job is just to clear out the negative thinking that stands in its way.
Coming up: the difference negativity can make.
The source of all negativity is the ego, the opposite of Spirit. Ego is based in fear; Spirit is based in love. Every thought feeds one or the other. There is no neutral ground between the two. Therefore, if your thoughts tend to be negative, you are largely experiencing life through your ego. This is not unique to you; it is how most of the world operates.
Since we are so accustomed to the ego's influence, we have difficulty imagining life without it. In fairness, our ego is not going anywhere: it is here to stay, but its influence over us can be greatly diminished when we recognize the insanity of listening to it. Life takes a serious upswing when you break with the ego. It is tantamount to Superman ditching Kryptonite: you'll never gain access to your super powers until you do!
In the articles that follow, we will take a closer look at the ego, and its ability to keep us stuck in negative states. We will also contrast its influence with that of the Spirit. Which one do you want animating your life? Not a tough choice, but a choice you have to consciously make or you will default to the ego over and over again.
Coming up: put a face to your ego.