Living with Light #1
No, we’re not talking here about the setting on your alarm clock. You’re probably thinking, “Obviously, I’m already awake, or I wouldn’t be reading this right now!” You might not be sleeping, but are you fully awake and aware of the life you are creating for yourself at this very moment?
How do you create your life and your future? You do it through the thoughts and feelings that you hold in your mind consistently over a period of time. We have tens of thousands of thoughts a day, but many of them are random and fleeting and don’t have much impact. What does matter, though, are our dominant thoughts — the ones we dwell on consistently, the habitual thought patterns we follow on a regular basis. Those thoughts of today are what draw the events, situations, and people that will form our tomorrow.
What we don’t realize is that what we think consciously and believe subconsciously affects how we act and react to the world around us. It sends out a signal that in turn has an effect on other people, drawing those of like mind to us. This is great if our thoughts are positive and constructive – who doesn’t want to be surrounded by people and situations that lift our spirits, encourage and inspire us to be our best selves? But what if our thoughts are sad, gloomy, bitter, angry, fearful or anxious – do we really want to draw people to us who will just perpetuate this negativity? Please don’t invite me to that party!
Our thoughts also influence our future, because when we are steeped in negativity, we do not make wise choices or take constructive action. We are too reactive, act too hastily without sufficient reflection, respond to others with negativity, try to control or manipulate people, or force events and situations in such a way as to sabotage our own goals and progress.
Many of you may know about the Law of Attraction (LOA), which is based on the theory that “like attracts like.” Personally, I firmly believe in this law because I have seen it manifest over and over in my own life – for both good and bad, depending on the way I was thinking, feeling and acting at the time. Although the LOA was made popular by Rhonda Byrne’s inspiring 2006 movie, “The Secret,” it has been written about over the last 100+ years by various “New Thought” authors, and these principles actually have been around in one form or another for thousands of years. They form a part of virtually every major religion, and are mentioned by many great thinkers and spiritual leaders and in many religious texts, including the Judeo-Christian Bible and the teachings of Buddha. They may not have called it “the Law of Attraction,” as that is a relatively new term, but in principle they were teaching the same truths. We may have heard their words hundreds of times, but just never truly understood or “got it” on a deep, basic level.
Utilizing the LOA is just another phrase for unwavering faith in Divine Power to manifest that to which we aspire. Although many modern LOA proponents use the term “the Universe,” I prefer the word God or Divine Power instead of “Universe,” because I believe that God is the supreme intelligence that created all things; the Universe is simply a creation through which God works to manifest, using the power of love. But it doesn’t matter what you call it, and you don’t have to be a particularly religious person to utilize it; it is only necessary to have an open mind and to believe in a Power greater than yourself, which is the Source of everything and the loving Force that is present within you and everything else in the Universe. You can refer to this Power by any name that resonates with you.
Even those who are not of a spiritual or metaphysical mindset would likely agree that our subconscious beliefs affect the way we act and appear to others, and that they definitely have an impact on our own bodies and mental/physical health (many medical professionals today acknowledge the mind-body connection).
Image courtesy of kittijaroon at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This is the first post in an ongoing series that will explore in easy steps how to change your life for the better, how to experience more joy, happiness, serenity and abundance. I like to call this “Living with Light,” as opposed to dwelling in the darkness of negativity. The first step is “waking up” by becoming aware of the quality of our thoughts. Awareness is the beginning of changing things for the better, because if we walk around unconscious of what we’re doing, we will never change. Below are some questions to help you identify your own habitual thought patterns.
Do you often say or think any of the following:
- I’m too ___ (tired, sick, achy, weak, old, young, fat, ugly, stupid, etc.)
- I’ll never be able to _____ I’m not ______(fill in the blank)
- I’m a bad sleeper
- I can’t relax…I can’t concentrate…I can’t lose weight…I can’t get up early…I can’t _______ (fill in the blank)
- I’m always late / I’m always running behind schedule
- I never have any money
- I’ll never get out of debt
- I’m never at the right place at the right time
- It’s all the fault of my dysfunctional parents/family…my bad childhood…the traits I inherited from my parents, etc.
- I’m just a victim of ______
- I have no control over what happens to me
- I never get a break
- It’s Murphy’s Law
- I just look at food and gain weight
- I’m getting…(old, fat, sick, worn out, forgetful, poorer)
- I’ve only got a few more years left
- I’m not ____ enough (i.e., smart, attractive, thin, talented, skilled, educated, rich) — or: I don’t have enough ______ (brains, education, looks, money, ability, luck, talent, etc.)
- Something that good can never happen to me
- I’d never be so lucky
- I never win anything
- Other people get everything and I get nothing
- This is just my luck (or) I never have any luck
- I hate that person
- That person should drop dead
- I look horrible in everything I put on
- I never take a good picture
- I’ll never have enough ____ (money, time, ability, health, etc.)
- I’m so afraid of _____
- I really dread _______
- I’m not feeling well – it’s probably cancer
- I will probably get (name the disease), because it runs in my family (or because so many people get it). I live in constant fear of getting (this disease).
- I HATE (cancer, diabetes, asthma – or any disease)
- We must FIGHT cancer (or other disease or problem)
- Getting old sucks
- I’m getting senile
- I just can’t lose weight
- I can’t cope with this
- What if _____ (imagining something bad and then worrying about it)
- I always have too much work
- I hate my job and I’ll never get a better one
- I don’t have enough to give to or share with anyone else
- I’ll never forgive _____
- I’m too…(old, tired, busy, far gone)…to care about my looks or my health anymore
- Everyone gets (fat, sick, high blood pressure, diabetes, memory loss) as they age.
- I’m just falling apart
- It’s hopeless
- I never get good weather on my vacations or when I plan something
Do you often:
- Gossip or complain about someone, or join in gossip/complaining about someone?
- Try to instigate trouble and bad feeling among others?
- Argue over and/or ridicule someone’s political or spiritual opinions?
- End a friendship or become estranged from a family member because of differing political or spiritual beliefs?
- Feel you have nothing to be thankful for?
- Compare yourself negatively to other people?
- Make nasty, snide or critical comments or cruel jokes in person or on social media?
- Refuse to buy something you really wanted or needed, even though you have more than enough money to afford it, because you’re afraid to spend any money?
- Make self-deprecating comments or denials when someone compliments you?
- Criticize someone, and/or try to make someone else do things your way?
- Harbor resentment or bitterness towards someone? Keep thinking about how to get even? Wish bad things on them?
- Respond instantly with anger to someone else’s words or actions?
- Try to control and “fix” other people’s lives rather than letting them learn from their experiences in their own way?
- Frequently make or share self-deprecating remarks or jokes about being stupid, fat, old, forgetful, or other negative things?
- Forward emails or share social media posts encouraging hatred against anyone or anything (political figures, celebrities, certain races, ethnic groups, religions, etc.)?
- Say, “I HATE____” (fill in the blanks)?
- Talk at length and frequently about your illnesses or someone else’s?
- Feel envy towards someone? Withhold a compliment from someone because you secretly envy them?
- Try to take something/someone away from a person because you think you deserve it more? Try to turn others against someone because you’re jealous?
- Constantly worry about your loved ones and what could happen to them, or about losing your partner, your money, your health, etc.?
Okay, so you probably identified with at least several – and maybe a lot – of these. Some of them might rarely or never pertain to you, while others are fairly frequent. If so, welcome to the human race! We ALL think, say or do these things from time to time. A fleeting thought or occasional slip-up won’t have a significant effect on your life or your future. If, however, you habitually think, do or say any of the above, if the thoughts carry a strong emotional charge, you are setting yourself up to attract exactly what you say you hate, fear and don’t want! This is because our subconscious mind believes everything we tell it, whether it’s true, false, good or bad. It is merely responding to our conscious thoughts, words and actions, like an obedient, cooperative child. It doesn’t analyze whether the thoughts are good or bad for you, positive or negative. Analyzing and choosing are the domain of the conscious mind; the subconscious just accepts what we tell it.
Consequently, with our negative thoughts we will attract, or subconsciously be attracted to, just the circumstances and people that we want so much to avoid! We also will block any good things that God wants to send us. Nothing is forced on us by God, who respects and honors our free will. So always thinking negatively about your life is like keeping your hands behind your back when someone offers you a gift. You cannot accept the gift unless your hands are open to receive it.
LOA experts recommend that we shift our positive thoughts to at least 51% over the negative ones. Even this 1% over the halfway mark could be enough to dramatically change one’s life. I believe that the more we can shift our thoughts from the negative to the positive, the quicker and more dramatic the change will be!
Legend says that in the Buddha’s travels, he encountered a man who was awed by his peaceful, radiant persona. The man asked, “My friend, what are you? Are you a celestial being? Are you a god? A magician? A wizard?” The Buddha replied, “No. I am awake.”
We cannot even begin to improve our lives unless we become awake and aware of the negative thoughts we harbor on a daily basis; otherwise, we walk around in a perpetual state of “automatic pilot” and unconsciousness. Once you become aware, you will begin to notice anytime you are thinking or speaking negatively. You also will be shocked and dismayed at all the negativity you will notice around you from other people. In upcoming posts we’ll examine these negative thoughts and attitudes and explore ways to bring about positive change and achieve our goals and dreams.
As always, I welcome your feedback, so comment below…and have a positively wonderful day!