Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thought Travel

Thoughts have power. Our lives are ruled by our thoughts. We are what we think. Our thoughts become us.

Countless books have been written about the power of our thoughts, and I have probably read a good many of them. For some time now, I have been doing a lot of thinking and reading about our thoughts and how to control those thoughts. Recently, I have had an epiphany, an ah-ha moment, about thoughts, how our thoughts really do affect us, and how they control our lives.

Every choice, every decision, and everything we do and say is based upon past experiences. We are a product of our upbringing, our environment, our beliefs, and those experiences we have had in the past. All these color our current day perspectives. Our perspectives, or the way we look at our lives and our world, become our present moment reality.

Everything that we experienced in our past, from the moment you read this word, back until the time you were born, is no longer an experience, but a memory, or a thought. It is no longer your reality. Your memories are now only thoughts.

Let’s look forward into your future. For the majority of us, we have no idea what is going to happen from this moment forward. We may have plans and ideas of what will happen, but even those are just thoughts. They are yet to be your reality. Many of us fantasize about things happening to us in our future. My fantasy is to travel all over the world, meet people, and have a great and exciting life. I can conjure up wonderful stories in my mind. Go on exciting adventures with really neat people. Write books. Be a successful motivational speaker. The sky’s the limit. But again…until they happen, they are just thoughts.

Now, let’s compare the thoughts from your past to the thoughts of your future. Is there any difference between the two? You might say, “Of course there is. The thoughts from the past actually happened.” But did they? Stay with me here. Your perspective of what actually happened colors all your thoughts from your past. Someone else, who may have been in on the same experience with you, may have had a different perspective of that experience resulting in different current day thoughts. Whose thoughts contain the actual reality of what in fact really happened? Or are they just thoughts?

If memories are just thoughts, can we go back and change those thoughts to have a different outcome? Many of us wish we could go back and change the outcome of various experiences. Well, why not? They’re just thoughts. We can re-write the script and have any outcome we desire. We can change bad experiences into good experiences. Change the memory; change the thought.

Is it easy? It depends on how traumatic the experience was and how attached you are to the trauma attached to the memory…or thoughts. Let me give you an example. At one time, I thought this process should be very simple. I had read about various processes one could use to do so, and thought that anyone should be able to do so with ease. Until I met Chip (real name changed for privacy). Chip came into work one day with a bandage on his head. Apparently, he was driving home one day and came upon a car sitting on the side of the road with a body lying near by. Being an EMT (emergency responder), he instinctively stopped his truck and started over to help. All of a sudden, the man in the road got up and started shooting at him, grazing his temple and knocking him out. I cannot remember the rest of the details of the incident, but I do know that this severely impacted him emotionally. Since that time and for several years afterwards, he found that he was unable to get hardly any sleep at night.

In my ignorant wisdom, I would try suggesting to him that he try these processes. I couldn’t understand how or why he couldn’t just get past this. Until I had an unfortunate experience with a road rager. The man almost ran me off the road (I wasn’t going fast enough for him even though I was going the speed limit), and then he stopped his truck in front of me, got out, and started yelling at me. I was smart enough to lay on my horn to attract attention and he left. The problem is that he lived right up the road from me. A State Highway Patrolman we knew said this man was a hothead and to just stay out of his way. From that moment on, every time I saw his truck, I would have a panic attack. I lived in literal fear for the next few weeks. Fortunately, I was getting ready to buy a new car, and once I got the new car, some of the fear subsided, though I would still have a mild panic attack whenever I saw his truck. Now it was time to try my own advice and change the memory so that I could change the thought. Ha! Didn’t work for me either. At the time.

Then I had this ah-ha moment about memories only being thoughts, and that there is no difference between our thoughts of the past and our thoughts of the future. They are all just that….thoughts. They all have the same energy. The only time we place a different energy to them is when we add our emotions to those thoughts. Nothing has meaning except for the meaning that you give to it. Change the meaning, change the thought.

Since I came to the realization that the past is only thoughts, I have been able to release my emotional attachment to those thoughts. Thoughts that kept me in chains no longer have as much, if any, power over me. I can let them go because I now know that they are just my fantasies of the past. They no longer have the power over me that they once had. I can be the observer rather than the player.

One idea to help make the transition from experience to thought is to see everything that happened to you in the past on a TV screen. See it as just a TV show or a movie. If you don’t like what’s playing, turn the TV off. See the screen go blank. Realize that it wasn’t real. You can write the script for next week’s show and have a different outcome.

I do realize that this isn’t easy for those of us who have had very traumatic experiences. Those traumatic experiences become our identity and our story. So start small. Take baby steps. You may not understand all of what I’m writing about right away. Goodness, even I didn’t get it at first and I’m the one who thought it up.

I also realize that there are those who have severe emotional issues (to the point of being medically diagnosed) who have no conscious choice of their thoughts. As I stated earlier, all of our choices and decisions are based on past experiences, conscious or unconscious. When I had my breakdown and suffered from severe depression, for the next couple of years, it was extremely difficult to change my stinkinthinkin’. Fortunately, I had already learned about the power of our thoughts and I was able to consciously begin the process of changing those thoughts to a more positive energy, and therefore, heal a lot quicker than the average person. I even amazed my therapist.

Life is all about thoughts. We can consciously control those thoughts. It takes practice. So, when you mind travel in the past or the future, know that you are traveling in a vast universe of thought energy. All one energy. Work towards making those thoughts to be thoughts of love, peace, harmony, happiness, and well-being.

Namaste

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Swine Flu or Wake-Up Call?

In these challenging times, we are now dealing with an illness that is causing fear the world over. The Swine Flu, or H1N1, has been on everyone’s minds over the past several weeks. How do we deal with this fear and the illness on a spiritual level? Marianne Williamson stated, “This flu wasn't created on the level of the body, because no disease is. It was created on the level of the mind, and it is there that we will root it out at the causal level.”

I would like to invite us to keep things in perspective. As of May 5, 2009, twenty-one countries have officially reported 1,124 cases of the influenza A(H1N1) infection, and only twenty-six deaths in the ENTIRE world from this illness. Compare this to the world’s population. As of May 2009, the Earth's population is estimated to be about 6.77 billion.

The United States has had 286 confirmed cases, and one death, BUT no deaths from U.S. On April 29, CNN reported the first swine fatality in the United States; however, this was actually a toddler whose family had recently crossed from Mexico into Texas. As of July 2008, the United States’ population was listed at 304,059,724.

To also help you keep things in perspective, malaria kills 3,000 people EVERY DAY. There are 2.8 million deaths yearly from AIDS worldwide; 300,000 deaths yearly in the U.S. alone from obesity; in 2008 there were 37,313 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes. 2005 statistics stated that there were 30,000 suicides; 652,091 people died of heart disease; tobacco smoking killed 467,000, high blood pressure killed 395,000, and physical inactivity was linked to about 191,000 deaths… Need I say more?

By definition, a "pandemic" is an epidemic that is geographically widespread. Fear-mongers always threaten that millions of people could and probably will die. And that’s all it is…fear. Look at the statistics above. Does that mean we shouldn’t be concerned? Concerned, yes. Fearful, no. Like any other flu, if you take the necessary precautions, your chances of getting it would be slim. We need to focus on health; not sickness. What we fear, we will attract.

While researching information on the H1N1 flu, I found a website that said the following:

“Just step outside of the drama and become an observer, stay in alignment with your higher self and trust that you are protected, keep your light strong. Make sure you eat healthy, meditate, always think positive things, go out into nature and appreciate all that is good with the world. It may be true that negative individuals introduced the virus into the world, but it will be stopped in its tracks as long as we don't give it the power it needs to manifest. We are so much more powerful that most of us recognize. Just remember, there is only ONE. It's just a question of perspective; the illusion at this level is so much stronger and easier to buy into. The higher we place our focus, the more we realize we are truly ONE. We have to remember we are also the virus and the negative magician hoping to manifest it. God is in everything; we are simply within the mind of God. If we think like God and place our awareness on that plane, then you will see that all is just drama in order to experience the many facets of self. We can choose our life to be exactly how we want it to be. When we go home to other side (which is a much lesser illusion), we will realize just how much power we had and didn't use. Don't make that mistake, use these tools now.” http://lightworkers.org/wisdom/ian-jones/74849/swine-flu-dont-give-it-any-power-fellow-magician

Like any other catastrophic event, I believe that this is a wake-up call. It’s a part of the shift and cleansing that is occurring in our world at this time. When I see so many around me suffering the most awful health issues, it’s really making me focus on getting my own health straightened out. I’m eating healthier, getting more sun, exercising, and working on my stinkinthinkin’, as well as working to strengthen my spiritual beliefs.

To protect yourself from the flu, get plenty of fresh air and sunshine, eat healthy foods and eat less (I know, that’s a biggie for most people), stay away from people who are sick, wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer (without the antibacterial in it), sneeze or cough into your elbow (not your hand), do not touch your hands to your face when they are not clean, and most of all, do NOT let fear rule! Fear is being perpetuated by the media and those who have an invested interest in any illness. In any fearful pandemic, the pharmaceutical and medical industries are the real winners.

If you would get sick, don't panic. It may NOT be the swine flu. Stay home if you can (for some companies, it's almost against the law to take sick days), get plenty of rest, drink fluids, and if possible, fast, or at least, cut way back on your food intake. Let your body's energy take care of getting you better and not have to focus on digesting food. When animals and children are sick, they go off their food, and they sleep a lot. They listen to their bodies.

Do your research about the flu with curiosity and detachment; not fear. Also research the pros and cons of vaccines that may be coming out. The Mercola website stated that more people died from the vaccine than they did the flu in the last flu epidemic. On top of that, they make these drugs and distribute them so fast, that there is no time to check out the results of side effects. Make spiritual choices, and not choices from the state of fear. Let's not let this divide us any more as we already are. Let’s support each other in good health and good thoughts. We deserve it and it is our Divine right!

For a good website on the H1N1 flu, please go to: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/28/Swine-Flu.aspx

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Life Changing Thinking

Several years ago, I came upon a book that had a very profound influence on my thinking. The book was “The Four Agreements” by don Miguel Ruiz. The book came to me through serendipity, which made it that much more meaningful. I was reading an “Oprah” magazine and there was an article about Ellen Degeneres and how the book and Mr. Ruiz impacted her life. The next day, I received one of my book club pamphlets and it was advertising a sale on the book. Bingo! I bought the book and haven’t looked back.

In the book, Mister Ruiz teaches us four principles to practice in order to create love and happiness in your life. He states that adopting and committing to these agreements is simple, but actually living and keeping the them can be one of the hardest things you will ever do. But if you apply the Agreements to your life, it can also be one of he most life changing things you will ever do. And so it was for me.

I would like to state those Four Agreements here and will give a commentary on what that particular agreement meant to me and did for me. They are as follows:

1. “Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.”

Words have power. And, as I’ve discovered, the words you speak tell a lot about your character. I still have issues about saying only what I mean, sometimes, because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I do know that I have come to despise gossip. Gossip is when someone says something negative about someone or bad mouths them. When someone gossips, it says way more about the person doing the gossiping than the person they are gossiping about. According to Mr. Ruiz, gossip is literally poison, and I agree. I’ve known people who can’t say a good word about anyone or anything. What I’ve found is that these people hate themselves so much, and have such low self-esteem, that the only way they can make themselves feel any better is to put someone else down. What you need to know, is that a lot of times, when you gossip, what you said will get back to the person you are gossiping about. Gossiping is just another form of bullying. Can gossip be good when you’re saying something good about someone? Maybe. My rule is that if that person wants others to know about something, they will be the ones to tell people, therefore, I keep my mouth shut. Am I perfect in not gossiping? I have to admit there are times that someone gets to ruffling my goat’s feathers so much that I just end up venting to a friend, but even then, I know that I’m better off keeping silent. This also goes towards the words we speak towards ourselves. It goes back to the saying that you become what you think.

2. “Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

This one was a big lesson for me. I used to take EVERYthing personally. Someone would look at me cross-eyed, and I would take it personally. Sometimes I can get very frustrated with human nonsense, especially if it were directed towards me. Once I learned this lesson, I knew that nothing anyone does or says is about me; it’s all about them. What they say or do still might sting, but I can usually talk my way through it. People say and do what they say and do based on their own belief systems and their past experiences.

3. “Don’t Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.”

This was another biggie for me. To give you example… On my last job, there were a couple of people who would sometimes completely ignore me. I would be passing them in the hall, and they wouldn’t return my greeting or my smile. I used to get in a snit, but after learning this one, I knew there was a bigger picture. Maybe they had something else on their mind and didn’t really think about acknowledging me or maybe they didn’t even notice me. Maybe they were shy, or intimidated by me. As in the second Agreement, it had nothing to do with me (even if it did). It was their choice to respond the way they did regardless of the reasons. I’m only responsible for my own thoughts and actions. Plus, in order to be in an important relationship, you have got to be brutally honest with the other person, though you can be kind at the same time. Just be totally honest.

4. “Always Do Your Best: Doing your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.”

That’s all you can do. The best you can with what you know at the time. If you realize that all anyone can do is the best they can, then it helps to take the judgment out of it. We don’t know why anyone says or does the things they do. As I said earlier, there is always a bigger picture. All decisions people make are based on their up-bringing, their beliefs, and their experiences. Many times, there are things in our subconscious minds and we don’t have a clue why we make the choices we do. But they are still choices and we need to be accountable for the consequences of those choices. So, lighten up on yourself, and realize that you’re doing the best you can with what you know at the time. The only mistakes are when you don’t learn from them. Otherwise, they are just lessons.

If you’re interested in learning more, please read the book “The Four Agreements” by don Miguel Ruiz. Or, go to his website at: http://www.miguelruiz.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6:the-four-agreements&catid=13:books&Itemid=7

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