Tag Archives: self-help

Stop Negative Thoughts

It’s natural to try to reason ones way out of harmful thinking, but in my experience, reason is not a reliable way for me to become positive. Underlying reason is a layer of feeling, attitude, and the force of habit that colors my thoughts.

I think of thoughts as plants in my “mental garden.” Sure there are some deep-rooted weeds, but they do not deserve all of my attention. If I only focused on the weeds my good plants would die, leaving me with an empty plot of dirt for a mind. Yuck!

I don’t want my life to be empty like a dirt lot. Some speak of “nothing-ness” or “emptiness” as a spiritual goal. Maybe it’s semantics, but I don’t think of fulfillment as empty. My experience of fulfillment is never empty.

The garden in my mind is full of beautiful flowers and they way I grow them is by putting energy into beautiful thoughts and feelings. Instead of obsessing on the weeds I must water, love and feed my positive thoughts.

The underlying layers feeling, attitude, and habit are the soil I plant in. It’s hard for blossoms to rise from a dry bed of rocks.

Here are some suggestions for softening and enriching the “attitude soil” of your own mind.


  • Don’t take yourself so seriously. J. Donald Walters writes: “The secret of happiness is the ability to congratulate oneself happily on one’s own unimportance while others vie for supremacy.” This is just one of the “secrets” from his book, “Secrets of Happiness.” This little book has helped me immensely.
  • Learn from your mistakes. I have made many awesome mistakes! My level of ignorance coupled by my insatiable desire to do something!, and lack of patience have made for some great stories! But at the same time, I do learn from these episodes. If I don’t learn anything but to be more humble, then that must be exactly what I need.
  • Have great respect for your ability to be wrong. This is not negative thinking. Negativity comes from the lack of acceptance that you and others are not perfect.
  • Stop judging others. If you believe we should be happy, kind, and loving. Why on earth would you join the army of sadness by judging others? It’s a habit. It’s not helping them, or you. By reacting to what you do not like, you have become an agent for what you yourself want end. It’s a trick of the devil. If you believe in a higher power, let Him, or It, or She, run the world. Of course you must do your part, but your part is not to control others, ever. If you think it is, than I don’t know how you’ll ever be happy. People need to learn at their own pace, and the best way to influence others is by our own example. Our joy and contentment is both a flower and a sword.
  • Remember everyone is doing the best they can. No matter how silly or criminally humans behave, underlying all of our nonsense is the desire to do what is right. Understanding this is a major step toward unconditional love and happiness.

Enriching: (Fertilize your mind with positive energy)

  • Feed your garden with Love! Seek out and embrace opportunities to help others without a thought for yourself. Just do it! Being helpful and serving is healing for you. By putting energy in this direction we can starve the weeds of self-involvement that feed our own negativity.
  • Water your garden with Joy! Fill your mind with positive energy through uplifting music, company, reading. Find one soul affirming song recorded by someone with uplifting consciousness (it matters) and listen to it all the time until it permeates your consciousness. Music has a unique ability to transmit and influence consciousness. Misery loves company, so be careful what you to listen to, and how you choose it. Lean toward what you aspire toward instead of what feels comfortable if you can.


  • Let the sun shine! Take care of your body through daily doses of fresh air, sunshine, brisk exercise, and fresh, healthy, natural food. Foods do affect our way of thinking. Read more about diet here.
  • Worry Fasting! Nothing good ever came from worry. If it’s a deep habit start with short fasts. Commit to ten minutes once or twice per day. Fill your mind with positive energy. A song, holy scripture, guided meditation, positive affirmation, or go work in your garden, or a nice walk in nature if possible. Smile for no reason. Laugh because it feels good. If you catch yourself worrying, you must also laugh at this. Practice each day, and gradually increase the length of fast until this becomes your natural state of mind.
  • Say Yes to Life! Spiritual growth is directional. Stay in the Now by being perfectly content with where you are, and eagerly embrace whatever life tosses your way. Do not cling to anything. See life as a school. Be a good student, and have lots of fun.


For myself, daily meditation has been key to my success in the above suggestions.


Here is one of my favorite affirmations:


“As I radiate love and goodwill to others, I will open the channel for God’s love to come to me. Divine love is the magnet that draws to me all good.”

From Scientific Healing Affirmations, by Paramhansa Yogananda

Remembering How to Fly

Yesterday, I got to spend some time with friends who have a couple of beautiful children. They reminded me of how important it is for us to have fun.

We were at a restaurant and as we adults discussed our interests, the kids carefully opened their straws in just the right way, and proceeded to shoot their father with the wrappers. Simple, but effective. Dad’s smile, was so full of gratitude and love. God teaches us through everyone, but I love the lessons I receive from kids. This was the most important teaching of my day.

How is it that I forget to have fun? It’s because I start feeling that what I am doing is important, which translates into; I am important. My ideas, my dreams, my goals often become just a little too important. I have a favorite saying on my desk that I read every day.

It says:

“The secret of happiness is the ability to congratulate oneself happily on one’s own unimportance while others vie for supremacy.”

It’s from a little book called Secrets of Happiness, by J. Donald Walters.

You see, I need to hear this every day, because I do slip into this belief that what I want from life is important. It’s not a conscious choice as much as a habit, but it runs deep! Maybe this will sound silly, but I think I have come up with a test for this and I’m wondering if I should bring it into the classes I teach (I hope nobody is reading this).

If I was with young kids and asked them “can you fly like a bird or a plane?” Many children would answer by doing just that. They would spread their “wings” and go for a good fly spontaneously. Don’t we all see that this is healthy and good? Just the thought makes me smile.

What if we were asked the same question? Could we do that? with freedom in our hearts, and joy at the same time? Could we be so free in ourselves that the thought of what others think of us would never even enter our minds? Can we really fly?

Would you close your eyes for just a few breaths with me right now and fly? Can you taste the sky, or feel it on your face? Can you feel Joy in your heart? Let us surrender the hold we have on this world. It is not ours to control, we are like actors in the Creators dream. The Director of all life speaks softly in our hearts. But we must be relaxed to hear Him. Worry, stress, and tension caused by resistance or attachment, block our spiritual perception.

WE MUST NEVER FORGET HOW TO FLY. God’s grace is the air in our wings. Peace and Joy are the needle of our inner compass.

Whatever I feel is what I give to the world. What I feel inside is not my just my own, for we are never really separate. What I feel inside is the foundation of my every act. They are never separate. Whatever I do without peace and joy, will never be as helpful to man, or as pleasing to God as if it had been done with a consciousness of peace and joy.

Why would God, our divine father, mother, and dearest friend ever want us to be unhappy or lacking inner-peace?

I’ll see you in the sky.