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.”