Through contemplation and reflection of my life I have realized that compared to the majority of humanity, I came in with very little karma. I have experienced a very ‘middle of the path’ life, with only mild discomfort and little pain or suffering. So it was a complete shock to my system when in 2015, the next segment of my life had me moving in with my estranged dad. My life fell apart as it does when your soul is manifesting a life plan event because you have stagnated in your attachment to your current life that is no longer serving your growth – I broke up with the boyfriend of 10 years because I was no longer in alignment with him, I had no business prospects, nothing to keep me attached to Orange County and nowhere to live so I had to move to Sacramento. My dad is a person that I didn’t have a bond with; no affection or love or like even really (and still don’t). He is an unconscious personality with an immature soul that is still very much ego centered. He is aggressive; a bully with no boundaries or consideration for other people or their space. His intentions can be good but he has absolutely no interpersonal skills and little to no emotional intelligence. He does have a big heart and does love people in the best way he is able. This is in no way a judgement of him, merely a description from my perspective. To judge him would serve no purpose because all of us can only operate at the level of soul evolution we have attained from the other incarnations combined with where you are/what you have learned in this current life. The personality can only be created within the level of soul evolution so that is simply where he is at and that is Perfection. He is Perfectly where his soul is and wants to be at the pace of its own experience. His evolution speed is none of my business.
My long introduction serves to give you a background of what I was walking into when I moved in in 2015. Having spoken to him very little throughout my adult years I was not looking forward to living with him and believed it would only be temporary. Hah well my soul had other ideas! These past four years have been the most productive segment of my life and that is because I fully believe that my dad was the biggest returning karma I had to deal with in this life. And boy did I deal with it. He has been my best teacher (unbeknownst to him of course) mirroring back to me my shadow self and all of the dark parts that were still lurking within. My anger, my disgust, my contempt, my impatience, my frustration, all lower frequencies and the biggest obstacle to peace and harmony – my ego. I had ego tantrums of epic scale. It’s like I was five again – although I’m not sure that even at age five I threw such massive angry tantrums as I’ve done at age 40. All the while being aware of every single time I acted out and my bad behavior and knowing THIS IS NOT WHO I REALLY AM. I know I am a Being of Love. Who is this person that I’m acting like in this moment? These past four years have been a massive roller coaster ride of emotion because my dad (as my returning karma) can trigger me like no one else can (although my mom comes close but I’ve worked out my issues with her too).**Disclaimer** I know “bad” behavior is a dualistic judgement. And I agree that all feelings are perfect when you’re feeling them because they are how you feel in that moment. So it’s not “bad” in the sense of being wrong, but in my case acting like that made me feel bad because I knew it wasn’t how I wanted to be. I’m using the term “bad behavior” to indicate the difference in behavior between ego and soul/Higher Self because your soul or Higher Self obviously wouldn’t act this way, only the ego would. And with self-awareness, “bad” behavior in my case helped me strive towards becoming the person I knew I was inside, and eventually I did get there.
And let me make it clear, when I say ‘worked out my issues’ that doesn’t mean physically or verbally with the other person – it means in my head, within only me. What is it in me that I need to resolve that makes them bother me so much? Because they will be who they will be, you can’t change them and it’s not your job to. It’s ONLY your job to change yourself. They are on their own path. So through self-awareness – observing my thoughts, feelings and actions, reading A LOT, massive amounts of contemplation, reflection and intuitive guidance from my soul/Higher Self I have transmuted my karma with my dad and mom into Love. I have achieved that seemingly elusive inner peace because I decided in 2018 that my heart is the most important aspect of my being and I choose to no longer allow anything into it of a lower vibration. My mind is the gateway, the keeper of the thoughts of high or low frequency and I CHOOSE IN EVERY MOMENT, EVERY INTERACTION how I want to be. Do I continue to identify with and give my power to my lower self, my ego? Or am I at the stage of my Ascension path where I now choose to identify with my Higher Self, my I AM Presence, the Presence of God within me? Do I now choose to stop letting into my heart anything external that would disrupt my peace? Let me tell you what a blessing detachment is in maintaining your peace. That will be another post….
Bruce Lipton’s book “The Biology of Belief” changed my whole perspective about health and the body and our power to create. I used to believe what everyone else believed and didn’t know any better and it was such a revelation to discover that our thoughts and feelings are more instrumental to our heath than we realized. Since then I have learned far more about the power of our mind over our body and our life.
“Epigenetics is the science of how environmental signals select, modify and regulate gene activity. This new awareness reveals that the activity of our genes is constantly being modified in response to life experiences. Which again emphasizes that our perceptions of life shape our biology.”
“Are you ready to use your conscious mind to create a life overflowing with health, happiness and Love without the aid of genetic engineers and without addicting yourself to drugs? Are you ready to consider an alternate reality to that provided by the medical model of the human body as a biochemical machine? There is nothing to buy, and there are no policies to take out. It is just a matter of temporarily suspending the archaic beliefs you have acquired from the scientific and media establishments so that you can consider the exciting new awareness offered by leading-edge science.”
You are a tri-part being, made of body, mind, and spirit. You will always be a tri-part being, not just while you are living on the Earth. There are those who hypothesize that upon death the body and the mind are dropped. The body and the mind are not dropped. The body changes form, leaving its most dense part behind, but retaining always its outer shell. The mind (not to be confused with the brain) goes with you, too, joining with the spirit and the body as the one energy mass of three dimensions, or facets.
Should you choose to return to this experiencing opportunity that you call life on Earth, your divine self will once again separate its true dimensions into what you call body, mind, and spirit. In truth you are all one energy, yet with three distinct characteristics.
As you undertake to inhabit a new physical body here on Earth, your ethereal body (as some of you have termed it) lowers its vibrations—slows itself from a vibration so rapid that it cannot even be seen, to a speed that produces mass and matter. This actual matter is the creation of pure thought —the work of your mind, the higher mind aspect of your three-part being.
This matter is a coagulation of a million billion trillion different energy units into one enormous mass—controllable by the mind… you really are a master mind!
As these tiny energy units have expended their energy, they are discarded by the body, while the mind creates new ones. This the mind creates out of its continuing thought about Who You Are! The ethereal body “catches” the thought, so to speak, and lowers the vibration of more energy units (in a sense “crystallizes” them), and they become matter—the new matter of you. In this way, every cell of your body changes every several years. You are—quite literally—not the same person you were a few years ago.
If you think thoughts of illness or disease (or continuing anger, hatred, and negativity), your body will translate these thoughts into physical form. People will see this negative, sick form and they will say, “What’s the matter?” They will not know how accurate their question is.
The soul watches this whole drama play out, year after year, month after month, day after day, moment after moment, and always holds the Truth about you. It never forgets the blueprint; the original plan; the first idea; the creative thought. Its job is to remind you—that is, to literally re-mind you—so that you may remember once again Who You Are—and then choose Who You now Wish to Be.
The concept of one person or a few people saving all of humanity is prolific in our world. Whether it’s Jesus or the Justice League, humanity has for too long placed their salvation on the shoulders of others. It amazes me how many superheroes have been created (I get that nowadays it’s about money too) but in the beginning they were created out of people’s feelings of powerlessness to change the world or their own world even. I get it, I felt that way too before I was awakened and activated and began the process of turning my attention away from this world and back to God and the Higher Realms. But we are NOT powerless and ultimately each person MUST save themself because no one else is going to do it for you. Jesus cannot save everyone. It’s not his job to do it for you. He did his own internal self-development work because he was human and he had the veil of amnesia like the rest of us so he had to climb his way back up the ladder too. This process that we are all going through right now, this awakening and shifting and vibration raising and shadow healing, it’s all happening because of Cosmic Decree that it is time for the people of Earth to stop stagnating in their evolution and move forward in the Light. Earth is holding back the rest of our solar system from Ascending and enough is enough. It’s uncomfortable and it hurts and it sucks but if you do not take responsibility for your own salvation you will only cause more suffering for yourself. You can not believe a word I say and call me crazy, you can resist kicking and screaming and make excuses and let your ego tell you it’s too hard and that you can’t do it and in doing that all you are doing is creating more karma for yourself and digging an even deeper hole that you will have to dig yourself out of eventually in another incarnation or two, or 10 or 100. Because one day you WILL have to save yourself. ❤
18. IF I DO NOT GO (ascend) THE COMFORTER WILL NOT COME Jesus realized that even his dearest disciples and followers were merely allowing the tendencies of human nature to act as they leaned on His power, rather than developing their own Christ nature. Close proximity to the Ascended Host does not mean that anyone should expect the Ascended Ones to do things for them, but that, by the power of radiation the unascended one may be stimulated to use his own God-given powers to be able to do things for himself. – Ascended Master El Morya Excerpted from “The Challenge of the Christ”, page 22 pathofthemiddleway.org
“…As I have hinted, the real key to salvation is not membership of an outer church but that you attain Christ consciousness, which is the only thing that can give you entry to the spiritual realm. That is why I said:
I AM the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
Contrary to popular interpretations, I did not speak these words as a historical person. I spoke them in oneness with the Christ mind, and thus it is the universal Christ consciousness that is the only way to reach the Father and his kingdom. The main message of my mission was to set forth an example that all can follow, for, truly, all people have the potential to attain the Christ consciousness.”
And from page 56: “I gave my life to bring forth the truth that salvation is an internal process, yet the very church that claims to represent me on Earth has done everything in its power to nullify my sacrifice.”
From page 59: “Let me ask you to consider a few logical questions:
Do you think that I am come to save you by doing all the work for you, or do you think you have to do your part?
Do you think the salvation I offer is automatic, or do you think you have to live up to certain conditions in order to be saved?
Do you think those conditions are purely outer conditions – such as being baptized or verbally declaring me to be your Lord and Savior – or do you think they are inner conditions?
Do you think salvation is an outer process – you fulfill outer requirements and are allowed into an external kingdom – or do you think it is an inner process, whereby you go through a transformation of consciousness?
If you have been brought up in a mainstream Christian church, you have been conditioned to believe in the external, passive salvation. Yet let me contrast that image with the reality of my own words.”
We are created from Divinity, every single one of us has a spark of God within our hearts. We are created in the image of God, not as humans but our energetic selves, our Mighty I AM Presence and Holy Christ Self. Human is just a role you’re playing until you Ascend or incarnate on another planet that may or may not be humanoid. So while you’re here on Earth being human, where do you place your attention most of the time? Are you so lost and absorbed in this 3D density that you have completely forgotten Who You Really Are so you focus on your imperfection, the human ego and other aspects of the personality? Or do you remember those Divine aspects of yourself, of which you are the physical individualization, and look up to give them Love, adoration and appreciation for the life they give you in every Eternal Now moment? You have the ability by placing your attention on Above, to transcend your human limitations and RISE, RISE higher than everything going on around you. By keeping your thoughts on High as much as possible throughout your day, you begin to shift your world from 3D to 5D as Planet Earth Herself is raising in vibration. The more you align your thoughts to Above and give Love, appreciation and adoration the more amazing you feel, peace of mind you receive and security you have knowing that you are always being taken care of and cared for. And the absolute best way you can help collective humanity right now is to raise your own vibrations and let your light shine brighter and heal and release the shadow within you because what you do for yourself you do for humanity. The best way to do that is to ask for more light from Above. These Beings are, essentially, a lifeline to help pull you out of the muck of effluvia that otherwise keeps you bound and trapped in these energies. GET UNSTUCK FROM THE MUCK! Your energy is constantly going out into your world and beyond, as you affect the collective energy so does it affect you so what you put out comes right back to you. That, my friends, is the essence of the Law of the Circle, aka the Law of Attraction. ❤
Even if you don’t know about the Law of Attraction, you know that when you feel gratitude, Love and appreciation for Higher Powers, other humans, animals and the Nature Kingdom and everyone and everything in general you feel good. The vibration of Love and appreciation is as high as it gets so the more moments throughout your day you spend in that energy obviously the better you will feel every day and soon you will notice how easy it becomes to stay in that space. And if you do know about the LOA, you know that when you feel good, you attract more good into your life. Sometimes it’s fun to make a game of it, and see how many things I can think of to appreciate and send Love to. If I’m at the river or in nature it’s endless!
You can’t have two thoughts at one time so if you are admiring beauty or thinking how amazing clouds are you are not thinking about how shitty your life is. If you are depressed, redirect your thoughts to admiring something beautiful and I bet you’d be surprised how quickly you begin to feel better, at least in that moment, because Love/appreciation/gratitude overrules all lower negative energies.
Being on a spiritual/self development path can be incredibly challenging when everyone around you is not, and sometimes it feels like they are actively working against your progress! Well sometimes they are; some people feel threatened by another’s forward progress because they are afraid of what that will mean for them. Maybe they feel like they’ll get left behind when you evolve faster than them, aren’t a vibrational match any longer and so drop out of your life forever. Maybe they are insecure and afraid to claim their power and don’t want you to claim yours either so they do their best to sabotage you at every turn. There are so many invisible variables that influence human behavior – trying to figure out people’s intentions is a great way to get a headache – believe me I’ve tried to understand people’s behaviors and actions with little success. Most of the time they don’t even know why they do what they do either!
I’ve come across another fabulous article to help you on your journey – 11 Tips to Be Positive When Everyone Around is Negative from Self Development Secrets. I agree with everything they say, this is a very well written post in my opinion. Every tip is important and should be considered equally. However, I would like to emphasize #3. Focus on You. When you do this everything else falls into place. When you acknowledge and accept that YOU are the only person you are responsible for and have any control over as a sovereign being and extension of Source energy then you will begin to have more peace of mind in dealing with others. You simply cannot and do not control anyone else’s thoughts, feelings and actions and when you try you cause yourself and everyone involved more suffering. So stop focusing on them and their actions towards you and start focusing on yourself and how you can be more mindful and detached.
I would also like to add to #8. Don’t Dwell. Your ego along with your etheric body will replay interactions/situations/scenes like broken records over and over in your mind until you cry mercy. When you find yourself thinking (again) about something that already happened it may be because there is a lesson you did not take the time to fully realize, explore and acknowledge. A big lesson I’ve learned on my path is the importance of going within every day. The longer the better. When I spend time in solitary contemplation, I can observe and analyze with detachment each interaction free of the energies of the moment and reflect on what I could have improved in each situation. What could I have done better? How could I have reacted in a way that’s for the highest good of all? How can I have compassion for myself and anyone else involved? Is this person/situation returning karma that I must heal and release or it will come back over and over again until I do? After you’ve learned what you can from the interaction and your mind still replays the scene again then you need to take control and tell yourself “Enough! I don’t want to think about that anymore!” and redirect your thoughts to something else. After doing that a few times and not giving it any more energy, it will fade away as long as you let it go.
I would like to end with something else I’ve learned on my path: if you try to do this alone you will cause yourself much more suffering than if you reach out for help. And not help from other humans – they’re in the same 3D energies you are AND they have their own agendas/programming to bias any help they give you. No, the best help is from above. Do you have any idea how many glorious Beings are ready to help you and all you have to do is ask? The multiple higher aspects of yourself – your soul, Holy Christ Self, I AM Presence to start, not to mention the countless Beings on your Spirit Squad (what I call them :)) in addition to Ascended Masters, Archangels/angels, Galactic Families, Creator/God, the list is endless! You are never alone and all you have to do is ask! I like using affirmations, decrees and invocations and if you need a recommendation I would be happy to help you! Much Love and many Blessings to you all. ?
Many people have Heart-Walls and don’t even know it because modern medicine is ignorant of energetic causes of physical illness. Before an illness can manifest in the physical body, it starts out in the emotional body. If untreated and left to accumulate and build more energy, it then begins to manifest in your body. Western medicine only treats the physical body, an incomplete strategy because unless you treat the root cause in the emotional body you will never be healed.
From The EMotion Code website:
“The Emotion Code has been created to give you new insight, to show you how trapped emotions can cause all kinds of problems, and give you the means to release them. You can take your life back, enjoy better health, and finally be free from the insidious and subtle forces that trapped emotions are exerting upon you.
It has been a goal of mine for many years to teach people how to balance their own bodies and improve their own health as far as it lies within their power to do so. The Emotion Code is helping to fulfill this dream of mine. It is my sincere hope that you will read it and learn the powerful yet simple healing methods that I teach, put them into practice, and improve your own health and the health of your loved ones.
I believe that each of us has a destiny to fulfill, and a mission to perform while we are sojourning on this earth. Illness can stop us in our tracks, and prevent us from living the life we could be living. It is a sacred calling to help those who are ill to recover, not only because of themselves. There is a ripple effect that occurs when someone is healed. Their life, lived fully, touches many others, and can spread out through time and space to eternity. Some of the greatest satisfactions in my life come from teaching people just like you, bringing out the healer in them, practicing the healing art myself, and experiencing the joy that comes from helping others to be well.
God bless you on your journey to getting well and becoming the healer you are inside.”
Like everyone else before I became activated/partially-awakened/conscious, I had no clue about the connection between physical disease and emotions/feelings but I was always into self-development and began to follow my guidance, even if I didn’t know what I was doing. In the early 2000s I started learning more and even though I was skeptical continued my exploration into the “spiritual world of energy”. I went to lectures at my local wellness center and discovered Reiki, hands on healing, body work and all kinds of “alternative” therapies.
When I learned about The Emotion Code in 2015, it totally made sense why my knees ached or my hips were so tight and constricted. I began to see how trapped emotions are stuck inside my body’s cell memory, waiting for me to release them.
“In the same way that you cannot see the wind, yet you can feel its effects, trapped emotions are invisible and they can exert powerful forces upon you. Trapped emotions can affect you physically just as much as they can mentally and emotionally. It is my experience that a significant percentage of physical illnesses, emotional difficulties and self-sabotage are actually caused by these unseen energies.”
I first learned about The Emotion Code in 2015 because that was the year my awakening really intensified and I began to embark on the most self-development and rapidly accelerating growth than ever before. I discovered many trapped emotions I was carrying and I had a Heart-Wall, made out of wood!, unbeknownst to me. Using muscle testing and what I learned reading the book I was able to release them and remain mindful to consistently check to ensure I don’t create new ones.
Do you think your life just “happens” to you? Are you powerless and a victim? Does God pull the strings that control your life and you have no say? NO. Human beings are powerful creators; we are endowed with the same creative abilities God has: thought and feeling. Experiences you’ve had as a baby and throughout your life create your belief system and as an adult your thoughts create new experiences to maintain those beliefs. But beliefs, thoughts and feelings are changeable if you’re willing to do the internal work to create new mental patterns that support you instead of hold you back. As a being modeled in the image of God, it’s time to stop being so limited and realize that nothing is out of reach if you would only believe in yourself and CLAIM YOUR POWER.
I read somewhere most people think about 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts per day. How many of those do you think about yourself? How many are positive? Negative? Are you even aware of them? Do you know how they make you feel? Are any of them even directed towards your I AM Presence or God? Do you think any thoughts of Love and appreciation towards them on a daily basis?
Thanks to great progress in understanding the human mind, we are aware that our minds have different components or aspects, one of which is the ego. The human ego is not your friend, even though it’s a part of your mind. It may be hard to grasp the abstract concept that it is an aspect of human consciousness that is only out for itself. It does not care about you and will do everything it can to keep you under its control and manipulation for one purpose only: its own survival. Because if you progress on your self-development/spiritual path, when you raise your consciousness higher and higher in the Light, eventually you will have no more need for your ego because you will begin integrating it into your Holy Christ Self and it will cease to exist as it is. So the more stagnant it keeps you, the more negative thoughts it makes you focus on, the more fear and doubt it can instill in you, the slower you will grow and evolve towards Christ Consciousness.
“It all starts with the recognition that you are a self-conscious being who has free will to choose what you identify yourself as. And then you must be mindful of where you direct your attention. Again, this is addressed in greater detail by Mother Mary in her book. The concept she gives is that the Conscious You resides in a sphere, in the container of self. In that container is your I AM Presence, and when your being was first created, there was only the I AM Presence and the Conscious You within your sphere of self.
Yet when you experimented with the duality consciousness, you allowed elements of a lower vibration, elements of duality, to enter this sphere of self. And gradually, over many lifetimes, you have built a mortal sense of self that opposes or seems to oppose your I AM Presence. This is what we also call the ego.
This mortal self is made up of decisions you have made, beliefs you have come to accept. And many of those beliefs are about yourself. You might believe that you are a sinner. You might believe you are a mortal human being who will die when your physical body dies. You might believe that you cannot do this and you cannot do that. You cannot contact God directly in your heart but needs the outer hierarchy of the church, or any number of dualistic beliefs.
As these beliefs enter your sphere of self, they begin to form a gravitational force and it pulls on the Conscious You. It pulls on your attention. It is almost like the force of gravity that prevents you from rising into the air, but pulls you down to earth. Likewise, your mind is being pulled by the gravitational force of the ego that has gained entry into your sphere of self. And as long as that mortal self remains, it will have some pull on your attention and that is why your thoughts are being pulled back to these old thought patterns and habit patterns. And it seems that no matter what you do you cannot get rid of them, they keep pulling on you. ” – Ascended Master Jesus, channeled by Kim Michaels in the discourse excerpted from “You cannot overcome the ego in an instant, but you can stop identifying with it” fromwww.ascendedmasteranswers.com
You also have to understand that in addition to internal pressures from your ego, there are many invisible external forces influencing your mind in any given moment. There is so much momentum built up of thousands and thousands of years of negative energy and effluvia encircling the planet in the astral realms that we are bombarded by these swirling channels of hate, jealousy and every human emotion we are able to feel. When you feel any of these negative emotions, you are tapping into these streams of momentum and not only is it affecting you in that moment but you are adding to the momentum of that negative energy. Then you take into account the Law of the Circle, aka the Law of Attraction and like attracts like, so all of the thoughts that you think (project or broadcast) on a consistent basis like every day, only brings you more of the same energy and you become stuck in a catch-22, a potentially never-ending cycle of this energetic momentum. And because we are all tied together in the collective consciousness we all affect each other, consciously or more commonly unconsciously.
You incarnated as a human being to learn how to control your thoughts and feelings. We are endowed with the same creative power as God, the Creator of All That Is. The problem is we are all creating unconsciously and we get mad or whine and complain that our lives aren’t the way we want them to be when we have free will and the Power of God within us to create and live our Dream Lives. Stop giving away your power to your ego. The best way to break yourself out of this vicious cycle that YOU created is by calling for help from Above – your I AM Presence/Higher Self, the Ascended Masters, Archangels/Angels, God, whomever you feel the most comfortable invoking through prayer, affirmations, decrees whatever. Unless you receive a lifeline of Light and Love from the higher realms you will continue to be stuck – it is just too hard to do on your own. Trust me, I know! It’s so much easier with their help! But you have to ask or they can’t help you because you have free will.
Are you going to continue misusing that power to create anything less than the Perfection that you are?
Most of the time the only person standing in the way of your dreams coming true is you. When you are working towards a goal sometimes it can feel like you’re never going to make it but if you focus and stay aligned to your desire, be flexible and open to Divine timing and don’t give up you will ALWAYS succeed.
If you think about how the beginning of creation started with the power of thought (because God/Prime Creator is pure energy), you would understand how powerful your thoughts are. Thoughts are pure energy and the driving force of creation; thoughts contain unlimited creative power. Before anything can become physical, it must first begin as thought before it can manifest into dense matter. When you go through your life with a mind that is cluttered with ANTs (automatic negative thoughts), your subconscious turns those thoughts into beliefs and those beliefs bring you evidence of what you believe. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy cycle. Because you are completely unaware of the power of your mind, you feel like things just “happen” to you when in fact you are creating every single thing, good and bad, in your life. The more you begin to become mindful of your thoughts and how they make you feel, the more you will be able to create the life of your dreams.
Every time you find yourself in a new situation, what are your first thoughts?
Are you the kind of person that thinks, “Oh God, this is horrible!”
Are you the kind of person that thinks, “Awesome, something new!”
There are basically two kinds of people: positive thinkers and negative thinkers. Did you know that negative thinkers tend to have more health problems than those who think positively? Not only can positive thinking make you healthier, but it can actually help you have a better life.
In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at the impact of both positive and negative thinking. By the end, you’ll be convinced that having a cheerful attitude toward life is the key to living for many years to come!
The Impact of Negativity
Negativity is kind of like an addiction. Once you start thinking negative thoughts, it’s easy to continue filling your head with them. But, as you’ll see below, it’s the WORST thing you can do for your health!
Their first experiment found that negative thoughts always returned, even if students were able to repress them.
Their second experiment found that using positive thoughts helped to distract from the negative thoughts more effectively.
The study discovered that negativity just makes depression worse, as the negative thoughts accompanying depression tend to lead to more. These thoughts can undermine your attempts to control depression!
Both groups were given categorization tasks, and both groups performed equally when the items they were categorizing were clearly members of a single category. However, when the ambiguity of the items’ categories increased, the performance of those in the worrier group decreased.
A second study found that performance increased as negative thoughts increased. Both groups were told to either “relax” or “worry“, and were given the same tasks. Those in the “non-worrier” category performed as poorly as “worriers” after just 15 minutes of worrying. Those “relaxing” performed better than their worrying counterparts, even if they were initially in the “worrier” category.
What does this mean? Basically, negative thoughts and anxiety reduces your cognitive function!
185 people suffering from chronic pain, sickle cell anemia, and rheumatoid arthritis were studied to see how negative thoughts affected their pain, and vice versa.
Those who thought negatively and had a lot of negative self-talk reported not only more pain, but also greater psychological distress. Patients suffering from chronic pain tended to have more negative thoughts during the painful flare-ups than those suffering from the intermittent pain caused by arthritis and sickle-cell anemia.
As you can see, pain may bring on negative thoughts, but negative thinking will just make the pain worse!
Physical Symptoms of Negativity
According to the Mayo Clinic, negative thinking that leads to stress can wreak havoc on your body. When your worries and anxieties turn into stress, the following symptoms may set in:
Reduction in sex drive and libido
Sleep problems and insomnia
Irritability and anger
Depression or sadness
Lack of focus and motivation
Change in appetite (either over or undereating)
Abuse of alcohol and/or drugs
Outbursts of anger
As you can see, negative thinking and stress can really mess with your health, so it’s time to change your mindset and start thinking positive thoughts!
What is Positive Thinking?
When people hear the term “positive thinking“, most of them automatically think of someone who only can see the good in all the bad stuff that happens in life. That definitely isn’t the definition of positive thinking, and it’s certainly not realistic. No one will ever only see the world through rose-colored glasses!
Positive thinking isn’t the same as trying to gloss over the negative things in life or ignore your problems. Positive thinking IS approaching the challenges life throws at you with a positive attitude. Instead of getting negative and worrying about a challenge, positive thinking will help you approach that problem with the attitude of “how can I make the best of this situation?’
When you find yourself in a situation, your mind tends to “explain” it to you. It gives you the explanation of why something has happened, and the way you explain it indicates whether you are a negative or positive person.
Let’s say you’ve just found yourself stuck at the office on a Saturday, doing extra paperwork:
A negative person will grumble about their boss “having it out for them“, and how they “always get stuck with the bad job“.
A positive person will just get the work done because it’s “something that has to be done, and I’m the one doing it”.
As you can see by the example, the positive person doesn’t enjoy the job any more, but he does realize that it’s not a bad thing. Positive thinking is very realistic, but it still finds a way to make the best of a bad situation.
Did you know that stress can reduce your body’s natural immunity to disease? Positive thinking helps to fight stress, thereby preventing it from messing with your immune system. In fact, positive thinking has actually been found to boost your body’s ability to fight off disease.
Improve Heart Health
Your heart is a surprisingly delicate organ considering all the hard work it does, and both stress and anxiety can mess with your heart function. However, positivity can lower your risk of heart disease, including stroke and heart attacks. People who think positively tend to exercise more, eat healthier, and live happier lives!
As you read above, stress can lead to all kinds of health problems. Not only are there health problems CAUSED by stress, but nearly every disease and disorder on the planet is made worse by anxiety and stress. Positive thinking can help manage stress, thereby preventing a wide range of health problems!
Studies have found that positive thinking has helped victims of crises recover more quickly. Thinking positive thoughts helps you to be more resilient, enabling you to bounce back even from serious or traumatic experiences.
A study conducted at the University of London found that seniors who thought positively tend to age healthier. This means that they suffered from fewer physical and emotional health problems as they got older. They even had a longer life expectancy than their negative counterparts!
In one study published in Science Direct, positive thinking was proven to help people tolerate pain. Considering that stress and negativity causes pain sensations to be stronger, it’s easy to see how positive thinking can help reduce the pain–but it also helps you to take your mind off the pain, and thus tolerate it better.
Makes You Healthier
In numerous studies published online, researchers have found that people practicing positive thinking tend to be healthier thanks to the fact that they take care of themselves. They do more exercise, eat better, enjoy their hobbies and recreational activities more, are more socially connected, sleep better, and life better lives.
High blood pressure is one of the many things that can cause heart disorders, the #1 cause of death in the world today. Positive thinking has been proven to lower blood pressure, thereby preventing the risk of hypertension and other heart problems. Anxiety has been directly linked to heart problems, so positivity is the key to a healthy heart!
Other Benefits of Positive Thinking
The benefits listed above are all physical health benefits, but there are many more emotional benefits of thinking positively:
Deal with problems better. If you have a positive outlook on the problems you face, they’ll be easier to manage and overcome.
Enjoy your life more. After all, if everything in your life can be taken with a grain of positivity, you’ll find that life is so much more enjoyable!
Develop positive habits. Being positive keeps you away from harmful things like smoking, overdrinking, taking drugs, and overeating.
Boost your self-esteem. Once you get in the habit of thinking positively about external situations, you will soon get in the habit of being positive about yourself.
Form healthy, positive relationships. Being positive will cause you to look for the good in others, which will help you to form positive, productive relationships with them.
The truth is that positive thinking is one of the best things you can do for not just your physical health, but your emotional health as well!
How to Change Negative Thoughts to Positive Thoughts
Are you the kind of person who has a problem with chronic negativity? Are all of your internal thoughts put-downs and negative? Is your self-talk filled with the word “can’t”? If so, it’s time to change your negativity to positivity, for your health’s sake!
It’s not going to be easy to change the way you think, but it can be done! Here are some ways you can change your habits from negative thinking to thinking positive thoughts:
It may sound trite, but did you know that smiling has been scientifically proven to improve your mood and thought patterns? The muscles in your forehead are directly linked to your brain’s emotional center, and creasing them into a frown can make you moody and depressed. Smiling, on the other hand, sends positive, happy thoughts to your mind. Get in the habit of smiling more, and you’ll be happier all around!
Do Yoga or Meditate
What makes Yoga such a great activity is that it helps you to bring your focus inward and listen to your self-talk. Meditation does the same thing, and both of these activities will help you to hear yourself and the way you think. If you hear a lot of negativity, make a conscious effort to replace those thoughts with positive ones
Consciously Replace Your Thoughts
Whenever you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, make a conscious effort to replace it with a positive one. In fact, you can make it a habit that every time you think something negative about a person, situation, or challenge, you HAVE to think two or three positive ones. Within no time, it will become a habit!
Take Control of Your Life
Instead of complaining when you find yourself in negative situations, take control and don’t allow it to happen. Make a conscious choice of whether or not you will do something, and stop being a victim in your own life. Start thinking about your choices.
Be Around Positive Thinkers
Take a look at the people you call friends. Are they positive people always looking for the good in life, or do their attitudes trend toward the negative? Instead of hanging around people that will accompany you in your misery, find people that will help to pull you out of it. The more positivity you have in your life, the brighter the world around you will become.
Solve Someone Else’s Problems
Are you stressed or worried about a situation in which you find yourself? Take your eyes off yourself and start helping someone else deal with their problems. You may realize that your life isn’t as bad as you thought, and things are pretty darn great for you!
Science has proven that singing helps to fight depression and boosts your mood, so belt out your favorite Show Tunes now! The more you sing, the happier you’ll become. It’s a great de-stressing activity, plus it’s a whole lot of fun!
Just like you should surround yourself with positive people, you should also read positivity-reinforcing books, quotes, and materials. Find podcasts that inspire you, or listen to the TED talks. Find quotes on positivity and paste them around your house. The more positivity you surround yourself with, the better!
Make a list
Worried or stress about something, or have negative thoughts plaguing your mind? Instead of giving in to the worries, list the things that you have to be positive or grateful about. Make it a habit to form a list 5 to 10 items long every time your stress mounts.
The truth is that positive thinking is going to improve your life in EVERY SINGLE WAY, so it’s time to start replacing your old negative thoughts with new positive ones. Find ways to consciously catch yourself when you think negatively, and make it a habit to think positively in every situation.
I’m going to let you in on a secret: It gets better as you go!
It’s tough to get started thinking positively, and it will take you a while to form the habit of replacing old thoughts with new ones. However, if you begin the struggle to change your mindset, your efforts will soon start to snowball. Within no time, you’ll be a positive person all the way to your core!
From many sources throughout my spiritual journey I have heard people talking about “ego death” and I never understood why they would want to kill a part of themselves. To me enlightenment is not about making parts of us disappear but rather to bring all to light and integrate into the whole. All aspects of yourself are important to living in this world. The ego is no less important but people have had to exaggerate it to survive for thousands of years. Now, as humanity has chosen to collectively awaken, it’s time to stop living from your ego and begin to live from your heart. Observe your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Become aware of how you feel when this or that happens. Awareness is the key to understanding yourself and the world you live in; without it you will continue to live blindly, not knowing why you do the things you do or why you created the life that shapes your reality.
Everything in your life is an extension of your energy. Things don’t “happen to you”. You create them in some way. Observe your thoughts and see how they make you feel. Your energy creates your reality.
Our world was created with so many opportunities for us to grow and so much in our lives acts as mirrors for ourselves. If there is an area in your life that you’re not happy with, pay attention to your thoughts about it and how those thoughts make you feel because if they’re negative, that will manifest in your outer reality. Your thoughts are THAT powerful. Your energy is a mirror of your thoughts. Change your thoughts, change your energy and begin to change your life.
Many people on Earth right now are Starseeds and they may not even know it. There are various websites and articles that help you determine if you are a Starseed but if you are on a spiritual path to awakening or enlightenment it’s highly probable that you are because we volunteered to come at this time to help humanity with the ascension to 5D. I was told my soul origin by two people (Mintakan and Hadarian) but don’t yet have that inner knowing of where I come from – I do feel that I am not of this world however!
The greatest gift you were ever given is your imagination. Within it is the capacity to have all your wishes fulfilled. Look around you. Everything that you can experience with your senses was once in someone’s imagination. – Wayne Dyer
Most everyone in this world, but especially lightworkers are bombarded every day by our daily life. In addition to the need to make a living and take care of families and ourselves, we are also asked to find the time to meditate, send love to the world and help humanity make the ascension shift. Sometimes its all a little overwhelming so I created this graphic for myself and want to share in case it helps others.
Louise Hay is one of my favorite people to listen to. Her affirmations and perspective are so positive and encouraging I always feel better after reading her messages in my email. She is one of the greatest spiritual teachers of our time and we are so blessed to have her with us.
“I do whatever I need to do to keep my inner world peaceful. My inner peace is essential for my health and well-being.”
More than ever there seems to be so much in the world to fear. On the news, in life and in the very fabric of our existence. I understand, it is human to fear what we can’t control and we don’t understand. The wonderful thing about fear is we can change that fear into faith. Though that may sound difficult, it is actually a simple shift of our own intent and perspective. By understanding that we can’t control everything or anything but ourselves, that in itself becomes our strength. Each of us has the ability to influence the world, see the beauty in life, and spread faith through our attitudes and actions.
Psychologist and author Susan Jeffers once stated, “Everybody feels fear when approaching something totally new in life—yet so many are out there doing it despite the fear—then we must conclude that fear is not the problem.”
Love is the opposite of fear. The more we’re willing to love and trust who we are, the more we attract those qualities to ourselves. When we’re on a streak of really being frightened or upset or worried or not liking ourselves, isn’t it amazing how everything goes wrong in our lives? It’s the same when we really love ourselves. Everything starts to go on a winning streak, and we get the green lights and the parking spaces. We get up in the morning and the day flows beautifully.
“By embracing faith, instead of fear, we become an example of the love and strength needed to help change the world. Peace was never won with violence and faith has never been met with darkness. Let us become the deliverers of hope through our intention to make the world a better place, one moment and one action at a time.” ”
We need to love ourselves so that we can take care of ourselves. We have to do everything we can to strengthen our hearts, our bodies, and our minds. We must turn to the Power within, find a good spiritual connection, and really work on maintaining it.
Let’s do some affirmations right now to help go beyond our negative thoughts:
I am willing to release my fears. I live and move in a safe and secure world. I free myself from all destructive fears and doubts.
This exercise is designed to help give you a powerful new perspective on how rapidly you can create the conditions for profound changes to happen in yourself and in your life. Created by Jean Houston and Evolving Wisdom.
It involves the second Key to unlocking your Quantum Powers: Living a New Story in Your Life.
One of the most critical aspects of the transition into living your Quantum Life is to realize that change is actually the foundation of your entire existence.
In every moment you live, your thoughts and experiences change you in some way.
For most people, most of the time, this change is so small as to essentially go unnoticed, and as it is all too easy to become invested in resisting change and keeping things known and comfortably the same, that tends to slow things down even further.
But once you begin to embrace the truth of this constant state of change, it is then up to you how profoundly that change unfolds in your life, through the thoughts and experiences you open yourself up to or consciously choose to pursue.
So, it becomes exceedingly important that you not hold on so tightly to whatever you see as your “story” now, but to instead create a daily experience of wonder and astonishment that reinvents your story as it happens in real time.
In order to do this, you must take hold of the moment you are in and make choices that will lead you to the story you want to live, allowing you to quite literally leap beyond your current boundaries into that life you have dreamed for yourself.
You must discover new ways of creatively engaging yourself in even the most mundane of everyday activities, like getting dressed or preparing food or walking from room to room, as well as finding more significant and inspiring challenges.
You must move out of conditioned habits and into experiments, exploring new possibilities for your interactions with yourself, others and the world.
This generates opportunities for new pathways to arise that will lead you to the future you feel called to create.
Once you do this, you will quickly begin to see the synchronicities reaching out to you at every turn, connecting you more and more deeply to all you are and can be, and so many aspects of your life will simply fall into place, and become, in a word, extraordinary.
Here is an experiment that will help you more easily move into this place of greater possibility:
The Art of Re-storying Your Life
First you must suspend disbelief and imagine very vividly that you can enter into the place where your own life story can be re-patterned and re-storied from the one you’re living now.
Think of it as a second chance, a kind of re-genesis.
You’ve had up to now a good deal of life experience, and chances are you’ve learned much and experienced a full spectrum of joys and sorrows but now wish to consciously enter into the co-creation of an improved, more vital, more creative story for the years ahead.
To start, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then imagine yourself traveling to that Quantum place where anything and everything is possible.
Feel the energy of that higher realm coursing through you as you change levels, as you change frequencies and leave your current story behind.
Now, in this higher realm, see the vast domain of all possibilities before you and begin to engage those possibilities in the form of a new plan for yourself, a new pattern for your life to come.
Feel this new life coming toward you, rising out of the frequency waves—a potent, positive and creative tide, carrying the elements of your new story. See it right there before you, inviting your engagement.
Now begin to sense and consider what this new story of your life will be.
Perhaps you’ll choose a new career, a new art form to learn and explore, a furthering of some skill or activity you’ve only dabbled with in the past, new friends and relationships that will grant you the full range of emotional expression.
Perhaps there are adventures in store, visits to strange lands, meetings with new cultures and peoples that astonish and inspire you as they bring you more experience, more life, more delight, and more learning.
Perhaps you see a new story in which your spiritual life becomes more prominent, where you discover sources and resources that gift you with beauty, meaning and purpose.
Allow these and so much more to arise, along with the belief that these wonderful changes are not only possible but probable.
Try each possibility out on the screen of your mind and choose those that resonate for you.
See them, feel them, and above all, know them as potential realities that can manifest into the physical space-time world where you currently reside.
Continue to do this until you truly feel the living force of their reality.
And know, too, that the Quantum Field is drawn into your vision and is adding elements, coincidences, and resources to the vision, as well as the people, ideas and opportunities to help you in the realization of your new story.
This is the interdependent co-arising of you and the Universe together.
The more you use this exercise, the more your new story will grow in you, eventually to the point where what began as an imaginative possibility will become an actualizing probability.
And then, as opportunities arrive that begin to fit into the new story you have set in motion, meet each of those opportunities with deep gratitude and joy for the gifts they bring to you.
Human interactions can be so confusing, awkward and in many situations we don’t know what to say so we fall back on what we’re used to saying even if it’s not the best thing to say in that moment. Our egos and the belief systems we have in place are also responsible for missed opportunities to say thank you.
A few years ago when I received compliments I was unable to say thank you. I did exactly what James describes in this post – deflect and devalue the compliment and myself. I didn’t know it at the time but I had an unworthiness belief that was sabotaging me from receiving any good from the universe. When I started doing mirror work from the book “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay I learned to love myself and heal my unworthy issues. We all have unworthiness issues – it’s part of the separation we all agreed to experience in incarnating on Earth. I’ve also acknowledged and healed my defensiveness around criticism and feedback. Begin to be aware of your ego and belief systems and you will be able to say thank you effortlessly and really mean it. And life is good then!
Post by James Clear
I don’t say “Thank You” as often as I should and I doubt I’m the only one.
In fact, I’m starting to believe that “Thank You” is the most under-appreciated and under-used phrase on the planet. It is appropriate in nearly any situation and it is a better response than most of the things we say. Let’s cover 7 common situations when we say all sorts of things, but should say “Thank You” instead.
Before we talk about how to get started, I wanted to let you know I researched and compiled science-backed ways to stick to good habits and stop procrastinating. Want to check out my insights? Download my free PDF guide “Transform Your Habits” here.
1. When you’re receiving a compliment.
We often ruin compliments by devaluing the statement or acting overly humble. Internally, you might think this prevents you from appearing arrogant or smug.
The problem is that by deflecting the praise of a genuine compliment, you don’t acknowledge the person who was nice enough to say something. Simply saying “Thank You” fully acknowledges the person who made the compliment and allows you to enjoy the moment as well.
Example: “Your dress looks great.”
Instead of: “Oh, this old thing? I’ve had it for years.” Try saying: “Thank you. I’m glad you like it.” Example: “Wow! 20 points tonight. You played really well in the game.”
Instead of: “Yeah, but I missed that wide-open shot in the 3rd quarter.” Try saying: “Thank you. It was a good night.” Example: “You killed your presentation today!”
Instead of: “Did I? I felt so nervous up there. I’m glad it looked alright.” Try saying: “Thank you. I’m happy it went well.” There is something empowering about fully accepting a compliment. When you deflect praise, you can’t really own it. When you just say “Thank You,” you let the weight of the compliment sink in and become yours. Saying “Thank You” gives your mind permission to be built up by the compliments you receive.
Getting compliments should be fun and enjoyable, but we often ruin the experience. There’s no need to sabotage compliments that come your way. Accept them with grace and enjoy the moment.
2. When you’re running late.
Being late is the worst. It’s stressful for the person who is running late and it’s disrespectful to the person who is waiting.
It might seem strange to thank someone for dealing with your hassle, but that’s exactly the correct response. Most people stumble in the door and say, “Sorry I’m late.”
The problem is this response still makes the situation about you. Sorry, I’m late. Saying “Thank You” turns the tables and acknowledges the sacrifice the other person made by waiting. Thank you for waiting.
Example: You walk in the door 14 minutes late.
Instead of: “So sorry I’m late. Traffic was insane out there.” Try saying: “Thank you for your patience.” When we make a mistake, someone else often makes a sacrifice. Our default response is to apologize for our failure, but the better approach is to praise their patience and loyalty. Thank them for what they did despite your error.
3. When you’re comforting someone.
When someone comes to you with bad news, it can be awkward. You want to be a good friend, but most people don’t know what to say. I know I’ve felt that way before.
Often times, we think it’s a good idea to add a silver lining to the problem. “Well, at least you have…”
What we fail to realize is that it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to say. All you really need is to be present and thank them for trusting you.
Example: Your co-worker’s mother passed away recently.
Instead of: “At least you have a lot of fond memories to hold onto.” Try saying: “Thank you for sharing that with me. I know this is a hard time for you.” Example: Your brother lost his job.
Instead of: “At least you have your health.” Try saying: “Thank you for sharing this with me. I’m here to support you.” Example: Your friend’s pet just died.
Instead of: “At least they had a long and happy life.” Try saying: “Thank you for sharing that with me. I’m here for you.” In times of suffering, we don’t need to hear words to ease the pain as much as we need someone to share our pain. When you don’t know what to say, just say “Thank You” and be there.
4. When you’re receiving helpful feedback.
Feedback can be very helpful, but we rarely see it that way. Whether it is an unflattering performance review from your boss or an email from an unhappy customer, the standard reaction is to get defensive. That’s a shame because the correct response is to simply say, “Thank You” and use the information to improve.
Example: “This work isn’t good enough. I thought you would do better.”
Instead of: “You don’t understand. Here’s what really happened.” Try saying: “Thank you for expecting more of me.” Example: “I bought your product last week and it already broke. I am not happy with this experience.”
Instead of: “How did you use it? We made it very clear in our terms and conditions that the product is not designed to work in certain conditions.“ Try saying: “Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Please know we are committed to becoming better. Can you share more details about the issue?” Nobody likes to fail, but failure is just a data point. Respond to helpful feedback with thanks and use it to become better.
5. When you’re receiving unfair criticism.
Sometimes criticism isn’t helpful at all. It’s just vindictive and mean. I’ve written about how to deal with haters previously, but one of the best approaches is to just say thank you and move on.
When you thank someone for criticizing you, it immediately neutralizes the power of their statements. If it’s not a big deal to you, then it can’t grow into a larger argument.
Example: “This might be good advice for beginners, but anyone who knows what they are doing will find this useless.”
Instead of: “Well, clearly, I wrote this for beginners. This might be a surprise, but not everything was written with you in mind.” Try saying: “Thank you for sharing your opinion. I’ll try to improve next time.” Example: “Your statement is the dumbest thing I’ve read all week.”
Instead of: “You’re an idiot. Let me tell you why…” Try saying: “Thank you for the feedback. I still have a lot to learn.” Releasing the need to win every argument is a sign of maturity. Someone on the internet said something wrong? So what. Win the argument by the way you live your life.
6. When someone gives you unsolicited advice.
This shows up a lot in the gym. Everybody has an opinion about what your technique should look like. I think most people are just trying to be helpful, but hearing someone’s opinion about you when you didn’t ask for it can be annoying.
One time, someone pointed out some flaws in my squat technique in a video I posted online. I responded by sarcastically asking if he had a video of himself doing it correctly. Somewhere deep in my mind, I assumed that if I reminded him that his technique wasn’t perfect, then I would feel better about the fact that mine wasn’t perfect either. That’s an unnecessary and defensive response.
The better approach? Just say “Thank You.”
Example: “You know, you should really keep your hips back when you do that exercise.”
Instead of: “Oh really? Do you have a video of yourself doing it so I can see it done correctly?” Try saying: “Thank you for the help.” Pointing out others faults doesn’t remove your own. Thank people for raising your self-awareness, even if it was unsolicited.
7. When you’re not sure if you should thank someone.
When in doubt, just say thank you. There is no downside. Are you honestly worried about showing too much gratitude to the people in your life?
“Should I send a Thank You card in this situation?” Yes, you should.
“Should I tip him?” If you don’t, at least say thank you.
Learning how to live our lives with an attitude of gratitude is an exercise in discipline and awareness. I admit that for much of my adult life I hardly paid any attention to being grateful until my spiritual journey led me to the Law of Attraction and Esther Hicks and Abraham. Only then I began to understand how important being and feeling appreciative is for creating the mindset of working with the universe and being in the flow. Knowing that ‘what you believe you receive’ has helped me to clear out the negative thoughts that used to run freely in my head like a broken record. Because I am aware of my thoughts, I am able to find something to appreciate in even the toughest situations.
The hardest thing I have ever done in my life is move in to my dad’s house in Sacramento, CA. It’s not an ideal situation or living condition but after a year of resisting, I realized that through the decisions I made in my life, I created the opening to be here for my spiritual growth. Being here in my biggest discomfort zone has helped me to awaken faster than any other time in my life. And even though my dad is my biggest nerve grater, I am thankful to him for being my greatest teacher even though he doesn’t know it. I am appreciating the freedom living here affords me. We must dig deep and find things to appreciate in our lives or they will be unbearable and not worth living.
This article is fantastic and Robert makes so many good points I have to share his writing on being grateful. Enjoy!
“Count your blessings and you will have an attitude of gratitude.” ~Sir John Templeton
“It’s easy to feel grateful when life is good, but when disaster strikes, gratitude is worth the effort.” ~Robert Emmons
A decade’s worth of research on gratitude has shown me that when life is going well, gratitude allows us to celebrate and magnify the goodness. But what about when life goes badly? In the midst of the economic maelstrom that has gripped our country, I have often been asked if people can—or even should—feel grateful under such dire circumstances.
My response is that not only will a grateful attitude help—it is essential. In fact, it is precisely under crisis conditions when we have the most to gain by a grateful perspective on life. In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope. In other words, gratitude can help us cope with hard times.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that gratitude will come easily or naturally in a crisis. It’s easy to feel grateful for the good things. No one “feels” grateful that he or she has lost a job or a home or good health or has taken a devastating hit on his or her retirement portfolio.
But it is vital to make a distinction between feeling grateful and being grateful. We don’t have total control over our emotions. We cannot easily will ourselves to feel grateful, less depressed, or happy. Feelings follow from the way we look at the world, thoughts we have about the way things are, the way things should be, and the distance between these two points.
But being grateful is a choice, a prevailing attitude that endures and is relatively immune to the gains and losses that flow in and out of our lives. When disaster strikes, gratitude provides a perspective from which we can view life in its entirety and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances. Yes, this perspective is hard to achieve—but my research says it is worth the effort.
Remember the bad
Trials and suffering can actually refine and deepen gratefulness if we allow them to show us not to take things for granted. Our national holiday of gratitude, Thanksgiving, was born and grew out of hard times. The first Thanksgiving took place after nearly half the pilgrims died from a rough winter and year. It became a national holiday in 1863 in the middle of the Civil War and was moved to its current date in the 1930s following the Depression.
Why? Well, when times are good, people take prosperity for granted and begin to believe that they are invulnerable. In times of uncertainty, though, people realize how powerless they are to control their own destiny. If you begin to see that everything you have, everything you have counted on, may be taken away, it becomes much harder to take it for granted.
So crisis can make us more grateful—but research says gratitude also helps us cope with crisis. Consciously cultivating an attitude of gratitude builds up a sort of psychological immune system that can cushion us when we fall. There is scientific evidence that grateful people are more resilient to stress, whether minor everyday hassles or major personal upheavals. The contrast between suffering and redemption serves as the basis for one of my tips for practicing gratitude: remember the bad.
It works this way: Think of the worst times in your life, your sorrows, your losses, your sadness—and then remember that here you are, able to remember them, that you made it through the worst times of your life, you got through the trauma, you got through the trial, you endured the temptation, you survived the bad relationship, you’re making your way out of the dark. Remember the bad things, then look to see where you are now.
This process of remembering how difficult life used to be and how far we have come sets up an explicit contrast that is fertile ground for gratefulness. Our minds think in terms of counterfactuals—mental comparisons we make between the way things are and how things might have been different. Contrasting the present with negative times in the past can make us feel happier (or at least less unhappy) and enhance our overall sense of well-being. This opens the door to coping gratefully.
Try this little exercise. First, think about one of the unhappiest events you have experienced. How often do you find yourself thinking about this event today? Does the contrast with the present make you feel grateful and pleased? Do you realize your current life situation is not as bad as it could be? Try to realize and appreciate just how much better your life is now. The point is not to ignore or forget the past but to develop a fruitful frame of reference in the present from which to view experiences and events.
There’s another way to foster gratitude: confront your own mortality. In a recent study, researchers asked participants to imagine a scenario where they are trapped in a burning high rise, overcome by smoke, and killed. This resulted in a substantial increase in gratitude levels, as researchers discovered when they compared this group to two control conditions who were not compelled to imagine their own deaths.
In these ways, remembering the bad can help us to appreciate the good. As the German theologian and Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.” We know that gratitude enhances happiness, but why? Gratitude maximizes happiness in multiple ways, and one reason is that it helps us reframe memories of unpleasant events in a way that decreases their unpleasant emotional impact. This implies that grateful coping entails looking for positive consequences of negative events. For example, grateful coping might involve seeing how a stressful event has shaped who we are today and has prompted us to reevaluate what is really important in life.
To say that gratitude is a helpful strategy to handle hurt feelings does not mean that we should try to ignore or deny suffering and pain.
The field of positive psychology has at times been criticized for failing to acknowledge the value of negative emotions. Barbara Held of Bowdoin College in Maine, for example, contends that positive psychology has been too negative about negativity and too positive about positivity. To deny that life has its share of disappointments, frustrations, losses, hurts, setbacks, and sadness would be unrealistic and untenable. Life is suffering. No amount of positive thinking exercises will change this truth.
So telling people simply to buck up, count their blessings, and remember how much they still have to be grateful for can certainly do much harm. Processing a life experience through a grateful lens does not mean denying negativity. It is not a form of superficial happiology. Instead, it means realizing the power you have to transform an obstacle into an opportunity. It means reframing a loss into a potential gain, recasting negativity into positive channels for gratitude.
A growing body of research has examined how grateful recasting works. In a study conducted at Eastern Washington University, participants were randomly assigned to one of three writing groups that would recall and report on an unpleasant open memory—a loss, a betrayal, victimization, or some other personally upsetting experience. The first group wrote for 20 minutes on issues that were irrelevant to their open memory. The second wrote about their experience pertaining to their open memory.
Researchers asked the third group to focus on the positive aspects of a difficult experience—and discover what about it might now make them feel grateful. Results showed that they demonstrated more closure and less unpleasant emotional impact than participants who just wrote about the experience without being prompted to see ways it might be redeemed with gratitude. Participants were never told not to think about the negative aspects of the experience or to deny or ignore the pain. Moreover, participants who found reasons to be grateful demonstrated fewer intrusive memories, such as wondering why it happened, whether it could have been prevented, or if they believed they caused it to happen. Thinking gratefully, this study showed, can help heal troubling memories and in a sense redeem them—a result echoed in many other studies.
Do your kids sometimes act like entitled brats? This video can help.
Some years ago, I asked people with debilitating physical illnesses to compose a narrative concerning a time when they felt a deep sense of gratitude to someone or for something. I asked them to let themselves re-create that experience in their minds so that they could feel the emotions as if they had transported themselves back in time to the event itself. I also had them reflect on what they felt in that situation and how they expressed those feelings. In the face of progressive diseases, people often find life extremely challenging, painful, and frustrating. I wondered whether it would even be possible for them to find anything to be grateful about. For many of them, life revolved around visits to the pain clinic and pharmacy. I would not have been at all surprised if resentment overshadowed gratefulness.
As it turned out, most respondents had trouble settling on a specific instance—they simply had so much in their lives that they were grateful for. I was struck by the profound depth of feeling that they conveyed in their essays, and by the apparent life-transforming power of gratitude in many of their lives.
It was evident from reading these narrative accounts that (1) gratitude can be an overwhelmingly intense feeling, (2) gratitude for gifts that others easily overlook most can be the most powerful and frequent form of thankfulness, and (3) gratitude can be chosen in spite of one’s situation or circumstances. I was also struck by the redemptive twist that occurred in nearly half of these narratives: out of something bad (suffering, adversity, affliction) came something good (new life or new opportunities) for which the person felt profoundly grateful.
If you are troubled by an open memory or a past unpleasant experience, you might consider trying to reframe how you think about it using the language of thankfulness. The unpleasant experiences in our lives don’t have to be of the traumatic variety in order for us to gratefully benefit from them. Whether it is a large or small event, here are some additional questions to ask yourself:
What lessons did the experience teach me?
Can I find ways to be thankful for what happened to me now even though I was not at the time it happened?
What ability did the experience draw out of me that surprised me?
How am I now more the person I want to be because of it? Have my negative feelings about the experience limited or prevented my ability to feel gratitude in the time since it occurred?
Has the experience removed a personal obstacle that previously prevented me from feeling grateful?
Remember, your goal is not to relive the experience but rather to get a new perspective on it. Simply rehearsing an upsetting event makes us feel worse about it. That is why catharsis has rarely been effective. Emotional venting without accompanying insight does not produce change. No amount of writing about the event will help unless you are able to take a fresh, redemptive perspective on it. This is an advantage that grateful people have—and it is a skill that anyone can learn.
2015 was the year of my spiritual journey when I learned how to surrender my ego, to let go and let God. Through the suffering I caused myself in moving to my dad’s house and putting myself DEEP out of my comfort zone into really uncomfortable territory, I underwent a metamorphosis of awakening to my true consciousness out of the illusion of unconsciousness. I am now well aware of the ego aspect of myself and am able to observe and recognize when it is activated. Surrender is an ongoing practice; I recently just experienced another opportunity to let go of a belief I was attached to through my car breaking down. Surrender allows us to open to the flow of life and it can be such a joyful feeling to let the universe take over and not have to do everything yourself.
Maria’s words resonate with me very well and so I am inclined to share this post in the hope that you too may learn to experience the freedom of spiritual surrender in your mind.
Spiritual Surrender means to let go of everything, but we can’t do it by will.
It’s not about using will power but to let go of will power, because that’s the only thing that keeps you in bondage, the belief that you somehow can control life.
Spiritual surrender is not about “giving up” while throwing your hands up in the air with frustration just because you don’t get what you want – fast enough. That’s the ego’s game.
Spiritual surrender means to surrender to Life – oftentimes through utter defeat – when everything else has failed and you are on your wit’s end, not in an aggravated way, but with you being on your knees, crying your heart out, surrendering to a greater power, which you soon find out is your True Self.
It’s about letting go of the false self, but because most people take their false self to be their real self, this process can take years and years before it’s final.
We surrender more deeply for every time, and every time is sincere but also immature at first.
In the beginning, when we aren’t really sure of what surrender means, we think it’s about making a wish-list for the Santa for the grown-ups which is the law of attraction with all it’s vision-boards and so on, and then when we have handed over our little wishes and goals to the Almighty Genie, we sit back and wait for things to come to us; aka ‘letting go of the outcome’.
We let go of our wishes, we wait with great expectations (just like kids at Christmas) and we take action with the attitude of “surrendering the outcome to the universe” (with a “go after what you want”-mentality; another one of the egos game, who always stresses us to grasp and strive) but that’s not surrendering at all!
Spiritual surrender means letting go of EVERYTHING – yourself included.
(NOTE: It’s NOT about becoming lazy! I will address this subject in another post so stay tuned).
That’s often times the final let go; the letting go of all the ideas you have about yourself, and all the things you want yourself to be and become.
You know that whatever is meant to stay, will stay, regardless of what your opinions are about it, so you relax into that – into trusting that life knows how to express itself without your help.
The purpose of life is this moment – are you letting Life express itself fully as you, or are you trying to control it by imposing your little plans and desires on it?
This is what life is now – and no one knows what tomorrow brings – that’s freedom and liberation!
This is what life is – right now. This is how life expresses itself through me – right now. How it will express itself tomorrow I have no clue about. All I really know is Right Now.
All your expectations of life will fall away also, and this is not something that is done by will power – that would be like trying to manipulate life.
The ego thinks that surrender means to surrender with an agenda (“If I surrender this I will receive that”), but that’s not how life works.
To let go thinking you will get something is to manipulate – it’s not sincere.
True surrender really means to let your mind be emptied from all concepts and beliefs, not to “create better feeling beliefs” but to let go of them all. It will happen when you come to the point where you sincerely ask God to take over because you know there’s nothing else you can do.
Spiritual Surrender means complete surrender and letting go.
It means total empty-handedness. (Which include empty-mindedness; you are realizing that You are beyond mind).
The mind gets quiet and cleaned out, and with time you will discover and experience for yourself how the mind tries to make sense of the silence because it’s so used to be active all the time.
Just to make an example; you will find that it fails to find the words to use to gossip, and you can watch it happen with amusement, with an attitude of ‘that’s interesting’, but you don’t get attached to the interest of what’s happening (you kind of stand outside watching it all), and you drop that too.
It’s like being totally relaxed into being and Life – and being totally and utterly OK with whatever is and comes, because you know without a doubt that this moment is your whole life and this moment is the purpose of your life too, so there’s nothing to figure out anymore.
There is no longer a past or future or the need to make plans. Except for practical reasons obviously; it’s great to know when the next train goes and so on, but the personal will is no longer what runs your life. (It never was to begin with).
There’s a sense of not caring anymore. Not in a “I don’t give a shit”-attitude/way, but in a very relaxed and peaceful way – as a matter of simply stating a fact.
Nothing seems to be important and significant that once was.You know that everything is exactly as it’s suppose to be and nothing is wrong. You feel lived, not as if you ‘have a life’, but that you are Life.
This moment becomes so precious that nothing of the old is significant or important in any way.
This is how it feels to really love life. This moment is perfect and unspeakably beautiful. (I’m even all emotional now, can’t find the words that can explain the beauty of this moment).
Surrender means to let go of everything you thought yourself to be and what you believed life was about, and let Life itself live and express itself through you, as you.
So what has your experience been with spiritual surrender? Have you been able to let go and let God? Talk to me in the comments!
Wayne Dyer was one of the most important teachers in my spiritual journey. I listened to the ‘Power of Intention’ while I worked on various graphic projects. He was instrumental in bringing me through some dark times in my life. I love Wayne and the powerful legacy he left us. Humanity is so enriched by his beautiful presence.
In honor of his memory, Wayne’s Hay House family will continue to share his advice and wisdom in this weekly newsletter, bringing you excerpts pulled directly from Wayne’s published works. To subscribe visit drwaynedyer.com.
This holiday season, as we witness Nature progress into the slow and quiet slumber of winter, our interactions with family, friends and co-workers only seem to speed up more and more by comparison. Instead of succumbing mindlessly to the demands of any and every occasion, allow divine inspiration to take the lead by making joy and love a priority in your holiday activities, as explained in the wisdom of Dr. Wayne Dyer:
Joy A hectic schedule crammed with non-purposeful activities precludes an experience of inspiration; we feel joy draining from our body and spirit. When the calendar becomes frenzied, full of unnecessary turbulence because we’ve failed to simplify, we won’t be able to hear those long-distance calls from our Source . . . and we’ll slip into stress, anguish, and even depression. So whatever it takes to feel joy, we simply must act upon it. Regardless of our current station in life, we have a spiritual contract to make joy our constant companion—so we must learn to make a conscious choice to say no to anything that takes us away from an inspired life. This can be done gently, while clearly showing others that this is how we choose to live. We can start by turning down requests that involve actions that don’t correspond with our inner knowing about why we’re here. Even at work, we can find ways to keep ourselves on an inspirational agenda. Opting for joy involves giving ourselves time for play instead of scheduling a workaholic nightmare. We deserve to feel joy—it’s our spiritual calling. By giving ourselves free time to read, meditate, exercise, and walk in nature, we’re inviting the guidance that’s waiting patiently to come calling with inspirational messages. There’s also no law requiring us to be at the continual beck and call of our family members. I see no reason to feel anything but joy when we know it’s right to choose to do what we’re called to do, even when it interferes with another family member’s calling.
Love Thoughts or actions that aren’t tuned to love will prevent inspiration from getting through to us—we need to remember that we come from a Source of pure love, so a simple life means incorporating that love as one of the mainstays of our material existence. Just as love is the priority in the final moments of life, so it must be as we simplify life now. We can go toward a clearer life by examining and purifying our relationships with those we love, with ourselves, and with God. What we’re looking for are connections that keep us in an energy of love, which is the highest and fastest energy in the Universe. If we organize our life around love—for God, for ourselves, for family and friends, for all humankind, and for the environment—we’ll remove a lot of the chaos and disorder that defines our life. This is a way to simplify our life, but more than that, it’s a way to attract inspiration.
[rss-feed-icon] The holiday season is not only a time to rejoice with family and friends but also an opportunity to share love everywhere you go. You can do this by spending some moments going back in time and remembering the very best holiday season you had as a child. Bring the memory up in your mind and see it very clearly. Remember the sights, the smells, the tastes, the touches, and the people who were there. What were some of the things you did? If you never had a wonderful holiday season as a child, then make one up. Picture it exactly as you would like it to be.
As you think of this special time, notice that your heart is opening. Perhaps one of the most wonderful things about that particular season was the love that was present. Let the spirit of love flow through you now. Bring into your heart all the people you know and care about. Surround them with this love. Know that you can carry this special feeling of the holidays with you everywhere and have it all the time.
You are love. You are spirit. You are light. You are energy. And so it is.
Bring that heart-based love you have remembered into all present moments you share with your loved ones during the holidays. Enjoy time with family members you may not see that often and time spent with friends in which you have shared traditions. Use these precious occasions to share your love and blessings everywhere you go and be grateful for each moment as it passes. Be generous with your love my dear ones and you will feel fulfilled. Your families and friends love you.
[rss-feed-icon] The New Year is almost upon us. Let’s welcome 2017 with love and joy. Know that what we give out comes back to us multiplied.
This year will be different from any other we have lived. Our knowledge and understanding will grow and deepen in new ways. Our capacity for compassion will expand. Our ability to give and receive love will make daily living feel like heaven on earth.
Every New Year brings us the opportunity for a fresh start. In 2017, peace is within our reach, even as new adventures beckon.
This is a wonderful time for reflection. As you prepare to begin your New Year, ask yourself these simple questions:
What shall I now release from my life? What or who no longer works for me? What am I holding on to that holds me back? What thoughts or beliefs belong to the old me? How am I being unloving to myself? What do I believe that really works for me? Am I ready to let go? What is going on in my life that is terrific and wonderful? Where am I being very loving to myself? Where am I most content? What do I want to bring to my life? How do I want the next year to be? Who do I want to bring into my world? How do I want to look? What image do I want to project? How healthy do I want to be? What changes can I make to feel healthier? How prosperous do I want to feel? What kind of world do I want to live in? How much love am I willing to experience? Take time to acknowledge all of your positive growth and change in the last year.
I am one with the infinite wisdom and capabilities of the Universe itself. All good is available to me, right here and right now. All I have to do is to use the power of my thoughts to create that which I desire. I am a Yes person living in a Yes Universe. And so it is!
Life loves us, and will bring us wonders all year long. I wish you a fabulous 2017!
Wayne Dyer was one of the most important teachers in my spiritual journey. I listened to the ‘Power of Intention’ while I worked on various graphic projects. He was instrumental in bringing me through some dark times in my life. I love Wayne and the powerful legacy he left us. Humanity is so enriched by his beautiful presence.
In honor of his memory, Wayne’s Hay House family will continue to share his advice and wisdom in this weekly newsletter, bringing you excerpts pulled directly from Wayne’s published works. To subscribe visit drwaynedyer.com.
As the new year approaches, let us remember the wisdom of Dr. Wayne Dyer who reminds us to reflect on our lives and speak to our soul when we need guidance.
Look back over your life at the key turning-point moments when you were involved in some kind of a peak experience and being pulled in a new direction. Think about your soul and what it truly means to be motivated by your inner thoughts, rather than using some artificial external barometer as your life’s guide. Promotions are nice; salary increases are of course welcomed; a gold watch is a fine symbol of a long and devoted life; a grade on a transcript, a trophy, and so many more are all external indices. They do not soothe or satisfy your soul. Your soul is not finite—it has no form—no beginning or end. It needs to expand—to grow, to avoid being labeled or compartmentalized.
Every move I made in my life was in the direction of more freedom that gave me the ability to decide for myself where to be each day, what to wear, how to speak, how my writing would proceed. These were nudges from my soul—the inner invisible part of me that is infinite and therefore always seeking expansion. Stay in touch with and honor the calling you feel deep within you. Ignoring that will leave you feeling like a prisoner in your own body and in your own private world. Your soul is miserable when it is confined, or labeled, or told what it can or cannot do.
As you begin to see more and more clearly not only how and why your life took all of its twists and turns but what direction it is going to take from here on in, you will see that your soul will not ever lead you astray. This is because this is truly who you are—not your accomplishments or possessions, but that inner sense of purpose that seeks out immensity and expansion. Listen when it beckons you in a certain direction, or when it sends you a teacher, or sets up a synchronistic series of events. It all feels so mysteriously exciting when it occurs because your outer world is finally meshing with your soul’s innate need to keep on expanding. It must and always will prod you this way because it is infinite, and therefore it must just keep growing.
There has been invisible guidance there for me each and every step of the way, just as there is for you as well. In order to access that guidance, I encourage you to make a commitment to be absolutely faithful to that which exists nowhere but within yourself. This is the great secret for seeing ever more clearly and living your life from a place of passion and purpose.
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