Would you rather give yourself an electric shock than sit alone with your thoughts? It’s not as strange as you may think. A recent study at the University of Virginia found that 67 percent of men and 25 percent of women choose to give themselves a mild electric jolt than to spend time alone with their thoughts.
It’s easy to understand why. In our rare moments of silence the inner critic uses the opportunity to criticize, chastise and remember every failed endeavor and disappointing venture we’ve ever had. It’s a wonder that we get anything done at all!
Mindfulness is a technique that keeps us focused on the present. When practicing mindfulness we notice our thoughts but resist the need to react to them. We don’t give the inner critic the power to throw us off track. We can retrain our thinking and notice our good behaviors and focus on the positive results in life.
Mindfulness allows us to be in the present and not re-hash the lost moments of the past. When we live in the moment we release attachment to our circumstances and experience freedom. Imagine all the time you would save not being activated by what your co-worker said or worried about what your friend thinks of you. When the mind is calm, we allow those creative ideas to bubble up as possibilities.
Practice mindfulness: stop, breathe and release. When you find your emotions stirring and your mind reacting to circumstances, stop what you are doing, breathe deeply, and release the chatter of the inner critic. Accept the moment of silence as a golden opportunity to receive all the good that God has to offer.
Are you on the Friends and Family Plan? Not the one that gives free minutes on your phone; the plan where you try to manage, fix and control the lives of your family, friends, spouse and co-workers. After all, their problems are infinitely more interesting than yours. And they are so easy to fix, if they would only listen!
Helping others is so attractive because it takes attention away from our own challenges. When we focus on solving someone else’s problems, we take time and energy away from our own goals, dreams and desires. It’s easy to become resentful.
It is one of the strategies we use to avoid and procrastinate. It usually happens when we experience doubt about what we are doing. Doubt stirs feelings of fear. Even if we have ample experience and expertise, the fear of failure can keep us stuck. So we avoid by helping others. Or we procrastinate by finding meaningless tasks to accomplish.
Taking one small step toward a goal can begin to eliminate the feelings of doubt and fear. Every accomplishment, no matter how small, gives us encouragement to keep moving forward. Every step we take is helping us to build faith. Charles Fillmore defines faith as “the perceiving power of the mind linked with the power to shape substance.”
Faith is an individual process of growth, patience and willingness. It is up to us to let go of doubt and decide how we would like to express love in the world. Ultimately, love is our highest vision and faith is our guide.
Faith is the freedom in knowing that whatever I need will be provided; whether it is strength to face the day, courage to speak my truth, or help for a loved one. Faith is appreciating every day as a treasure and every experience as a gift.
I noticed one day how I was complaining about my body: A sore shoulder, pain in my back, a bad hair day.
Fortunately, I caught myself. If universal law works for one part of life, it works for all of life. So it is in my best interest to find words of Truth to put my attention on. Charles Fillmore says, “The law is that my body is transformed by the renewing of the mind.” The more I acknowledge my flexibility, strength and energy (even on those days where it feels like I don’t have any), the greater my experience.
I bless my body temple and my vitality, energy, stamina and endurance. I am grateful God is gracious.
It’s so frustrating! Have you ever noticed when you commit to being more loving in your life, your mouth speaks unkind words or your brain thinks angry thoughts? It’s not your imagination. It’s all part of the healing process.
Whenever we declare our highest intention, unwanted emotions show up to be healed. Unless we are aware of this fact, our experience can be discouraging and disappointing. The process is a type of spiritual purification–cleaning out the old feelings so our new intention can shine through.
The first time I declared joy as my purpose, I cried at least once a day for 30 days. I felt so frustrated until I understood the process. I finally let myself grieve and released all the pent-up pain and suffering. The crying eventually stopped and the quiet presence of joy filled my heart.
Whatever divine ideal you claim for yourself: joy, love, peace, or wholeness, is already working its way into your thinking, your speaking and into the cells of your body. Just be patient. It has to do a little spring cleaning first.
My favorite childhood memory is of my Dad reading bedtime stories to us. Whether he read them or made them up, they were uplifting and had a happy ending.
I realized recently that I make up stories all the time, usually in the middle of the night. My stories are not very uplifting – full of “what ifs” and “should haves.” Rather than happy endings, they inflict enough emotional pain and suffering to cause any self-respecting insomniac to run for cover!
My greatest anxiety comes from my expectations about outcomes. Expectation comes from the mind and has me hoping and wishing that what I want will show up. The difference between expectation and expectancy is attachment. Expectancy comes from the soul and – rather than forming an attachment to the outcome – motivates me to look for the good in life.
Making up stories that create expectations leaves no place for God to show up. Most of my intuitive answers come out of the silence of the question. If I can remember during stressful times, I write a question in my journal and resist the need to fill in the answer. God has many more possibilities to solve my problems than I can ever imagine! I have to be willing to sit in the silence and listen.
It comes down to having faith in God and trusting the process. Saying a prayer is far more productive than creating scary stories. God’s abilities are far more inspiring than my worries.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 )