We hear “Focus on the positive!” a lot these days. It sounds easy, but it’s not! So why accept the challenge?
In the introduction to You Can’t Afford The Luxury of a Negative Thought: A Book for People with Any Life-Threatening Illness–Including Life (1988), author Peter McWilliams wrote, “This is not just a book for people with life-threatening illnesses. It’s a book for anyone afflicted with one of the primary diseases of our time: negative thinking.” It is all about healing negative thinking—how it happens and how to stop it. On page 13, McWilliams gives good reasons to accept the challenge!
Positive thoughts (joy, happiness, fulfillment, achievement, worthiness) have positive results (enthusiasm, calm, well-being, ease, energy, love). Negative thoughts (judgment, unworthiness, mistrust, resentment, fear) produce negative results (tension, anxiety, alienation, anger, fatigue).
In 1978, Louise Hay created a reference book based on the power of thought that is still used by alternative health practitioners: Heal Your Body: The Mental Causes for Physical Illnesses and the Metaphysical Way to Overcome Them. In that tiny book, she identifies probable thought patterns for specific physical ailments and offers “New Thought Patterns” to replace the fear-based ones. For example:
Problem: Knee problem
Probable Cause: Stubborn ego and pride. Inability to bend. Fear. Inflexibility. Won’t give in.
New Thought Pattern: Forgiveness. Understanding. Compassion. I bend and flow with ease, and all is well.
In the Preface to the Golden Anniversary Edition of The Power of Positive Thinking, author Norman Vincent Peale noted that a researcher had uncovered thousands of articles showing the use of these concepts in business, sports, medicine, education. But he added, “these principles work when you work them, but they work best when supported by a deep, growing, and abiding faith in God.”
We are, indeed, creating our experience every moment of our lives with each thought we have, each word we speak, each action we do or don’t take. Whether we believe it or not, we’re still creating our experience. Why not do it consciously?
There are imaginative uses of our thoughts, like “visualizing the day” before we even get out of bed, rehearsing a series of Tai Chi movements in our mind, or spending 15 minutes/day imagining already having what it is we desire. That kind of visualizing is most effective when you make it like a movie with lots of joyful emotion.
Mom used to tell me, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” and she walked her talk. Raised by the Baptist church, I learned this verse as a child: “May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord” (The Living Bible, Psalm 19:14).
Hopefully, most of us are aware that once uttered, it’s impossible to take our words back. But are we also aware that we create more of the same with words we utter unconsciously?
Did you ever say, “I must be having a senior moment.” It seems funny, but do you really want more of those?
When someone offers a compliment on your clothes, do you automatically reply, “This old thing?” instead of “Thank you”? Besides denying the compliment giver the pleasure of “gifting you with words,” you’re also inviting “more of the same” with your own words: “old things.” Is that what you want?
As Mike Dooley wrote in Leveraging the Universe: 7 Steps to Engaging Life’s Magic,
So, watching what we say, consciously choosing our words, is definitely part of the process in deliberate creation as opposed to unconsciously ordering up “more of the same, please.” But there are other ways to use our words consciously and deliberately.
Mantras have been used for centuries to evoke positive outcomes. For example, meditating on Om (pronounced “ohm”) extinguishes worry, and the mind becomes serene, according to Thomas Ashley-Farrand, author of Healing Mantras (1999).
Chanting “I AM a being of violet fire, I AM the purity God desires,” enables one to claim the God within, according to Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Claire Prophet, authors of The Science of the Spoken Word. They speak of decrees, instead of mantras, and offer guidelines (rituals) for their use.
Certainly, we know about affirmations, those positive statements written as if the desire were already in place. For example, these, taken from Stuart Wilde’s book, Affirmations, “I am open to this day. My life is in the flow. I resonate in the beauty of my inner calm” (p.85). By the way, the best times to use them are upon waking, before sleep, and during physical exercises, like walking.
There are different perspectives regarding the importance of taking action towards your desire. McWilliams clearly stated, “If we have a thought and a feeling to match it but no action, we’re just spinning our wheels (p.193).” Theodore Roosevelt’s words, “Do what you can with what you have,” are quoted throughout Mike Dooley’s book, suggesting that at the very least, we must take baby steps in the direction of our desire. Hicks’ Abraham seems to say, “Do what feels good, do what you want to do:”
We want you to breathe rather than try, to relax rather than offer effort, to smile rather than struggle, to be rather than do. For your true power is experienced only from inside the Vortex. ~ Excerpt from Getting into the Vortex Guided Meditation CD and User Guide
I have no doubt that my thoughts, words, and actions create my experience. How about you?
Till next time,
I’ll be skating thru the process of my current creation, monitoring my thoughts and words, doing what I can with what I have, and noticing how I feel about this life-changing possibility.
[This copyrighted “Conscious Creation” series was published nine years ago. You may share it if you include the article’s link and author, Pam Young, Ph.D. Why re-post this series? Because I’m reviewing these steps while selling my house and trying to identify where my next adventure will take me.]