I have a dear friend who falls into a pool of despair when she imagines that everyone else is doing great and she's a failure --- comparing herself and her success to others and falling way short.
I reminded her that everyone has negative qualities and bad days, nobody's perfect. But why dwell on it? I have things about myself that I don't like but she doesn't hear me talk about those things, she may not even know what they are because I'm way too busy being wonderful and feeling good, so that's what I have to share with her.
How did I get so wonderful? Practice! I started by practicing listening, simply hearing my thoughts as they came. Then I quickly had to add the practice of allowing (non-judging) because when I began really listening I found so many critical, complaining, negative thoughts running through my head, I was a tad stunned. Then I practiced talking back to the thoughts, but in a friendly way --- I would say things like, "I heard that, you can't sneak that thought by me!" And then I'd laugh. I made my thoughts into friends with good-hearted laughter.
These first practices took some time and I wasn't happy with many things I heard going on in my thoughts. It's no wonder I spent years feeling depressed and anxious!
When I added the practice of using mantras to change my thoughts, things speeded up and I quickly realized what a great tool that was. I got results and felt much better after the very first effort and I loved it because it was so fast and easy to use; plus I could do it anywhere in 30 seconds or less.
So these practices were the beginnings of my new thought patterns:
- Listening to my thoughts
- Allowing all thoughts without resistance or judgment
- Talking to certain thoughts and treating them like friends
- Using mantras to alter thought streams
The benefits of these practices were many:
- My feelings about myself softened and I began liking myself and enjoying my own humor.
- I began discovering my personal belief systems and exploring how those beliefs have played a big role in creating my life up to that point.
- I began accepting and enjoying my changing emotional states, tapping into the incredible power generated by my emotions.
- I opened up to new ideas and new people, I learned new healing techniques, I read books about quantum theory and the functions of the brain and the workings of the cells --- who knew I was interested in any of that, much less that I had an aptitude and capacity to take in and use that information?
- Self-empowerment! I started trusting that I could handle any situation and be successful with any endeavor. My confidence levels grew daily.
And this is just the beginning, more benefits reveal themselves all the time. And it began with a willingness to really listen to my thoughts. Powerful stuff! What's going on in your head? Are you listening?