Last week, I talked about the whole process of working to quiet down our negative voice and start creating a positive voice. I called it “The Mental Paradise Garden.” It’s a place in our minds where we’ve developed positivenow a statements, beliefs, and full thoughts about everything. But doing it in such a way that we don’t go at war with the negative side.
What I suggested is, as our negative voices come up, we allow them to be there. We address them with respect. Because it’s coming from a part of ourselves, whether it’s from fear or deprivation. And we don’t want to create more conflict than we need to inside of ourselves or what is already there. That moment where you see the negative thoughts, you can answer by saying, “Okay, I see that thought. I hear that thought. I know that a part of me does believe that. But the truth is…” Then you start another more positive thought.
It could be a simple thought, like, “I’m not strong enough to handle what’s happening in my life.” As you see that thought, you could say, “Yeah, I do know there’s a part of me that believes I’m not strong enough to handle what’s happening in my life. But the truth is, even though part of me believes that, I actually do have the strength. My strength is growing every day. It’s welling up inside of me. I can see all these wonderful moments in my life where I used my strength. I used it to buoy me through difficult situations, to help me navigate, and to create the stamina and security in my life that I have. Of course, I have the strength to deal with whatever I’m going through right now.” That gives you an example of how to work with your negative thoughts.
I’m going to talk about a second way to begin to eliminate our negative voice and how to begin to work with creating a more practical thinking mind. The second way is to create an “Observing voice.” I generally talk about creating this observing voice out loud. That practice would be creating a time of a minute or two each day where you observe something specific in the world around you, out loud.
The keys are, that you observe whatever it is you’re seeing and that you only say what you see. You don’t say what you think or assume to be there, only what you see. You try to say what you see as accurately as possible, and you don’t add any adjectives or descriptions. So you wouldn’t say something like, “I see a lamp, and that lamp is beautiful.” You would only say, “I see a lamp.” Then you would describe the lamp. You could describe the size, the color, the shape, and the material. You can describe how big it is, everything about it, but not your opinion about it.
Then the second important part is that as you’re describing it, make sure that as you’re speaking out loud, you speak not with anger, but with authority. Speak in statements versus questions. In other words, you wouldn’t say, “I see a lamp?” You would say, “I see a lamp.” So you’re enunciating each word, you’re speaking very clearly, and very assuredly. Within that, you’re also making sure that the last word you lower and octave, instead of raise as you might a question. “I see a lamp. The lamp is gold.” Create that practice for only about a minute or two, and create the practice every day. Those are the keys.
What that practice does after you do it for a while, it could be a week, it could be a month, and the longer you practice the more wonderful results you get. But one of the initial results is that your mind will start automatically throwing away opinions, what it doesn’t know to be true.
I’ll give you an example. A lot of people do the practice while they’re driving, because it’s one of the only places we can sit alone. While driving, you can speak the signs you see, the cars that are on the road, etc. For example, if you see a police officer sitting on the side of the road, you can say, “I see a police car sitting on the side of the road, to my right.” Your mind might say, it’s probably a speed trap, or they’re probably pulling someone over. But because you’re actually only stating what you see, then you’re not making an assumption about anything else. So what begins to happen is you gear your mind back to only seeing what you see: “There is a police car. The colors are black and white.”
Then what begins to happen in your mind is that you might say, “I went to work today. I went in and one of my coworkers didn’t say hello to me, after I said hello to them. They walked by without saying hello to me.” Now, my mind normally at that point might say, “Oh, they’re angry at me. Oh, they don’t like me anymore. Oh, someone said something to them. Oh, my God. You know what, I don’t like them.” And, and, and, and, and, and we’ll go on and on and on, creating this war that started with, they didn’t say hi to me today. Then we’re going to dredge up every other thing that person might have done. How they ate a bigger piece of cake than I did or they got the promotion that I wanted, or whatever.
After you do this practice, you will see your mind say, “Oh, wow, I said hi to that person or good morning to that person and they didn’t respond.” As your mind begins to try to bring up other statements, you’ll see your mind filter it. It will move those opinion statements out, and keep returning to, “they didn’t say hi to me back”. The same way, as you’re doing the practice, keep pulling your mind and your statements back to what you can see. Don’t let your mind go down a road of negativity.
This starts to allow your mind to discern, “what is the truth I know? I don’t know whether that person likes me. I don’t know if they’re mad at me. What I know is they didn’t respond. I don’t have to make up anything about why.”
When all those other thoughts go away, I can actually sit here with myself and I can ask myself, “What is the next step that I need to take to resolve my concern?” Do I need to move past it, go to work, start my day, and know that if anything is wrong, that person will come and say something to me? Or do I need to go to them immediately and ask them if everything is okay. When you don’t have all the superfluous, negative thoughts turning around in your mind, you have the energy to think and make clear decisions.
This is a very simple practice, it is not difficult, even though it does take time to learn how to do it correctly. And doing it correctly is key. You can’t go say, “Oh, I see a chair and the chair is kind of funky. It’s got some square back on it.” You have to be very careful and do the practice exactly, as I’m stating. As you begin to have more spaciousness in your mind and have fewer negative thoughts, you will start to see your mind naturally move in a practical way. A very grounded and very real way.
Now you know that as our minds begin to work more directly and more efficiently, we have more room. This is created by the places where we generally filled our minds and our time with negativity. We want to make a change to that. Because to open our hearts and truly share our love with people, we have to have a spaciousness inside of us. A positive mind is the foundation that creates the pathway to share this love to the rest of the world. The heart and strong mind work in concert.
At this point, once we have this spaciousness, you’ll start to notice that your imagination and your creativity start to get activated. Because imagination and creativity is activated when there’s space and lightness inside of us. With the heavy thoughts, we’re usually drawn down into the heaviness and oppressiveness of heavy thinking.
With the lightness and airiness we now have in our minds, our imagination can start to roam. What wonderful ideas can we come up with? What amazing creativity is inside of us that we haven’t tapped into? As your mind starts to work creatively and your imagination starts to explore in wonderful ways, you will notice that this creates a pathway. A pathway from your conscious mind to your personal gifts.
As we now let our imagination guide us to our gifts, our gifts can now be tapped into. This can direct us in the world in a way that we feel the most aligned with our hearts. It is an amazing experience to suddenly feel ourselves in total alignment with our hearts
Let’s think about this for a moment. Negative thoughts take up a whole lot of space and time in our lives. They turn into negative words. And often they turn into negative actions. They take away our happiness and our joy. They’re a part of what makes us forget who we are. It’s so important for us to pay attention to this. It’s important for us to not feel helpless, to not feel that it’s okay, to not feel that we can’t do anything about it. It’s important to not feel that they’re not going to go away because, “My goodness, I can’t control my mind.” These things aren’t true.
We were most likely never guided in this way. But it is an absolute possibility. All you have to do is spend a little bit of time each day. Also, desire it. Desire to limit and eliminate your negative thinking, desire something bigger and more positive to happen to you, and desire for your gifts to be bursting forth from you and guiding you in your life. As you move either with your career or on a day-to-day basis. Or how you share who you are. This is one of the things that I’ll continue to talk about.
I want to now move into, what can we do to try to, on a moment-to-moment basis, shift our direction, as we’re moving and interacting in the world with each other. If you’re at home with your friends or your family, you have a lot more leeway to communicate and if you’re at work or out in the world, it will be a little different.
When we’re stressed or when we’re moving around in the world quickly getting things done (following our schedule, working), it is so easy for us to speak in a short manner, with tension in our voice, or offensively. How we communicate is so important because it does change the way we feel inside. Not only does it change the way we feel inside, but it also affects the people around us. It triggers other people to speak to us in a certain way, with a certain tone of voice.
Have you ever had that experience where someone spoke to you really defensively and said, “Okay, what?!” or something like that, and you wondered why? Then you tracked back in your mind and asked yourself, “Well, how was I speaking to them prior to their defensiveness? What was I saying? What was the tone of voice I was using? What was happening?”
The practice that I want us to do on a moment-to-moment basis is to find a way to speak with a kind voice. Even if somebody is speaking to us in a way that makes us uncomfortable, reactive, or defensive, let’s work this week on speaking with a kind voice. That means that if you find yourself being super reactive, like “What do you want?!” or whatever your reaction is, stop yourself. Try to keep a part of you watching, seeing, and listening to your voice. When you can see there’s tension, stop yourself. If you can create an agreement of communication with your family and friends, walk yourself through what’s happening to you out loud. But again, do it from the observer position.
So what you can do is say, “Wow, I myself speaking in a defensive tone. And looking back, I can see that I was triggered by the way you were speaking.” Or you can say, “Looking back, I can see that I was frustrated from having a very difficult day. I was bringing my frustration into my communication with you.” Basically, try to notice every single thing inside. Speak it out from the observer position. I’m noticing this about myself, and then through your communication work your way back to your, back to love
On these webcasts, I am offering you ways to find inroads and hacks, to truly make sure that you can open your hearts, to learn how. How can we bring more love, more light, and more joy into our lives, into ourselves, and into this world that so needs it? How can we shift our thinking? How can we see things differently? How can we operate in this world as people who are emissaries of love? There are so many ways that we’re talking about here in this webcast. To get started and to be inspired. To continue working on this project of bringing love, love-awareness, love-consciousness, actions of love, words of love, loving thoughts, loving looks, and loving deeds. How can we bring this into the world, and change the direction of the world as we know it, into one that is loving, supportive, secure, and joyful?
This week, let’s practice observing the world around us out loud, and see how that might help in reducing our negative thoughts. Then let’s put a whole lot of effort into speaking kindly to each other. Even when we want to share difficult things, even when we want to share things that may hurt somebody’s feelings. Or even if we’re angry at somebody. Let’s see if we can bring kindness to our approach. Let’s see if we can remember that we want to be loving people and that we are the ones. We are the ones that are initiating this love and kindness in the world, we are; we can’t rely on anyone else to do this work for us.
As we take on that responsibility, then the outcome of love and peace, and goodness becomes a sure thing. We have it in us. All it takes is desire, willingness, and a little bit of effort.