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I often get clients who ask me, “How can I stop my negative thoughts?” or “How can I change my unhealthy patterns with relationships, eating, etc?” This is something that so many of us are challenged with on a daily basis. We think our thoughts are who we are, when actually thoughts are just thoughts. And unhealthy patterns are really akin to bad habits; both have one key element in common – unconscious behavior. So when we become more aware of our thoughts and unhealthy patterns, they begin to transform. It is through our denial and unwillingness to accept what’s going on, that perpetuates the problem. “What we resist will persist,” is a wonderful slogan I once learned while doing an ‘Art of Living’ yoga course.
So how do we become more conscious? Well, I know you’re probably hoping that you can take a pill like the guy in the movie: ‘Limitless’ who became super-conscious and a genius instantaneously. Wouldn’t that be nice? Unfortunately no pill like this exists that I know of, so that means we’ve got to do the self-work which takes time and commitment. As we look deeper into our internal world, the thoughts and feelings that arise and our reactions to them, we become the observer of our lives and ourselves. We begin to recognize that these thoughts are not real – just imaginings of what we perceive through our personal filter that we utilize to view the world, ourselves and others. One tool that can be helpful in detaching from your negative thoughts is to ask: “Who does this thought belong to?” Through asking ourselves this question, we will begin to experience emptiness, as the thoughts slowly disintegrate into nothingness. Continue asking: “Who does this thought belong to?” whenever a negative thought arises – become the observer of your life, and you will naturally discover that you are so much more than your thoughts.
Another wonderful technique that I recommend is called the ‘Wise Mind Process’ by Marilyn Gordon. I often use this with my clients and myself whenever I experience a difficult issue in my life that I can’t seem to let go of. The process is a guided meditation which goes like this:
- Pay attention to what’s going on inside of you. Describe it to yourself.
- Take a deep breath in, and breathe deeply into whatever you’re experiencing. As you breathe out, disperse it. Break it up into tiny molecules and release it. Do this as many times as you like until you feel much lighter.
- Ask your ‘Wise Mind’ what it would like to tell you about this.
- Imagine yourself as you’d like to be. Then, find a word or phrase that symbolizes the healing of the experience or issue. Put your thumb together with your index finger, and say your word or phrase. Open yourself up to this wholeness.
Check to see how you feel and see if there’s anything else you need to pay attention to. You can do the process again and also ask yourself if there is anything else you need to do to heal this issue. Do this process as often as you like at any time. This technique is very powerful and can be used to heal and transform many areas of your life, including limiting beliefs, unhealthy patterns, negative thoughts, traumas and fears.
For those who know Reiki level 2 and up, you can also use the Seiheki Chiryoho treatment, which is also a very effective technique for clearing and healing negative thoughts and unhealthy patterns or addictions. For this method close your eyes and ‘hara-center’ yourself: focus your awareness on your seika tanden – an area deep inside your body mid way between your navel and the top of your pubic bone. For a few moments, simply ‘be’ – silently and restfully watching the breath and loosely focusing on the natural rhythms of your breathing. When you’re ready, write down your positive intention, for example, “My thoughts are clear and positive. I am now totally at peace and happy in my life.” Then draw the Cho Ku Rei (CKR) symbol on either your left or right palm and place this hand over your occipital ridge letting the Reiki flow. When you intuit it is time to move to the next stage, draw the Sei Hei Ki on your palm then the CKR, and place this hand over your occipital ridge again and your other hand on your forehead. Let the Reiki flow, and at the same time repeat your affirmation. Continue for a few minutes until you intuit it is time to stop.
Everyone is different, so it’s difficult to determine how many times it’s necessary for you to do either of the suggested treatments above. Let your intuition guide you. It will become very clear to you when you’ve shifted your negative thoughts or unhealthy patterns, because one day you’ll realize that the thoughts have just stopped or the unhealthy pattern is no longer present in your life.
As we transform our inner world, our outer world will reflect this. Through meditation, Tai Chi, Chi Gong and many other tools, we can return to the present and become more aware. This is the foundation for creating greater peace in the world. We must first start with ourselves.
Copyright 2012 © Michele Cempaka
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