Last weeks blog post became so long I had to divide it into two! This post focuses more on my learning, the reminders that I received during the workshop and some of my thoughts that occurred to me.
One of the main reminders I received in the workshop is that my choice of words is very important and do matter. A lot of re-framing reminds me of non-violent communication (NVC) because it has so much to do with the choice of words that we use when talking to ourselves. Our word choices easily spill out to our communications with other people, but if we focus on changing the words we use with others it will change how we think and vice versa.
It seems much more powerful to focus on, or at least be aware of, both at once. I’m curious if thought rehabilitation would be faster that way?
The following questions began to surface in my mind: How conscious have I been the last couple weeks? How aware have am I right now? Am I in the present moment?
And sadly, I have to say, that these last couple weeks being in the present moment and consciously aware of what I am doing have not been on the top of my priority list. I’ve felt like I’m floating around for the majority of the time. In that moment I renewed my commitment to practicing self-awareness and bringing myself back to the present moment.
Nobody can make me feel anything. The phrase “He made me mad.” is false because he didn’t make me mad. I feel mad when he does that because… Most likely the because is due to a link of an experience from the past. It is my choice to acknowledge the feelings that come up and how I deal with them.
As soon as I say “He made me mad” I’ve given my power away to him. In order for me to not give away my power to anyone else I need to take full responsibility for how I feel and thereby how I act. I never have to act angry if I choose not to act angry. Instead I can acknowledge the feeling and the underlying emotion and choose a desired option such as releasing my anger in a healthy way.
Feelings and emotions are two different things. Feelings are fleeting and can change in an instant. Emotions tend to stay with us and are much more difficult to change. I studied with a psychologist once who liked to state that all feelings come from one of four base emotions: pain, love, fear, joy.
When thinking about negative and positive thoughts, I often see that there are two parts of me. Each part is a plant. One plant is the positive and the other plant is negative. I have a choice of which one I will water and give food to. Thinking negative thoughts will help the negative plant and part of me to grow. But if I think positive thoughts, and change my negative thoughts to positive ones my positive side and plant grows strong. In the meantime the negative side withers and shrinks. The part of me that I pay most attention to will eventually take on a life of its own, making it easier to think in a particular way until its natural.
After contemplating the workshop material for a few days, I’ve come to conclude that I function under the core belief that I am flawed. Looking at myself completely honestly I have many of the thought patterns and behaviors listed.
I’ve put on my war gear and superhero cape and am proud to report that I’m slowly but surely winning the battle of minds.
The picture to the side with the saying “It is easier to build up a child than to repair a man” has been getting passed around on my Facebook. I have to agree: Repairing myself is a lot of work. It takes a lot of time, energy, awareness and constant alertness. It can be serious. A lot is at stake, as in most wars.
I like to make it playful and dramatic because it makes things so much more fun.
In my mind’s eye I put on my fighting gear, which changes according to the activity and my mood . Then I see my weapons – skills, life experience, tools – being brandished and I get ready for battle. I sit down in lotus pose even when I’m in a black latex suit with cats ears on my head like Cat Woman. Perhaps I’ll be Storm another day. Or maybe a ninja. Sometimes I’m just me.
I’m waiting to catch the thought, waiting for the moment to come where I can best act…
And when that moment comes I pounce on it! I use all the skills, tools and life experience I’ve accumulated to counteract the thought.
Often I miss the thought, that sweet moment when I know I’ve changed this one. The times that I catch them are quickly increasing in frequency, and my superhero self is getting much more skilled. Slowly I am learning the ways that thought patterns like to disguise themselves.
For me, changing my thoughts changes my life. Changing a thought can easily and effortlessly change my entire world; it can create a new world. It can bring things into my life, help me expand what I see and experience, and create more knowing and wisdom. It allows me to know my soul a bit more and allow my Highest Service to come through.
I believe that complete and true freedom comes from ones thoughts. It comes when we no longer have anyone else’s programming (intended or not) running through us even at the subconscious level. It comes when we are able to have all areas in our lives run congruent, in time with each other, in full alignment with all of ourselves.
All of us can attain this freedom, and that we all can change the thoughts that we have if we choose to do so. Yes, it is hard work that ceaselessly needs to be done, but the layers and thoughts do change. That’s how you know you’ve graduated from one grade to the next.
How many grades are there?
I don’t know.
That is why I believe this workshop is so important. What do you think? Thoughts? Do you have moments that you see yourself as a superhero? When? What is complete and true freedom to you?