With the power of our minds we can change the world.
What a bold statement! But it is far from a new idea. Eastern philosophies and the bible teach the necessity of keeping our thoughts pure and positive, and of the effect our thoughts turned into actions have on others and the world around us. For those of you with a more scientific approach to life, consider the ‘ripple effect.” When thoughts become actions, there is effect. Scientific study has proven that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Just as the water in the pond flows out in many ripples when you throw a pebble into it, so do our actions have equal effects and consequences.
Choosing our thoughts – being selective about the thoughts we decide to place stock in and follow through on – are deciding factors in our destiny. Really, our thoughts are our destiny, whether for good or evil. Once we understand this on a conscious level and believe it, changing our lives and the world around us becomes a very distinct possibility.
Picture a stream running through your brain. Now place a tree beside the stream. Imagine that the leaves which fall upon the surface of the water are your thoughts. You can choose to either pick up a leaf or let it continue to float on, downstream, away from you. The thoughts you choose to keep – the leaves you pick up – determine your day, your life, your actions, and your affect on others. Letting the negative thoughts pass by without giving them consideration will change everything.
This sounds simple, and it can be. But like any other muscle, your brain must be exercised. It takes time to learn to retrain your brain to pick and choose the thoughts you choose to think, rather than allowing it to follow, willy-nilly, any old thought that passes through it.
From infancy we are taught what to think. Like a blank slate, the people who raise us write upon our brains the thoughts, beliefs, and ideas that they hold to be true. When these thoughts and beliefs are enforced, they become our beliefs. Many of us were given bad, wrong or untrue information about the world and about as ourselves as children, and thus have developed beliefs that do not coincide with the picture we have of ourselves, the plans we have for our lives, or our view of the world around us.
If we have been taught wrongly, or disagree with the beliefs instilled in us as children, the work involved in changing these beliefs starts with retraining our brains. We must learn to rewrite the old ‘scripts’ that play constantly in our heads. We replace the untrue, wrong or negative thoughts with realistic, true, positive ones, with beliefs that belong strictly to us and are what we actually desire, not something from the past our mother, father, uncle, taught us that is derogatory in nature or untrue.
All of this may seem overwhelming at first. But as you practice, like the muscle it is, your mind will become stronger, and your thoughts will more and more often be of things you would prefer to think, the thoughts you have placed there or chosen. Before you know it your mind will automatically begin to veer toward the thoughts and actions desired and cultivated by your true self.
Just try it. First, relax your mind, let it become still. Then try picturing the stream as suggested, with your thoughts as the leaves falling from a tree above the stream. Consciously choose the thoughts you desire from the undesirable ones that pass by. Over the next few days, when you have a negative thought, pay attention to it. Rather than believing it or following through on the thought, first ask your self if it is true. If the thought is not true, replace it with a thought that is true.
Practice makes perfect, as they say. Keep using this exercise and you will soon be amazed at the difference it makes in your attitude and in your life. You will see your thoughts become actions and will begin to notice how those actions affect those around you.
We often wonder what we can do to make the world a better place. It is comforting and empowering to know that the place to start is with our own thinking. Each of us truly can make a difference!