"If you have made up your mind to be cheerful,
nothing can make you unhappy."
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
"We must believe in the power and strength
of our words. Our words can change the world."
~ Yousafzai Malala
"If you are angry when you are doing something,
even if you speak of peace,
you are actually engaged in war."
~ The Venerable Pomnyun Sunim
Choose your words every morning,
as you would choose the clothes you wear.
"God has given me the power
to change my ways."
~ Mechtild of Magdeburg
In the last several weeks, I have made a practice of meticulously observing my language. What am I saying - both consciously and unconsciously? I have also worked to replace not so subtle negative or limiting thoughts with an affirmation expressing the exact opposite of these thoughts and words.
It is said, and I have read this in so many places recently - and was also just reminded of it by a friend a week ago - that the universe matches the vibration of our thoughts. There is a heaviness in energy that certain thoughts convey, often discernible if we take time to simply observe what we - or others think or say...
Notice what happens and what emotions are conjured up when you constantly say:
"I am sad... I am frightened... I am overwhelmed by grief... I don't have enough money... I look terrible in selfies..."
What do you feel when you replace those phrases with these?
"I am content... I have everything that I need... The universe returns to me a thousand fold all that I have given, in spiritual and material abundance... I am surrounded by people who love and care about me... I am beautiful inside and out..."
It sounds so simple. But it is actually very hard to change and replace our language. It can be so subtle and insidious we are not even aware of the impact of our words - and it can permeate everything around us, bringing others and ourselves down in such a way that it can almost feel like we are being assaulted emotionally!
We succumb to an endless recitation of - "I can't, I can't, I can't," droning on and on like an incantation.
But what we are really saying is - "I won't!" Or, "I don't really want to do the work it implies!"
Change is never easy. It is messy. It is difficult. But what is the alternative? To remain mired in all that does not serve us? To drown in a ceaseless ocean of complaints?
And so, I am choosing to begin each day with different words. Sometimes I have to stop myself mid-stream and re-compose my thoughts. I am working with different intentions, and visualizations...
All things are possible...
I have decided to avoid as much negativity as I can - becoming more and more selective of how I spend my time and with whom, especially if the relationships are one sided or draining, or devoid of true and meaningful dialogue. I am choosing to read only that which enriches my life - consciously limiting my exposure to the news which focuses on fear. And, I am choosing to watch very little TV.
I have decided my life changes NOW! Not tomorrow or next week. It is becoming richer and I will have more time for silent practice. I choose to inhabit a world that is more harmonious and melodic, rather than live in the meaningless cacophony that society offers.
I have the power to change my ways and choose my thoughts and I can start again - and again if need be. I choose love. I choose peace. And what is no longer in vibration with my spirit drops away and dissolves.
I set boundaries and commit to them...
I make time for things that matter - my meditation, my work, and I recommit to taking a Sabbath Day - turning off all my devices. I refuse to live in a world dominated by soundbites and instant messaging that discourages down time or quiet - or even true communication.
I visualize a different world and reality and connect deeply and wholeheartedly with the emotions my newly created world elicits in the depths within my heart and soul...
I get into my car and drive into the autumnal beauty, singing out loud - allowing myself to experience life fully and intensely, living truly, in the moment...
I am dying and rising all at once. Yes, we must die in order to give birth - such as the falling leaves of this season gently remind us - as they lead us into the barrenness of winter - before the spring arrives once again, bursting with new life. To everything there is a season...
I can choose. And so can you...
Listen to your thoughts and everything you say. They have the power to destroy - but they also have the power to heal, to nourish, and to co-create!