I choose living my higher purpose.
Some of you think that I'm writing and "preaching" from "on high." I'm NOT. I'm dealing with many of the same challenges as the rest of us.
One such challenge is the fact that I've grown disenchanted with my current career and lifestyle. It was what I wanted when I started on this path. It was what I wanted for many years. Until one day it . . . wasn't. At which point, I realized that I need to make a change.
Everything that I am is what has gotten me to this point. Everything that I am is what is maintaining me at this point. I need to make a change. From the inside out. Mary J. Lore, the author of Managing Thought: How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World? made the following points:
"There is no such thing as the future. The future is an illusion. What we have is a now, followed by a now, followed by a series of nows. We do not suddenly become bankrupt. We have a series of bankrupt now moments. We do not suddenly become a great leader, a great parent, or healthy. We do not suddenly accomplish a goal or fulfill a resolution. We have a series of great leader, great parent, or healthy now moments. When we have experienced enough of these moments, goals are accomplished, bad habits are broken, and resolutions are fulfilled." Managing Thought, Amazon Kindle Location, 275-88.
"Without self-awareness, self-mastery, and being on purpose, we live each day as we did yesterday. And then a year goes by, two years, five years, and then ten, and we wonder what happened. We have the same frustrations and experiences over and over with different jobs, partners, customers, coworkers, employees, children and spouses. Essentially, we continue to make the same mistakes." Amazon Kindle Location, 289-302.
"I am not talking about developing rah-rah motivational goals, mission statements, and resolutions. I am talking about developing self-awareness, being aware of our thoughts and feelings and making subtle, yet powerful, changes that result in ideas, desires, intentions, and ultimately actions that bring us peace and inspire us." Amazon Kindle Location, 320-32.
"By managing thought, we consciously choose our futures. When we manage our thoughts, we take a proactive approach instead of being led around by our habitual attitudes and self-limiting beliefs. We are able to use our thoughts to proactively affect those very stressful episodes that we formerly reacted to defensively. In doing so, whole new vistas of options emerge and we experience very different results. Instead of wasting our time, money and energy on reactivity, we focus on what matters to us---the reality we want." Amazon Kindle Location, 358-71.
Ms. Lore's book has a chart about the power of thoughts. [Amazon Kindle Location, 581-89]. Some thoughts are inherently weak and disempowering. These thoughts are inherently disempowering because they contain self-condemnation and force:
I have to be more . . .
I need to be more . . .
I should be more . . .
I need to . . .
I should . . .
Why can't I . . . ?
What should I . . . ?
When will I . . . ?
Other thoughts are weak because they are thoughts of the (non-existent) future and are not in this moment.
I have to . . .
I need to . . .
I should . . .
I will . . .
I am going to . . .
I choose to . . .
How will I . . . ?
What will I . . . ?
Powerful thoughts help us feel joy, thankfulness and possibility in the present moment.
I am . . .
I choose . . .
What can I . . . ?
How can I . . . ?
The first step to creating a new future for ourselves is to better manage our thoughts. The first step to managing our thoughts is to take an inventory of our thoughts. Ms. Lore suggests a beginning exercise where you take a deep breath and then plug a positive attribute (for example, "focus") into the above sentences, and say the sentences out loud. ("I need to be more focused." "I choose focus." "I will focus, etc.")
Do you feel the difference in your bodily sensations with these different thoughts? I did. I've also been taking inventory of my habitual thought patterns. I've noticed that a LOT of my thoughts are framed in the "I need to . . ./I have to . . ." pattern. If you look, you'll see this thought pattern expressed in several statements near the beginning of this essay. I deliberately chose not to edit those statements. Like I said, I'm not talking about these various issues from "on high," I'm dealing with them too. [LOL!]
These "I need to . . ./I have to . . ." thought patterns lead to feeling heavy and trapped. They are part of The Overly-Responsible Person Trickbag that I'm releasing my grip on. I choose empowering thoughts.
Are you willing to pause and examine your daily thoughts?
Are you willing to take an inventory of your habitual thought patterns?
Are you willing to manage your thoughts?
Are you willing to let go of disempowering thought patterns and embrace powerful ones?