“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6
Thoughts, too many to count, pass through our minds daily and it is easy to be consumed and controlled by them. Whilst many thoughts are pleasant, it’s the fearful, distressing ones which cause not just mental distress but have an adverse effect on our physical bodies.
Whether we are aware of it or not, thoughts are energy forms: quantum mechanics is revealing this to us through what is called "entanglement". Thus our thoughts are not as private as we would like to believe they are, and travel outwards, unseen, in every direction at a speed some say is faster than that of light.
We are not only transmitters of thought, but receivers too, and so everyone is exposed to, and affected by, a countless number of thoughts. Some of these thoughts of course are directed at us purposely, as we direct our thoughts purposely at others.
We are influenced by these direct thoughts, just as our thoughts have an effect on recipients. The "indirect" thoughts also have an effect: they are in the ether just waiting to be picked up, just like radio and TV transmissions.
Night time can be a particularly bad experience when we lie awake worrying about the daytime experience which went badly or about the next day’s events which we imagine we won’t be able to handle. We toss and turn allowing the thoughts to go over and over in our turbulent minds and this spiral makes our problems seem larger and more insurmountable than they actually are. We regret things we have said and feel hurt about things said to us. Loss of peaceful sleep also accentuates the problem.
Our thoughts have such a profound effect on our wellbeing. Fearful, unpleasant thoughts and worries have the same negative effect on our bodies as life threatening experiences. When the body is under stress for lengthy periods our health deteriorates and it is hard to stop the process.
Unpleasant situations concerning work, relationships or money confront us regularly. Sometimes too, it is situations from the past that fester in our mind, and we feel alone and helpless. This attitude prevents us from coping well.
Changing our thoughts from negative ones to positive ones is one of the most important steps we can take. Our thoughts create our reality. When we focus on the negative, things get worse as like attracts like, and we enter a downward spiral.
We can help protect ourselves from others' negative thoughts by filling our mind with beneficial healing thoughts. One way of achieving this is to be able to bring positive statements to mind when we get a sense of negativity creeping in. Useful examples are Bible verses, the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary, the Prayer of St Francis, lines from Hymns. You may also wish to consider prayers from other religions and philosophies such as the Reiki Principles or Celtic Wisdom.
Proverbs 23:7 warns us that “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:”. What we think is what influences us to become; thus it is important to keep our thoughts pure in order to reach the standards God requires of us.
Our thinking influences our words, emotions and deeds: it defines our character and how we behave. We therefore need to consider what is being created when we think. Paul, in his epistle to the Galatians, tells us that we reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-8). This is Cause and Effect and we therefore need to be on guard and take responsibility for our thoughts at all times.
Our mind can cause us no end of grief and disappointment. Paul talked about the carnal mind as “enmity against God” (Romans 8:7) and in Philippians 2:5, referring to the spiritual mind, says “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”. Raising our consciousness to God’s mind allows the “carnal” mind to be still and lets us understand what God wants from us.
Noticing our thoughts and changing them isn’t something most of us are used to doing. However, if we commit diligently to this then positive results will ensue.
The following are some pointers to changing thoughts, but we encourage you, the reader, to find ways that are helpful to you.
Thoughts are what build our reality. If we think negative thoughts and fill ourselves with fear, anger, dissatisfaction, sadness and the like, then these will create a negative existence as they are reflected back to us. However, if we are at peace with our own being, filled with love and are satisfied with the way we are, we will see the same qualities around us and in others.
Perhaps, when we witness an unpleasant side of someone, we can think of their good points. We can do this for ourselves as well when we find ourselves focussing on what we dislike about ourselves. By taking our attention to things of beauty and love we change our experiences, as Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things".
Being grateful for our blessings and thanking God for the abundance in our lives brings feelings of peace and trust; it will also help us to ensure that we constantly monitor our thoughts and make certain that they are in keeping with what God wants from us. Taking time to read the Bible, spiritual writings, poetry, listening to music or even taking a walk in nature can have uplifting effects in our minds.
It is good to take time to examine our thoughts and how we spend our time and energy. We can use this time wisely and seek to gain control of our thinking. Stilling our thoughts will lead to communication with God as the psalmist affirms, “Be still, and know that I am God:” (Psalm 46:10). This is the gateway to finding our true Self, our pathway and the special gifts that we have always had. It is good to express gratitude for what we have been given, and ask for help to use our gifts in the right way.
Being a creator is taking responsibility for our thoughts and actions. We will never realise the power to create until we use it and see the results. Whenever we are faced with a problem and we send thoughts of love, healing, and forgiveness we will be amazed at how these thoughts can turn around situations which we imagined would never change.
It is best if we are not harsh on ourselves, instead assisting our progress with daily entries in our notebook or journal, as we note down each day what occurred, how we reacted, and how we felt. The next step to take is to ask what lesson was being presented and what insights can be gained. We can then go to sleep in peace knowing that we are willing to learn, and that our ego is taking a back seat as we allow our spiritual qualities to shine forth.
The subconscious mind is like fertile ground and will provide sustenance for whatever is planted in it. Thus the thoughts you create will manifest and grow, affecting not only your life, but the lives of others as well. Your conscious mind has to act as guardian and custodian: you are responsible for knowing how the thought process works and thus control what enters the subconscious.
A daily period of stillness is recommended as a still mind is a blank screen onto which answers can be projected. We find it helpful to keep pen and paper, or a notebook, close to hand so that ideas can be recorded when your period of stillness comes to an end.
The above is taken from our website (https://seekersoftruth.wixsite.com/home)
and is part of our online course, A Spiritual Approach to Life.
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