Last Friday I was chatting with a friend who is going to be moving soon. As you can imagine, she has a lot on her plate and the move is just one more big thing on the to-do pile. I happened to mention that she might want to take some time choosing her thoughts over the next few weeks while this craziness ensues.
She asked me what I was talking about and while I explained it to her, I thought it might be helpful for others as well.
One of the biggest themes I find in the spiritual teachings of Mrs. Meyers, Buddhism, and The Course in Miracles, is the idea that we have the power to choose our thoughts.
As Joyce likes to say, we don’t have to just think whatever stinkin’ thinkin’ falls into our heads.
We have the power to choose excellent thoughts, positive thoughts. We have the power to turn our attention wherever we like.
And this year I have been working diligently to make this a part of my own thought life.
But to be honest, I know that I have to make a very consistent effort to really get the benefits of this power. Pretty much everyday, multiple times a day, in fact.
More than anything, I have found that if I take time in the morning to “select my thoughts,” my day can go from average to awesome, or from stressful to not-so-bad.
It’s kind of like picking out my spiritual “outfit” for the day. To do this, I sit on the floor with a candle in front of me. I clear my heart of anything that I might have done wrong the day before, and give thanks for the awesome people and things in my life. Then, I move on to pick out the thoughts I’d like to think during my day. Some of my chosen thoughts recently are:
- I have favor in business.
- I have everything that I need.
- I am enough.
- I am blessed and I want to be a blessing to others.
- I will have the grace for anything that comes my way.
- I am positive, happy, and thankful.
To me, it’s like a mix of praying, meditating, and what I’d write in a journal.
After I run out of things to say and I feel ready to ease into the morning, I get up and start making the bed and getting ready.
Though I hope to one day make this an everyday ritual, right now I’m batting about 40%. I don’t find myself doing it on weekends or every weekday. But when I do take the time to do it, I have a much better attitude and approach to opportunities and challenges. I am quite simply more joyful.
And surprisingly, I do find myself re-thinking the thoughts from the morning throughout my afternoon. Over time, it really does stick as long as I’m consistently doing my morning practice.
As usual, it goes without saying that this what I have found to be personally helpful, but perhaps it is worth considering for others as well. It doesn’t need to be sitting in front of a candle, it could be writing in a journal, thinking on the way to work, or a million other things. What I think the core of this practice does is help us consciously think about what we want to spend our days dwelling upon.
We can think what comes to mind without any censorship or choose otherwise.
It’s up to us.