With feeling

In a previous posting, I wrote about how we become what we think about all day long. Which is why it’s important to focus our thoughts on the positive. It occurred to me after I wrote the article that there’s another piece to it: feelings. How we feel gives our thoughts the full impact to blossom or disorganize our lives.

So really, the statement should read: We become what we think and feel all day long.

Many self-development books recommend mantras or affirmations – phrases we repeat over and over to ourselves – to create experiences we want in our lives and to edge us into a positive attitude. The idea is that if we do this enough, sometimes hundreds of times a day, that it will sink into our unconscious and become a part of our belief system. This is where they start to show up in our outer lives, because we live into what we believe about ourselves. But a lot of times these affirmations feel empty or they just don’t work. It could be because there isn’t a feeling attached to it.

When we truly believe in something, there’s always an accompanying feeling; a sense of knowing or expectation, an assuredness. It’s this feeling that makes the belief come to life. Simply repeating a positive phrase without any feeling doesn’t give it enough strength. They simply remain empty words.

The trick is to choose thoughts that have genuine meaning for you. Something that makes your heart leap or gives that feeling of a light bulb switching on. It’s the ding, ding feeling. We all know it when we experience it. This is a sign that the words are hitting a genuine place within. It’s worthwhile to take some time searching for what’s truly meaningful. Simply thinking about things everybody else wants (money, fame, and popularity) may not have any authenticity for you.

You may find that what makes your heart sing is creating a warm family of friends, having a job where you feel a strong sense of contribution, or having more adventure in your life. When you discover the things that are speak directly to you, thinking about them will automatically bring up good feelings and probably images of what you want as well. This is genuine creation.

Right now, I’m focusing on having more joy in my life. This is something that I didn’t grow up with. And I know it’s something I deeply want because I keep mistyping the word job as ‘joy’. Not just some of the time, but all the time. Now, I’m beginning to explore what gives me joy, and it’s not as easy as I expected. It’s actually hard for me to come up with joyful experiences, which shows me how much I need to do this. For now, just thinking of the word joy brings up a gush of golden feelings. It feels like sweetness mingled with excitement. Sometimes this single word leads me to appreciating my life more – my home, my friends, the gorgeous flowers and trees in my neighbourhood, and my health. As I grow comfortable with the idea of joy in my life, this will naturally lead to more and bigger joys.

Training your thoughts to focus on the positive can start anywhere – with a single word or a thought. Anything that creates a sense of happiness or excitement within is a good beginning. As the saying goes, “A journey of a thousand steps…”

Cheers to you.