When you look around your situation and you see hopelessness, that's where your attention, your spiritual currency, is being spent. You're investing in hopelessness. You're creating more hopelessness. You're feeding the spirit of hopelessness. When you allow those hopeless emotions to wash over you and you don't counter them, you're in a vortex of hopelessness.
This goes for any emotion, any state of mind.
Your mind, your attention, is spiritual currency. It causes things to happen spiritually, energetically.
Not only have we learned this from the Bible, Dhammapaeda, etc, but science is able to track this as well. The Institute of Heartmath has shown that the heart waves in one person affect the brain waves in others near him. When you hold something in your heart, the energy moves.
Whether you look at this with a scientist's eye, a Christian's faith, a Buddhist's mind, an agnostic's thoughts, it's still true.
- What you focus on matters
- What you think about gives energy to what you're thinking about
- What you worry about gives fuel to what you're worried about
- What you know on faith you'll see physically manifested- because of your mind and attention to it
You create your life by what you think
If you feel trapped, you are.
If you think you can't do better, you never will.
For your own sake, don't you want to believe the best? Don't you want to focus on the amazing? Don't you want to invest your faith, time and attention into something wonderful instead of worry, fear and frustration?
How to invest your spiritual currency for positive returns:
1. Act as if.
“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.” -William James
I can’t tell you just how powerful this is- you’ll have to try it for yourself. Simply acting as if something is already done, already yours, already loving… is a phenomenal shift. You will carry yourself with such confidence, the Universe has no choice but to bring it to pass. The quickest way for me to “act as if” is to write a gratitude list about how grateful I am since X happened. When you write your list, imagine the thing you want has already happened, and you’re thanking God for bringing it about. Write about how timely it was, how much freedom you have since this is taken care of, how many people it has positively affected, etc.
Test me on this! You’ll be astounded.
2. Train your mind to think of what you want instead of what you see.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 NIV
Look around you and ask, “where is what I want already showing up?” Questions are powerful. You train your mind with questions- they’re like little dumbbells that get your brain in shape. Anytime you feel lost in negative thoughts, ask yourself:
- What can I be grateful for?
- What kind of life do I want to be living?
- How can I turn this situation into a good thing?
- What do I really want to do right now?
3. Return your mind to positive thoughts
“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” -Peace Pilgrim
You are the master of your mind. You decide what to think and focus on. If you feel trapped by your thoughts, change that! When I first began training my mind, the thought, “this is hard” came into my mind. Then I realized that was just a thought! I could believe it and make it true, and think it over and over, or I could think the opposite, belive that, and think that over and over. “Training my thoughts is fun and easy. It produces immediate results which keep me excited about doing it more and more.” I chose the latter and I'm so glad I did!
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
4. Don’t beat yourself up- for anything
If you have negative thoughts, shrug it off and think something better! If you make a mistake, laugh at yourself and ask, “what did I learn from this?”
When I work with women on training their thoughts, one of the first things I hear is, “I’ve been thinking negatively for so long, it’ll take forever.” And “I was doing okay last night but then X happened.”
Take a deep breath, and don’t beat yourself up! Give yourself a hug instead. We’re trained by our egos to beat ourselves up. We believe it’s our job to spend hours chastising ourselves for all the things we’ve done in the past. This is not our job. Our job is to stay present, loving, and mindful now. What’s done is done. If an apology is needed, make it. If a spill needs to be wiped up, wipe it. But do not wallow in what has already happened. Instead, move blissfully on to this beautiful moment, where you are full of love.
5. Don’t save it for a rainy day
“Every time we use the present to stress about the future, we’re choosing to sacrifice joy today to mourn joy we might not have tomorrow.” -Lori Deschene
Thinking you’ll be more mindful in the future? Pretty sure you’ll work through all this presence stuff one of these days? Need to keep worrying about something for a little while before you let it go?
You’re getting negative returns on those thoughts.
All you have is this very moment. Worrying robs you of it. Planning to “do better” in the future robs you of it. You can live an amazing life right now. Don’t believe the story that it’s hard to do. Don’t believe it when your ego says you’re too important to be mindful, that you have things to worry about. Don’t believe it when people lash out negatively.
You can live the most loving, powerful, present life you choose- right now.