Dear Integral Meditators,
This weeks article looks at the relationship between our thoughts and what we believe is possible (or not) in our life.
In the spirit of opening to possibilities,
Mindful of what you believe is possible
A belief you have is a subjective feeling ( not a fact) and idea about what is possible and not possible in your life. The beliefs that you have create strong moods, emotions and atmospheres about what think you can and can’t do. They influence your actions in a very real way.
If you look at your thoughts from moment to moment, you’ll see that they are often affirmations of your beliefs. They capture in a phrase what you believe is or is not possible. So, to change a belief, you need to:
- Become aware of the thought that summarizes the belief in your mind
- Make small, incremental adjustments to the structure of the thought, changing what you believe to be possible in a positive way.
- Once you’ve made one small adjustment, then make another, and another, perhaps 3-4 adjustments in total. So now you have a new belief, and one that opens a doorway to a whole range of positive moods, emotions and actions in your life!
Here are two examples of what I mean:
- Initial thought affirming the belief – “Two projects at the same time is already difficult, there is no way I can cope with a third”
- First adjustment – “Adding a third project to my schedule will be challenging” (but possible!)
- Second adjustment – “If I’m going to take on a third project I’m going to need to be more organized than I am now”.
- Third Adjustment – “I’m going to enjoy the challenge of taking on a third project at work, and the growth in income that it will afford me!”
So, you can see, with the final adjustment, a new belief, atmosphere, and sense of possibility is created around the same situation.
In an unhealthy relationship:
- Initial thought: “I can’t bear to leave this relationship; the thought fills me with fear and sadness”
- First adjustment: “I accept that I can’t bear to leave this relationship, but I know its time”
- Second: “I can leave this relationship, even though its going to be challenging”
- Final: “Because I value myself and my wellbeing, I am going to leave this relationship, and its going to be ok”
Again, you can see that by gradually changing the thought structure, progressively and gradually the belief and mood about what is possible changes.
So, the basic mindful process here is:
- Select the life challenge that you want to work on changing your beliefs around
- Observe your current beliefs around what you think is possible, capture it in a sentence
- Create a 3-4 stage adjustment in that sentence, to gradually change that belief, and open a door to a new set of moods, possibilities and actions in that situation!
Enjoy opening to new ideas of what is possible for you!
Article and pictures © Toby Ouvry 2019, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com
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