Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8
Since the beginning of the year, I have paid a lot more attention to my thoughts. Many of us spend time in spiritual practice detaching from our thoughts, not identifying with or getting hooked by our thoughts. We sink below our thoughts in meditation, and let them wander by and float away. We don’t try to stop them (good luck with that) as much as we just step back from them.
And that is a good practice. Lately, however, I’ve been contemplating the creative power of thinking. Our minds create our perceptions through thought. Our perceptions reflect back to us the choices we’ve made about what thoughts we focus on. And those perceptions drive what we manifest into the world.
I might not be able to stop my thoughts, but I can direct my thoughts towards what I choose. And what do I choose? If I take an honest look, I see that I don’t always choose what is listed in the verse above. I sometimes choose judgment, fear, complaint, pettiness, separation, opposition.
Is that what I want to manifest? If not, I can make a different choice. I can choose to think loving thoughts, thoughts of compassion, forgiveness, peace, beauty, gratitude.
This year, as part of my commitment to liberation, I am owning my power to choose, and I am choosing to partner with my mind to retrain my thinking habits, to focus on what lifts my spirit and manifests love into the world.
Mind is everything. …Assume the responsibility for transforming the mind by using your very ordinary moments in which to see differently. And as you reshape how you use the mind, in every moment, you will come to taste profound freedom. ~The Way of Mastery
8 thoughts on “Think on These Things”
When I woke up this morning a little too earlier, my first thoughts were ones of anxiety. I chose to bring a smile to my lips and take a belly breath as I drifted back to sleep for an hour. Now, a few hours later, I’m feeling that smile on my face and in my heart lighten and brighten my day.
I love your example, Holly, because it brings the body into the practice. Smiling and belly breathing help to calm our anxious thoughts. Glad your day got off to a good start. Thanks for commenting.
Hi Galen! As you probably noticed I’m pretty attached to my mind…but I AM trying to focus my thoughts and use them rather than them using me. Michael Singer says I should “lean away from them” and I do find that helpful. On the other hand I LOVE to choose, so I’m not ready to let go of the mind either. Best to train it like the puppy it is. Needing to focus and be in the present moment seems to be helping me as well. Bit by bit. And I appreciate so much when you say, “…as you reshape how you use the mind, in every moment, you will come to taste profound freedom.” ~Kathy
Your comment highlights to complementary practices — leaning away (or detaching) from our thoughts, and choosing to actively direct our thoughts. I find both helpful. As a dog lover, I relate to the puppy training analogy — so true! Thanks for your comment, Kathy.
Galen, I always appreciate the clarity of your blogs, but this one has me thinking and asking myself questions. Truly, we have more power over our thoughts than we sometimes want to admit, but it requires discipline. I wish you well.
Thank you, Pam. I understand what you mean about discipline. I think about it in terms of desire and commitment. I want my thoughts to be more loving and uplifting, and so I’m making a commitment to bring awareness to my thoughts and redirection to the ones that do not serve. Thanks for commenting.
Thanks for this powerful reminder! Trent
You’re welcome Trent. Glad it is meaningful for you. Thank you for commenting.