First, when I talk about inner healing, I’m not talking about the soul. Your soul doesn’t need healing. It is eternally perfect. Rather it needs releasing from the layers of impediments that obscure it.
These impediments are largely of the mind and the heart—things like pride, or lack of confidence, or negativity. These negative thoughts and false desires lead us to make choices that are not in our best interest.
Each of us has some ability to choose what we want in life. We can decide to have a healthy lunch in a calm relaxing place, or to grab some fast food and eat at our desk. We can choose to wear that outfit that makes us feel great or put on the old sweats—so comfortable, but dumpy. We can choose to get up 10 minutes early and meditate, or hit the snooze button. Or exercise or … you get the picture.
We make thousands of these choices every day. Each one may seem small and inconsequential, but taken together, day after day, they determine the quality of our lives.
Of course, there are many things we can’t choose—our family, for example. (I do believe we chose these things. But that’s another story for another time. The point here is that we can’t choose them now.)
We can’t control the situations and people in our lives. But we can control our reactions and emotions. We can consciously choose how we feel by redirecting the laser beam of our thoughts.
When we make a choice, we are attracting the result of that choice into our lives. Therefore, if we learn to be aware of our choices and their consequences, we can start to remove destructive and negative influences from our lives.
This is not easy. It takes dedicated practice and will-power—like all worth-while accomplishments. We have many tools to help us, like meditation, affirmation, positive thinking.
Here are three suggestions to get started.
1. Flip the Switch: Try to notice when you’re falling into negative, judgmental, or destructive thought processes. Then stop feeding those thoughts. Turn the mind to something else. It helps to have an affirmation or prayer or mantra already prepared, because you’re not likely to remember it when you’re gripped by a negative emotion. But anything positive that attracts the mind will work—a happy memory for example. Practice catching yourself earlier and earlier. It’s far easier to stop before you’re in a full-blown emotional meltdown.
2. Catch the “Butterflies”: Think of negative, limiting thoughts as butterflies flitting in and out of your mind. Reward yourself for catching one. Write it down. Write a contrary, positive affirmation. For this to work, you really have to put some energy into your positive affirmation. Some people write it 300 times until it really sinks into their subconscious.
For example, say you’re feeling discouraged about getting things done. You notice thoughts of “I can’t do it. It’s too much. I’m too tired.” You might choose a positive affirmation such as “Within me lies the energy to accomplish all that I will to do. Behind my every act is God’s infinite power.”
3. Ask “Why?”: The next time you notice yourself making an unhealthy choice, ask yourself, “why”. Why are you about to do something not good for you? For example, you skipped lunch and now you’re starving. You’re tired. Your will-power fuel tank is empty. No way can you resist that chocolate cake. OK. That’s happens. Or maybe that’s just me.
Or maybe you’re going to buy something you don’t really need. You might have to dig deep by questioning your answers 3, 4, 5 times. Often, we buy things to impress other people, or because our best friend has one, and not because it’s something we really want.
The key is to get at the root of the choice or desire and find a healthier way to satisfy it.
The thousands of choices we make everyday are responsible for our level of happiness and well-being. What will you choose?