I have this saying posted on my refrigerator. It’s been there so long I forgot where I got it. Yesterday on Facebook a friend of mine posted it (thank you Scott!) and it reminded me of how valuable I thought it was, so for your reading pleasure I’m going to post it here today.
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
I have no idea who wrote this, if anyone knows, drop me a line. I don’t know if the author was a metaphysician or not, or a member of a New Thought group, as I am. But these words are very New Thought.
The slogan for the United Centers for Spiritual Living is “Change your Thinking, Change your Life.”
Most of my practice is devoted to helping people change their lives by changing their thinking. I got involved on my spiritual path because I knew my thinking was destructive to my life and wanted to change it.
Your thoughts are very powerful, and they will manifest as reality in your world. If your pattern of thinking is that you are going to get the cold that everyone else has (“it’s cold and flu season!”) then you will indeed get that cold. If you spend a lot of time thinking about lack, then you will experience lack in your life. If you spend a lot of time in anger and resentment, you will experience more of that.
You can change your thinking however. Daily spiritual practices (meditation, reading of spiritual literature, journaling, visioning) are all aimed not only at establishing and deepening a connection with whatever-you-want-to-call-god, but also to change your thinking on a deep level, at the level of destiny that it talks about in the poem.
If you have a pattern of thinking you wish to change, you can consciously change those thoughts as they happen, at the level of the conscious thinking and your words. If you have a thought that you wish to change, when it comes along, try this: say, “thank you for sharing, but we don’t think like that anymore.” And then distract your mind, like you would a little kid, by doing something positive. And don’t say words that you don’t wish to think.
Notice I’ve said nothing about being bad, negative, judgemental here. This isn’t about judging yourself or beating yourself up. It is about acknowledging that you wish to change a situation in your life and then doing something about it. I am not into shame and don’t wish that for you either.