Today I’m going to share a question from a client because I think a lot of people wonder the same thing. They want to know, “Once I change something about how my mind works, is it changed permanently, or is it an ongoing exercise to keep things working?”
When someone asks that question, what they’re talking about is the development of a mental muscle. And just like any kind of muscle in your body, the only way you build strength is to use it repetitively.
In the beginning stages, you have to remember to use mindful awareness because it’s a weak muscle. You won’t choose to use it reflexively at first, but as you commit and consciously follow through, you’re more awake and alert.
If you start with a commitment to paying attention to what you’re saying to yourself and how you are affecting your life, you’ll start noticing when your thoughts stray into areas that aren’t useful to you. It just becomes obvious.
So, in other words, you develop the ability to be an observer and to pay attention to your mind on a more real level. It gets easier.
The moment you start to become impatient or challenged, your thoughts head to your go-to emotional state. As you continue being mindful, you’ll catch yourself and think, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, where am I right now?” The moment you go there and realize it, you can almost back it up and say, “Okay, where did it start?” And you’re going to find that starting place.
You’ll learn that when it comes to your brain, you have an opportunity to rewrite what you’re going to do the next time this central thing, your go-to thought process, happens.
Maybe you get up in the morning, get in front of the mirror, don’t like what you see with your clothes, and you turn it into a dramatic moment. And then, it creates a mood of impatience with yourself and your life that you carry into the rest of the day.
But what happens if you realize that your impatience comes from the dramatic moment that you give yourself every morning in front of the mirror? And what if you change that moment?
Rather than the drama around your clothing, what if you look in the mirror and think, “Well, I don’t like this, so I’m going to wear this other thing instead,” and you refuse to do the drama? What if you absolutely refuse to do it? How will that affect the rest of your day?
Whatever you pay attention to will expand in your life. It’s one of the metaphysical laws.
So, if you’re paying attention to the negative, by the end of the day, you’re going to be grumpy, impatient, and a few other things. If you pay attention to that which uplifts you, then your day is going to be considerably different.
At first, you’ll have to work at it. But if you strengthen your ability to be mindful, it will become more automatic.
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