I bet we’ve all been there …
When for one reason or another we had to deal with obsessive thinking. When something bad happened and we couldn’t stop mentally replaying it.
Maybe we were unjustly fired. Or a true love betrayed us. Or a family member said something that hit a sore spot.
And we keep turning it over in our heads, repeating what we wish we’d said or still want to say … as if resolution will be found by rehashing it.
Sometimes it does help to sift through the mental mess to find a better-feeling perspective.
But sometimes we just keep looping obsessively through thoughts and visuals that torment us with every repetition.
Even when we try to stop, we can’t. It’s like we’re not in charge of what we think, and that makes it even more disturbing, because we don’t want to give this subject any more air time and yet we can’t stop.
I have to imagine that regular meditators have a leg up on this routine, since they are more practiced at managing thoughts than those of us who don’t meditate.
But there is something we can do when we can’t seem to stop obsessive thoughts …
and that’s to make them work for you.
This happened to me when a love relationship ended in a way I didn’t appreciate. I mean, I really didn’t appreciate.*
I’ll spare you the sordid details, but I found myself in a sh*tstorm of negative thoughts about this guy and how wrong he’d done me.
If someone offered me $100k to say something nice about him, I’d have said a bunch of swear words about what they could do with their stupid hundred grand. I had not a single whiff of anything remotely good, and what’s worse – I wasn’t making room for anything good because all I could do was repeat everything I was so upset about.
After several days of this routine (it might have been longer), I realized I needed to get an LOA grip. Because continuing this pattern was going to lead to more things that I wouldn’t like either.
So I did the only thing I could do … and that was to use every single complaint I had about this guy as a lead-in to what my next guy would be.
Because conscious creators know how this works. Whenever we experience the high contrast of what we don’t want, it automatically inspires new desires (or stronger desires) of what we do want.
So this blankety-blank-blank jerk was actually helping to create someone as fabulous as he was dastardly.
And that thought made me feel better.
To think that this jerkoff would be the reason my next guy was so amazing – that seemed like sweet justice. I could get on board with that.
So for every complaint I had about the former guy, I made a list item about the fabulous new guy.
And every time I started the routine of complaining about what I hated about the old guy, I used it as a chance to run through my list of the new guy.
You know what that meant, right?
It meant my next guy was getting a lot of air time in my head. And conscious creators know what that means! (Read that sentence again in my sing song voice! Things are about to get delicious!)
Pretty soon, I didn’t even have to finish my whole bitch session of the old guy to start enjoying thoughts of my new guy. As soon as I started to hear myself thinking, “I can’t believe that blankety blank jerk thought he could blankety blank …” I’d take a pause, shake it off, and switch the channel over to “what I love about the new guy.”
The new guy became a joy to contemplate! I made it easy to tune into him via a short list of one-word qualities that I quickly memorized. He was:
By the time I finished my list of what my next guy would be, I wasn’t minding the old one so much. Funny how that works, right? Once we know we’re going to be happy again, we kind of sort of drop old grudges and want everyone else to be happy, too.
Thoughts of the next guy helped draw my obsessive attention off of what I didn’t want and onto what I did want.
So every time my brain wanted to go back to the bad thing, it just became a cue to conjure up the good thing.
That’s how I made those obsessive thoughts work for me.
Care to guess what happened?
Once I dialed off of the tirade of bad vibes and consistently plugged into good ones, three things unfolded:
New guy was an extremely welcome relief to what I’d been torturing myself with for those couple weeks, and his fabulousness delighted even me, who is used to fabulous surprises from Universe.
So the next time you feel battered by bad thoughts on repeat, remember this as a potential way to put them to good work.
Just think on whatever represents the opposite of those bad thoughts, and tune in there each time the old ones rear their ugly head. It won’t take long before you have good momentum going toward a preferred outcome.
If you’ve got a tip to share about managing obsessive thoughts, please share!
* understatement of the year
If you think it’s not working, you’re right.
If you want things to turn out well, you’ll need to change your mind.
Even though it’s clear you’re right, even though the evidence shows things are not working, even though everyone else agrees it’s no good – you can still change your mind.
Practice feeling that things are working. Think on things going your way, even if they’re not and even though you can’t see proof yet. Imagine what it looks like when it’s going well.
Tune into relief, or satisfaction, or success.
Feel the win. Imagine a different outcome. Consider that you might be wrong, and things really are turning out well.
Whether it’s for a work project, a relationship status, a healing endeavor, a home purchase/sale, a money investment, or whatever you’re working on – stop fueling its demise by seeing it going up in flames.
Because it can’t be any different than you’re conjuring.
Conscious creators know how to see things other than as they are.
Or I should say, we can see things other than as they appear to be, because they are always everything.
If we’re not seeing what we want, it doesn’t mean our preference doesn’t exist. It just means we’re not dialed there. Yet.
We know how to plug into a different scenario. We aren’t reliant on physical evidence for what we focus on.
We can use our imaginations for what they were meant to do – create preferred realities.
You can change your mind.
You can bridge the gap between a new thought and a new reality. You know that routine, and you can do it again.
If nothing else, you can ride this one out, and start fresh on a new gig. Sometimes it’s easiest to just let this momentum play out, and then start over with something new.
Next time you’ll know to shift your vision before it gets away from you.
You are a conscious creator, and there is nothing more powerful than you and your focus.
You’ve got this.
A colleague mentioned in passing the other day that she was a little freaked out from being cyber-stalked by one of her fans. She shared the details of the experience, which were slightly unsettling.
Within 24 hours I’d received an email from my own long forgotten cyber stalker.
Deliberate creators know better.
It’s law of attraction at work – where what we hold in mind is what we bring to life.
I laughingly “thanked” my colleague for passing that particular bug along to me.
(She subsequently made up for it by detailing her experience with a handsome celebrity this week. Antonio B. at her pizza shop! Now that’s the kind of bug I’d love to take on!)
And I know I’m attracting this input myself – no one is infecting me with any negative thoughts I’m not already aligned to.
Fast forward to today, on Flavia’s Weight Loss in the Vortex call at GVU she mentioned a body-image thought virus picked up early on in life.
All this thought virus stuff got me thinking …
Most people are so careful about ensuring their computers are protected from viruses, and really good at disinfecting their homes and bodies to make sure they don’t engage cold or flu bugs …
… but how much effort do we put into ensuring the well being and health of our attention?
Because when the mind picks up something that isn’t good for us, that’s just as threatening (if not more so) than bugs that can take down computers or compromise our physical health.
How can deliberate creators be just as careful in ensuring we aren’t susceptible to thought viruses?
I think it’s a two-fold practice: first being proactive with our focus, and then having a good defense system in place when appropriate.
1. The more tuned in we are to empowering thoughts, ideas and images, the less inclined we are to attract otherwise. So developing a habit of positive thought could be compared to taking vitamins for the mind.
2. And for those occasions when we do run into something we don’t want to become infected with, having a reliable defense system in place (via our emotional guidance) can indicate when it’s time to switch focus.
In fact, I did this with my ex-beau just the other day. He was starting to tell a story about a couple of kids who photographed themselves with (I’ll spare the animal lovers the details).
As soon as I caught wind of the topic, I interrupted to say “I don’t need to hear any more.”
“But they were online with …”
“I don’t need to hear any more. Let’s hear some good news.”
It can be as simple as that.
No need to fight it or make it a big deal; just an effective disarming and redirection.
Steve Aitchison writes about virus protection for the mind here, and Stuart Goodship discusses thought viruses as well. Which got me wondering further …
You know how some parents are criticized for being overprotective of their children with continual disinfecting of hands and toys, and that overuse of antibacterial soaps actually prevents kids from developing a strong immunity?
I wonder if it’s the same with our mind.
Maybe the answer isn’t to seal ourselves off from “negative” experiences or news of the world, but rather to have a robust mental immunity to unwanted or undesirable thoughts.
Do you have any thought virus protection in place, or systems for handling potentially infectious thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
My ex-fiance and good friend just phoned to ask why he’s such a powerful manifestor of negative things, but not positive ones.
(There’s a belief worth turning around. But we’ll get to that later.)
Rob’s story is interesting, and probably not uncommon. So I’ve challenged him to change it, and thinking some of us might be inspired to join him.
He told about driving a customer’s car down the highway (he does custom remodel work on priceless classics), noticed a big work truck ahead of him, and started thinking, “You know, the last thing I need is a rock chip. I should probably change … ” and BAM! Before he was even done thinking the thought to change lanes, the windshield took a hit, leaving a lovely chip.
When he gets to the shop, he thinks, “I should call Todd to arrange for that repair today. But what if Todd’s out? Thursday’s his day off. Today’s Tuesday. But what if he’s not in?” Sure enough, Todd’s out, even though it’s not his regular day off.
Rob asks if he had fleeting thoughts of a million dollars spilling through the streets, would it suddenly appear?
I suggested he try it sometime. After he laughed, I asked if he has as strong a belief in free money in the streets as he does rock chips and bad timing for repairs.
Admittedly, and he’s not alone in this, it’s sometimes easier to believe in bad things than it is in really good things.
The good news is he/we can change that. Belief is just a thought we’ve repeated enough to make it a strong one. And we can change our thoughts. We humans are pretty cool that way.
So Rob’s going to try it. He’s going to practice thinking good thoughts and see how quickly they manifest. I ask him to report back.
Before he hangs up, he tells me how he’s really good at reading people, too. He can tell in advance what they’re going to do. He might think he’s psychic. I think he doesn’t yet realize the powerful effect his thoughts have on others.
For example, he says when his son comes over he knows it’s to ask for money, rather than lend a hand around the house. He can tell when the neighborhood homeless guy is going to drop by his shop asking for a loan. He’s got lots of examples of how he predicts people’s behavior.
Is he predicting? Or creating? (And what if they were the same?)
I suggest he practice his good thoughts on people, too. I told him people live up to and down to our expectations all day long, and suggest he practice holding new expectations.
I got a funny feeling his world is about to get brighter. : )