Default Thinking

How easy it is for you to change your opinion? It can be a very difficult thing to do if an opinion has been cultivated over time, often as a result of what other people have convinced us is the truth.

I once knew a woman who thought “The National Inquirer” was gospel. If she read something in that newspaper it was fact. It seemed ridiculous to me, even naïve. Unfortunately, that same line of thinking is seen today in what people believe after reading something on the Internet, see shared via social media or listen to news organizations more interested in a bias to their agendas or placating corporate interests than reporting the facts.

Believing what we hear from others when it supports our own beliefs is easy. I recently disagreed with a colleague of mine who had posted a comment on his Facebook page. Instead of rabidly defending his position and taking great offense to my rebuttal, do you know what he wrote back? He responded that he was hoping someone would challenge him. Why, because he enjoys conflict with others? No, because he knows that dialog further clarifies our thinking.

How refreshing! Instead of taking the path of self-righteous indignation he chose the road of broadminded inquiry. We can cherish those people in our lives with beliefs and ideologies different from ours. Those individuals allow us to more fully understand alternative viewpoints. This fosters understanding and acceptance, instead of hatred and bigotry.

To do this we must accept change in ourselves. In her recent article (“Power Lies in Self-Recognition,” printed in the June 2015 issue of “Science of Mind Magazine”), Margaret Stortz refers to thinking what we’ve always thought as “default thinking”:

“Students of spirituality regularly engage in mental spiritual practice, which is the use of intentional thinking in place of default thinking. … [W]e are for the most part spending our days responding to habitual thought patterns.”

Stortz tells us that the way to change those thought patterns is to rid ourselves of the default thinking that is perpetuating the life we have instead of using our minds to creating the life we desire. If we are to do that we must shift our mental gears, perhaps downshifting to slow down and realize what we are concentrating on. The only way to accomplish that is to consider that there is a different way of doing what we’re doing and then act on that understanding.

Are your thoughts producing what you want in your life? Or, do they reflect your fears, your doubts or your guilt? Today is the day to change your default thinking through conscious effort and have the life you desire. The question is, Will you do that for your own happiness or, if needed, seek the support you need to do so?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

 

Rewards and Consequences

Whether or not we are aware of it, the Universal Law of Cause and Effect operates at all times in our lives. Our thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, are constantly forming our reality. The results of those thoughts produce what we think are rewards and consequences.

It is our ego that is into judging, not the Universe. We judge some outcomes and situations as rewards, sometimes even miracles. Other results we deem consequences or occasionally disasters.

It is easiest to understand this concept when we have created and achieved a goal, or when we have planned some event and it falls apart. We see these situations as achievements (rewards) or failures (consequences). Then we get caught up in what other people are saying. It is fascinating to me that no one ever seems to say, “I just KNEW that was going to happen!” about anything good. The statement is almost always attributed to failure.

We have freedom of choice, but not of consequence.

The only illusion is that we can control our entire lives. We can try, but the result is a white-knuckle ride that almost always ends badly. Control is a result of our ego needing to be right, not living in the flow of life. We can use metaphysical principles to have a better life, but we cannot exercise complete control of the conditions around us.

What we can control is our reaction to conditions. We get to decide what we are going to think. No one else can take away that right without our permission. And to control our reactions we have to ask ourselves the question, “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?” And, no, the answer is not to sit there and whine that you want both.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

(Revised, originally published March 30, 2012)

 

Snap Outta It!

Are you longing – even pining – for that one thing that will make everything perfect? Well stop it. It ain’t happening, sugar plum.1370

Forgive me if this week’s blog is a little more “in your face” than normal. It’s meant to be offered in love, but it’s a tougher love than I’m normally known for. As I write this piece I realize there is an area of my life that is not just stagnate, but actually quite dead with apparently no desire for a resurrection.

Jesus doesn’t appear to be rolling away the stone. I’m no longer willing to live as I have and doing without. So if you think my words are too blunt, then know this:  I’m saying them to myself with ten times the power that you are currently reading.

Madisyn Taylor recently wrote in her daily blog (“If Only:  Locating the Underlying Cause,” June 2, 2015),

Often, when we’re unhappy, we fall into the habit of thinking that, if only one or two particular things in our life would change, everything would be fine.

We think we’d love our job if only that unappreciative boss would leave, only she’s here for the duration. We honestly believe that if we had a great partner we’d have self-esteem, but who wants to date someone who doesn’t believe in themselves? We think that if we buy the right car, house, dress, power tools or whatever corporate America is selling this season that we’d be part of the crowd that shows they “made it.”

Here’s the honest truth – we get exactly what we have put into motion. “But you don’t understand! I’m a victim of my circumstances!” If you truly believe that then you have my sincere and loving thoughts, because until you change your attitude you’ll never be more than that. I’ve been playing the victim in one area of my life for too long and it stops today.

There is absolutely no universal law that says we have to be victims, live in poverty, getting used to being lonely, be in a relationship that is cursory at best, or live in a body that seems to be on a self-destruct sequence. We have the power to change whatever is before us if only we will take the steps to do just that.

Is it easy. Hell, no! Simple? Yes, but in my experience frequently not easy. Being totally responsible for the outcomes in our lives and standing guard 24/7 to make sure the thoughts rattling around in our heads equate to what we want (and not what we don’t want) is very difficult at times.

But here’s the payoff. It’s worth it. Take back your power. I’m sure there might be many things in your life for which you are happy and quite satisfied. But almost everyone has something that they want to change, some situation that doesn’t really serve the higher purpose of who they are.

You deserve to have an amazing career or retirement, a loving partner who is as amazing in the kitchen as he is in the bedroom, a safe and secure home, plenty of financial support to live comfortably and a body that allows you to move through life with ease. Whatever needs to change for each of us to have that life is available for everyone.

All we need is the desire to have that life. What do you desire to have, to do and to enjoy? Know now that it is yours and take the steps necessary to see it happen.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Giving Away Our Power

Is your life affected by the actions of others? More specifically, are you allowing someone else to stop you from having the life you want?

Madisyn Taylor recently wrote, Often, when we’re unhappy, we fall into the habit of thinking that, if only one or two particular things in our life would change, everything would be fine. As she goes on to point out, that’s only true a small part of the time.

Perhaps we are single, lonely and have little spendable income. We might think that if we had more money everything would be fine. The next logical step in that line of thinking is that because we don’t have discretionary income we are sentenced to a life of solitude. This is not the case.

Many of us live our lives giving away our desires to the whims of others or a particular situation we have determined is the reason we are not happy. What if we took our power back? What if we stated our desires and course of action with firm resolve and devoid of anger?

There is nothing more attractive than clarity. As soon as we are clear on exercising our power to create the lives we want without ambiguity the universe “conspires” to generate that outcome, as Thomas Troward said.self-empowerment-300x200

It was Eleanor Roosevelt who admonished us that no one can make us feel inferior without our consent. The same is true of our personal power. No one can take away our power of self-determination without our approval. Figure out this week if there are areas in your life in which you are giving away your power. Then, gently and with firm determination reclaim your right to direct your own life.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

 

Be Yourself

Have you been told to just “be yourself?” What does that even mean? And, does the person know what they’re in for?

We teach our children to express themselves, yet our public school system is set up all too often in a one-size-fits-all environment. I remember my mother looking for pantyhose one time and seeing “one-size-fits-all” on the display. She muttered, “Fits all of WHAT?!?”

One size rarely fits all and that goes double for our personalities. Truth be told we are different to different people. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t have a couple of different faces, haven’t you?

We aren’t the same at home as we are at work, at a party or at church. Basically we are the same in that we may be a caring person, a selfish person, etc., but how we display that to others through our facial expressions, body language and tone of voice can vary dramatically.

More than once someone in my family has remarked, You’re using your “flight attendant voice” again! It happens. I’m guilty. I admit it. It’s effective with a disruptive passenger at 39,000 feet in a pressured tin can hurdling through the atmosphere at 500 miles per hour. At home during dinner? No so much.

Understanding that we can live our lives with certain basic, fundamental principles and yet display those qualities in a variety of ways is eye-opening and healthy. Steven Pressfield, in his book, “The War of Art,” gives us an amazing visual of this. Madonna cone bra He says, “The professional identifies with her consciousness and her will, not with the matter that her consciousness and will manipulate to serve her art. Madonna doesn’t walk around her house in cone bras. She does not identify with ‘Madonna.’ Madonna employs ‘Madonna.’”

Do you get the gist of that AND just how freeing it can be for our personal lives? It’s an amazing exercise in recognizing that “what” we are in any given situation doesn’t have to be “who” we are in our greater purpose in life.

What would happen if today – right now, perhaps – you would “be yourself?” Would people flee? Would you lose your job or relationship? Probably not.

I’m not discounting that you may already be living an authentic life, but here are the real questions:  If you can’t be who you are with the person you’re with then why are you with them? If you can’t be authentic in your career then why have you chosen to play so small?

These are big questions with awesome answers. My friend, Edwene, asked them of me over two years ago. Together, we found the answers, I’ve never looked back and my life has changed dramatically for the better.

Be yourself. Be authentic. We all need you to do that because you’re the only one who can!

Now … anyone know where I can get a gold lamé, cone bra bustier for my 44 inches chest? I have some housework to do and ……..

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry