Water falling from Niagara Falls
37. The need to take care of the inner world
Most people take good care of their hygiene, appearance, and physical health – either for their pleasure, or for the impressions they create in others, or out of habit, obligation, or even unwillingly. However, what happens to our inner appearance, the inner world, inside us, remains somehow unnoticed.
This is because, in the first place, we are often unaware of the state and processes of our inner world.
Secondly, because we take our inner world for granted, and that cannot be changed and is not subject to our will.
And thirdly – because it is not reflected in the mirror and is not noticed directly by others, but only some results of it are visible, such as words, actions, looks, facial expressions, body language.
The author believes that as we take care of our appearance and physical health, reading this text, everyone could take better care of their inner world, as well as further develop their inner tools that were given to us at birth, such as rational mind, imagination, intuition, sensitivity to internal changes.
38. Why is our inner state important?
Our inner state is directly related to the mood, the feeling of how happy, successful, and satisfied we are with life. It is the feelings, thoughts, and emotions that often rage within us. Sometimes what happens inside us, in short, makes us feel bad and suffer. Unfortunately, this also affects our loved ones. The intensity of the suffering can vary from barely noticeable to extremely great. Thus, the question naturally arises – what can we do on our own to change our condition by harnessing our strength?
If you are interested in practices through which to improve your quality of life by creating better hygiene of the flow of thoughts and calm it down, what is written here can help you. The text is not short, because examples are explained and practices are described. I am sure that if it is useful, interesting, or curious, you will reach the end and even come back.
39. How does the flow of thought affect us?
Why does the flow of thoughts affect our condition more than people expect? Without going into additional chemical and biological details – it indirectly affects the physical level of our body, causing the production of various chemical regulators, such as hormones. This happens when the flow of thoughts provokes certain emotions and feelings in us and they force the body and especially the brain to produce certain substances. A clear negative example of this is the fear that is often caused by the flow of thoughts. Some people are afraid to speak in front of an audience and as a result of their thoughts, they get an adrenaline shock, which is unpleasant and interferes with their performance.
Of course, there are also positive examples. In general, the process described above, in which thoughts affect the body, is the result of evolutionary development and is more often useful and helps us.
Our goal is to transform the excess, that is unhealthy and rather on your way.
40. What is the transformation of thought?
By transformation, we mean change, which most often comes down to replacing the old thought with a new, healthier, and more useful one.
41. Awareness of the need for transformation
It has happened (or may happen) to everyone who wants to get rid of a certain thought. Sometimes we realize that a thought “burdens” us. This happens mostly spontaneously, and most often when the thought is unpleasant. In our normal state, we do not realize our thoughts, even though we through them, we act on them. This is true for much of our lives.
To transform something, we must first be aware of it, realize it, and work with the chosen thoughts when they appear in our head, until the moment they are transformed.
Anyone can start to realize more often the thoughts they would like to transform because this will improve their quality of life, satisfy their curiosity, provoke interest and develop useful inner skills. If these are not valid reasons, what could be?
42. Sample thoughts on transformation (1)
Here are some thoughts on transformation. They oppressed the author and he worked with them. For example: “The world is ruled by bad people and evil forces”, “The country I live in is at its bottom and will never get better” and “More successful people are crooks who have made money through lies, scams, and fraud. ” If you share these or similar thoughts, then we have material to work with and we need to roll up our sleeves. The good news is that you have the opportunity to achieve a significant result quickly. There are fruits on the low branches of the success tree, and you only have to reach out to “pick” those fruits.
43. Brief description of thought transformation practices
There are various practices for transforming thoughts into healthier ones. You do not need to choose only one – they can be used together, in combination, which would enhance the effect. The choice should be made based on preferences, in other words – to focus on what would work best for us.
Generally speaking, these practices are based on the internal tools we certainly have. These are the rational mind, the imagination (visually and audibly), the intuition, and the sensitivity to the inner world.
Most practices use mainly the mind and its ability to generate ideas and find rational and practical solutions, while other practices require different types of indoor gymnastics. Some practices rely mainly on the visual imagination, which connects thought with an image, so uses the property of thoughts to be seen as objects in the inner world, as objects look outside – to have a location in space, shape, and colors. There is also a practice that uses the imagination, but in its musical perspective, connecting thoughts with melody, sounds, and rhythms. There is also a practice that relies mainly on feelings.
44. Which thoughts to start with?
Let us first look at the practices for transforming two particular types of thought. First are those that express extreme points of view, and the latter – those that are highly dependent on chance, probability or there is insufficient evidence for them and they remain in the realm of hypotheses without being supported by facts.
45. Transformation by uniting opposites
First, a little food for thought, which gives additional meaning to the unification of opposing thoughts.
First and foremost – things, in reality, are never just black or white, they are always mixed, there is always everything.
Secondly, the author’s observation is that people have a stronger tendency to see the negative things and a weaker one – to notice the positive ones, as well as that the information that reaches us through the Internet, media, social networks, etc., is much more negative than positive. So most of the extreme thoughts that go through people’s heads are negative.
If a thought expresses an extreme point of view, it often disturbs our balance, causing a strong “coloring” or “narrowing” of our worldview. The probability of “touching” it and activating it in our daily lives is quite high and often with a painful result. For example, “The world is ruled by bad people and evil forces” or “The country I live in is at its bottom and will never get better.” What do these judgments cause in you?
To balance such thoughts, we must first realize that they also have an opposite, as well as find their opposite thought. For these examples, it might look like this: “The world is ruled by good people and good forces,” “The country I live in is on top and will always stay there.”
In this way, we realize that we have stumbled in one direction. We also realize that the other extreme is still staggering, but in a positive direction. Here our goal is not to deceive ourselves by changing one with the other, on the contrary – the goal is to build a new thought that includes both extremes, and thus to expand or enrich our worldview, as well as to balance it. As a side effect, the useful part is seen as a “root” of the two opposing thoughts that unites and strengthens and becomes another root of the new unifying thought.
We can do this first with our mind and then with our visual imagination. At the level of reason, the new, unifying thoughts may look like this: “The world is ruled by good and bad people, as well as good and bad forces” and “The country I live in is somewhere between the bottom and the top, and where will moves, will show the future, and I will help her with my actions. ”
Then, whenever the final thought emerges in our consciousness, we turn our attention to its corresponding unifying thought. We repeat this until it becomes an automatic reaction, and we are ready at the level of reason.
In addition, as an optional step, we can help ourselves with the imagination, by visualizing the process of unification, as well as by visualizing the picture representing the new unifying thought.
When we close our eyes, and we can imagine a picture, such as the face of an acquaintance, a soccer ball, a tree, an animal, the sea, a mountain, etc., most likely we will be able to easily visualize the interior. We don’t even have to see the pictures in great detail inside. Of course, the clearer and more detailed they are, the better, but we can try in any case.
The idea here is to capture the moment when the thought we want to transform appears and immediately turn on the visual imagination to model a picture with this thought, with its opposite and with the generalizing one. The goal for each of these three thoughts is to determine where it is in the interior, what shape it is, and how it is colored.
We must emphasize that this process does not require special reasoning and logic, but allows the imagination itself to function, which fulfills our consciousness for a moment.
Note that in the beginning, we can help each other by drawing the picture on a piece of paper, although it is difficult to achieve a three-dimensional image and a view from all sides. However, it does not prevent you from trying if it helps.
For starters, we don’t even need to find all three visual parameters of the three thoughts, we can only find one, such as color. Gradually, the picture can be enriched and each time we upgrade the image when the thought we want to transform appears.
This continues until we build a relatively stable image in our minds and the picture changes very little. For example, we visualize a thought as a white stream that begins in front of our eyes and continues to the left to the horizon or even beyond it, to infinity. Similarly, the other thought is black, begins in front of our eyes, and is directed in exactly the opposite direction, to the right, to the horizon, or beyond it, to infinity. The two streams touch right in front of our eyes and the colors in them are separated by an invisible barrier. To visualize the merging process, we “remove” the barrier and allow the two colors to merge until a common color is obtained, light gray or silver. Then, if we want, we can even change the shape of the resulting new thought – from an infinite flow to a silver sphere with infinite volume.
This is just one example – everyone needs to find the most appropriate position, shape, and color of thoughts for their imagination. Once we have the picture of the new thought, every time the final thought comes to mind, we simply visualize the new thought. We repeat this until there is an automatic reaction.
46. Transformation by choosing preferences
Some thoughts waste our energy and resources. Generally speaking, these are thoughts that play out future hypothetical situations that have not yet had their time and therefore should not be part of our agenda.
Sometimes it is good to prepare in advance, but not in every situation. In addition, even if we are well prepared, it is important to consider whether right now, or later, when we will have more information, whether partially or fully. Do we know what the probability is that something will happen, and in particular whether it has over 50% chance if we talk about rationality?
Here are some examples. We send an email and go to bed, but before we go to sleep, we start thinking about what they will answer us and even what we will answer ourselves after that and so we lose an hour of sleep. Every morning we leave our child in kindergarten and for the rest of the day, we worry about him, thinking all sorts of hypothetical things and imagining different situations with low probability. There are many similar examples.
Although these are positive thoughts, are they always useful, productive, and necessary? Do we want to reduce them and free up time, as well as save mental distress?
Naturally, the first step is to begin to notice these thoughts more and more often when they arise. Then, for every thought, we determine the possible outcomes, which are other thoughts, each describing a potential development of events. To avoid unnecessary complexity and to make it easier, we can assume that there are always two main outcomes – positive and negative developments.
Here, we first work with the mind, and then we can help ourselves with visual imagination. With reason, we set a probability percentage for each of the two outcomes, with a default of 50 to 50, equally possible, unless we have a clearer idea of the probabilities. We need to realize that it is unnecessary to think because probabilities are involved.
This is very easy when the probability of a positive outcome is high or we do not lose much in a negative outcome. Many of these hypothetical thoughts fall into this category. However, it is not easy when the probability of a negative outcome is too high.
If we fail to convince ourselves that it is unnecessary to think about this hypothetical thought, then most likely the thought is not so hypothetical and it is best to stop the practice and think about it, to find a solution and not to cheat ourselves. Everyone can feel the border and the difference.
If we decide to continue because we think it is unnecessary to think hypothetically at the moment, then, knowing that there are two outcomes, that we prefer the positive, that the outcomes have specific probabilities, and that it is unnecessary to think combinations and variants, we simply switch to more urgent thought.
Examples above, mean sleeping for an hour more or going back to our daily activities and leaving troubles and thoughts about the child for when there will be a real situation and meaning to think and act.
We can also help ourselves with visual imagination. We visualize the two thoughts representing the two possible outcomes, for example as two paths with different directions, shapes, and colors, and then we mark the one we prefer – we color it white, just as when pressed the buttons of mobile applications on our phones. Then we take out the picture with the choice made, the one colored in white, whenever the hypothetical thought in question appears until this happens automatically.
47. Discovering more thoughts of transformation
We are already taking care of the final and hypothetical thoughts. The reduction of extreme thoughts should broaden our worldview and look at things on a larger scale, as well as free up time and reduce stress due to the reduction of hypothetical thoughts.
It is time to deal with everything else we want to transform. Whenever they appear, let’s notice them and rate them on a scale from -10 to +10. We specify that -10 is the strongest negative thought we have, and +10 is the strongest positive. Maybe we are wondering which is the strongest positive thought and which is the strongest negative thought? This is curious! Everyone can study this question for themselves. Does anyone else know better what is going on inside us?
As a starting point, -10 is the thought that depresses us the most, and +10 is the thought that makes us feel best. It is good to do this exercise long enough to make sure that the ratings are relatively accurate. In the process of calibrating thoughts on a scale from -10 to +10, it is normal to have fluctuations, to discover new thoughts to become part of the game, and to change grading. We just keep going until we reach a state of equilibrium that changes a little over time. In this way, we get clarity about what we want to keep and what we want to transform.
In addition, we will say that estimates are never final and can change at any time.
48. Discovering the positive root of every thought
Based on the evaluations and the frequency of thoughts, we have a clear idea of which thoughts we want to start with. The first question we need to ask each of these thoughts separately is, how does this thought take care of us? We need to think, analyze, and be more creative, and inventive. We don’t have to do it right away, we can practice from time to time for days when we have the time and desire. The goal we set ourselves is to answer the question – what is positive in the basis, what is the useful root of this thought?
We may encounter some resistance to the claim that thought with -10 points has a useful root, that takes care of us, but this is normal and is a natural primary reaction.
In the process of evolution, very slowly and after many trials and errors, the existence of modern man has come about. A mind is a tool that distinguishes us from animals and that should take care of us. It has very high potential, for example, all the scientific discoveries that have been made over the years and that have been made more and more frequently in recent decades. More individually, reason helps each of us to cope with life, even to achieve success. As a sign of trust in our mind, we can at least give it a chance to prove that there is a useful root in every thought. Let’s allow the mind to do what it is best at – to think, to generate ideas, and to analyze! We don’t have to be intelligent to succeed. Everyone can immediately know if the discovered useful root of thought is the real reason for it. No one else can do this job better than us.
49. Sample thoughts of transformation (2)
Let’s take a look at a few examples. One often thinks of his beloved ones when they are separate and live far away, and the fact that one is unable to communicate with them makes us sad. What is the useful root of this sad and therefore negative thought? It is to have frequent enough contact with loved ones! Does our reasoning take care of us and is this root useless? Was it hard to find?
Another example. One worries that hypothetically something bad could happen to him or his loved ones. What is the useful root behind such a thought? It is to preserve and even improve the quality of life of ourselves and our loved ones.
Last example. One is afraid to speak in front of an audience. What is the useful root of this thought, which sometimes causes great concern and therefore has a negative meaning? Probably the person wants not to fail, not to ruin his reputation, not to expose himself, or not to be rejected.
50. Use of positive words and avoid the particle “no”
In the process of searching and finding the useful root under any thought, it is highly recommended to use positive words, in particular without the particle “no” in front.
Let’s correct the sentence “he wants not to fail, not to ruin his reputation, not to expose himself, or not to be rejected” to “he wants to succeed, to improve his reputation, to present himself properly to people, and become more and more involved with them.”
Replacing negative words with positive is not mandatory. Give yourself some time and if you fail, stop at the sentence you have at the moment.
51. Help from a friend?
If things are not going well with you and you have been wondering for a long time without finding the useful root of thought, you can first seek help from a friend you trust. This is not the most useful option, because we should know ourselves best, but it is more advisable than doing nothing about it.
On the other hand, relying on friends at the beginning, over time we can further develop our own ability to discover the useful root of every thought.
There will probably be thoughts whose positive roots are difficult to find, even after help from friends. Leave them for a while and work with the other thoughts on the list, or apply those of the tried and tested techniques in which we do not necessarily have found useful root.
Things are dynamic and over time the answer may come to mind.
52. How does the useful root affect the perception of our thoughts?
The fact that we already find the useful root of thought is an incredibly big step forward because it gives us a new perspective on the thoughts we want to transform.
This is sometimes enough to change our assessment of a given thought, and we may even refuse to transform it because it already affects us in a very different and even positive way.
If we do decide to move on, this fact allows us not to transform the whole thought, but only a part of it. Metaphorically speaking, in terms of gardening, the goal is to cut out the diseased part of the plant and help it grow back, to become more beautiful and more perfect than before.
53. Transformation through the mind
Through the ability of the mind to create ideas and seek solutions, we must find another way to realize the useful root of a given thought and to offer an alternative thought that is healthier and would achieve the root goal better than the one we will transform. Then whenever the thought we want to transform appears, we deliberately remember that there is a better solution and offer it to the mind. This should be easy – after all, our mind has created the alternative thought and defined it as more effective!
In this way, we gradually transform the thought, which at some point begins to happen automatically, without much effort. We are ready! We can go on and transform the next thought.
The examples above would look like this. Let’s start with “having frequent contact with my loved ones.” This root can give birth to new thoughts in different directions. We can have frequent video and audio conversations and if our relatives do not know how to use the new technologies, a friend or neighbor can help them, for example through their mobile device. We can use e-mail or social networks for instant messaging. If these options are not achievable, then let’s schedule a date to travel to them, no matter how far ahead in the future, as long as it is the earliest in terms of our capabilities. This will give us extra confidence that we have done our best.
Let’s look at and “preserve and even improve the quality of life of ourselves and our loved ones.” The options for new thoughts are too many and are specific to each case. I believe that everyone would find very practical solutions for themselves. We can think about reducing the risks, for a healthier lifestyle, for securing a space for children or adults, for more time together and more care and help for relatives, discussions on certain topics and scheduling events, for example, people to plan the performance of certain tasks at a certain time, not to move alone in the dark, not to perform dangerous activities, etc.
The example “he wants to be successful, to improve his reputation, to present himself properly to people and for them to like him and include him more and more” – there are also many options here. For example, we can get to know the venue of the event in advance. To do enough training alone and in front of people we trust and from whom we would accept and apply the feedback. Let’s try to look good if that will give us confidence. Let us remember a case from the past when we coped well in such a situation. Imagine that the presentation was a success, and pay attention to the positive feeling that overwhelms us, trying to immerse ourselves in it and keep it. Let’s remember a situation in which we were cheerful, with a sense of humor, calm and moving along the current, and again to extract the feeling and allow it to take over us.
54. Transformation through the imagination – visual
With the help of visual imagination, we build a picture containing the thought that we will transform. We are now ready to transform this thought, but what to do with the picture?
We focus on it and pay attention to what we don’t like, what irritates us, what parameters we need to change to like it, and increase our assessment of it to a more positive one. Here we rely on the imagination, but also on intuition, on the sense of things, and as little as possible on logic and reasoning, because this is more of a creative process. If the imagination does not work as we expect, we begin to help it. We gradually change the various parameters of the picture, move the thought in space, change its shape and colors until we like it, and find the best possible new picture. This process can also take some time, it does not need to be done at once, let it happen more naturally and without violence against yourself, but rather out of curiosity.
In addition – because the picture may include the useful root that we have found in the basis of thought, we can leave it unchanged. We are ready when we get the new picture.
From now on, all that is required is whenever the thought we want to transform appears, to recall the new picture in our minds, to enjoy it, and to move forward with the conviction that the thought has already been transformed. Moving forward with this belief once we get the new picture is extremely easy and everyone can see for themselves by trying.
55. Transformation through the imagination – melodies
If you like to make and hum melodies, you may prefer this practice. It is essentially the same as the practice of visual transformations, except that instead of associating the thought we want to transform with an image, we associate it with a melody.
Whenever there is a thought that we want to transform, with the help of the imagination we create a melody for it. This can be done gradually, supplementing and changing the melody each time the thought occurs. We can help each other with musical instruments. We finish when the melody becomes stable and changes a little. We are now ready to transform the chosen thought with the help of the melody.
We focus on the melody and pay attention to what we don’t like about it, trying to change it so that we like it more and raise the rating to a more positive one. The goal is to reach a new melody that we like enough. This process can also take some time, it does not need to be done at once, let it happen naturally, without violence, and with curiosity.
In addition, because the melody may include the useful root that we have found at the base of the thought, we can leave it unchanged. Then all that is required from us is whenever the thought we want to transform appears, to recall the new melody in our minds, to hum it, to enjoy it, and to move forward with the conviction that the thought has already been transformed.
Moving forward with this belief after taking out the new melody is extremely easy and everyone can see for themselves by trying.
56. Transformation through feelings
This practice should be suitable for everyone because everyone experiences feelings. Of course, the more we realize and recognize the feelings that overwhelm us, the easier it will be for us to apply them. This is a skill that is evolving and can be practiced like any other. Whenever a thought comes to mind, we think of its useful root and allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the feeling it recalls. We keep the feeling for a while and we are ready. We repeat this whenever the thought we transform appears until the process becomes automatic.
57. Till when to transform?
In conclusion, we will say that the process of transformation of the thought flow is multi-step and we repeat one or more procedures for different thoughts, and after each successful step forward we can re-evaluate the thoughts on a scale from -10 to +10 and identify new thoughts for transformation.
This continues while we still need to improve the quality of our thoughts.
Because things are dynamic and the flow of thought changes depending on our daily experiences, practices also have a supporting function, and we can use them whenever needed.
Thus, we are constantly moving in the direction of achieving a stable state, in which the flow of thought is relatively calm and we feel comfortable with the thoughts in it. This helps not only to improve his cleanliness and appearance but also for our calmer, happier, more successful, more conscious, and more real life.