HOW YOUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS TO OTHERS ARE AFFECTING YOU!
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.
This sanskrit prayer is often sang before or after a yoga practice. When I hear it I feel whole, a little more connected and at peace.
First, let me explain what inspired this post with a little story for you:
One particular Friday during my morning routine I scribbled this affirmation into my journal: (which I posted on my facebook page)
Today I remember that we are all truly one. From this truth I offer up the love that I AM ( that we all are) to someone that needs to be reminded of who they are! I step away from my needs for a moment and in doing so I connect with another soul, and ultimately connect with and heal myself.
I then headed off to yoga. On my way there I heard from a friend in real need. This left me feeling really concerned. Once I got into the yoga class we were partnered up with a total stranger. We were asked to sit, facing each other and silently say “I wish you well, I wish you happiness, I wish you freedom, I wish you love”. I could tell this was very confronting for my partner. I loved it. I poured my heart into that experience. Finally, on the mat, before we began we all sang the above prayer.
This whole experience brought up so much stuff for me. I had a beautiful practice but I was also deep in exploration. I spent the next hour diving into that prayer in light of the affirmation that had come to me that morning and the news that a friend needed help.
I started to dig deeper into the ideas of negativity. It took me on a journey through the ego, on to the challenge of retraining habits that don’t serve us and finally to the idea that we are truly one.
Stay with me as I take you through that journey.
Negativity is habitual
Negative thoughts and actions are habits we’ve learned over the years. They are patterns of behaviours that are incredibly powerful and profound. Maybe we don’t even realise how powerful they are because we feel that our negative thought process is limited to our own headspace. They aren’t. The thoughts you have about someone else, yourself or life in general permeates throughout the universe like toxic waste.
All thoughts, all actions, are energy. Everything is energy and there are no boundaries to where this energy can go. It’s not restricted by time and space.
Which means that the power of our thoughts, even the negative ones, can be felt far and wide. Our patterns of negative behaviour and mindset has a domino effect – filtering into the lives of others, even if somewhat undetected at first.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to absorb a bad mood from someone else? It takes a strong energy field to block that sort of negativity. Or how your own negative state affects your entire day (traffic, can’t find a parking spot, lose money, everything goes wrong!)
The ego feeds off negativity
When we first notice that we have a habitual pattern of thinking and being from a negative space we then start to realise something else; the EGO – that ‘voice’ that is often cruel, unkind, irrational, angry, limited – is propped up and built on negativity. It lives off it. It LOVES the drama and the confusion. It feels good when we cut someone else down, to build ourselves up. It loves to take you down a notch too. It revels in limiting beliefs and behaviours. It’s out for it’s own survival – if you are completely present, positive and centred, the ego doesn’t exist. So being in a negative state is ideal for the ego.
Many of us are stuck in and identify with that voice as if it’s who we are. Worse still, we keep feeding it through those negative thoughts and actions, including the thoughts and actions directed towards others… which ultimately, comes back to bite us!
The most bizarre thing is how we feel comfortable with that negativity. We find the ego and its games to be familiar, normal… ‘the way we are’. Despite the turmoil it causes we tend to stay in that pattern and ego identification because it’s easier.
Retrain your habits
There is hope. You are not your ego. No, you can’t ‘get rid of it’. But you are not ‘IT’. Which bodes well. If you can start to truly believe that you aren’t that limited, negative set of habits and egoic nature then you can begin to bring about change.
Our brains are flexible. Through neuroplasticity there is evidence that we can literally retrain our brain. It can evolve (neural pathways and synapses) from changes in behaviour, mindset, environment and more.
Which, thankfully, means we can retrain ourselves to habitually think and behave with a positive, peaceful, open and limitless energy.
Change through awareness
Change doesn’t happen without conscious effort. I don’t mean ‘trying’ or forcing something to happen. That would be counter-intuitive. But we have to place our attention of what is happening for us in order to bring about change.
- First, we notice those habitual negative patterns. Maybe you literally take note of the running commentary in your head. Maybe you begin to ‘look’ at it objectively – watching it with benign interest.
- Next, there might be some ‘weeding’ you need to do. Perhaps it becomes clear that there is some residual ‘stuff’ that you need to clear and detox. I don’t believe in getting stuck in the story of your past, but I do also believe that unless you LOOK at what’s going on for you, clear out the weeds and get real that you can’t just ‘push’ it all aside and try to think and behave positively. Again, counter-intuitive.
- Catch yourself in repetitive patterns and begin to invite a different mindset in. Notice when you think negatively about someone else. Call upon your own inner guidance, god, the sun, any higher power that you resonate with and ASK for the ability to rise above it. State that you are completely willing to not think/feel in that way.
- Finally, can you step back a moment and look at WHY you thought that. WHERE did that thought/behaviour come from? HOW involved was your ego? Is it possible for you to consciously choose to think and feel differently? Try it on for size. Close the door on your ego. Begin to retrain those negative patterns.
What you do to others you do to yourself
We are one but we are many. We are ONE. All beings, all life. We are one drop of the same limitless, infinite ocean. This collective connective energy is powerful.
If you start to believe, feel and LIVE this concept of oneness then thinking and feeling positively towards other people will be the only way for you. It’ll be a non-negotiable. Why? Because what you do, say or think towards others you do, say and think towards yourself! You are absorbing back what you put out. You are mapping out your life, paving your road, changing your future with every thought, word and action. Tomorrow is a by-product of the present moment.
What you do for others you ultimately do for yourself. Now, that shouldn’t be your main agenda – “what will I get out of this? – but it should be a truth that we completely know and live.
Through this journey on the mat I was reminded in more ways than one that loving others is integral to the love I feel for myself. Helping someone else heal and experience happiness is vital for my own health and happiness.
The biggest take-out? A reminder of the power of the thought, a spot-light on the ego and realisation that I have the ability to set about real profound change for myself and those around me, just through my thoughts, words and actions.
Question for you: Are you aware of the power of your thoughts? Where have you learnt that your thoughts affect others? Where have you seen it in action? Answer below in the comments!
love + light,
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