Pay Attention To Your Thoughts by Eileen Alexander
Blog written by Eileen Alexander, Reiki Master & Yoga Instructor at The Body Image Boutique
When was the last time you spent a day paying attention to your thoughts? I mean really paying attention. Noticing the stories you tell yourself about who you are, about how others view you, and about how you are “supposed” to be.
One of my favorite quotes by Marianne Williamson begins with this line – “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
When I first heard this quote many years ago, it made little sense to me. I was a single mom, about a year into a 12-step recovery program. My inadequacies were not a fear. They were a fact. And I wasn’t afraid of feeling powerful. In fact I believed that I longed to feel powerful. Yet something about this idea intrigued me, drew me in. It felt familiar. While I could not wrap my mind around it, it called to my heart.
I began to listen to my thoughts and words – the stories I told myself about who I was, how I looked, what others thought of me, how I “should” act, look, and on and on. It was a little shocking to take a step back and observe myself. My mind was so often focused on things that I did not want – fears, what ifs, so much negativity and self-criticism. Our thoughts are very powerful and creative and become beliefs. I realized that many of the beliefs I had come to embrace fed my darkness, not my light – that comfortable place of not being or having enough and being the victim of a harsh world. I was embracing, not fearing inadequacy! Wow! What a revelation!
As I began to consciously change those thoughts and beliefs, staring at all that I was rather than all that I wasn’t, it was difficult, really uncomfortable and often very painful to give myself permission to love myself – to accept all of me – my body, my emotions, my past – exactly as they are. And to step into my place in this world and show YOU my light – that was (and sometimes still is) absolutely terrifying. Yet, it was only by going through those feelings that I have been able to embrace my light and create a life of joy.
Today, through my personal spiritual practices of Yoga, Reiki and meditation, I have learned to make peace with my mind on most days. Yet, I am still a work in progress – we all are. At times, those old familiar thoughts of inadequacy and judgment slip in. I simply remind myself that they are just passing through and that I don’t have to engage in a conversation with them.
Change your thoughts and you change your mind. Change your mind and you change the world you see!