If I want to create a reality where everyone in my life (and I mean EVERYONE, from family to grocery clerks) only says and thinks sweet things about me, I must think only sweet things about them.
Sounds like a simple intention, but not so easy to put into action.
So here is my plan. When a negative assessment or judgment pops into my brain, I intend to catch it as soon as I can, mid-thought if possible. The first step is to acknowledge that a negative thought has appeared, and that I am in danger of the thought taking me down an ugly path. Then, rather than replacing the negative thought with a positive one (rarely works for me), I will simply replace the negative thought with the word YES, and allow there to be silence in my brain for the next couple seconds. If the negative thought crepes back in, I will let it go again, and again, and again, until my brain has been diverted off its negative course.
I know this works. About 10 years ago, I spent 6 months focusing my energy on saying YES to every negative thought.
This is how it worked. When I recognized that my “lizard brain” (what my husband calls this phenomenon) was on over drive, imaging all sorts of negative things about someone or the situation before me, I made it my mission to stop the negative thought in its track. Then with lightening speed, I replaced all the words that WOULD have come after (beginning with “how could they” or “I can’t believe she”), with the word YES. Then I enjoyed the sweet and unusual silence (in my brain) that followed.
Not only did this moment-to-moment habit make me feel more peaceful, but more importantly, saying YES resulted in transformational change. The people I had previously judged, and had been judged by in return, suddenly liked me. Go figure! Among many miracles, my YES ritual brought my father back into my life (we had not spoken for 3 years), and we ended up with a healthy relationship until he died a couple years ago.
Although I currently about say YES about 65% of the time, it is time to ramp up my efforts to 95% in 2016! I don’t expect this to be easy or pain free, or even to be perfect at it. But I do expect it to transform my life once again, and in ways that will continue to open my heart and awaken my soul.