Sunday, December 31, 2006

Let's Be New In The New Year

Let's Be New In The New Year

“We must treat bad habits like enemies; fight them off until they are at bay. And, always be looking for where they might seek an opening for a sneak attack so that can keep them at bay.” Mildred Greene

As we start off on a new year by the Western calender let us not only usher in a new year in name only; lets start the year off with a new look a new lease and approach to life. You have the power to influence your reality ! If your life is going well, think of ways it can go a little better and act on them. If your life is stuck in a rut (someone once said a rut is a grave with the ends missing) you do have the power to change it. Yes many things are beyond our immediate control and we may not be able to change them but there are many situations we can exert our powers of imagination, will and action to alter. Life is not static, it is dynamic always changing. You can make alterations to your life now and over time. If you are in a dead end job, you can learn new skills, return to night school, take a continuing education course, enroll at a community college or professional school to prepare yourself for promotion, a new job or to start your own business. Perhaps you have a passion or a hobby, something you like to do that can earn you a few extra dollars on the side, if so take a risk and the initiative to put yourself out there. Try it and see what happens. If you want to change or a change in our life you will have to do something different.
Human beings are creatures of habit on so many levels. The Dictionary of Psychology defines a habit as: an activity that has become relatively automatic through prolonged practice; relatively consistent pattern of thought or attitudes; an acquired drive such as drug addiction. On the personal level these patterns of thought, emotions and action are called habits, on the family level the collective patterns and repetitions of sameness and conformity are called folkways, on the societal level they are called customs, traditions and the all embracing habits and patterns are called culture. What we eat, how we dance and relate to one another are habitual. So habits influence our lives in so many ways. So if you want to change your life, it may not be enough to just change your way of thinking as important as that is. Change is a long range and all encompassing affair. Real change always begins on the mental level. Energy follows thought is the metaphysical rule. So change first means deciding and determining you want to change and believing change is possible and desirable. Since change is mental it means you will have to start monitoring your thoughts regularly over a sustained period of time until you no longer think in the old patterns and your change thoughts become the predominate pattern in your consciousness. To be successful you be consistent and unwavering in your thought patterns. We must monitor our thoughts and determine to alter our thought patterns. In other words we have to change the way we think and what we think about. For example if you are a pessimist, alter the way you see the world and begin to think optimistically irrespective of your current circumstances. If your self-image is poor, you can change it. You have the power to alter how you imagine (form pictures in your mind’s eye) and think about yourself. You are the artist, the director and the actor; you determine what and how the picture in your mind looks, you say action, cut and you control the mental images. Constantly remind yourself to be conscious of your steam of thought and the things you say to yourself which psychologists call “self-talk”. Our self-talk can and does literally program ourselves for success or failure depending on the content and feeling of your self-talk.
One way to help yourself is to wear an unobtrusive rubber band on your wrist. Every time you catch yourself thinking negative, self-defeating or anger generating thoughts, snap yourself gently with the rubber band. After a while you will get the message and your thinking will change. But just thinking is not enough. You will have to take additional action by surveying your situation and modifying and adjusting your behaviors and social network . Remember it’s not only your personal habits but also the thought patterns of the people in your immediate and extended social circle. If you want to stop smoking, drinking and drugging you have to disassociate yourself from those folks who smoke, drink and drug! If you want a get a better education or improve your income potential, you cannot associate with folks who denigrate education or attempt to discourage you. Change demands thought, strong feeling (faith/confidence) and action. Because we are all creatures of habit we have to create new patterns and behaviors to substitute for the ones we want to replace! We have the pwer to do that, the question is will we exert it. We have to consistently reprogram ourselves through our thoughts expectations and actions.
If we want to change conditions in the community and the society at large; we have to align ourselves with like minded people who also share a strong desire for change who are willing to galvanize and work together to alter our collective reality. For example stopping violence begins with you/us. We have to seriously and honestly check ourselves to make sure we are not hostile, angry frustrated and fearful; that we are not harboring ill will or animus towards ourselves or others. If we are, more than likely we will either explode outwardly or implode internally. Either way those emotions will manifest unless we learn to transmute (change) them. Remember energy follows thought! We can go from being frustrated to being hopeful and optimistic but we have to have something to be optimistic about, a new vision of ourselves and a new goal. Having an image or an idea is the first step. The second step is to believe strongly and expectantly in the realization of the goal. Lastly we must work to actualize the dream/goal. Insanity is doing the same things over and over with the same people expecting things to be different. If we want things to be different we have to think, feel and act differently. Change is possible it’s just not easy. For a truly New Year let’s think, feel and act new.

-30-

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