Thinking your way out of the box (or the forest)

If you’ve ever wandered into a dense forest, you know how easy it is to get lost if you’re not paying attention. One minute you’re in deep thought and the next you look up and wonder where the heck you are. The spiritual path often leads us into these kinds of situations and leaves us discouraged and looking for a way out.

The “sameness” of daily life often leads us to our own dense forest. Work, errands, commuting and chores take on a sense of familiarity that keeps us hidden from the life we want to lead. So how do you break out of your routine? It takes a commitment to thought awareness and redirection, a flexing of your spiritual will to put you back on the path to a new future.

Lately I’ve been using the following steps as my “re-directing” formula. The steps are designed to take me out of negative and limiting thoughts and remind me where I’m trying to go. It’s an oversimplification of the conscious creation process, but the steps are a good general reminder that short-circuits any self-limiting thoughts. When I become aware of a limiting/negative thought, I stop and take a few moments to work the process:

  1. THINK IT. This is a reminder to think a new thought. Often it’s a restatement of a goal that I want to achieve or it’s the opposite of the old thought I was just thinking. Restating the new thought gives it clarity and puts it directly in the forefront of my mind.
  2. FEEL IT. This is a hard step to perform on the fly, but it’s important to try. I strive to quickly get the feeling associated with the new thought (feeling abundance, for example). If I can’t access the direct emotion to the new thought, I close my eyes for a moment and remember a happy scene to help steer my emotions into a more beneficial direction.
  3. BELIEVE IT. The belief is in the process as much as it is a belief in the new thought. Beliefs are built upon the repetition of thoughts and emotions, so this step reminds me that I need the repetition to anchor the new belief into my consciousness. At the same time, I remind myself that I have a belief in my ability to change.
  4. LIVE IT. Now it’s time to act out the thought. I make some small step toward the new thought/belief. If I’m working on abundance, I may buy myself a cup of coffee. If I’m working on feeling safe, I may put fear out of my mind and make a determination to move ahead as if there is nothing to fear. No matter how small it seems, any effort helps to solidify the new thought or belief in my conscious mind.

With practice, these steps take only a few moments to work through. The real value here is in gently moving old and outdated modes of thinking and directing the consciousness to a new place. It’s a way of clearing the fog in that dense forest and cutting down a few trees in the process.

Above all else, taking the time—even just two minutes—to work with thoughts and beliefs is a strong indicator to your inner self that you’re willing, able and ready to Honor Your Spirit.