This week, I took a 5 day Positive Thinking Course at the Ashram. I started out feeling that I was already a positive person, and mostly signed up for the course because of the instructor. He tells interesting stories and also is a really good teacher.
I basically thought I'd affirm my own beliefs and habits.
It turned out, the course was much more impactful than the typical, 'turn a challenge a bit and see the positive side' that I am very adept at doing. This course was more about transforming our thoughts, actions, interactions and approach to life.
The main premise of the course is "Man sows a thought and reaps an action. He sows an action and reaps a habit. He sows a habit and reaps a character. He sows a character and reaps a destiny." This one Swami Sivananda line really intrigues me.
The beginning of our destiny is in our own thoughts.
The practical side of the class used much of the philosophy from the book "The Practice of Autosuggestion" by Emile Coue.
Swami Vishnudevananda, who founded the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, was a big believer in auto suggestion. And auto suggestion is taught world wide in yoga classes to facilitate deep relaxation in the final Sivasana pose of a yoga class. The practice of Yoga Nidra is based on auto suggestion.
In their own thoughts, yogis follow the prompts of the teacher to relax the feet, then legs, then backside, then chest, arms, neck, head etc., one body part at a time, to facilitate the deeper states of relaxation for healing and regeneration.
The acceptance in the West and use of autosuggestion to impact the unconscious mind is a relatively new approach, within the last 50 years. In the past, the main focus of science was on the conscious mind as being the 'driver' of our actions and existence. It is now known that the conscious mind is the 'gate keeper'. However, real change is realized through the unconscious mind.
That is why Trying Harder quite often does not yield success.
Think of the non-golfer who gets up and just swings at the ball and somehow lands a hole in one - completely without knowing how he just did it. And then how frustrated that person is when he actually starts trying to stand correctly and hold the club right and do all the things that golfers are supposed to do and for years and years doesn't get another hole in one.
So How can we use our unconscious or subconscious state of mind to positively impact our lives?
What I am now testing out, as part of the learning from the course, I share with you - and perhaps you might want to test it out too?
There are two times of the day when the conscious mind is less effective at gate keeping - first thing when you wake up and right before you fall off to sleep.
Each night and morning, repeat "Day by Day, In every way, I am getting better and better." The suggested # of times is 20, but so far, I fall asleep before I get to 20 times. In the morning, it is most effective to say during that kind of groggy , not quite lucid state. And so, I only get about 10 times in before I happen to be wide awake. If you can do 20 times, great!
In three weeks time, after consistent twice a day repetition of this phrase, we are supposed to realize notable changes. It could be changes in our attitude, our health, our emotional state, our interactions with people - everything in our life can be positively impacted.
Besides this little phrase, if there is a particular area that you want to work on, then you can create a short phrase to repeat after the main phrase. An example - "I sleep peacefully and soundly through the night, and feel great in the morning."
Make sure to have your statement be affirmative, not hopeful - so NOT " I want to get better sleep or I wish I wouldn't be angry at my kids...." instead - "My sleep is rejuvenating and wonderful." and "I am a loving parent" :)
The key is to make sure to use the main phrase and at night repeat it until you fall asleep. In the morning repeat it until you are fully awake, or 20 times, whichever comes first. The secondary phrase is repeated right after the main phrase.
For example - "Day by Day, in every way, I am getting better and better. I sleep peacefully and soundly through the night, and feel great in the morning."
I'm excited to find out how effective this is and plan to be vigilant for the three weeks time. We were told that it is imperative to do the phrase every night and morning - so don't cheat yourself - give it a sincere, consistent 3 weeks to see what happens.
I'd love to hear from anyone who takes up this challenge and know about their results. I will share mine:)
Sending You Love from the Bahamas,🌞
Thank you for taking this journey with me!
If you haven't signed up for the blog post updates, please do.
I also welcome you to leave a comment below or post one on my BestYOU facebook page.
Sharing your thoughts is a gift to all of us!