Transforming Negative Thoughts

How often do you catch yourself having negative thoughts? Do you ever feel like you are caught in a desperation spin?

In order to stop the spin and master your mind, the first step is identifying the repetitive negative thoughts so that you can re-write them in the positive. Re-writing is a method of re-framing which can help you to powerfully transform your negative thoughts.

After writing down your repetitive negative thoughts, re-write each one in the positive, using as many of the same words as possible. For example, if you often think, “This is terrible,” you could re-write that thought in the positive as “This is temporary.” Another example is re-writing the thought, “I’ve got to get out of here,” in the positive as “I’ve got to relax here.”

Using as many of the same words as possible makes it easier for you to remember to think the new thoughts, because the grooves of the old thoughts are already so established in your mind. If you only change one word, and it begins with the same letter as the old word, that makes the process almost effortless for you…

Once you have re-written the repetitive negative thoughts as positive statements, take out a separate sheet of paper or note card, and write at the top, “To master my mind, practice this new train of thoughts,” and then list only the positive statements on that paper or card.

Read your list of new positive thoughts out loud several times each day, and practice thinking your new thoughts throughout your daily life.

I hope this tool for transforming negative thoughts is helpful to you!

Thank you for reading the StarFire Teja Blog!
This post is my 200th post here in 2019!

 

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Photo by Jakub Kriz on Unsplash.

 

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Bells of Mindfulness

It was a lovely autumn evening and all was well… It felt wonderful to breathe in the cool fresh air… But then, once again the neighbors’ cigarette smoke began wafting in on the breeze… With anger I closed my window… and then, once again the toilet paper holder fell to the floor… and then, I stepped in water in my socks… and with each small frustration, I felt my angst growing stronger…

And once again the negative thinking swirl began, with the primary question surfacing, “Why is life so hard?” But just then, a small gentle voice asked quietly, “Umm, could we reframe that?” So I tried and tried to think of a more positive spin on my view of life (in that frustrated moment), but all I could come up with was “life is challenging” and “life is not fun.”

Well the small gentle voice was not having those negative reframes, so she dug deeper into the situation, and then she shared this insightful reframe:

“Life is filled with bells of mindfulness.”

Yes! All parts of me agreed, and the toxic angry vibes lay down to rest with the cranky despairing energies…

So then the small gentle voice said calmly, “When you closed the window in anger, that was a bell of mindfulness to show you where you need to cultivate more peace, understanding, compassion, and kindness… And, when the holder fell down and you stepped in water in your socks, those were bells of mindfulness to show you where you need to generate more calm inside yourself. So remember, life is filled with bells of mindfulness.”

Dear readers, this experience arose in me because I have been studying the teachings of the Zen Buddhist Master, Thich Nhat Hanh… His teachings on mindfulness are so simple to grasp, integrate, and practice in daily life… Soon I will write a post about his book Peace is Every Step.

And so what about you… Can you relate to my experience here? Can you also see many bells of mindfulness in your life?

I hope this post was helpful to you!

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Photo of bells cropped from original photo by Az Aay Chhetri on Pexels.

 

StarFire Teja’s Sad Photo Challenge for Suicide Prevention

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and I am launching a Sad Photo Challenge. I invite everyone to share photos of themselves crying and/or looking sad, to help those who are suffering in despair to realize that they are not alone in their sadness.

Think about how much we all put on our happy faces for others, especially for social media. I think that as a society we need to allow sadness and realness and authenticity of feelings. I don’t think that we should wallow in sorrow or overindulge in it, but rather, we need to allow sadness to naturally flow through everyone, including men, women, teenagers, and children.

When I took the photo featured in this post (almost ten years ago), I was crying and feeling very, very sad. As I looked in my sad eyes in the mirror, I suddenly became inspired to snap a photo, never dreaming that I would ever show it to anyone! At the time I thought, “Why not capture this sad moment, like I capture all the happy moments?” So now I challenge you to also share a sad photo of yourself, with the caption “I am accepting StarFire Teja’s Sad Photo Challenge for Suicide Prevention.”

SadPhotoChallenge_SuicidePrevention_ReachingForOrange_StarFireTeja

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know that I have been dealing with a Fibromyalgia flare lately, and I have to consistently work to happy up my mind and to keep a good, positive attitude. Well, one night a few weeks ago I dreamt that I walked up to two fellows from my high school class, and I said, “Guys, I’ve come to the end of my rope.”

People who commit suicide have truly come to the end of their ropes. When I say that I would never commit suicide, because I couldn’t do that to my family and friends, and because I don’t believe in killing living beings (which is why I choose a plant-based lifestyle), and then I say “but I am in such despair that I wish I would die of natural causes,” no one is alarmed and sends me to the psych unit because I first stated that I would never commit suicide. Not only are they not alarmed, they might say something like, “sorry you’re having such a hard time,” and then go about their day, without realizing that the despair I’m feeling might be every bit as alarming as the despair of someone who would commit suicide… Perhaps the only difference is that I would not kill myself… But, as I said in my dream, sometimes I feel like I’ve come to the end of my rope…

How can we truly help people who have come to the end of their ropes? I believe we can help through active listening, genuine compassion, and understanding. Even if you have never felt deep despair yourself, you can still listen and try to understand. You can also remind people that they are not alone in their pain. In fact, suicide is among the leading causes of death in the United States, and according to the World Health Organization, “Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is a global phenomenon and occurs throughout the lifespan.”

We need to welcome the tears of others and meet them where they are, so that they can feel that where their rope ends, a greater rope begins. We are all connected as part of one continuous energy. We all feel pain. We all want happiness. Not just the human species, but all living beings feel suffering as well as happiness. We are all part of the same rope, and we need to help each other feel that connection to everyone and everything.

If ever you feel that you have come to the end of your rope, please know that you are not ever alone in your pain. Help and connection are always available to you.

For further hope and inspiration, please read my previous post, “It Is Your Duty To Live” and my new book Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life.

If you live in the United States, you can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. It is available 24 hours everyday. You can also visit the website: SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

So, will you accept the challenge and share a sad photo of yourself for the world to see? Your sad photo might just help someone in despair to grab onto that greater rope that we all share.

May this post be helpful to many beings.

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy.

 

 

Reaching for Orange to Calm Your Mind

Dear readers, yesterday was yet another bad day in the body. I used to have a more balanced mix of good days and bad days, but lately I’ve had quite the run of bad days, making me ask the question, “Did I not appreciate the good days enough when I had them?” But I did appreciate them, so much. In fact, right before this run of bad days began, I had very gratefully enjoyed so many good days that I almost couldn’t remember what the bad days were like…

I guess I needed a reminder… Geesh!

Anyhow, yesterday was not good, and my mind was beginning to get a little anxious about it… As anyone with chronic health issues knows, it is an ongoing struggle to maintain positivity when the body doesn’t feel well… And once the mind begins reacting negatively, difficult emotions flow from the negative thoughts… So, yesterday when that began happening, I took out my new book, Reaching for Orange, and spent the day reading it cover to cover! (“Spiritual helper, help thyself!”)

Reading Reaching for Orange helped me to happy up, just as the subtitle promises! I have read this book many times, and this time I especially enjoyed the Blessings section. I read all of the blessings out loud, and I felt calmed, soothed, and elevated as I allowed myself to deeply receive all of those blessings.

“Blessings can be vibrant transmissions of living consciousness.” ~ Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life.

If you regularly read my blog posts, then you know that I post blessings for you on Fridays… Tomorrow I will share a few blessings from Reaching for Orange, from the section of blessings to help with depression. Whether or not you feel depressed, you can enjoy tomorrow’s uplifting blessings.

Unfortunately today is worse than yesterday, so thankfully this afternoon I am going to see my new doctor. I am hoping for a diagnosis that will help me to better understand this body. If you feel inspired to send me some good thoughts, healing energies, blessings, prayers, magical mojo, or whatnot, I will gratefully receive them!

Thank you so much for reading this post.
May you feel great love in your whole being!

With gratitude and trust in the mysteries,
Teja

 

Three Hours Left

Dear readers, the intention of this post is not to induce fear, but rather to impart feelings of awe, appreciation, positivity, connectivity, and rootedness in the priorities dwelling in the ground of your being.

Imagine that we humans discovered that in three hours time, some natural force was going to cause planet Earth to explode and entirely disintegrate.

What were your first thoughts when you read that?

When I imagine that there are only three hours left, my first thoughts go towards trying to grok what would happen to everything and everyone… Where would all of our souls go? What would happen to all the memories and experiences and energies?

All of the stories would just be done. All of the histories, cultures, art, music, inventions, and creations would be gone. It is mind-blowing to even consider the ramifications of such an explosion. All of the mountains, oceans, rivers, deserts, canyons, forests, flowers, birds, butterflies, cows, and bears would be gone. And what would happen next?

After considering all of that, my next thoughts go towards deciding how to spend the last three hours. I decided I would spend the first hour calling loved ones and saying good-byes, and the last two hours praying and chanting (singing sacred mantras). My intention would be to die consciously while feeling connected to the Divine Source. To me, that would be the ultimate Surrender to God. I am not sure what happens to us after we die, but I know that when I am singing spiritual songs, I feel connected with Something Greater, and I feel calmed by that Force from beyond this realm. So, I feel that chanting at the time of death would be a way to die peacefully.

I began chanting as a daily spiritual practice more than fifteen years ago. I usually sing along with CDs by my favorite chant artist, Krishna Das. One day in 2008, I was evaluating my priorities in life, and I suddenly found myself saying out loud, “I want to live inside the chant.” Well, at that time my sons were 8 and 11, and I was busy with many worldly responsibilities, so it was not possible to live inside the chant all the time!

Now I’m in a new nun phase, but still there are many things to do each day beyond chanting. So when I think about my priorities if there were three hours left, versus what is happening in my life now, it makes me wonder if I could somehow commit to chanting more each day… But, then I also think that if you knew you were about to die, and you wanted to die a peaceful, conscious death, then of course you would drop everything and just focus on that. Whereas, if you are still in the midst of full-on living, you can’t just drop everything and do your top passion all the time.

What do you think about all that? What would you do if there were only three hours left, and how would those priorities line up with how you live your daily life now?

I hope this post inspires you to feel awe and appreciation for this sacred planet Earth, as well as rootedness in the priorities dwelling in the ground of your being.

May you feel positively connected to everyone and everything!

 

 

image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech