Our Thoughts and Words Create Change

Our Thoughts and Words Create Change

I met a man recently, and in this article, I will call him John. John had a lot going on in his life, and most of it wasn’t good. He had a steady job, a girlfriend, and a lovely 7 month old girl, and those were the best things he had going for him. He was afraid that the girlfriend would be leaving him any day, taking their daughter with her. He fully expected this, and he was quite sad about it. At the same time, he felt that if that happened, he fully deserved it.

John told me “I’m a degenerate drunk.” He said it many times during our first 5 minute conversation.

I felt horrible hearing him say those words, and it wasn’t because he scared me or threatened me in any way. It was the simple thought of John holding this thought about himself and believing it to be true. What a painful way to view yourself, to think about yourself.

I’ve labeled myself many things over the years (mostly having to do with my excess weight), so I’m no stranger to putting myself down, but my heart went out to John. Not only did I feel bad for him, but I had a tremendous amount of hope that he would change.

Not hope that he could change — hope that he would change.

We can all change our lives. It’s built right into us, all of us. But I’ll get to that.

The reason that I had hope for John was one simple thing — he stepped forward and asked me for help. He desired change. He just had no idea how to go about it. He had no plan, no clue about how to begin.

I knew how to help him change. I couldn’t do the work for him, but I had helped dozens of people implement change in their lives, and I knew that I could help him figure out the steps on this journey.

I was on vacation when I met John. It was a family vacation (all adults), where there was much shopping, walking, and visiting of casinos.

Despite that, I made a commitment to this man. I made arrangements to meet him the next day, before he had to go to work, and we would talk. I thought that we would have one meeting, on one day, and that he’d lose his motivation to speak to me after one session. That happens quite often. I was so happy to be proven wrong.

John and I met for four sessions, about 15 to 30 minutes each. I was amazed that, despite the fact that he was sure that change was going to be long in coming, or maybe out of his reach entirely, he committed to meet me each day, and he was there, without fail. I have worked with many people who desired a change in their lives, and many of them were not willing to put in the work that this man did. He didn’t waver in his conviction that this was important, and that he needed this. So he showed up every day.

Day 1 covered a lot of ground, but the single most important concept we discussed that day, in my opinion, was the way he thought and spoke about himself.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, that our thoughts become things, or that our thoughts lead to our experiences, which I believe in wholeheartedly. But that’s not actually why I addressed this first with John.

I could not stop myself from addressing it. It was a thorn in my mind, that he spoke and thought so negatively about himself. I spoke to John very passionately about the idea that our thoughts become our reality, but the center of that concept is that what we think about ourselves becomes true. If he kept that thought in his mind, “I am a degenerate drunk,” it would continue to be true.

I told John that what he was experiencing that day, right there, was the truth that he had shaped for himself in the past.

What he thought that day that we spoke was the seed for what would be true for him in the future. If he wanted a different future, he would have to change his thoughts to include the possibility of change.

The second part of that premise is that what he said about himself was also programming that future.

The mind is a computer that we program through our thoughts, our words, and our deeds. Everything we believe about ourselves, every thought we think about ourselves, every word we say about ourselves, and every action we take are programmed right into what we become.

We sculpt our future self by thought, word, and deed.

John needed to begin with his thoughts. He was resistant. He didn’t want to stop saying that he was a mess, that he was a degenerate drunk. But he listened.

I asked him to just try it. Perform an experiment to test out the concept for himself. He considered it and decided that it was worth it. By the end of our session, John wasn’t putting himself down.

Our second session went well. It wasn’t until the end of that busy day full of activity that I relaxed and reviewed our session that, and it hit me — John hadn’t said one negative thing about himself during the entire session!

This was huge! It might not seem to be a big deal unless you’ve tried to help someone implement change in their lives. Most people say that they want to change, but they don’t usually act on suggestions that go against their image of themselves. I could tell when I met John that he’d been putting himself down like this for a long time.

John had considered what I said, and had found enough value in it to give it a try. For at least one session — the space of 30 minutes or so — he spoke as if sobriety was a possibility for him. He still didn’t see it happening anytime soon, but that was tremendous progress. Two days before, he hadn’t seen any hope at all of him becoming sober in his lifetime. You could hear it in the way he spoke about himself.

I don’t know what he said about himself for the rest of that day, but for the length of that session, he tried it out. He was much more willing to discuss possible change, although he retained the idea that it couldn’t happen quickly.

In the space of one day, John made a change that could impact his entire future. It could. We are creatures of free will, and he might choose to go back to the familiar ways of speaking about himself, of thinking about himself.

I was very excited when I spoke to John about it during our third session, and he was surprised by the passion with which I spoke about this one change. It was a small change, really. Easy to overlook.

But that one small change was the fulcrum, the point on which he could rest the lever of his will and move mountains. That one change, if it persists, if he continues to think thoughts of possibility for himself, can lead to a complete overhaul of his entire life.

The keywords above are IF and CAN. It is all up to him.

I’m so happy to say that during our second, third, and fourth sessions, John never again said any horrible things about himself while I was there. It was a promising beginning.

I was really sorry to leave my vacation, but not because of the lovely location, the shops, or the casinos. I had someone there who I really wanted to help, and to encourage along his path. I didn’t leave him with just words, but a plan for the changes he wants to implement in his life, a plan based on his goals and dreams for his future.

For you, my reader, I want to impress upon you that the desire for change, for an improvement, to better ourselves or our lives is within all of us. There is almost always something that we want to improve about our experience. If this is the case with you, start with these two steps:

Step 1. Begin with your thoughts. Believe that you are a person that can make that change happen. Believe that you are worthy of having that change in your life. Delete or destroy any thoughts that contradict this. Drop them through a mental shredder. Use them as compost. Destroy them however you like. Just don’t allow them to take up space in your head and your thoughts anymore.

Step 2. Monitor your words. Anytime you hear yourself say something that is putting yourself down, stop it and correct yourself. If you are changing yourself to bring in financial abundance, avoid saying that you’re out of money. If you want to stop smoking, stop talking about yourself as if you’re a walking chimney.

Step 3. If you say something negative about your goal or your ability to complete it, go back to Step 1, find the thought or belief behind what you said, and destroy it.

Step 2 will show you all the thoughts, beliefs, and ideas that you might have missed in Step 1. You will miss a lot. That’s all right. You can always come back and root out more.

Our minds are like computers, and our thoughts and beliefs are like malware. The strangest thing about this mental computer is that the things we program it with show up 3D in our daily lives as obstacles, problems, and circumstances. They can also show up as happiness, good fortune, and financial freedom. It all depends upon what mental malware or apps we program ourselves with.

Are we broke? We programmed ourselves with a Financial Hardship or Poverty app.

Are we alone? We planted the malware of not deserving love, or we tell ourselves we drive away anyone who might love us, or we believe we aren’t worthy of real love. This malware functions to interfere with any romance that shows up in our lives.

Are we living in messy surroundings? We programmed a Procrastination app, or a Do It Later app, or a That’s Good Enuf app. These mental apps show up in our lives as a 3D mess.

And so on.

There is a lot of this thought malware that came from the people who shaped our childhoods. Parents, friends, siblings, extended family, guardians, foster parents, teachers — any or all of them may have given us little malware or bad apps that they had in abundance themselves. They may have shared these intentionally, thinking they would help us somehow, or maybe even unintentionally, not realizing that we learned from watching them.

Sometimes, it wasn’t what someone shared, but what we learned from watching the grown-ups around us. The wisdom of children is an amazing thing. Sometimes kids see straight to the heart of a matter. But sometimes, they don’t have all the facts, and they misinterpret what they see. So they come up with a new malware thought, one that nobody has seen before and they program it into their life.

However it may happen, the thoughts and beliefs programmed in our minds (our subconscious minds) grow into the circumstances of our lives. What we see all around us, in front of us, affecting our days and our lives, that is our personal life program. Maybe even our operating system. We have programmed most of it ourselves. We have to clear out the bad bits ourselves, too.

When my teenaged son is rude to me, it is partly his fault. But it is also mine. The decisions I’ve made along the way, the choices I refused to make, and the thoughts I think about myself and my parenting skills — all of these work together to create my life, my day to day experience.

My client John is not the only one that has thoughts that need to change. I do, too. We all do (or 99.999% of us).

If your life isn’t the way you want it to be, you have thoughts and beliefs that you need to weed out. If your life isn’t amazing and wonderful, you can make it better. Even if it is all going well, there could be something you’d like to improve.

Changing the thoughts you think and the things you say about yourself isn’t the only change you must make to improve your life, but it is the fulcrum. It is the beginning.

First change the thoughts. Then change your words. After that, everything becomes possible.

After that, it is persistence.

All the malware will come up as obstacles in your path, and you may be tempted to think or say “See? This proves that I’m not worthy. This proves that I can’t do it.” But that isn’t true.

The only thing that obstacles prove is that there is malware that you missed, and still need to find and delete. Those little buggers are sometimes and it’s hard to get them all.

Every time you encounter an obstacle, think only “Time to find another bad thought or belief.” There will be many of them. And just when you think that there are an endless supply, you’ll be done with that task.

Don’t give up because of obstacles. Just see them as a chance to make your clean out your mental computer. The malware just identified itself and now you can get down to business.

This sort of Personal Programming is tedious, but rewarding.

Don’t give up!

You Were Born Rich, by Bob Proctor

A Trip to Ruidoso, New Mexico

From Christmas Day to January 2nd, I went on a fantastic trip to Ruidoso, New Mexico with my Mother, my stepfather, my stepsister, and Mom and Dad’s dogs. We took 2 vehicles to make it easier (and with three women along, don’t you think that was smart?)  Mom drove and her dachsund and I were along for the ride. I didn’t want to listen to it all the way from South Texas to New Mexico. I suggested an audiobook. My mother was interested, but wanted something rich in content. We went through a bunch of titles before she picked one.

After about an hour, I was ready for a break from that one, so I suggested an alternative. I put on “You Were Born Rich,” an audiobook that I’d already listened to. This was a winner!

You Were Born Rich, by Bob Proctor

Now, I don’t know if you listen to audiobooks.  If you don’t, the good ones are like having the best books read to you by a fantastic narrator. You get so much out of it! I also love classes, courses, lectures, and seminars, mostly in the field of Self-Help or Self-Improvement.

This is a fantastic 3 day seminar for how to turn your life around. These are the directions you’ve been looking for if you need to make a change in your life. Any change will do. Any change for the better! We were all born rich in so many gifts, and this one focuses on that, and on bringing in the money, as well!

Mom and I  got a real kick out of the stories and examples given. This is not a seminar where they kick you while you’re down. This is a seminar that gives you perspective, and helps you see that you’re not as bad off as you thought you were. You were just given the wrong information. This is the information you’ve needed all along! Where you are now isn’t where you need to stay. Even if you only want to change your mood or your attitude, this audiobook will help you to do that.

If you’re new to Audible and willing to try it out, you can get this first book for free. If you’re an Audible listener already, it’s only one credit — $14.95! (Click on the audiobook cover to get more information!)

Anybody who purchases this should be aware that there is a companion workbook, which is downloadable by going to your Audible Library (after the purchase). Find “You Were Born Rich,” and you will see the “PDF” link on the same information line. You can download it to your computer or your mobile device from there. The workbook is important and very useful for following along at a few essential points in the seminar.

My mother and I have been learning from the best and most incredible thinkers for decades, but there is always more to learn. I’m going to be listening to this audiobook many times, so that I can learn more and more, absorb more wisdom, each time.

The Road to Ruidoso and Back

As far as the trip went, it was fantastic. We had traveled to New Mexico for the cold weather, but apparently we dragged the South Texas temperatures along with us. Back home, in the Alice and Kingsville areas, they were having colder days and nights than we were in the mountains, which should have been snowy!

Despite that, the weather was beautiful, the residents and shopowners friendly and welcoming, and we got to meet a lot of really nice people during our stay.  The trip back was made even more enjoyable because we were right in the middle of “You Were Born Rich,” and were happy to get back to it.

We made it home safe and sound, and now we have new friends in Ruidoso. It was a fantastic retreat from my regular life, and I’ve been less stressed since I got back.

I hope each and every one of you had such a great vacation, or are about to take one yourselves, even if it’s at home with a pile of books, DVDs, or a video queue. 🙂 Staycations can be very good to recharge!

If you do check out this audiobook, or if I met you on my travels, please comment below! I’d love to hear from you!

Bonnie’s “Who Am I” Tarot Spread

Divination Matters.

I have been fascinated by divination since I was about 8 or 9 years old, but I live in the Bible Belt (or below the Belt, as my friend Todd once told me), and I am surrounded by people who either claim to not be interested, or that divination is downright evil and proscribed by the Bible. So I have, for most of my life, been fairly circumspect about my interest in divination. There was a wild time during my 20s that I lived my dream and worked as a professional Tarot reader, but that’s a story for another day.

I have been dragging my feet about posting more of my soul online, and this is a decision that’s caused me quite a bit of anxiety, but I think it’s time to come out of the metaphysical closet, because I have a lot to say, a lot to share, and a lot of people to meet out there, and I need to be about it.

Through my subscription to Benebell Wen’s blog, on August 21, 2017, this post caught my eye. I liked the concept and the spread, and so I’m going to take a crack at it, as well! Please be patient with my photos, because I’m new to this stuff, but they will get better as I progress. 🙂

Bonnie’s (@bonnie_cehovet) #WhoAmI Tarot Spread

First, the directions for the spread: Set out the cards in any arrangement you like, but with the intention of these ten points:

  1. How do I see myself at this point in time?
  2. What are my passions?
  3. How do my passions sustain me?
  4. What are my fears?
  5. How can I best deal with my fears?
  6. What are my fears here to teach me?
  7. What are my goals?
  8. How can I best support my goals?
  9. What do I fear about my goals?
  10. Where are my goals taking me?

I chose to do two simple rows of five cards each (photo above), and I’ll break them down below, so that I may share my answers. My photos are from the Robin Wood Tarot (my favorite deck, based on the beautiful and crisp artwork), and only the Major Arcana for this spread, because I didn’t want to address mundane life at all. I did this to focus on the big picture, the spiritual side of my journey, specifically.

1. How do I see myself at this point in time?

Trapped. For the past few years, I’ve been caught in the habit of binge-watching TV and reading instead of doing what I know will help me move forward in my life. I find it easy to slip back into ruts and harder to develop new, more positive and constructive habits or routines. Above all, I feel like I have been trapped in an old mindset, thinking that what I have been told about myself  is true. I have to be willing to let go of old mental concepts and move away from all I am familiar with to discover a new world. If I do what I’ve always done, I’ll get what I’ve always gotten.

I’m willing to make serious changes. I am actually in the midst of changing (see above post about diabetes). I will continue to change for the better.

2. What are my passions?

Cultivating or creating a bountiful, happy, abundant home and business life. Happiness and contentment. Learning! Living Debt-Free! Travelling to mystical places. Teaching thousands upon thousands of other people to live their dreams, too!

3. How do my passions sustain me?

They are my backbone, my strength. My passions infuse me with energy. My passions are my guide to doing exactly what I’m here to do this lifetime. They also give me a reason to harness my inner child, my ego, or id. There is a reason not to be running rampant about my life — focus and clarity and purpose are there, at my fingertips, within the topics I find so endlessly fascinating. That is where my willpower is barely needed, because I am ready and willing to dive into study and learning and doing!

Turning my attention to things that are fascinating to others weakens me, weakens my drive, and my inner wild beast takes over, rebelling against the restrictions, and expressing its quiet, passive-aggressive (or sometimes overt) anger at whatever is keeping me from following my calling. Following the socially correct path, for me, has been torturous. It does not come easily, though I do enjoy being social and getting along with others. Doing what society expects for me to do is much more difficult, though I put a lot of my attention on doing these things safely and sanely, and with harm to none, including myself.

4. What are my fears?

My focus in life is in gathering practical wisdom that can be shared with others. This is most often a solitary pursuit while I am studying. Am I ready to proceed with the teaching portion of this task? I feel, always, that I have more to learn, that I should read a few more books or take a few more classes or courses before I begin teaching others. But the truth is that I already have a lot to share. I take this card in this part of the reading to mean, for me, that it is time to share my wisdom, ready or not. I can continue to learn and study and be mentored, but it is also time for me to be the mentor, to teach, and to offer my counsel.

5. How can I best deal with my fears?

Start. Begin. Move forward with faith. Trust that what I know now is sufficient to begin my journey. I don’t have to wait until I know more. The Fool carries a pack full of important knowledge & tools, has shoes and music and clothing, and a companion — his intuition. He is ready for a journey, a spiritual journey, even though he doesn’t carry with him everything he might possibly want. He has what he needs, and that is what I need to remember. I, too, have all I need to move forward, to take the next steps. I just need to step out of that iron comfort zone and step into adventure.

6. What are my fears here to teach me?

That it is all within my power to control and to change. I rule my thoughts and my environment. Fear is excitement turned upside down. Life is moving past that, every day. Structure, routine, ritual, all can help me to move past my stumbling blocks. Also, chunking tasks into smaller steps can reduce that feeling that there is too much, that I feel overwhelmed by all that lies before me. One step at a time, organized and arranged, will make that bunch of tasks fall into order and coherence, braiding them together into a thick, discrete braid of all my disparate knowledge.

7. What are my goals?

Rebirth as a better, higher, more powerful version or level of myself. To help as many people as possible to transform their lives for the better. I take the journey first, so that I can better explain, teach, and assist others to take the same journey.

8. How can I best support my goals?

Stick to my beliefs despite persecution, insult, or ridicule. My perspective may be tested, but I will persevere. My inner light, that light that has been hidden under a bushel, is fed and expanded by my studies and exploration into mystical and metaphysical matters. This is not a popular view where I live, but neither is it unheard of. I will step forth boldly and speak my truth, because my perspective is not wrong, and because I will continue to gain more understanding through what comes.

9. What do I fear about my goals?

Independence. To be successful will be to step (or move) away from many of the people who currently surround me. I love my family and friends, and I need to step toward my destiny. Those don’t always do well together. I will be finding out who supports my success and who says it only when my own success doesn’t threaten their own view of the world.

Once I do move forward, and gain some momentum, I’m a bit worried that I will make missteps, or put myself into the wrong space, or try to move faster than is best for me. But I have been on my own before, and I do miss that. It’s time to use old skills, and lighten the load. My supporters will come along with me on their own, either hopping on my “chariot” or staying in touch, if they want to do so.

So really, I’m afraid of losing this old mindset, which has never served me, and the old group of people around me, who have different interests and goals than I do, and aren’t part of my tribe. It’s time to find my tribe!

10. Where are my goals taking me?

Following my goals will inspire me, bring me hope, good health (which I do seek!), happiness, and harmony. Spiritual abundance and peace. It indicates contentment, and a bright future ahead. I am now renewed or restored, invigorated. Which is an excellent outcome card, and just what I need!

 

Thoughts on Divination vs. Fortune-Telling

My official education is in psychology and counseling, and the concept of the “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy” is one that needs special attention when you are doing divination, for yourself or for others. The self-fulfilling prophecy is simply believing something someone else tells you will happen. You believe it so much and so completely that it really happens.

I believe that the guidance I give others based on a reading is one possible path, and I have always been sure to tell my clients so. Over the years, I’ve learned that many Tarot practitioners tell their clients that the cards indicate that “THIS” will definitely happen for them, in a certain amount of time, and I disagree wholeheartedly.

When you interpret Tarot (or Oracle Card) spreads for yourself or anybody else, remember that the cards are shining a flashlight into one possible future, usually the future that will happen if you make no decisions and do nothing differently than you would normally do.

Changing The Outcome of A Negative (or Bad) Reading

The only two steps to take in order to change a bad reading to a better one are: 1) make a decision to change what you’d normally do, and 2) put that decision into action.

Don’t ever believe that any card reader or diviner can tell you what will happen in your life. You always have the power to change your thoughts, your actions, your beliefs, and therefore your future.

May Harmony find you.

 

Perfectionism, Procrastination, and Diabetic Denial

Hello, World!

I’ve had this website for months, and yet have not laid a finger on my keyboard because of those two bad habits: Perfectionism and Procrastination. Not only did I want to have a perfect first post, I wanted to have it at just the right time, and the combination was tremendously intimidating. Not only is this post not going to be perfect, it isn’t even at quite the time (day, date, time of day) I envisioned, either.

But the truth is, I have a lot to say, and I hope that some of what I have to share will be just what some of you need to hear. I will get into the details about the topics I love later, but today, for just a little while, I wanted to focus on just the most important thoughts in my life at the moment.

Perfectionism

Wanting to do things correctly is great. Wanting to do things right is good, too. But wanting to do things perfectly is a great way to sabotage yourself before you even speak, write, or take any action at all. The desire to create a perfect product is understandable, but it will take some time to work out the kinks in any creative endeavor. It will take practice, and by definition, practice will not be perfect, even though it will get you closer to perfection.

I know that some cultures believe that to create something physically perfect might be perceived as overreaching, and so they deliberately add a flaw of some kind to an otherwise “perfect” masterwork. I find that idea interesting, and I’m all for accepting the human mistakes that we all make. Most of my favorite artists’ works would be considered imperfect, and they have no problem with that. I like that, because I find it not only shows that a human created the artwork, but also that I can most likely create something like it for myself, if I do the work.

What perfectionism brings to our work is self-criticism, overly high standards, and a fear of making mistakes. None of that is necessary to the creative process. In fact, without mistakes, we would not learn anything new. Some of my most exciting breakthroughs in my art (or in my knitting) were when I did something that fell short of what I was trying to accomplish, but when I really evaluated it, I learned that I’d accomplished something unexpected, but worth repeating.

How can you find the genius hidden in your own mistakes, and learn the lessons from doing things the wrong way, until you actually do the work? Consider yourself a self-guided missile, and your goal is the target. Every time you work toward your goal, assess how close you got to your target, and how you could tweak or fine-tune your next actions to get you closer to your goal. And next time, even closer.

That’s how we all learn. Trial, Error, Assessment, Learning, Correction. Repeat.

Now if only I will remember this as I keep writing my blog!

Procrastination

Where perfectionism didn’t interfere with my intention to write a blog, procrastination did.

“I’ll do it later today.”

“I’ll do it after I finish this.”

“I’ll do it after vacation.”

Tonight, I’d had enough of my own lollygagging and decided to be the boss that demands their employee works nights. It is almost 11 p.m. on the 4th of July in Texas, and I can hear fireworks going off in the streets around my home. (That always inspires a feeling of safety, especially during a drought!)

Despite the festivities that I can hear, and even though my son and husband are in bed, trying to get to sleep, I am here at my laptop, doing what I’ve been planning to do for over 3 months now. Months! How do you buy a website and spend months just staring at it and thinking about it and doing nothing? Even I am surprised at how long it has taken me to just write some words down.

They don’t have to be fancy words. After all, how many people are going to be reading this first blog post once I’ve written so many others that I lose count? This is the first of many, and the most important thing is just to get it done, get it written, get it on the site. It’s not even difficult! I’ve had little blogs before. Nothing for which I had hopes so high as I do for this one, but I’m not a complete newbie.

If you ever experience this in some part of your life, consider this: you’ll feel so much better after you’ve gotten that item marked off your To Do List, or once it’s no longer taking up your thoughts and making you feel guilty. While you get it done, accept that it won’t be perfect (see above on Perfectionism), and make your peace with that.

And suddenly, you are on the “after” side of the big bad thing you’ve been putting off, and that side feels so much better than the “before” side! Join me!

Diabetic Denial

This really could be an entire post by itself, as could the others, but I just learned about two weeks ago that I have the big D – Diabetes. Suddenly, my chronic fatigue and unwillingness to do things made a lot more sense (and the tremendous thirst and constant need to pee, too).

I have been eating and drinking far too much sugar and refined flour, and they finally caught up with me. I’d like to think that this has just happened, but the truth is, I think I’ve had diabetes for years, and that scares me. It’s like just finding out that your favorite pen or pencil was a loaded weapon, and you’ve been on the verge of killing yourself with it every time you chewed on it, or tapped it against something, or pressed too hard on it. I have been eating like I don’t have a care in the world while my body was trying to tell me that something was very wrong.

The symptoms are easily overlooked or dismissed as other things. But if you are tired, drink a lot of fluids but always feel thirsty, and have to urinate all the time, do a little research. Get your blood sugar checked, and don’t do what I did. I almost ate and drank myself into an unsuspecting early grave. Yes, it can be that serious.

Thanks for reading this, and Happy Independence Day!

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a TED Talk I found the first time I did a YouTube search for “Diabetes.” I hope you find it as inspiring as I did!