As I recall all of the times in mediation class when the teacher said, “Take a deep breath and remember a time that you were truly happy; Think of a childhood experience or an event in your life that brought you a true sense of joy, “ I admit that I couldn’t even think of one thing. I remember wanting to ask the teacher to do something else because her visualization prompt was too painful. All the feelings that came up were feelings of sadness, grief and unhappiness. My mind could not take me to one happy experience in my life. Not to mention, the physical aspects of the same yoga class were causing all types of painful thoughts to come to the surface. Many of these traumas flooding my mind were things I hadn’t thought about in years.
How could something so positive bring such painful experiences to my mind? One day after class, I decided to ask the teacher. She explained to me and said, “You carry all of your old emotions and traumas in your body.” So, when those thoughts come to your mind, it’s because they were releasing from your body.” Her words of wisdom for me was to simply, “Breathe them in and then breath them out. Focus on your breath and they will go away. Those thoughts will depart from your body.” It was then that I became extremely interested in meditation and the mind-body connection. I began a daily meditation practice in addition to my continual spiritual journey, and those painful memories have morphed into divine lessons that made me who I am.
Years later, I found myself at a wellness educator training where the instructor told us, “Today we are going to do a heart-centered meditation.” She then had us breathe in and breathe out very mindfully. Almost immediately, my cells began to feel full; I could feel nothing but love. She instructed us to place our hands on our heart. “Remember a time you when you were truly happy- perhaps a childhood experience or something recent.” I felt a rush of nostalgia and divine love. My heart felt so full that every memory in my life seemed like a loving experience. I cannot describe the amount of love I felt for all of the experiences I had. My eyes began to tear up when I thought about how that meditation used to feel.
After years and years of self-development, I now realize that the pursuit of happiness starts and ends on the inside. When we discover who we are, even our mistakes make sense. We must first change how we feel about ourselves, then the way we feel about our experiences will change. We will see our own experiences as a divine path to our highest self.
There are so many ways to shift your consciousness from fear to love. Here are some simple things you can do right now to change your mind and your life.
1. Make a conscious decision to remove negative thoughts from your mind. When you feel yourself going to a place of sadness, despair or judgment, simply take a deep breath and exhale to let it go. The more you do this, the easier it will become. Take as many breaths as you need to. Remember as Patricia Moreno says, “You are the thinker and not the thoughts.”
2. Find your purpose. Start by writing for ten minutes per day. Write about anything you desire. This could be writing things that bother you, things you love, your grocery list, or whatever comes to mind. When we write, we connect to the higher power in ourselves; the answers lie within you.
3. Create an intention statement. Take a day for yourself and truly reflect on where you want to be one year from now. We are connected to everything we need in our lives. The power to get you there lies in your belief. Belief fuels the dream to its destination.
Write one full page of exactly what you want your life to look like. Avoid statements such as, “I hope,” or “I might,” or “If this happens I will be…” Use statements such as “I am _______.”
Example: “I am a mother of two beautiful children who have everything they need to live an abundant life. I am a successful leader in my community. I am at my goal weight. I am married to an incredible partner”. Write absolutely anything your heart desires. Remember what comes following, “I AM” is the most powerful statement you can make. Make it great!
4. Write in a gratitude journal. Take a few minutes each night to write three things that you are grateful for. Being grateful for what you have brings you more of what you want.
5. Meditate daily. Meditation quiets the mind and connects you to your higher power. It brings clarity, peace and love to your life. There are many free mediation programs online such as Deepak and Oprah’s free 21 day mediation challenge. You can also visit my website at www.straightupfearless.com where I share meditations that I record.
Even if you’ve never done any of these things or if you have only done some of them, I encourage you to add in each of these powerful 5 practices over the course of the next few weeks. I can’t wait to hear about how they change your life. As Dr. Wayne Dyer so beautifully said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Originally published at medium.com