The idea that our thoughts can shape our reality is not a novel concept: it’s a theme that has been explored in numerous books and studies over the years. As you navigate life, have you ever noticed that when your thoughts take a negative turn, your experiences seem to mirror that negativity? Our thoughts, whether positive or negative, wield incredible influence over our relationship with ourselves, others, and the universe. This phenomenon is poignantly illustrated in the documentary “Heal,” which explores the impact of our thoughts on personal healing.
As Buddha noted, “The mind is everything; what you think, you become.”
Our minds possess astonishing power, often operating on autopilot with little regard for our conscious awareness. In yogic philosophy, these thought patterns are known as “samskaras” – repetitive patterns that shape who we are. Think of them as neural pathways, which can either be positive or negative. Becoming mindful of our samskaras can be a potent tool for personal growth and self-realization.
But is it solely about thinking positively? Not necessarily. Recently, I came across the insightful wisdom of Dr. Price Pritchett, which left a profound impact on me. He emphasizes that controlling negative thinking is just as, if not more, crucial than thinking positively. Dr. Pritchett addresses the habitual nature of deeply ingrained negative thoughts that can obstruct our ability to manifest our desires. These subtle thought patterns, sometimes even outside our conscious awareness, are what he calls the “Five Cs”: complaining, criticizing, concern (not in the empathetic sense but rather in the form of worry), commiserating, and catastrophizing.
I consider myself a generally positive person, with a good attitude and enthusiasm for life. I firmly believe in the power of thought manifestation and continuously strive to maintain positive thought patterns. However, after delving into Dr. Pritchett’s insights, I began to uncover seemingly inconsequential negative thought patterns within myself. These included trivial complaints about Vancouver’s rainy weather (something beyond my control), engaging in subtle criticism, like scrutinizing how my husband managed household tasks (again, beyond my control), and even allowing worry to creep in, particularly when watching the news (way beyond my control). Commiserating, oh, I’m good at this one. The sad reality is that it doesn’t help me or the person I’m commiserating with; it’s just an act of wallowing in negativity. Catastrophizing is not unfamiliar to me either; you can likely relate. We’ve all encountered these “Five Cs” and experienced how they can impact our reality and our energetic vibration. It’s subtle, yet undeniably real.
To cultivate healthier thought patterns, all we need to do is raise our awareness and practice interrupting negative thinking. By consciously redirecting our thoughts toward positivity, we can pave the way for more vibrant, fulfilling lives.
The beauty of practicing this month’s mantra lies in its simplicity – it’s about undoing rather than doing. Slow down, become attuned to your thoughts, and when you notice even the slightest hint of negativity, simply pause and acknowledge it. You can certainly replace it or reframe it if you wish, but the act of becoming aware and halting the negative thought is a significant step in the right direction.
Written by Nicole Whitman