Change your Thoughts

chakraAnyone who ever had an injury or prolonged illness or any traumatic event for that matter knows how easy it is to slip into a negative mindset: You are upset because you are in pain and dependent on others, you are grumpy because you can’t do the things that you used to do and you feel unattractive because of the flab that’s accumulating around your middle.
And I am not immune to that! But sometimes when you hit rock-bottom, the only way is up. And as I pondered how to get myself out of this mental and physical slump, articles, books and posts started to pop up about the energy of words, the power of our thoughts and how neuroscience can actually measure how thoughts and emotions control how we feel, how we change and ultimately how we live our lives.
Mind you, these kind of messages and information weren’t new to me, but they have never really sunken in before and required the action that I was ready for now. It really was the urgency of my situation to change something in my life and my emotional state – and that led me to study these topics in more depth. Maybe it is my background as a scientist that makes me gravitate towards measurable information that actually tells me what is going on in my brain and in my body. Once I knew what was wrong with my shoulder, I decided that surgery (albeit traumatic) was the best option for long-term health and recovery. And once I understood how thoughts and thought patterns (known as ‘classical conditioning’ or ‘unconscious habits’) can make your life seem repetitive like Groundhog Day (the same old fears, instinctive reactions and stubborn opinions play out over and over), I understood that, like working on a difficult asana, I had to methodically and consistently work on my mind, thoughts and emotions. While we often consider ourselves slaves to the thoughts and emotions that seemingly jump out of nowhere and plant themselves right in front of our inner eye and dominate everything else, we are in fact quite powerful in being able to change our emotional state and thus the limiting factor of our mind.
Now, because evolutionary-speaking the parts of our brain that weigh up positive versus negative thoughts are still in Neanderthal mode, our brain will treat negative (fearful) thoughts like Velcro and positive thoughts like Teflon. That’s why we need all the tools and help that we can get to get out of the rut and into the life-changing creative process of changing our thoughts (the language of the mind) and emotions (the language of the body) for the better. My tool set consists of every day rituals:

Asana practice (currently deep Yin Yoga) and Meditation
– My “Mindfulness-stone” – a beautiful stone in my pocket to remember to think in terms of “What does that moment require from me?” instead of instinctively reacting
Inspiring books (e.g. “The Energy of Words” and “Radical Acceptance”), websites/blogs (“The best brain possible”) and Video clips: Click here for an uplifting surprise!
– The “Replacement Method“: Replacing or substituting a sabotaging thought with a grateful and positive one
– My Vision Board(s): Vision Boards are a powerful way to convert your dreams, wishes, positive affirmations and plans into definite and tangible objects.

While all of these tools are great, the Vision Board can be the affirmative springboard that allows you to take the plunge. Vision Boards do not require a “How to get there?” or a list of the limitations – the universe will take care of it as you meditate in front of your vision board every day (or use it as a screen saver) and imagine, feel and believe in your own healing, visiting a far-away country or your dream job – or all of the above! – And the universe will conspire to help you. Neurologically speaking, you are forming the new neural pathways in your brain that produce energy and vibrations that in turn attract the same energetic patterns that allow you to materialise your wishes. Sounds too good to be true? Think about an incident in your life when you wanted something really strongly and were thinking and wishing for it every day – and then it happened! Maybe years later, but it did happen.

In one of my upcoming workshops, we will make it our project to create our own vision board and I will give you examples how my past vision boards were designed and which helped me to achieve my goals, dreams and aspirations.
Obviously, my journey is still ‘a work in progress’ and I’m happy to share my experiences, setbacks, achievements and affirmations with anyone who feels stuck in a similar train of thought. Rumi once said: “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” So don’t be afraid of your scars, of possible failures or setbacks: In the end, that’s the only way we learn and it is the process that strengthens our life force.
With much gratitude to all of you,

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