by Jim Self –
What is the very first step toward becoming an intentional thinker?
First, your mind must be free of noise and undesirable chatter, especially other people’s opinions, suggestions and programming. You might accomplish this by simply noticing the noise and mind chatter you are presently engaged in and affected by. No need to do anything other than simply notice it. And laugh at yourself of course.
Words are an easy place to begin to observe the noise.
Words are the direct indicators of your patterns of thought. Whether that thought pattern is helping you or hindering you, noticing the words that are indicative of the pattern is the first step in altering and even re-patterning that habit of thought.
You may begin by noticing the words other people use. I suspect you’ll soon discover that the unhappiest people you know are always talking about how rotten life is; how poorly they’ve been treated. The most satisfied and prosperous people you know will be talking about how great and miraculous their life experience is. Funny how that works.
If you have a desire and intention to change these patterns of thought in yourself, as you observe others soon you will discover certain words falling out of your mouth that don’t feel good or don’t support the prosperity and happiness you really want.
One word that is most revealing is the word “Should”. This word (and its derivatives and substitutes) indicates where programming lies. A should is used to convince someone else to “Do it my way. I know the best way.” You may notice how frequently adults use should on children. You may also notice how you use should on others and toward yourself.
We all do it. We don’t use should to intentionally hurt another person, just to make them behave more like us. This underlying desire however, can be extremely harmful, especially to children. Some of us should quite often. Shoulding on each other; shoulding on the kids, shoulding on ourselves. What a mess. Should all over the place!
One of our students tells this story: Lori was married to an ex-Vietnam Marine for many years. After the marriage dissolved and she moved on, she was packing her clothes one night for a business trip. She packed and unpacked several times, never getting it quite right. She folded the clothes then unfolded them, rolled the clothes then unrolled them, then folded them again. It was getting late. She was getting tired and frustrated.
What was going on? Why was it so difficult to complete this simple task? Lori finally surrendered, sat down on the edge of the bed and began to use her intuitive tools to find the center of her head. Almost immediately she heard her ex-husband telling her. “You should always roll your clothes just like this whenever you pack!” What a surprise, her ex was still shoulding on her after all these years and affecting her ability to pack a suitcase! Mary laughed at herself, did some quick energy work to release that bit of programming, quickly packed her suitcase and went to bed. Lori has been able to pack suitcases ever since.