A friend of mine introduced me to this question some years back. Six of us had decided to meet regularly with the objective of supporting each other’s personal growth and evolution. We frequently began each meeting with this question. Each one would share a brief update on what had been happening in his or her life. That is how I came to understand the power of this short and simple question.
It has been estimated that we have an average of 60000 thoughts a day. And of these, most people have 45000 ANTs or Automatic Negative Thoughts everyday! Whatever we give our attention to – grows. So if we keep operating on auto pilot, we can only expect to reinforce all the negative beliefs that we hold.
Our brains have a Reticular Activating System (RAS) that filters the deluge of information being received by the senses and alerts the brain to pay attention to only certain data. Gary Craig (the founder of EFT) likened it to an antenna – that only receives the data that supports our belief system. Consider this example from the book ‘Neuro-Linguistic Programming for Dummies’ by Romila Ready and Kate Burton: “Your beliefs will affect the threshold value of the RAS. Someone who believes he is a poor speller may not ‘see’ an advertisement for a reporter’s job, even though this shortcoming can be helped with spelling technology and he may be much better at investigating stories than someone who may not have a hang-up over their spelling ability and who applies for a job.”
Our beliefs shape our perceptions and how we experience life.
The one thing that is constant is change. Hence, there is a great likelihood of ‘favourable’ changes occurring all the time. But because we have not given them due acknowledgment and appreciation, they slip by. You may end up feeling stuck and frustrated, wondering if you are making any progress in your chosen direction. When we let go of our habitual way of looking at things and practise mindfulness, we can begin to feel the magic of what is happening right now. The ability to notice ‘What is new and good’ can fuel energy, enthusiasm and progress in the chosen direction. Without this, we may end up feeding the ANTs without realizing that the picnic has begun 🙂
One of the most effective tools for changing beliefs and habits is EFT. Here is a script to support the attitude of observing positive change.
The following assumes that you are familiar with Emotional Freedom Techniques. You can refer to the one pager to get started and if you find it useful, you can always find more material on the net. For a more thorough understanding, you may want to get hold of my book ‘Emotional Freedom Techniques’.
I am using the Short Cut here (not the Basic Recipe given in the one-pager).
So take out a couple of minutes for yourself, drink a glass of water and lets tap our way to a new attentiveness to the present:
Even though I feel like nothing ever changes, I love myself anyway.
Even though I feel stuck and hopeless, I accept myself anyway.
Even though I believe that things will always stay this way, I forgive myself anyways.
Eyebrow: All just the same
Side of the eye: Nothing ever changes
Under the eye: It never has
Under the nose: And it never will
Chin: All my efforts are pointless
Collarbone: What’s the point of it all!
Under the Arm: This is so frustrating
Top of the head: Life just stays the same!
Change is happening all the time, and may be its been small and slow
But something shifts a little everyday, this is something I know
Maybe if I look for it, the newness I see will help me grow!
Eyebrow: I choose to see differently today
Side of the eye: And notice what’s good
Under the eye: And new
Under the nose: However small a change it may be
Chin: There are certainly at least a few
Collarbone: Suddenly I realize that today
Under the Arm: Things are quite different from how they seemed yesterday
Top of the head: And the present is where I choose to be today!
Even though I get used to the routine and the mundane,
A part of me remembers that nothing remains the same,
Even though I sometimes get tired, and feel trapped or stuck,
I choose to focus my attention on the fresh and emerging,
And move to being wonderstruck –
By the many positive changes I find happening within and around me,
That were waiting to be noticed and seen.
Eyebrow: ‘Nothing changes’?
Side of the eye: That’s so untrue!
Under the eye: ‘I used to be afraid of the unknown’
Under the nose: Now, I welcome change
Chin: ‘Will the same old-same old keep happening again and again?’
Collarbone: Everything is improving – nothing remains the same.
Under the Arm: Though sometimes I may feel the progress is too slow
Top of the head: I choose to aware of all that’s good and new and enjoy the flow!
Take a deep breath, and exhale slowly.
Notice how you feel in the body.
Look around you … you may just notice some butterflies hiding in the grass 🙂
Related Post: Its a Brand New Day!
Photo Credit: Dr. Udatta Kher