Thoughts on Thinking

"When somebody persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes

"If you're unhappy with your life, change your thinking." Charles Fillmore

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it." Eckhart Tolle

"People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them." Epictetus

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

"Consciousness is a terrible thing to waste." PunditGeorge

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Little Bracelet That Could

Last year the documentary “What the BLEEP do we know?” presented a new way of thinking about life and the universe. More recently “The Secret” has stirred awareness in millions. Now a simple exercise that combines the two is gaining notice by millions. You may have seen one. It’s the Purple Bracelet.

Rev. Will Bowen, minister of the Christ Church Unity in Kansas City, came up with the idea of the bracelet as a part of a 21-day process of replacing negative thinking with positive – stop complaining. The bracelet is a simple reminder for the wearer to pay attention to his/her thinking. Slip into gossip, complaining, or whining, and the bracelet reminds them to think differently. Oh, and place the rubber bracelet on the other hand and start over. It takes about 21 days to create a habit.

Even folks who don’t grasp the creative power of thinking will usually concede that thinking happy thoughts is better than grousing. And that, really, is all the exercise is about. And it’s catching on. The Kansas City church supplies the bracelets at no cost to anyone who asks. As of this writing, nearly 6,000,000 bracelets have been requested from around the world. It’s a quest for a Complaint Free World. Well, why not? Beats a “Bitchin’ all the time world” any day. Why stop complaining?

What is complaining? It’s observing something that displeases us and throwing energy (attention) at it. For most people, complaining is a way of expressing concern about something. Ironically, like worry, the activity of complaining (or whining) actually increases the disagreeable situation/condition rather than reducing it. How can that be?

When we complain we focus attention on something we do not like. The more we complain, the more focused the attention – which reveals even more of what we don’t like, leading to more complaints, and so on. The power to change is within, not without. That’s a principle sometimes difficult to understand and practice. That’s where the purple bracelet comes in.

The bracelet is a tool to assist awareness of personal thinking. The beautiful aspect of thinking is the ability of consciousness to select thoughts. It’s easy to wander into the jungle of old habits of thinking – the preserve of complaints, gossip, and whines. If we catch ourselves (or someone calls to our attention) griping then, voila! Choose to think differently. Oh, and move the bracelet to the other hand.

Caution: As many people working with the Law of Attraction quickly learn, the principle is neutral and works regardless of what is presented by thinking/attention. Example: If I’m complaining about a disagreeable co-worker, and I’m practicing thinking about what I desire rather than what I dislike, I can change the thought. It might go like this: “You are a disagreeable person. I don’t like working with disagreeable people.” Changed to this: “I’ll like it better when you are no longer disagreeable.” Uh-oh.

Got it?

Complaint: Dislike being around disagreeable people. Desire: Disagreeable people should change. What is the FOCUS of those two thoughts - Disagreeable People! Desiring other people to change only reinforces what disturbs you about other people. The change comes from you, not others. George’s Axiom of Life: People are going to do what they’re going to do. Get over it.

What’s the nature of the law? To attract more of (increase) that which is given energy (thought about.) The workplace just opened for more grumpy people. Or, certainly you’d notice more. Put another way, the problem is not the solution.

In a complaint free world, I would desire to appreciate everyone and every thing around me. It’s possible to latch onto a better-feeling thought in every situation. The changed thought might not soar with joy (that’s a stretch) but it can rise a notch above the previous thought. Feeling angry is much better than feeling despair and so on.

“You are a disagreeable person. I don’t like working with disagreeable people.” An improved thought might be: “I appreciate my job…(find something agreeable about your job – paycheck counts!)” What will happen the more you practice thinking a better-feeling thought is that you will be more aware of, and see, of agreeable people and situations around you. They’ve always been there - you weren’t aware of them.

It is a remarkable concept – a complaint free world. It would be populated with agreeable folks. My kind of place. Yours too.

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