How do you know that it’s your thoughts that create your reality?
Imagine you are at a healing and meditation retreat, and you are in silence. You are in a tropical paradise, in the middle of rice paddies. All of your immediate needs are taken care of. There are three meals a day lovingly prepared by the staff. The views of the rice paddies and the mountains are spectacular. Everything is peaceful and quiet. You are blissfully happy and relaxed and then, suddenly, you are not.
On the external level, nothing. What happened was a thought entered your mind which disturbed you. And instead of letting it pass out of your mind, as quietly and wordlessly as it came it, you grabbed onto it. Right at the moment of grabbing onto this thought is where you took a wrong turn. This is the instant when that thought starts to grow into a story.
For example: You read about someone progressing in their work, and the thought enters your mind that you don’t quite measure up to this person.
This is a malicious thought, which if entertained could destroy a precious hour or more of your time, as you ruminate and create a story around ‘Oh, such-and-such a person is making so much more progress in their life than me’.
Immediately you are not feeling as serene as before, and you may start to feel straight out awful. Just because of this one little malicious thought.
What’s the alternative?
The same thing happens.
You read about the person who is making great strides in their career and you notice that thought heading in: ‘Oh, such-and-such is doing so much ….. ‘ and you stop it right there. You have three ways that you can deal with the situation.
1. Let it just pass right on through
You let it pass out of your mind space. And it’s gone. You have not attached to and reacted to the thought. And it has not disturbed your inner peace. You can continue with your day.
2. Tell that thought to F Off.
You may want to tell it to F*ck off. Yes. You can do that. The thought is malicious and unkind, and you may want to respond in this way. Depending on your personality the F.Off method may or may not work for you.
3. Question the Thought
If you are able to divert this thought before it is fully formed, the other alternative is to question that thought, using the Byron Katie method of questioning. Byron Katie developed a deceptively simple technique to deal with difficult thoughts in an amazingly effective way. It involves asking four key questions. You need to really take your time when answering these questions, and be as truthful as possible. The truth will eventually set you free.
Is it really true that such-and-such a person is doing so much better than you?
Really investigate this question and see if it’s true or not. If it’s not true, find three examples of why it’s not true.
In this case it might be.
The obvious: I am not so-and-so so there is no point comparing myself to her/him. My life path is different.
The counter: I am doing well in my career, living on my own terms, doing what’s right for me.
The unknown: Who knows how this person really feels about their career. They may have just got a promotion, but who knows if they are really passionate about their work. This is completely unknown.
How do you react, when you believe that thought?
So focus on your inner feelings here.
When I believe this thought I feel: sad, lesser than, somehow diminished, unhappy with myself.
What’s the turn-around?
The turn around might be: I am doing so much better than so-and-so. Or to take the nasty comparison energy out of it all together, you could turn this thought around by just saying: I am making great strides in my career.
Who would you be, without this thought?
I would be the happy blissful person who is enjoying their time at a peaceful meditation retreat in the tropics.
Choose either of these three methods for dealing with malicious thoughts and see which works best for you.