Welcome to #practices4life—practical tips for living a happier, healthier, and more peaceful life from Jim Blake, CEO of Unity World Headquarters at Unity Village.
“Here I share techniques I have learned for living a more balanced life. Some of these can be mastered, while some we will “practice” for the rest of our lives. The important thing is to keep trying because with every effort, we get better. And improvement is the goal—to make this life experience better for ourselves and those around us.”—Jim
Friends, I am Jim Blake. Welcome to the first installment of #practices4life—practical tips for living a happier, healthier, and more peaceful life.
I will share with you techniques I have learned and continue to practice every day. Some of these you and I will master, while some we will “practice” for the rest of our lives and may never master. The important thing is to keep trying because with every effort, we will get better. And that is the ultimate goal: improvement … making this life experience better for ourselves and those we love and interact with.
So let’s begin with what will be the most important and maybe most challenging practice: Getting inside your own head. That’s actually where most of life experience happens. You may be thinking “Jim, life does not happen inside my head; life is what occurs on the outside.” True, but how we experience life depends on what we think about those things that are occurring before us, near us, and to us. How it works is we witness what is happening—then form our thoughts and judgments almost instantaneously.
There’s more: You and I are not our thoughts. We are the “It” somewhere inside that is having the thoughts. The mind is the generator of the seemingly endless voice we hear in our head every day all day. We are all much more than our minds and as such, can choose to observe or change these thoughts. So we can actually just examine the thoughts going on in our head OR if we want, we can shift them to something completely different! Try it right now. Instead of thinking “Jim has really lost it,” reread the last few sentences and immediately change your thoughts to “I understand what he is saying, and I can change my thoughts that quickly!”
There, see, you did it!
Okay, why is this practice even useful? There is a saying, “Your mind is a garden; your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.” So as spring unfolds, it is a perfect time to begin the practice of tending to the garden of our minds.
Our practice for the next few weeks is to become aware of negative thoughts and see if we can somehow change them to positive ones. A simple way to do this is to notice the negative thoughts and say to yourself, “I release those thoughts that no longer serve me.” Then try to think of the opposite occurring or think of something completely different. Give it a try and see how your mood and mental health shift in accordance with your new way of thinking.
Remember friends, practice makes progress.