Did it work? Or did your mind immediately flash on the color green even though you specifically told it not to?
The thing is, it flashed on green specifically because you told it not to. It’s not being rebellious. Your mind is not being a teenager or a terrible two. It would have also flashed on green if you had asked it very nicely, “Please think green.”
The subconscious mind does not understand negatives. It only hears whatever it is the words ARE – i.e. green. That is why, if you’re trying to calm yourself down saying “Don’t be afraid, don’t freak out,” your subconscious hears “be afraid, freak out.” That is why in those situations it’s better to use positive language, such as “Just relax, breathe.” Can you feel how much more effective that is? Even reading the words feels more relaxing.
It’s kind of like the ads I put on my blog a few weeks ago. There is a computer program that is designed to automatically detect reoccurring words and place ads that are similar to the content of the blog, so that the ads might be of interest to the people reading the blog. Makes sense. However, it’s kind of like the subconscious mind. Somewhere there is a computer brain that is processing the words but not understanding negatives, satire or even unity. I noticed once I posted about how engagement rings are a scam, ads for diamond rings started popping up. That is ok, they are for some earth friendly jewelry company, not the evil De Beers, and at least they have pretty pictures. But even worse, when I first put the ads on, the program started picking up on all the references to Jesus, Christianity and Islam and there were all these ads about converting to one religion or another and about how this prophet or that savior is the only way. This is the exact opposite of what I stand for and what I write about! So, I had to go in and block those ads, in a sense reprogramming the subconscious computer brain to not associate religious words with religious division.
This is what we need to do with our own minds. It is, however, a little more tricky. It’s not as easy as just clicking on the “block” button. But this is where we train ourselves to focus on what we DO want, instead of what we DON’T want. I.e. – if wanting to manifest a new job, make a list of characteristics you want in the job, like ‘flexible hours, good benefits, at least X/hour’ etc. If you make a list of what you don’t want, like ‘no jerk for a boss, no crappy pay, no awful hours’ then you’re more likely to get a job with at least some of those crappy characteristics.
This is the basis of such personal development systems as Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Est and the Forum. Big name self-help guru Tony Robbins uses elements of NLP in his success seminars and the practice of affirmations and positive thinking have seeped into our popular culture. And there is something to be said for being conscious of how we use our words and what it points to in our subconscious mind. However, there is more to it than just words.
In general, I believe that everything should be done in moderation, even moderation. And NLP can get a little extreme at times. I’ve had friends get so into it that they tried to eradicate ALL “negative” words from their speech. They would twist and turn and speak in all kinds of round about ways simply to avoid saying the word “not.” Back in my Asheville days I worked at a massage school and one day when I answered the phone, it was one of the assistant instructors essentially calling in sick – but instead of saying he wasn’t feeling well and he would not be coming in to work he said “I am in the process of healing and I am choosing other than to come to work today.” That’s just silly.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with positive language, NLP or affirmations is that the only reason we are using words at all is to relate to the FEELING we have inside. It is the FEELING of our hearts that creates our reality – that creates us being happy or sad or confident or insecure or scared or relaxed. The words themselves don’t mean anything without the feeling behind them. You can use all the positive words you want but if you still feel negative and grumpy inside, you won’t create a positive outcome. Anyone who has written affirmations on the mirror to no avail knows that.
I saw this Gregg Braden video (which I have on my Meditation and World Peace page) where he talked about a friend that had all these post-it notes all over his house saying “I am attracting a wonderful loving woman into my life” and the like. He asked his friend if he was really attracting a wonderful woman and his friend immediately responded “Of course not, no wonderful woman would want to be with me.” So, even though he had all the words plastered all over his house and even in his car, his underlying feeling about himself had not changed.
In fact, this is how affirmations can misfire. People think that simply by putting up post-it’s they can change, but what they don’t realize is sometimes those post-it’s just get the subconscious mind to sass-mouth the post-it and it aggravates the negative feeling even more. Every time that guy looks at his post-it’s about a wonderful woman, instead of it having the intended effect, his subconscious mind says “are you kidding? she would never be with someone like you,” magnifying his negative subconscious feelings and working against him. Instead of using post-it’s with words on them, it is much more useful have post-it’s reminding you to sit for a few minutes and focus on the FEELING you want to create. Instead of calling in and saying you are choosing other than to come into work today, just call in sick like a normal person and then spend some time resting in bed focusing on the feeling of being healthy.
Before we get too nit-picky about what words we use and run around yelling “cancel clear!” every time we say a negative word, as if it’s a cosmic delete button to ward off accidental manifestations of “not,” just breath and remember it’s more about the state of our feeling self. Our manifestation consciousness is not so much centered in our verbal mind, it is centered in our feeling heart.
Now, here is where we get to the Secret of Immortality. I know you’ve been waiting for that.
The Tom Robbins book ‘Jitterbug Perfume’ is about all manner of people searching for the Secret to Immortality. Some people believe it is in some extraordinary combination of scents to be found in a blue perfume bottle embossed with the image of a goat-horned god. There are others in the book, however, that believe the Secret to Immortality lies in completely eradicating any and all words or idioms involving death or dying in our language. These people believe that every time we say “I was scared to death” or “that is so funny it just kills me” that we are creating our own eventual demise. They are part of a society that is aiming to neuro-linguistically re-program our biology from death itself.
However, I posit that the Secret to Immortality is not in NLP or ‘never say die,’ it is in FEELING that you are an eternal soul. Immortality is not only saying the words “I am a soul” or even believing that you are a soul who will live forever. Those are important steps. Immortality is in feeling that you are an eternal soul. It is about internally identifying as a soul and experiencing your every day life with that knowingness as the ground of your being. Immortality is in even your subconscious mind knowing and accepting that your consciousness is timeless.
As an example, if someone were to ask me, ‘have you ever been to Peru?,’ I would think – not with this body in this lifetime, but I’m sure I’ve been there at some point. The “I” is my soul. Of course, I’m not obnoxious and I simply reply like a normal person, answering the question in the way it was intended – ‘No, I have not been to Peru.’ The person wasn’t asking for a treatise on immortality and past life remembrances. They just want to tell me about a cool hotel they discovered in case I ever go there.
So, whether you are wanting to get over a cold, manifest a wonderful woman or discover the Secret to Immortality – remember that you can use positive language, verbal reminders and post-it notes, but the essential part is in how you feel. Do you feel that your immune system is strong and capable of healing your body quickly? Do you feel that you are a good loving person who deserves to have a wonderful loving woman in your life? Do you feel that you are an eternal soul and that the consciousness of all time is available to you here and now?
And as in all things, it’s important to remember that Divine Grace supersedes it all. If you don’t want to worry too much about what words you use or what your subconscious mind is doing – just pray for Grace. No matter what you are wanting to manifest, not enough can be said for praying with full feeling in humility and adoration. Loving God will take care of most things.