Despite our familiarity with and reliance upon words, we are rarely taught the profound effect that they have on both our inner health and external reality, or how we can utilise their potential to heal ourselves and manifest the life we desire.
From around 26 weeks after conception, as embryos in the womb, we are able to hear voices and detect sound. At birth we are welcomed into a complete world of sound and images and from this moment onwards, we are surrounded and guided by words in all aspects of our lives. As young children we are actively encouraged in learning our native dialect and through further education and schooling we learn to read and master our mother tongue more fully, maybe even learn other languages along the way. The construction of our modern world is largely based on the spoken and written word and we use these as the primary tools to communicate meaning.
We’ve all heard the playground retort, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me!’ Although this chant is good for putting up a brave front in the face of verbal abuse, the actual evidence shows that it couldn’t be further from the truth. In her best-selling book, ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’, author Susan Jeffers recounts an experiment she conducts during her ‘Positive Thinking’ workshops. A volunteer is asked to hold out their arm and resist the force of her pushing it down and even people with moderate amounts of physical strength have no problem in resisting. The participant is then asked to say a negative statement such as “I am weak, hopeless and useless” and in every case after this they are unable to prevent their arm being pushed down when pressure is exerted.
The experiment continues as they are then asked to repeat a positive statement such as “I am strong, valuable and worthy” and after this the strength of the arm is not only restored but also enhanced! This can be done many times and always with the same result – even when the experimenter has no idea which statement the person is using. Jeffers comments that “the amazing aspect of this experiment is that it doesn’t matter if we believe the words or not. The mere uttering of them makes our inner self believe them” and concludes that, “positive words make us physically strong; negative words makes us physically weak.” Thus it is completely clear that our old childhood adage is a complete misnomer – words have incredible power to harm – yet more optimistically they also have an enormous power to heal.
The recent pioneering work of Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto has gone one stage further to show the dramatic effects that words have on our physical body chemistry. Using intense microscopic photography he captured various images of water crystal formation under a range of circumstances. The array of pictures documented in his book, ‘Messages from water’, clearly shows the natural design of crystals from clean distilled water that are beautiful images of perfection. However if this water is exposed to negative words either spoken, written or in music, then the crystal structure distorts and mutates. Amazingly if this water is then exposed to prayer or kind words or images, it is able to regain its perfect structure! Considering that the human body is over 70% water this research has dramatic and far reaching implications as we now realise that words have the power to bio-chemically alter our body.
Before words are spoken we create and hear them internally in the form of thoughts. In her groundbreaking and now classic book, ‘You can heal your life’, self-help counsellor Louise Hay outlined archetypal thought patterns that could cause or made us susceptible to disease and adverse life conditions. She also gives examples of how these could be healed and transformed through simple changes in thought processes, which recondition the mind to think in more positive and affirmative ways. Her personal life story is a testament to the power of the process as she successfully overcame cancer without surgery and emerged from adverse life experiences to create a joyful and fulfilling world for herself.
Philosopher and psychologist William James summarised the facts over 100 years ago by stating, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind”. So, now we know all of this information how do we start the process of putting these ideas into action and start changing our thought patterns and spoken words to be in alignment with our highest good? Now, thinking positively isn’t always as easy as it seems!
Unless we have mastered advanced meditation techniques, the majority of us experience incessant mental chatter throughout our day and it has become such a normal background noise that we are often unaware of it, yet it is these subconscious thoughts that lay the foundation for our creation process. The first step we can take is to consciously listen and monitor the content of these internal messages and modify them, where necessary, to reflect our highest intentions. We may realise that much of the content of our daily thought patterns is not as positive as we may wish it to be but with this simple awareness we are already on the path to create change.
Changing our thought patterns requires firm discipline and continuous practice. However, the rewards of a joy-filled and abundantly creative life are more than worth the effort. Make a firm decision to think positively and start from the moment you arise each day.
Rather than waking up with a groan and feelings of dread about having to go to work, dealing with traffic, preparing meals, etc., you could start the day with positive expressions such as “Every day in every way life is getting better” or “Today is a wonderful day – I am positive, happy and at peace.” When your neighbour, work colleague or friend asks “How are you?” instead of replying with the common yet miserable phrase “I’m not too bad”, say “I am well” or “I’m feeling good today, thank you!” or even “I am positively rejoicing in life. I am looking forward to a pleasurable and joy filled day and I wish the same for you” Wow! That would be so much nicer to hear than “Not too bad”! Of course if you are really not feeling well then don’t lie, but also don’t dwell on the negative – yes you may be coming down with the ’flu, lost your umbrella on a rainy day and realised half way into town that you are still wearing your slippers – but hey there’s always a bright side if you look for it!
Read affirmative books, spend time with uplifting people, talk positively and write inspiring quotes to pin up in places you look at every day. As you persist in consciously choosing your thoughts you will start to see the world around you reflect your new state of mind.
The mind is the mental reproductive organ and thoughts are like seeds planted in this fertile ground and thus whatever you focus on, nurture and attend to will grow and be birthed into reality. Remember that all things in the material world started as a thought in someone’s mind – houses, cars, roads, computers and even roller coasters! “Anything the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve” was the famous mantra featured in Napoleon Hill best-selling book ‘Think and grow rich’ which guided readers to increase their wealth through their thoughts.
We have a powerful creative force within our minds and at the tips of our tongues and the free will to choose what to manifest with it. Religious texts, spiritual leaders and self-development experts throughout the world have long advised us to discipline and control the tongue which is a double edged sword – it can either be a weapon of mass disturbance or an angelic assistant on the path to wellness and bliss. So it is your choice to use the knowledge, techniques and your own unique style to go forth and create the life you truly desire! As the eloquent words of Mahatma Ghandi remind us so simply, “Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”
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