Our world is made up of different states, provinces, or locations where we can visit, pass through or choose to take up permanent residence. Likewise, we can also choose a particular STATE of mind to dwell in. Your emotions, attitudes, and beliefs will determine the state of mind you're currently in. On any given day we pass through a variety of states but we tend to have an overall place that we permanently dwell. You can liken this to what happens when you move throughout your day traveling to different locations. You may spend a significant amount of time at your office, but less time at a friend's house or a restaurant. You might even go on a vacation and spend a week somewhere that's far away, but inevitably, no matter where you go, you will always return to the place that you call "home". Home is the place you consider your permanent residence to be located. This is similar to the states of mind you pass through daily. Some states of mind you spend more or less time in. Some you spend so much time in you may as well call it "home". Some you enjoy and others not so much.
You might find yourself in a negative state based on something that happened that day at work. Perhaps later that evening something good happens and you suddenly find yourself in a happy state of mind. It's normal human behavior for these states of mind to change. However, it becomes a problem when you get stuck in a state of mind that's not the place you want to be.
Here are a few examples of states that people dwell in:
~States of Anger, Happiness, Fear, Anxiety, Love (fill in any emotion).
~States of Wealth, Poverty, Sickness, Health
~States of Confusion, Clarity, Ambivalence
~States of Being Offended, Victimized, Valued
Some of these states you temporarily pass through, but some you spend a great deal of time in....maybe it's even where you've taken up permanent residence.
Most people travel from state to state by allowing the circumstances of life to direct them. This puts you at the mercy of the "outer world" where you have little control to determine your path. It's like letting the wind blow you in whichever direction it chooses. I don't know about you but I've never liked that feeling. That put all the control on the outside of me and I felt powerless. Here's the tricky part.....most people, in order to gain a sense of control, try to change the circumstances of their lives in order to change their state of mind. Sometimes that can be done easily. If so that's great. You'll be feeling better in no time! However, you're still at the mercy of the circumstances. What happens if things don't change so quickly or easily? What happens if they don't change permanently? See the problem? I want you to understand that YOU have the power to change your state of mind right now at this very moment whether your circumstances have changed or not.
I remember many years ago I got a phone call with some very distressing news. Immediately I went into a state of anxiety and fear. That state of mind completely impacted how I felt, what I did, and how I interacted with the world for the next several hours. Later that evening I got another phone call saying it was all a mistake and none of the news was accurate. Immediately my state of mind changed to one of relief, joy, and peace. Of course, that changed how I slept that night and how I viewed my world. Think about this for a second.....nothing had actually changed in my environment. Everything was exactly the same. The only thing that actually changed was my state of mind because of the thoughts I was having thus impacting my feelings. My state of mind was whipped into one direction and impacted everything, then ricocheted back the other direction.
That was an extreme case to illustrate my point, but on a less traumatizing level, we do this all day long. We allow our circumstances to dictate which state of mind we're dwelling in.
I'm telling you that YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE which state of mind you want to dwell in NOW. If you were visiting a state that you really didn't like and you had the means to leave that location I'm pretty sure you would do it immediately. You'd hop right into your vehicle and take off to another locale. You can do the same with your mind. Get out of the state you don't like and choose the one you do. Forget about the circumstances. Once you choose a new state of mind, the way you view your world and the way you interact with it will change. You'll see things you can't see right now. Your circumstances will be viewed from a different perspective and you'll be amazed at what might be in front of your very eyes that you just couldn't see before. Your inner world (mindset) is affecting your outer world (circumstances). Change the inner world and your outer world will change too.
This doesn't mean you have to stay positive or stay in a good mood all the time. We all have ups and downs. It means that you don't get STUCK in a state you don't like and dwell there for long periods of time. CHOOSE a better state. Don't leave it up to anyone else's behavior towards you or the circumstances of your life.
So how can we do this? First of all, examine what your HOME STATE is. This is the place your thoughts most often return to. Is it a state of sickness....talking about and noticing how bad you feel all the time? Is it a state of being underappreciated? This is where you spend a lot of time feeling and thinking about how you do everything and no one seems to care. Is it a state of anxiety where the predominant thoughts you have are about what you fear?
Once you've identified the state you're dwelling in, next choose a more preferable state of mind. For example, would you prefer a state of peace? Maybe there is a situation that's causing you to be in a state of worry. Peace would be better. Ok, so now you want to "travel" to the State of Peace. Your vehicle is your mind. Your thoughts and feelings are the gas that's going to get you there. You have to program your mind like a GPS system to head in this direction. (See Arrow Tip #17). Essentially you're going to conjure up a state of peace within yourself despite your circumstances. There are many ways to do this and different techniques work for different people. It might be just doing things that make you feel peaceful and basking in that feeling. But no matter how you do it, you must choose the desired state and then do what it takes to reside there. This starts with making a commitment to yourself to dwell in a new state of mind. It comes through choosing better thoughts about the situation.
Here's how I do it:
I decide on the preferred state of mind.
I sit quietly, close my eyes and IMAGINE what it would FEEL like if everything was the way I wanted it to be. I don't try to believe it, I simply feel what it would feel like IF it were true. I conjure up the feeling using any memory or thoughts I can.
I dwell in that feeling as long as possible and repeat it as many times as necessary.
I get up from that little mental session with a firm resolve that I will view my world as if things were the way I want them to be.
Throughout my day I choose better thoughts (see Arrow Tip #20).
Throughout my day I remind myself that I can dwell in any state of mind I want to no matter what's happening around me. I have ALL the power over myself. No one is in my head but me.
At night I conjure up the state of mind I want to be in by thinking about anything that makes me feel that way and I dwell in that feeling and I try to fall asleep in it.
I practice the states of mind that I prefer and make those more familiar to me. (See Arrow Tip #4).
I watch my thoughts and feelings and notice when I've traveled back to the unwanted state, then I just get into my mental automobile (choosing better thoughts) and follow the same path to a better feeling state of mind.
*This takes practice but in time you'll find that you're spending more time living in states you prefer. If you notice you went back to your old dwelling place, you'll shift gears quickly moving to a better place because you're much more familiar with the path to get there than when you first visited.
Remember: YOU ARE UNSTOPPABLE.