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To-Shin Take Charge of Your Thoughts

We all have bad days.

Here’s another truth. Our To-Shin Do training teaches us that no one is in charge of your mood but you. No one can hurt your feelings. No one can make you mad.
I know. This conflicts with the currently popular view where everyone believes they are a victim. But an even older theory states that if you can give your power away to outside circumstances, you can choose to take it back. It takes an awareness that, at every moment in life, you are 100% responsible for your own happiness. That is your power. That is your choice. And you can choose not to give your power away to technology, situations, or other people.

One great secret to not having bad days is to not take other people’s behaviors personally. Look at most people and you will see they are stumbling through life presumably doing the best they can. They are not deliberately trying to hurt your feelings, insult you, or ignore you. They are trying to win and you somehow got in their way. They are barely aware of their own perceptions.

So, when you’re having a bad day because something has gone wrong, remember there are ways to break the cycle.

  1. Develop the skill of awareness. When something goes bad, stop and notice how it makes you feel. Say “OK, this is the way it is. And I have the power to change that.”
  2. Decide to do a pattern interrupt at that point. You cannot think of two things at the same time. If you’re thinking about what a bad day you’re having, you cannot think about all the wonderful things happening in your life. It is your job to focus on the things that make you happy, make you feel better, or lead to a better world.
  3. Take a few moments to focus in on something that makes you feel good – petting your dog, listening to inspiring music, going outside to take in the beauty of nature, calling a friend to chat for a few minutes. Any kind of pattern interrupt is needed, where you’re not thinking of the bad day or the bad thing that just happened.
  4. Reframe the event. Put the event in perspective. If you think about it, in the great scheme of life and the world, in 10 years our problems will be seen as pretty insignificant.
  5. Mentally make a short list of what you’re grateful for. Be aware of how you can be of service to someone else.
  6. Ask yourself, “Where does this pattern come from? Who taught this to me?” You may be surprised that you picked up this negative belief pattern from someone in your life. Choose to change the belief pattern. Choose a different outcome for the situation. Script a different result.
  7. Realize that it’s your job to look for solutions in life. Stop focusing on the negative “bad” day’s events. Power in life is seeking out the solutions to the challenges you face.

And in truth, once you choose to get past the bad of the day, in the big scheme of life, you probably won’t even remember what happened that day.

2 Responses to To-Shin Take Charge of Your Thoughts

  1. Steven wolff July 4, 2023 at 8:48 am #

    Very awesome, powerful and inspiring words here!

  2. Jim McFarland October 17, 2023 at 7:19 pm #

    Brilliant! Our focus- where we place our mind’s attention- determines what we experience moment to moment, and what is further encoded (or not) in the brain. If our attention isn’t on it, it doesn’t exist for us; it is not reality- it’s invisible. So by taking charge of our attention and focus, we are actively determining our own experience and what becomes reality to us, as well as our emotions. Another key piece is to pay attention to what associations we make, and those that we reinforce (or weaken) moment to moment. The Amygdala and Hippocampus, the emotional centers of the brain, are always installing, building and rebuilding associations through memory reconsolidation- this is how trauma (or any association at all) is stored. For example, if we had a mean father figure that yelled at us, and was cruel to us as a child, we may now have negative associations with male authority (which is emotionally neutral and empty of any inherent negativity itself).. So now, a person feels fear, anger, and sadness at work with a male authority figure. What to do? With repetition, rebuild and reconsolidate the association. Start Small. Go Slowly. So perhaps every time we think a certain memory of him (don’t pick the biggest, most overwhelming memory for right now- maybe another, brief, much less painful one), purposefully and deliberately also bring to mind any strong, positive emotional experience we’ve had and hold both gently in mind, with the positive memory taking precedence- this changes how the memory is encoded and stored. Shrink the painful memory of him to frozen, weak, small, gray, withered and falling apart with time way over to the side and back, but still there. Put the positive beautiful memory in color, front, close and center stage as you breath. Now hold the two, “as one” in awareness, with the positive memory holding center stage and staying fully in the spotlight. For example, maybe you love and enjoy your pet. First, imagine your pet and you together, and being fully, unconditionally loved by them, centerstage, bright and shining in full spotlight. Enjoy and revel in that feeling of being loved and soothed for a while. Now, bring in the small memory of your father in and place it on the side of the stage of your awareness, and smaller- hollow, black & white. Now hold the 2 for several minutes, and let the painful memory of him slowly fade and disappear, leaving the bright, loving beautiful memory of you and the pet, and now just revel in that feeling of being loved unconditionally. Do this repeatedly over weeks and months. Purposefully weaken, derail, and diminish the power of the negative memory, and “re-encode” it. You could even begin bringing your pets around you in real life on particular days, feeling their love and affection and enjoying that, and then bring to mind that small negative memory of your father figure *while* you do that. The two get encoded as one- then, as a finish, imagine all that feeling of self-worth and gentleness and unconditional love you’re receiving just melting down into that negative memory like golden flecks and bits of love, dissolving down “into” it, and deep into you…forever changing how your recall it. Let that memory be “consumed” by the golden sparks of love and warmth. Do this many, many times.

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