I have been reading all the works of Florence Scovel Shinn, as I get ready to teach a fun, inspiring one-evening workshop at CSL Kaua’i in June. She never minces words and talks straight to us in her writing. The basic premise is: “By your words you prosper or are condemned.” It might seem harsh, but Florence gives proof after proof through example of how this is so. We have the most powerful tool and most of us do not realize it. It is the power of our words.
Yesterday, I had the experience of listening to many people condemning themselves with their words. Perhaps they didn’t know they were doing it. It was just their natural way of speaking. It is called the thoughts of the race – thoughts like “my dad had this or that disease, so I am noticing it in myself,” or “I don’t have much energy as I get older.” I’ve also noted people condemning their own parents and children by their words. Again, I do not think that is their intention; they have just become so in-tuned to the consciousness of the masses that it is a natural way of speaking and thinking.
Through my experiences of late, I realized that this was just the way I used to think, but I have changed. As I listen, I realize that I do not resonate at all with this type of thinking. It seems almost fanciful to me. I also realized that it could be easy to fall back into negative thinking if I do not take care of my own mind through my personal Spiritual Practice.
I have trained myself to think the way I do. I have re-programmed myself and I have seen the results of taking the time to take care of my own mind. I am grateful today for this blessing. I am grateful that I found a way and the path to do so. I am grateful for the life I live and for my many amazing experiences. I am grateful for the simple Truth that there are repercussions to the words I speak and the actions I take. I am grateful to take responsibility for my mind.
Ernest Holmes tells a story in one of his books about an amateur captain of a ship who thinks that the ship doesn’t need to be steered because the ocean is so vast and it will get where it is going. He removes the helmsman. The result is a disaster. He compares this to the mind that is not guided and directed with right thinking.
We live in one mind. We all share it. What we make of our lives depends on our use of that one mind. We get to choose our thoughts and words in every moment. When we choose love and positivity, we are rewarded. Even when things seem challenging or difficult, there is a message for us and we can turn it around by the way we think about it.
I invite us all to think upon this, to analyze the use we’ve been making of our most powerful tool, and to decide what we want to do about what we find out.