The Power of Suggestion
“We come into this world with a tendency toward conditions.” ~ Ernest Holmes
A coating of winter wood-stove fog was apparent on my windows, as the sun rose over Powell River and its rays landed on the glass panes of my house in Campbell River. As if on cue, I went to the cleaning cupboard, grabbed a rag, some Windex, and I began ‘solving a problem’. I was only about a minute into the work when I began singing, “Bring all the sun in, bring all the sun in…”
I snapped to conscious awareness and was taken aback by the song. “Where did that come from?”, I wondered.
“Hey Blake, you know this song?”, I called out to my husband.
I thought about it for a moment, and then it dawned on me… it was a TV commercial from my youth. I had to look it up… it was a 1973 ad, to be exact… for Windex! (Here’s the link, in case you want to see what I’m talking about https://youtu.be/cF1Fm7AjnAU )
I was stunned. After almost 50 years, that song was still deeply embedded in my consciousness. Programming was set in place: see a dirty window… Windex! WOW! Let’s ponder this for a moment…
Consider the quote about “conditions”, by metaphysician Ernest Holmes, at the top of the page...
At birth we already have within us certain tendencies. Some of us are happy-go-lucky, while others are more serious, for instance. Some of us like adventures, while others prefer routine, and so on. We are all different, with our tendencies already imprinted upon us when we arrive here on this Earth. Then, from there, we are surrounded by the people, places and events of our culture. Layer upon layer is added to our psyches until, often, the innate wisdom of our hearts becomes like a faint whisper, barely audible over the noise around it. The journey toward Inner Truth can feel like an endless goose chase.
Our mental health and wellbeing in life is determined by the thoughts we hold. Some thoughts work in our favour, while others do not. Some of our thoughts are held onto through conscious choice, but most of the stories swimming inside of us come from outside sources: lyrics of songs, media, news, peers, parents, bosses, gossip…. Many of these stories are fairly benign, (like the Windex song), but others may not be in our best interests to pay attention to.
What to do?
Affirmations are powerful tools. Discouraging thoughts, anxious ponderings, even worry can be displaced by occupying our minds with positive thinking. Oh, it sounds easy, but go ahead and try it for a day. Every time you catch yourself thinking about something that is bringing you down, replace it with an affirmative thought. It may not seem so easy after all, but ‘practice makes progress’.
Ernest Holmes had more wisdom to offer when contemplating what we believe about “conditions” (or, ‘the state of things’): “We must not forget that we are also dealing with a tendency toward ultimate good, in spite of all conditions.”
Let’s fill our minds with ideas of Ultimate Good. Trust me, while this is not necessarily an easy practice, it IS essential. To regain personal power, we MUST decide on the thoughts we want to entertain, instead of letting the thoughts choose us.
Practices like counting our breathing during meditation can help to develop our ‘choice’ muscles…. “No, Brain, you are not going to think about what groceries to pick up for dinner, you are going to count 10 slow breaths in a row.” You will see… as you develop your skill at guiding your mind to those uplifting ideas you consciously choose to give attention to; you will begin to notice great changes in your daily living.
Invite yourself to now be ruled by the thinking of your choosing. Try it right now, and see how many positive thoughts you can riff on in a minute. If you are anything like me, my mind has no trouble spending hours on worry or regret, but holding positive affirmations at the forefront of my awareness is another thing all together. Yes, it may be challenging, but is imperative to a rewarding and joy-filled life.
My foggy window took me to my cupboard and got me singing, connecting the dots to old programming. What I wonder about now is, how much more unconscious programming is tucked away in the recesses of my mind, affecting my daily experiences? I trust it will continue to bubble to the surface where I can decide to keep it or release it. Only time will tell, but, in the meantime, I know the work that is mine to do to get there. How about you?
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