Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Greg Malouf.
I came to a point in my life where I felt like something was not working the way I wanted it to.
I struggled with addiction, stress and anxiety, and had to go through a painful divorce. Once I was finally ready to make a change in my life, the question became: How?
Having the desire to change was an important first step because it led me to begin a search for answers.
One thing that is necessary to understand, however, is that in seeking change, we are embarking on a journey.
There are answers, but there is no magic that will instantly fix everything in life. I had to learn to be patient and to be open as I moved through the process.
With that said, I’d like to share a few tips I used to get through making a life change that you can try right away that will offer a taste of what is to come as you progress through this work.
Shift Your Perspective
Try this exercise for one day of your life—just one!
Throughout the day, stop yourself—as best as you can—from criticizing, judging, attacking, or acting out behaviorally when a negative emotion or uneasiness is triggered within you.
Focus on your thoughts, your emotions, and your actions as you encounter people, things, and circumstances that trigger those negative thoughts and feelings in you. When those feelings come up, and you are tempted to speak harshly or act out of anger and frustration, catch yourself and take a breath.
Instead of the response you would instinctively make, on this day, make a conscious effort to shift your perspective from negative to positive.
Watch what happens when you make a conscious choice to see circumstances differently.
As you choose positive responses over negative ones, you will certainly notice a shift in your perspective and your outlook. You will also notice a shift in those around you.
Think about an argument you’ve had with someone. Typically, arguments start with something simple and relatively unimportant, but as heated words are exchanged, the hostility ratchets up until it seems there is no going back.
But imagine if instead of fueling that fire, you step back, take a moment, and respond with openness and kindness. The situation would be resolved much quicker and without all the bad feelings.
Indulge only in loving thoughts and your day will be beautiful. Feelings that you have not felt in a long time will continue to surface – joy, peace, contentment, fulfillment.
The next step in the process is forgiveness.
Forgiveness does not mean condoning bad behavior. It simply means that we choose to release any anger or bitterness toward the person we believe has caused our unease.
That can be difficult to do, so here is a way to start.
When you feel resentment, anger, or grievances, replace these feelings with the thought, “I love you, (name), and I accept you as you are."
Repeat this each time you feel a change of mental state or an uneasy feeling.
Identify the thought and at whom this negative energy is projected. Forgive, using loving words and affirmations. Repeat the words above until you are free of any negative energy and unease.
Forgive yourself for your reactions—for carrying the shame of that past for so long. Recognize that you are now in control of your life!
Know that those who you reacted to have helped you recognize and release the part of your past that kept you prisoner within your mind and body.
They helped liberate you, and you love them for it. This is true forgiveness!
Release Negative Feelings
As with any skill, learning to respond with love in potentially difficult situations takes practice. There is something you can do to help yourself be better prepared when you do encounter triggers.
At the moment you feel unease, take note of where you feel it in your body. It may be pain that you don’t readily associate with an emotional issue, or it may be emotional distress that you can now associate with a physical manifestation, such as stomachache, headache, or tension in your neck.
Either way, when you feel pain, be aware that it is a sign that you are out of alignment with your true values; you are disconnected to your inner you.
Sit quietly, and focus on your pain.
Say what you are feeling—grief, anger, resentment, loneliness, and so on. Separate the feelings from the pain. Release the emotion and simply be aware once again of the physical pain. Breathe deeply in and out, and allow the breath to carry this pain with it.
After a short time, your body will feel rested.
Now you have isolated the negative energy that fed your thoughts. As the thoughts come, simply observe them without judgment. Continue to sit quietly and breathe.
Ask yourself ––in the inner silence of Self, “What part of my past caused me to feel this way?"
Remember that your negative thoughts stem from your past traumas, large and small. Recognize any resemblance between your current feelings and that past experience.
Use Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations are an excellent way to remind yourself throughout the day to check your emotional state and redirect or reframe any negative thoughts or feelings. Here are a few examples:
“I am now in control of my life."
“I forgive those I now recognize for holding me in their shame, and I forgive myself for carrying it for so long. I send them love and offer myself love."
As you practice each of these exercises, keep in mind that the real miracle–– the major shift–– will come when you are ready to create your life consciously. Consider this a small miracle to enjoy, an opportunity to experience a mere taste of bliss, calm, and joy all around you.
Don’t be afraid to give yourself a chance – after all, the primary beneficiary will be you! In this one day, you may feel what it is to liberate the soul.
Let go of your fear, and give it a try! If I was able to do this, you can too.
About Greg Malouf
I help people take a journey away from life as they know it and travel into the world of the ‘Self,’ which is where they will ultimately find healing. Along this journey, they will challenge old beliefs, access aspects of this ‘Self’ that have been hidden or denied, and gain insights and skills that will unlock the doors to a new inner wisdom.
In 2009, I founded the Epsilon Healing Academy, working with students throughout the world. The Academy is my commitment to share my lessons on how to truly liberate the mind and body, live in the present with gratitude, consciously create life on your terms and finally experience the abundance you deserve!
My latest book, “Silent: The Power of Silence" was written to take readers on an inward journey to find the all-loving place and connection to all that is—the silent connection to Self.