As a part of my morning spiritual practice, I like to re-read a few pages of the classics. I am reading Treat Yourself to Life by Dr. Raymond Charles Barker today. On page 103 he says, “The most important thing for you to know about your mind is that it can change.”
I must have read the book at least a dozen times in the past twenty-five years and on this morning the simple statement that minds can change jumps out giving me some down-home wisdom.
Think about it – it is actually the nature of the mind to change. Human thought and beliefs change all the time. When we get new information, we switch our beliefs. We think the world is flat until we learn it is round. We think children are stupid until we understand they think differently. We think women belong in the kitchen until we see what they earn in the work place.
People get interested in New Thought principles because they want something new or different so they are not essentially resistant to change. But even the most open of us sometimes hit resistance? If that happens, what do we do? Here are some tips…
Don’t complain. Refrain from telling yourself or others how difficult it is to change your mind.
Go back to basics and remind yourself that minds can change – it is what they do. This is the time to double up on your spiritual practice and thank God for any progress. All your mind needs more information.
Remind yourself of your goals. Won’t it be wonderful when you switch from fear to love? From financial struggle to prosperity? From ailing to healthy? Never give up!
If you are near a Center For Positive Living or other New Thought church you can get the support you need. They offer wonderful wisdom talks and sociable gatherings on Sundays. You can connect with others and learn about their successes. That’s the kind of information that will help you change your mind.
Consistent attention to this wisdom teaching is important. If you don’t see dramatic changes, be patient. Enlightenment comes in mini-drops for most people, including me. One day at a time, one insight at a time, and we can go far. The changes keep coming and our ability to use Infinite Power keeps increasing.
If you need help understanding and using the teaching, my book, Science of Mind Skills, gives you the basic concepts. It is laid out simply and the ideas the build on each other. There are short exercises and affirmative prayers. It is set up for independent study and you can buy it in your church bookstore or on this website.
As I look back I see that my understanding deepened in small increments and in many ways. Certain moments in my own journey stand out for me. Early on, Dr. Carol Carnes told me we don’t treat for things, we treat for the consciousness to attract and hold on to what we desire. I’ve always been grateful to her because until then, it seemed to me that people only used prayer to get a new car or better boyfriend. Dr. Carol pointed the way to a spiritual expansion that I truly desired.
Another time, Dr. Robert Bitzer, former President of RSI and a colleague of Dr. Ernest Holmes explained to a group that the Science of Mind Textbook wasn’t really difficult to read. He said sometimes Dr. Holmes wrote on the absolute level and other times on the relative level (our human experience). Maybe that’s a simple idea but it helped me understand what I was reading.
It is amazing how a simple statement can be easy to ignore until light strikes and the door to wisdom opens. This morning, Dr. Barker’s words lit me up! We may believe change is difficult but it is really easy. Minds change – that’s what they do.
We choose to give our mind new direction through our spiritual practice. We pay attention and set aside time to create new pathways toward a deeper understanding of how Spirit impacts our lives. We don’t need to push the river after all.
There was a time when I thought I should use will power to pray to fix my life. Up until then, my achievements mostly came through will power and hard work. I thought I had make it happen. It was really a new idea to imagine, believe and accept that God did the work.
Once we really get it that God is Love working through Spiritual Law and that Spiritual Law is responding to our prevailing belief system, we have the basic knowledge for creating a happier, healthier, wealthier and more creative and loving life. It is important to consistently deepen our understanding of that basic belief.
I am happier, more self-loving, more in awe of life, and less frightened now. Trusting God is a continuing process in my life. I write this blog because I want as many people on this planet as possible to have the wisdom that Science of Mind teaches. Learning to look at the world from a spiritual perspective is so empowering.
Our teaching is all about accepting the best and in order to do that, we must accept new information about life. We seek spiritual information from prayer, other people’s talks, workshops, classes, and eventually everywhere we look we can see the goodness of life.
I’ve been around a long time and I’m still getting new insights. I believe in continuing education and I wish everyone would continue reading and meditating and praying even if they think they know it all. Wisdom deepens. Life just gets better and better with spiritual practice and that’s why I’m writing my new book on the subject.
Spiritual practice refreshes our minds and brings us new information. Sometimes we need to release old idea before we can accept new goodness. New information is a part of the process. We cling to the old ideas out of habit or ignorance until we learn better ways. Releasing old ideas, even those we’ve held since childhood, doesn’t have to be difficult. All we need is to open up to new information.
Changing our minds is not a struggle or a puzzle. Our minds are built to change! Learning more is the most human and natural thing in the world. One of the great gifts of living in this 21st century is the knowledge that we are never stuck. Our minds will change and we stretch and grow because it is our nature. Life is a journey and the quest is for greater wisdom.
Where do I think I am I stuck?
What belief stands in the way?
Am I willing to switch it?
What’s a better belief?
Did you ever go to a party and talk about it with your friends the next day? Did it seem as though it was a different event? One friend loved the party and another hated it. Seems as if everyone wears his own tinted glasses.
The fortunate person who grows up believing she lives in a friendly universe enjoys the party. The one who grew up with critical messages doesn’t have much fun. Same party – different party.
In New Thought we believe every person has a mental atmosphere (consciousness) that constantly sends messages out to Universal Mind. The beliefs return to us as experiences, effects or conditions.
A person who believes the world is a lovely place attracts love. On the other hand, the person who believes it is a scary place will attract trouble. Your beliefs create the good news or the bad news. The very best news of all is that you can change your beliefs.
In the first chapter of the Science of Mind Textbook, the founder of Religious Science, Dr. Ernest Holmes says, “To learn how to think is to learn how to live.” Every Sunday, the speaker in a Center For Positive Living, delivers a talk that includes some version of “Change your thinking and change your life.”
One way or another, if we want a condition to change, we must do something so that our attitude toward the issue changes. In a way that is simple. On the other hand, it is a lifetime work.
While none of us is able to control every bit of our lives, we do need to know that we have a great deal more control than most people used to believe. The first time I heard about our thoughts creating our life experiences, I thought it was nonsense. Those who are growing up now are more familiar with ideas of how positive living can impact our lives.
When I was a teen, Ernest Holmes was just hitting his stride. Oprah wasn’t born. I don’t think I knew anyone who believed we lived in a friendly universe. We had just finished a devastating war and most people were frightened there would be another one. But enough people changed their minds so that the Cold War ended with a fizzle, not a bang.
I knew life wasn’t the movies but I dreamed big dreams. I would someday be thirty-five, live in New York City and be a working girl. The term “working girl” meant something quite different in those days and while my dream job was vague, my dream apartment was quite specific and wonderful with white rugs and two white poodles.
Because I dared to dream and because I worked hard, I did eventually end up in New York City but it wasn’t exactly what I’d dreamed. I shared a rent-controlled apartment with an aging, divorcee. Ah well! I never liked poodles anyway.
It took me a long time to change my mind but I am now happier than I could have dreamed as a child. I now believe that we live in a basically friendly universe. My God is a God of unlimited possibility.
So much of what we believe is from the surrounding culture and we are not even always aware of it. We must learn to be independent thinkers. And we must learn to be aware of what we are thinking and what beliefs we are acting upon. We need to remember the law of cause and effect is always working.
Many years ago, I read a chapter in a self-help book on how spiritual law always responds. The chapter was entitled, You Will Always Get The Raise.
The author told a story about a man who worked hard and had a great attitude, but he was overlooked for the raise he deserved. However, this good worker continued his efforts and he was offered an even better job in a different company.
We don’t always get the pay off in exactly the way we envision because our vision is limited. The Law of Attraction is Infinite Power and Infinite Possibility. We should never despair because we will always get what we think we deserve.
To see how the Law of Attraction works, take a look at repeating patterns in the lives of people you know well. Don’t judge or criticize, just observe. After you have done that, your next step is to look at your own repeating patterns without judgment.
Now look again and find some success stories where things have turned around. Perhaps you or someone else has had several unsuccessful relationships and then established an excellent one. If you look closely, you will probably see that something in the belief system changed first.
It may look like fate or luck but change in patterns is because of changed beliefs. This is true in every area of our lives. Accept that you are loveable and Universal Mind will find a way to return the new love and joy. Accept that you deserve to be acknowledged and you will get the promotion. And so it goes.
You will always get the raise, although it may be in a surprising way and not from that old situation.
The concept that the spiritual law of cause and effect returns your prevailing belief is very different than the rules you learned about being a good little boy or girl. Working with spiritual laws opens people’s lives up to unlimited possibility.
You are truly in a position to prove the phrase, Change your thinking and change your life.” Right now. If you have been around Science of Mind for a while, think back to how you were feeling when you first arrived and compare that to how you feel now. You will discover change for the better.
Even if you are new, you can prove this very quickly. Decide on a goal, and do spiritual work around the issue of belief. Keep records and notes for a month, then check you data. One reason Science of Mind is called science is that it is verifiable.
While you can’t change everything overnight or even in a month, you can test it and observe progress. Even better, practice makes perfect. As you learn that you can change your thinking a bit at a time for the rest of your life, it gets easier.
How do you change your thinking? You may find affirmation cards helpful to carry in your pocket and review several times a day. You should think about taking a class and going to church on Sunday. You can buy my book, Science of Mind Skills, on this website by going to New Thought Works page.
Most of us get a much narrower and tighter view of life as children than we discover for ourselves as we become adults. You can change your mind. You are never stuck. You do have choices.
Even if you encounter resistance breaking out of your early belief system, you can do it. Remind yourself that millions have done it before you. Continue your practice and risk putting some effort into changing your thinking. Remember that all effort will be rewarded. You will always get the raise.
What’s one belief you’ve changed?
What’s one belief you want to change?
What’s one great prevailing belief you have?