09 Jun Hit Delete on Your Negative Thoughts
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” –Proverbs 3:27
Our thoughts are powerful. I met this morning with Dr. Carl Amodio, who is on our Orange Duffel Bag Foundation Board. We are working on a book that addresses health from a physical, emotional, nutritional and spiritual perspective. After brainstorming ideas for the intro, I shared with him that I felt stuck again in my thinking, and my weight ironically had hit a plateau. (I’ve lost 23 lbs. over the last several months.) Although many great things have been coming to fruition over the last few weeks, I’d been plagued by negative thoughts, fears and worry. I felt a little like the butterfly in the photo my husband Kevin sent me this morning from his iPhone – a life still filled with flowers but my wings are a bit tattered around the edges.
Sam Bracken and I have worked for seven years on the Orange Duffel Bag project. It’s been a long journey. We poured our hearts, money, time and energy into the nonprofit we cofounded and to self-publishing the book when we got rejected by 60 publishers. Miraculously, our book was picked up by Crown Archetype, making it the only self-published book the company’s ever acquired. Now we’re just a few days from the launch of the book with a first printing of 60,000 copies and our two-year-old nonprofit Orange Duffel Bag Foundation on a national stage. I’m alternately thrilled and seized by fear about what’s coming.
Dr. Carl did a simple test and found that the underlying emotion of fear was blocking me from being at my best. Your brain is like a computer and sometimes an event will trigger it to open a folder of some negative thought that you didn’t even realize you’d stored. He helped me identify what my memory had held on to and then used a neuro emotional release technique to help me get rid of the negative emotions embedded with that memory. I immediately felt lighter, and my body’s range of motion improved. My thoughts had literally been restricting my progress.
You will eventually become what you think about the most. If you allow yourself to think negative and fearful thoughts, then you will become a negative, fearful person who worries all the time. Toxic thinking leads to self-sabotage. By nature I’m a fearful person. I worry about our sons. I worry about my husband Kevin. I worry about the many teens I’ve met through my work with Orange Duffel Bag Foundation. I worry about Chase, my 9-year-old nephew with leukemia. I worry about…. well, you get the idea. Fear is at the root of worry, and God tells us over and over again not to give in to fear.
I have to commit myself each day to fill myself up with positive thoughts, to surround myself with friends who encourage me, and to think like Apostle Paul admonishes in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things…. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Earlier this week, I was complaining to my friend Angela Lee about how I felt wrongly accused in a situation. As I droned on and on about how sad and angry this person’s treatment made me, she kept gently saying, “Let it go. Let it go.”
In our book My Orange Duffel Bag – A Journey to Radical Change, Sam shares how positive books, beautiful images, good music with positive lyrics and uplifting movies helped save him. When my thinking is on straight, I guard my heart and my thoughts by doing all of those things. I’ve got to let my fears and negative thinking go and a make a choice every day to dwell on the good.