Positive Change With The Ideals Exercise
(Posted on: February 26, 2013 by David McMillin)
While working with the Searching For God material (and especially after doing the “Know Thyself” lesson), you may find that there are areas of your life that you want to change. The Ideals Exercise is an excellent tool for positive change.
1. Accentuate the positive. Call it positive thinking if you like. As the readings observed, the best way to change a “bad habit” is to replace it with a good habit. By the way, that’s the same thing I learned in graduate school – it is called a behavioral hierarchy.
2. Mind is the builder. What the mind focuses on expands in your experience. If you keep focusing on a problem, you’ll get more of that. This is the same principle as avoiding negative suggestions when doing hypnosis. Moreover, repression creates its own resistance. Just be sure to replace the unwanted patterns of thought and behavior with positive ones, or it will just create a vacuum, which isn’t much fun.
3. The ideals exercise can help with change. When you do the ideals exercise, be sure to write down the mental and physical ideals that are consistent with your spiritual ideal (and you have to actually write it down, not just think about it). So what are the positive thoughts and attitudes that you want in your experience as mental ideals. What are the positive behaviors and activities that you want to emphasize as physical ideals? Only you know what these are for you at this point in your life. It may start in small ways, but that is fine – just let it grow in your experience. Just let these ideals replace whatever it is that you are releasing.
4. Take time to reflect. Use your daily periods of attunement (prayer and meditation) to reflect on your life and the changes that you are consciously making by applying your ideals. Celebrate within as you become aware of the little positive changes in your life. In patience these little changes will add up to something very special. And occasionally you will make some major breakthroughs, as well. Just keep it all within the framework of your ideals and growth will come.