Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Running the Opposites

Many believe that things are often not as they appear and are, in fact, the opposite. This is a thought espoused by the Tibetan Masters who teach the Ancient Wisdom and others who believe that what is before us is transitory and illusory. Whether one wants to go that far or not makes no difference. Observers, however, can use this premise to help acquire and then hone budding abilities in creating their new way of thinking. It gives real meaning to the phrase "I've changed my mind" because in this case, at least for a while, it is true. I call this exercise Running the Opposites.

On the surface, it's really very simple. Take any strongly help belief--it works best with something emotional--and then run with the opposite thought. Let's say a person in our lives really upsets us for whatever reason. We've decided they are no-good, lazy, crazy, manipulative or add any other negative thought here about that person. It's probably not a stretch to say we have at least one of these people in our lives. Then, the idea is to flip the brain to the opposite set of thoughts about that person and run with it. Spend time with it. Savor it. While at first that might be a stretch given the previous habitual thought pattern, given time the exercise becomes easier and easier. One finds that engaging the heart in the process really helps, because the mind alone comes up a bit cold sometimes when the negative emotional nature just won't let go. Try it both ways with and without the heart engaged and see what I mean.

This is no starry eyed, Pollyanna exercise, it has very practical application. After all, what we call reality is only based on our limited knowledge at the moment--it doesn't make it true. Given this, the opposite could be true if we had eyes to see. And then again, maybe neither is true. If we keep postulating on possibilities, an unlimited universe opens before us. We might even get a chuckle at some of our previously held "Truths." This could be the beginning of real freedom and enlightened change in action. Give it a try--it's actually fun.

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