Commitment: Repeat It

I talk about affirmations in one of my videos, and I just want to add this tip: repeat it. This is what habits, and commitment, are all about.

Commitment

Before I got into saying my desires out loud, I’d sometimes hear someone say, “Just do it.” One time I was carrying a book called “Love,” by Thich Nhat Hanh, and someone read the title and told me, “Don’t read about love; just love.” I had no idea how to just love.

The problem with someone occasionally telling you, “Just do it,” is that you only hear it once in a while. It is similar to trying to get into an exercise or meditation routine while only committing to it short-term, on a whim: you end up only “just doing it” once a month and make no progress. Whether it comes from another person, or yourself, installing a new habitual belief or action requires continuous repetition.

When it comes to affirming your desired actions or beliefs, silently or out loud, commit to saying it every day. If that is not enough, say it every hour, or just say it over and over for an hour. It could be in the form of a mantra, or something less formal.

Meditation/Concentration

The way that I meditate is somewhat free form, but it usually involves noticing various thoughts and emotions and letting them go over and over and over until I reach a tenuous void. Once I reach that space, thoughts start getting sucked into that emptiness without ever forming beyond a few seconds.

I think of the process of committing to be positive and self-confident as quite similar. It involves noticing various negative and positive, anxious and confident thoughts and actions, and letting go of the negative ones that don’t serve you. Do it continuously until you are left with nothing but neutrality or positivity. Suck all the the negative thoughts into this new place where they vanish.

If this does not work for you, it might be helpful to work on traditional sitting meditation first. You can also see the connection to breathing meditation, where you focus on your breath until all other thoughts drop away. Focusing on the breath is like focusing on positive thoughts.

The more that you have noticed the negative and let it go, the more room there will be for noticing the positive. The void will fill up with the light you patiently await. You keep your room clean so that it is welcoming to the beautiful light of your friends, and your own uncluttered mind. Likewise, keep the emotional room in your head tidy so that it is welcoming to all the beauty that patiently awaits you.

Persistence

If there is a void in your void, a challenge you are not ready to take on, do not worry. You will get there, one step at a time.

It may take you weeks, or months, maybe even years of ritual repetition. But people keep their rooms clean year after year, Zen monks meditate every day for their entire lives, we exercise daily. If you miss a day, if you miss a beat, just get back up the next day and keep going. That, too, is part of the process of vanishing into the light.

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