Behave your way into thinking or think your way into behaving were two ideas that I learned as a graduate student in clinical psychology. Essentially, they’re two strategies for getting yourself to change, try something new, do something different, become a better version of your self, or some combination of these. Suppose someone wants to be more calm and peaceful. With strategy 1, the person very likely doesn’t believe s/he has the ability to create inner peace. So, you would teach her/him skills associated with peace and calm, like relaxation techniques. You teach all the little ins and outs of using breath and muscle tensing and releasing to relax. Then, you locate opportunities for the person to practice. After practicing the steps and skills, people eventually build enough evidence to confirm a belief that they really do have this formerly elusive ability to find peace and calm.
In strategy 2, you begin by helping the person create the mindset necessary to accomplish peace and calm. This includes developing positive self-statements that motivate them to move toward the goal when it seems easy as well as when s/he faces difficulty achieving the goal. So, for example, if you have to give a big presentation at work and you’re nervous about it, you develop a set of statements to help you prepare, find calm and stay focused on your presentation even when you feel nervous. People who employ this strategy make the connection between thoughts and behavior. They see that they can change their behavior by changing their mind.
No matter what the strategy, the secret ingredient is completely invisible. What’s the secret ingredient? Thoughts. Beliefs. Once you get your thoughts in order, you’re virtually unbreakable. You might bend but you have enough flexibility that you won’t break. Thoughts are like electricity. You can’t see it but when your phone is dead, if you plug-in, VOILA!!! You’ve got power. You can talk across long distances. You can type messages that show up on other people’s phones. It’s magic!! But so are we. Our thoughts are among our magical, miracle making powers. In order for anything to happen, we’ve first got to conceive it. We’ve got to have an image or picture or idea before we make anything happen. Spiritual teachers say that this is Universal Order. Form follows thought.
I invite you to have some fun with this magical power. I once attended a workshop with a woman who taught the Magic Money Technique. It’s very simple. You simply say, “This week I will experience a miracle having to do with money”. She explained that saying “this week” gives your request a time frame. The phrase “I will experience” acknowledges your willingness to accept the gift. And lastly, “having to do with money” frames what exactly what you want. Clearly, you could change what you want. Maybe you want a miracle around finding a new home.
A few months ago, my goddaughter called to say that she’d come up with a similar idea. The Magic Money Technique was sitting in my inner spiritual library until her technique reminded me about it. Her phrase was, “This week I will receive an unexpected check”. She invited me to try it because it had worked so well for her. I did it for two weeks in a row. And well, here’s what happened. I was going through my pile of mail that seems to multiply like sexually insatiable bunnies. Yep, you guessed it. For two weeks in a row, I found checks that had been hiding in my unopened mail.
These experiences remind me that the Universe is on our side. It’s listening to our every invisible thought, our every invisible wish and sending us back visible packages. Your intentions have power. Once you think it, it's real. My Taoist teacher says that what's happening on an invisible level is infinitely more powerful than what you can see. How will you use your power? What good will you create? Make some magic today.
© Sandra Y. Lewis