The difference between theory and experience generally lies in practice, and this is certainly true of Attitudinal Healing. Try to do one of the following personal practice exercises each day (but not more than once per waking hour). Most are five-minute exercises, but you may extend them to 15 minutes if you are comforatble with them. Try not to judge yourself for failing, or for doing them imperfectly, or for being distracted while doing them. Nevertheless, be willing to make an effort, and give them enough priority in your day to make the practice effective. In fact, it is your own "little willingness" that sparks the changes we come to know as "healing".
Practice Exercises: "Health is Inner Peace; Healing is Letting Go of Fear"
Thoughts are the bubbles of the mind, and fear arises out of thoughts. Sometimes, we confuse our thoughts with "who we are". Sometime near the beginning of your day (if possible), sit quietly in a quiet place. Watch your thoughts dispassionately (that is, calmly and without judgment). For each new thought that arises, say silently to yourself: "This is a thought, and only a thought; peace is my companion now", then let it go as best you can. Let silence come to replace it, but if that is not possible, let the next thought arise gently, and repeat the process. If fear should arise, recognize its basis in thought, and apply the same process: "This is a thought, and only a thought; peace is my companion now."
Throughout the day, as you notice fear arising, apply the thought silently to yourself: "This is a thought, and only a thought; peace is my companion now."
Thoughts often arise unawares, but giving thoughts over to fear is usually a choice. So is giving thoughts to Love. For five minutes at the beginning of your day, sit quietly in a quiet place. Think about the upcoming day, and the people you are likely to encounter. Does fear arise whenever you think about your encounter with any of these people? When you recognize such a case, say silently to yourself: "I think I am afraid that (name your fear)". Then follow up with this thought: "This is my choice: I give all fearful thoughts to Love, that I may live in peace". Then spend a few quiet moments letting Love do Its work in you.
Throughout the day, as you encounter another person and feel fear arise, quickly and silently say to yourself: "This is my choice: I give all fearful thoughts to Love, that I may live in peace".
True forgiveness can be thought of as letting the past be exactly as it was, and giving the present moment unequivocally to Love. For five minutes near the end of your day, sit quietly in a quiet place. Review your day gently in your mind. Were there times when you made decisions out of fear? Were there times when you avoided people or places out of fear? Acknowledge these things clearly, and without guilt: "Today, I let my fear thoughts about (name the thought) decide for me" or "Today, I avoided (name the person or place) because I had the fear thought that (name the thought)". Then bring your mind into the present moment and repeat slowly to yourself: "All fear is past, and only Love is here."
For five minutes at the beginning of your day, sit quietly in a quiet place. Remember a time of your life when you were fearful. Remember, too, the movement out of fear. How was this brought about? Was it by the gift of compassion from another person? Or was it by some gentleness or forgiveness given yourself? Or was it simply by the gift of time which passes and offers new perspectives? Try to remember what that transition from fear to peace felt like. Then imagine that it is available to you now, to be applied with gentleness and love to every fearful thought that arises in the day. Imagine that it resides in your heart, and spend a few minutes feeling it there before you begin your day.
Throughout the day, whenever fear arises, quickly bring your awareness to the heart, and remember the gift you stored there.
Fear is dispelled by Love. For five minutes at the beginning of your day, and five minutes at the end, sit quietly in a quiet place. Ask yourself "What am I afraid of today?" Acknowledge each fear with a clear, silent statement "I am afraid _____ will happen" or "I am afraid of this person (name him)". Then imagine that the Heart of Love Itself surrounds you. Imagine that you are in a place where nothing but Love exists, and a radiant, loving being joins you there. Imagine that you are supported by that loving Presence as you repeat slowly, again and again: "I belong to Love; fear is the stranger here."
Throughout the day, whenever you encounter another person, offer this thought silently: "We belong to Love; fear is the stranger here."
Fear is a thought which attacks our rightful perception of ourselves as loving beings. When we defend ourselves unduly, we give our personal power away to our own fear thoughts. For five minutes at the beginning of your day, sit quietly in a quiet place. Consider the ways in which you defend yourself, and acknowledge them clearly by saying, "Sometimes, I defend myself because I am afraid of (name the thought)". Then, offer this thought as a replacement for the first: "If I defend myself, I have forgotten Love is here; in my defenselessness, my safety lies"
Throughout the day, whenever you feel yourself become defensive, remind yourself quickly "If I defend myself, I have forgotten Love is here; in my defenselessness, my safety lies."
Fear arises out of a sense of misidentification with our thoughts, and a belief in our littleness. But the first principle of Attitudinal Healing states: "The essence of our being is Love". This is hardly little. For five minutes at the beginning of your day, sit quietly. Think about how you would like your day to unfold, then gently repeat the thought: "The essence of my being is Love. There is nothing to fear. I can be happy today."
Throughout the day, whenever you encounter another person, offer this thought silently: "The essence of our being is Love. There is nothing to fear. We can be happy today."
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