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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thoughts ARE Things; Words Reinforce Them

We've likely all done it. In a social setting, someone breaks the ice, asking "...and what do you do?" Whether we are the querent or the respondent, the commonly understood subtext is "what is your job, how do you make your living, or some variant there of, and it is to that question we most commonly respond.

"I am..." is a powerful statement that, in my opinion, is uttered far too often and even more often, though that would seem impossible, without thought.

There are many levels of "I am." Alone, as I have just written it, it can be a powerful affirmation of my existence in this time and place. I can add "a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother" or "a daughter, a granddaughter, a great-granddaughter" and align myself with my ancestors and progeny, statements and placings that can bring great power as well. But far more often, it seems, we dillute the power of "I am" by applying it to temporary or less desirable situations and in so doing, empower them.

Recently I have listened to friends talking about their current work situations. Like many of us, they are not currently making their living doing what they had hoped or planned; some feel stuck in their position for a myriad of reasons. None of these folks would claim that their current job reflected or aligned well with their entire being. Yet all of them, even while searching for other options, continue to empower their current status with the "I am..." message. 

If you happen to have a job, or work in a field that does not reflect your being, why oh why do you continue to put yourself there with this most powerful I-message?  Even if you need to call up your work experience to bolster an assertion or opinion, "I work in (this field)" or if you feel you need extra oomph "I have worked as a (job title) for X years" will convey your message without defining you by your work. Perhaps I am splitting semantic hairs here, but it seems to me that, especially if you want to move to a different field, mentally pegging yourself in the current pasture will not help.

Along the same vein, in the aftermath of the recent election, I keep seeing and hearing the "I am" message communicating fear. Now, I am not negating what folks are feeling. But I want to consider splitting those same semantic hairs again to point out the subtle, though fundamental difference between "I am scared" and "I feel scared."  I can understand "I am scared" as an instantaneous reaction to a situation, the fight or flight response is triggered and one responds. However, it seems to me that if/when the situation is past that initial instant, and the feeling persists, moving it from the core "I am" to the feeling realm will allow us to respond to the scary situation with well though out and appropriate action instead of instinctual, or "knee-jerk" reaction.

Those of us working in magical traditions have been taught the power of Intent and therefore even if only by extension, the power of Thought. Words are thought shared on the way to being made manifest by becoming Action. May we always walk in consciousness and speak out thoughts with well thought out intent.