We are what we eat" they say. I would add that we are what we think and what we listen to. Everything that we are exposed to registers in our brain and adds to our complex programming. It all registers from the billboard advertising to the radio slogans to the pictures of 'American life' on the T.V. We see those things and our brain registers them as if they were true. We watch violent movies and we begin to expect violence in our lives. We see others lie and cheat and we begin to feel it is OK to do the same.
Another thing we can be 'watchful' of is what comes in through our ears, what we listen to. This of course includes what others say to us, what we listen to on T.V. and also which music we listen to on the radio. These days, I often reach over to turn off the radio. Why? The lyrics. I don't want to program myself with such statements as 'I can't live if living is without you', or 'I'll never get over losing you', or 'Love is just a four letter word', or 'Everywhere I go, it's the same line, money worries, money troubles', etc. etc.
When I realized that my subconscious was picking up all these comments, I really limited my 'radio intake'. Why load myself with negative programming by listening to popular music when my goal is to clean up my subconscious using affirmations. It's self-defeating. On the one hand I'm getting rid of 'stuff' and on the other I'm letting it in by listening to the songs.
Killing Me Softly...
I have noticed that even if the music is playing softly in the background and I can't hear the words, or even if the music is an instrumental version of a song, somehow the lyrics get into my mind. Often I have found myself getting edgy listening to instrumental versions of popular tunes or oldies. When I would reflect and remember what the lyrics of that song were, I would see that they were negative. I found that my mood had been affected even if the lyrics weren't being sung out loud.
Our mental computers (subconscious) know all the lyrics to all the songs they have ever heard. It is even said that your mind remembers (subconsciously of course) all the license numbers of every license plate you have ever seen. How's that for memory? So, it's no big deal for that same incredible mind to remember lyrics of songs. And while the instrumental version of a song is playing, your mind is busy putting the pieces together so to speak. It is plugging in the words.
What was the solution for me? My answer was to cut down the amount of time spent listening to the radio or T.V. I don't miss the news because that's mostly all negative programming anyway. When I want to hear music, I either sing to myself changing the words as necessary (re-programming) or I listen to 'new age' music. I find that in my car I can listen to the radio a little more easily because it is very easy to reach over and turn it off or switch to another radio station.
What's That You Say?
It is also good to be careful as to what we agree to when people are speaking to us. For example, someone says, 'Life is so hard' and we politely or distractedly murmur 'Uh, huh!' Or they say 'It's so hard to earn a living these days', or "All men are liars", and again our social being agrees politely with 'I know what you mean.' And once again we have programmed ourselves with that negative thought.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
A friend of mine uses the following technique. If someone is speaking negative programming in his presence, he tells them 'I am not trying to change you, but for my own protection I can't agree with what you're saying.' That usually has the double effect of making the other person think about what they have said without feeling attacked, and also of protecting my friend from absorbing the programming by disagreeing with it.
Studies have shown that the image of an object gives out the same energy as the object itself. One study involved measuring the energy of a picture of a pyramid and of the pyramid itself. The finding was that both did indeed emit the same energy vibration. So if a picture registers the same energy level as the real thing, every time we see a picture of violence or of a gun, or hear about a rape or murder, our subconscious registers it as if it had experienced the reality of it.
The plus side of that is that it makes visualization a powerful tool. If you can imagine it, your mind perceives it as being real and then will contribute to creating it 'for real' in your life.
If You Expect To See It, Is It Real?
Try this one for an experiment: If you find yourself craving a food, object, or person, imagine (as vividly as you can) actually experiencing that thing or person. Sit there, close your eyes and create a movie of yourself eating a gigantic plate of ice cream (if that was the craving). Eat (in the visualization) as much as you desire. Go overboard if you wish and see yourself eating more than you feel you 'should'. Your mind will see the picture you create and not differentiate it from three-dimensional reality. It will believe you actually experienced it.
We all know the importance of staying in a positive frame of mind, having positive thoughts, saying positive things and taking positive actions. Give out positive vibrations and in return you will get positive results. Rather than waste time imagining negative endings to the situations in your life, expect the positive. Pay attention to what you expect. Do you expect people to "rob you blind", to "take advantage of you", to "hurt you", etc. etc. What you expect is what you attract to yourself. It is a "negative visualization".
We often spent time doing exercises to visualize what we want, yet what we need to be aware of is that the rest of the time we are visualizing as well... but we may be visualizing the opposite of what we want. We visualize arriving somewhere late, we visualize (imagine) someone being angry with us, we visualize (expect) failure. We are constantly visualizing, but are we visualizing what we want, or what we fear?
I once lived in a small town where everyone watched everyone else. The important thing is for us to watch ourselves... and not worry about what the others are doing. What we think, what we hear, what we say, and of course what we do. To keep on moving in the positive, you have to surround yourself with positive. And since you create your own reality, you're the one who can make a difference in the world. You're it!
About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com