You may know this yourself, but if not , pay attention next time – see if you can distance yourself from the worrying story you are telling yourself by realising that it is you and only you that is doing the worrying. No-one else does it for you. When you can watch yourself, as opposed to being completely swallowed up by the worry, then you at least have a chance to shift your thoughts. Without that breathing space that comes with noticing what’s going on, you are quite simply a prisoner of your own mind.
Anyway, there I was walking along, completely oblivious to the lovely trees, the spring growth, the bubbling stream, when I caught myself telling a story about lack of money. I know enough to realise that I need to stop this immediately when I notice it – I’ve had plenty of years of fretting away, working out solutions, worrying some more, and not much has changed. But I’ve also had plenty of years of knowing that when I deliberately turn my thoughts away from those of lack to those of abundance, I can interrupt the worrying and find instead a more peaceful place.
In this instance, what I did to choose different thoughts was to use the Course In Miracles lesson “You could choose peace instead of this,” or a variation “You could replace these thoughts with ones of peace instead of these ones.” That day, this sentence worked immediately. I could feel a shift inside my body as I dropped out of the story of lack and into the truth inside, which was that in that moment, all was well. That allowed me to look around and appreciate the trees, the stream and the spring growth, which led to a connection again with the natural world and the wonder of that. My heart opened, and I felt steady and peaceful inside once again.
It doesn’t always happen as quickly as this. In fact, more often than not, I have to state that sentence over and over as a direction to my mind to take that path; sometimes I visualise myself literally taking a different path in my mind’s eye. And it takes commitment, because the worry story often lurks behind the scenes just waiting for an opportunity to move in again.
Now, here’s the really interesting bit. Later that very day, I had notification that the new tenant in my cottage had paid in their deposit and first months rent 3 weeks before it was due. The next day I had a message from the agent of another property I own to say that because the tenants had defaulted on their rent in their last month, they were going to pay the deposit straight into my account, and not return it to them. And finally, I am about to move into rented accommodation again and my new landlady called to tell me she didn’t want me to pay any deposit, and would I mind just adding a small amount onto the rent every month for 18 months instead.
Well. None of these circumstances were in my money worry story! And each one of them combined has taken care, and more, of those particular money worries.
Before you dismiss this by thinking something like ‘oh she owns several properties, it’s all right for her’ let me tell you they are all in quite severe negative equity at the moment, and it’s me that pays the mortgages, regardless of whether they are rented or not (which two of them are proving hard to do). And also, if you have been on my mailing list for a while, you will know that although this article is about smallish amounts of money, I’ve also had huge debt which has been resolved in a miraculous way too. So it’s not about the amount of money.
Finally, something I have learnt – you cannot direct your thoughts in this way in order to get money. It doesn’t work. Believe me, I have tried! You have to do it because you simply want to free yourself of worrying (about anything) and be in a peaceful place instead – even if the outer circumstances never change. Now that takes courage, commitment and a willingness to trust. But if you are in that peaceful state, no matter what, then everything else simply does not matter as much.
So I have a challenge for you this week – when you find yourself falling into worry about anything, deliberately direct your thoughts down another path, and notice how that makes you feel. Post your comments below if you’d like to share your experiences.