Hi everyone. I'm new here on this website and I would like to know what I can do in order to become better at deliberately focusing my mind and my thoughts.
I am 20 years old and know about Law of Attraction and so on and have been studying the teachings of Abraham for a few years now, and I feel that my confusion about what "focusing" and "thinking" means is something that is holding me back from steering my mind and feeling better in the way I want to (and holding me back from normally living my life). I understand things perfectly well intellectually, but I haven't had a lot of success in feeling better by using my mind in order to think better-feeling thoughts.
I also often feel a bit unaware of what my current thoughts are and what I'm thinking and I don't know why this is often hard to me. I would like to get some more clarity about what thinking means, how it works when you use your focus.
I understand that focusing is a natural thing and that we can only focus / think about one thing at a time, but I often feel like I don't understand how to do it. For example: I have decided that I now want to think about kittens, but I seem to not understand how to do that? How to change my mind to think about that subject. It doesn't feel natural and maybe I'm trying too much or something but if anyone has any tips or information about this, I would be very thankful. Learning how to deliberately use my focus is very important to me. Thanks!
asked 03 Mar '17, 03:22
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I guess that after years of "trial and error" it's so obvious to me in my own mind that I didn't even realize how someone can't see that connection between being able to steer the mind and emotions. So let me explain.
For years I used to be a very analytical and science-oriented person. I always thought that having and feeling emotions was somehow a bad thing and that applying logic to everything was the only way to live.
So I didn't feel much emotions or "ups and downs" because I used to train myself to shut emotions down and ignore them whenever I could. Because I (unconsciously) thought that feeling bad or strong emotions would make me inferior and vulnerable in some way. Of course, I didn't consciously know that at that time. Being logical and having no or fewer emotions was basically a way for me to survive in this world.
Even though I didn't feel much emotions, I could somehow tell that my life wasn't going in the direction I wanted. I was very unhappy without really feeling unhappy emotionally. Still, I was trying to apply logic to my situation. So for years, I read hundreds of books, went to scientific seminars etc to find out the logical reason for my unhappiness.
Every time I thought I had finally found a logical, scientific explanation/theory for my unhappiness and my, by then, miserable life, it followed by being disappointed that my life wasn't changing by that beautiful, logical explanation. Nothing was working.
Then after years of trying to shut down emotions and searching for logical answers, I suddenly started having massive panic attacks (out of nowhere it seemed). My heart was pounding like it was about to explode and I was sweating while sitting in my chair at home. I was feeling intense fear and panic. But this time I couldn't shut it down no matter how hard I tried. My emotions were basically telling me "Alright, Mr. Logic, it's time for you to finally get the message now".
So, to make a long story short, the only way for me to get rid of these panic attacks was to either take beautiful, logical, scientifically approved... drugs for the rest of my life (as it was suggested by a doctor) to help me shut my emotions down even further or to explore alternative ways. And it finally led me to realize that instead of trying to shut down my emotions, I needed to do the complete opposite of it. I needed to be emotionally sensitive to make my life work.
Now let me give you a logical explanation as to why you need to connect with your emotions (and become very sensitive to them) to be able to steer your mind and to make all of those techniques and methods work :).
Emotions are the driver for everything worthwhile. Without a profound awareness of one's emotions, one is basically lost. They are also the driver of any learning process that has the potential of actually improving life. Notice that I didn't say that they are the driver of intellectual learning aka gathering information that has no practical value for your life (other than completing crosswords). Because you don't need emotions for gathering theoretical information. But you need a profound awareness of emotions for improving your life in a tangible way. Here is why.
Imagine you are someone that doesn't feel any pain. And imagine that, as a child, you touch a hot stove. You look at your fingers and see that they have changed color because of the burn. You can even smell that they are burned. But you don't feel anything. So you just wonder what that phenomenon means. So you do it again and again to find a logical explanation. And you wonder why you can't understand it.
Your finger is terribly burned by now and you think that maybe it's not okay to touch the stove. So you ask your parents. And they tell you that it's not good for you and try to give you a logical, scientific explanation why burning is bad. You get it so you try to avoid stoves. But one day you just forget it and you lean on a hot stove while talking on the phone. Now you are badly burned. You know it's bad for you intellectually. But you haven't really learned.
You have a logical explanation but it's not enough. It's nothing you do subconsciously and automatically like driving a car. You always have to remind yourself. So it has no practical value for you. No matter how much you read about the science of burning, you will never learn. Because you don't have the required sensitivity for real, practical learning.
So it's similar to "steering your mind". If you don't feel subtle levels of pain and pleasure, you can't condition yourself appropriately on a subconscious level for learning mind-control techniques. And no matter how much you read about it... you will never learn unless you tune that emotional sensitivity way up.
And, as I mentioned, body-focused meditation techniques like the Mc²Method (www.mc2method.com) are very good for this purpose. The more you can enhance your emotional sensitivity ("emotional connection" is actually the wrong word I guess, because you are always connected) the better and faster you will learn.
And you won't need anyone or any school of thought tell you what to do. You will become self-sufficient in learning and improve your life using any technique you find appropriate for you.
I hope I could convince you a little bit why it's important for you to become more aware of your emotions.
answered 04 Mar '17, 07:27
Thank you SO much, releaser99, for your post. I can somehow tell that this is really my issue! You're conpletely right that I often try to use my logic because I don't feel my emotions and that I don't get it.
I do feel like I want to avoid feeling worse. I see feeling worse as an unwanted experience and like it's something I should try to avoid. But I really have to develop sensitivity to my emotions (which are my GUIDANCE system) or I'll be lost forever... Thanks again.
(04 Mar '17, 11:47) spnx
Hi releaser99, I am doing the exercises from the Mc^2 method and I'm finding that is helping me reconnect and feeling my emotions. I will practice it everyday now. However, I'm not really understanding how you mean it's connected with learning how to steer my focus in the way I want to, and to deliberately think the thoughts I want to think? Because I don't really believe in that there's anything subconscious going on. Thanks.
(05 Mar '17, 15:19) spnx
Terrific explanation @releaser99. I spent years berating myself for my emotions (I was never successful at ignoring them). It made me regard emotions as emergencies. I barreled through life, banging into one wall after another, thinking I was the worst person in the world. I would have greatly admired you as the "logical man". I really didn't figure it out till I landed at IQ.
@spnx, you and I came here from opposite directions, but we're both in the right place. Keep asking, keep seeking. :)
(05 Mar '17, 18:23) Grace
(06 Mar '17, 09:12) releaser99
@spnx - "how you mean it's connected with learning how to steer my focus in the way I want to, and to deliberately think the thoughts I want to think?" - As you become more sensitive to your emotions (it takes usually a few days of meditation), you will be able to more clearly tell which thoughts you think feel better or worse. Usually, people feel their emotions somewhere in the body. For example, I might think about a person or thing I don't like and I might feel a "knot" in my neck area...
(06 Mar '17, 09:34) releaser99
...Or I might think about a person or thing I like and this might cause me to feel a tingly, warm feeling in my heart area. So as you become more sensitive, you will feel those feelings more clearly and strongly. So you may realize, as you walk through your day, that you encounter some little "hot stoves" that you didn't realize were "hot stoves" when you thought about them before. This will cause you to subconsciously not want to think about them...
(06 Mar '17, 09:34) releaser99
...And it will cause you to subconsciously want to think about thoughts that feel better instead. This is a crucial ability as you can use this sensitivity to your advantage to think thoughts and do things that feel better and not worse. So you can more easily and quickly feel good and aligned with your Inner Being. You will also notice that tools you use (such as Focus Blocks) will feel more intense in both negative and positive ways which is a very good thing...
(06 Mar '17, 09:35) releaser99
...Because the emotional sensitivity will teach you how to "steer your focus" simply by telling you which thoughts you should choose to feel better. You may want to experiment with this sensitivity to see how great it works for you. Do so not to make something happen but to see how wonderful your emotional guidance system works for you. One process I find great for this game is Abraham's "Which thought feels better" process...
(06 Mar '17, 09:36) releaser99
...You basically write down a thought and decide if it feels better, the same or worse. By practicing this method, you will more clearly understand how you need to "steer your mind" in ways that will be beneficial to you.
(06 Mar '17, 09:36) releaser99
Thanks releaser99 for sharing that. My issue isn't really that I'm not able to tell if one thought feels better than another thought. I might have been doing some of suppressing my emotions also or not but nevertheless I'm finding the MC^2 method helpful and I'm going to continue to practice that as well whenever I find myself wanting to avoid feeling something.
But my issue and what I started this thread about is about understanding how to direct my mind. I feel like I don't understand how to.
(06 Mar '17, 17:38) spnx
...I have been studying the teachings of Abraham for a few years and really during this time I've been making myself unhappier and unhappier. I was a happy boy before I learned (or got inspired to and found) the teachings of Abraham, but then I've used the material to beat up on myself when I've not been able to do it. So I want to feel better. And one exercise I've been recommended to feel better is to think about a subject I have no resistance about (like kittens) for 15 minutes.
(06 Mar '17, 17:41) spnx
...I've been given that process #13 many attempts and have had the intention to just feel a little better. But I haven't had the success I wanted with it (I haven't been successfully used the processes to emotionally feel better) and I think it has to do with my misunderstanding about focusing :( So even though I'm writing down words on paper doesn't mean that I'm focused on what the words mean. So I want to learn how I can become a better at deliberately steering my mind in the way I want to...
(06 Mar '17, 17:44) spnx
I know now what my issue is. One Abe friend reminded me of that "thinking about" essentially means the same thing as "paying attention to" or "noticing". And that made me realise that I've really been practicing a screwy idea about what "thinking" means for a while.. I don't know what to do in order to restore my old undistorted understanding of what thinking is, but now I know what my issue is and it makes sense now why I've been having some difficulties with this.
(08 Mar '17, 03:02) spnx
Can I please delete this comment and all the comments above that I posted yesterday? Thanks.
(08 Mar '17, 17:33) spnx
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@spnx, there's an exercise here on the site called "Manifesting Experiment 2" or "Focus Blocks", by Stingray, that may help you. You may search on "tags", where you can find all the questions related to this exercise and learn how to do it - there are many explanations. I hope it helps :)
answered 03 Mar '17, 06:04
Hi VitoriaRegia, thanks for your reply.
I know about the Manifesting Experiment 2 aka Focus Blocks aka Focus Wheel exercise and I've been trying them out many times. But I have never had any success with them (in terms of feeling better, which is what I want).
I think it comes down to my focusing issue. It sometimes seem like I write down words but are not really thinking about what the words mean or something, so I'm not actually thinking about what I'm writing down. I don't know what to do.
(03 Mar '17, 08:07) spnx
@spnx - "It sometimes seem like I write down words but are not really thinking about what the words mean or something" - That sounds familiar to me. Basically, it seems that you may be "disconnected" from your emotions. I would recommend reconnecting on a daily basis using specific body-focused meditations like the MC²Method for at least 15 minutes/day (www.mc2method.com). As for Focus Blocks, you might want to check out this answer https://goo.gl/iOEPHY
(03 Mar '17, 09:10) releaser99
@releaser99: It's funny, I have already read that post more than one time and liked it enough to screenshot it and add to my collection of posts that I find helpful.
I don't completely understand how don't understanding how to steer my focus in the way I want to has anything to do with being "disconnected" from my emotions, but it's true that I often don't feel very emotional, but I think it has more to do with feeling "same" on a many subjects. Not so much ups and down. Thanks for your reply.
(03 Mar '17, 21:21) spnx
I often try "regular" meditation too, but in my mind it's really the same as focusing on a "simple" subject such as "kittens". Holding my attention to something I don't have any resistance about for 15 minutes. It makes fully sense to me in theory but I haven't had the success I'm wanting (feeling better) when practically applying it.
I wish it wasn't this way and I don't even get it fully. But I see evidence in other areas in my life, too, that sometimes I'm not "thinking for myself" so much..
(03 Mar '17, 21:28) spnx
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The feeling you get from consciously focusing on kittens is actually perfectly natural, you just aren't used to it. Whatever feels natural to you right now simply means you have gotten used to it. If you want something new to feel natural to you, you just have to keep doing it and you will get used to that.
In other words, the very thing you are feeling uneasy with is exactly what you are looking for: Feedback that you are indeed focusing and that the focusing is having an effect. So when you focus on kittens, and you notice a shift in your feelings, then you are indeed focusing on something rather than just having random thoughts. When that feeling is how you would expect to feel when you are around kittens, that tells you that your focus really is having the effect you want.
You are always thinking a huge amount of things, and you don't need to be aware of them all. Driving a car, for example, what you want is to decide where to go, and then let your habitual thoughts do the driving for you, only intervening if something unexpected happens. That's what habits are for, they free you to create. You only really need to worry about what you are already thinking if you focus on something you want and start to feel bad. Then you shift your focus to a question: What am I thinking that feels bad in this particular way? Whatever comes up, you change the thought in your mind to a better version of that, and focus on it a little bit. Then you go back to your original focus.
So if you were focusing on kittens, don't worry about all other thoughts you may be having. If you were, then you would not be focusing on kittens. So if you do start thinking about other things than kittens, gently remind yourself you want to focus on kittens now, and go back to it, so you get a cycle of kittens-distracted-reminder-kittens-distracted-reminder. As long as you're doing that, you're still focusing to a degree, which will most likely already feel much much much better than just thinking randomly. After a while of doing that, the distractions get fewer and shorter, and you get more emotion and hence more effect. When you really take it far, and kittens are starting to appear in your life in the way that you wanted to with your focus, then your kitten thinking has become habitual and you can move on to other things that are important to you.
The one reason where your habitual thoughts become relevant while focusing is when they contradict what you are focusing on. For example, if you are focusing on kittens, and you start thinking about getting bitten and scratched bloody by one, then it is a good idea to ask yourself: What am I thinking about kittens that hurts? Then you take whatever comes up, and change it in your mind into a better version of it. So if you have a memory of being bitten by a kitten, just change the biting to licking in your mind, and when you get a shift in your feeling, go back to thinking about kittens.
Of course, replace the example "kittens" to anything that is important to you. It is usually easier to bring up feelings that way.
answered 03 Mar '17, 11:17
Thanks a lot for your reply, cmc. Everything you wrote makes perfect sense to me and I already understand all of that. And that I create my emotions, what I'm feeling, with my current focus and thoughts. And I don't care so much about "brining up feelings".
It's just when I intend to direct my focus to a subjecct, that is what I want to practice on and get better at. How to change my thoughts that I think and then direct my focus. I often feel unaware of my thoughts and it doesn't feel natural.
(03 Mar '17, 21:36) spnx
I am still confused about this.. :/ Does somebody want to help me like understand what "changing your thoughts" means in practical terms? I really don't enjoy feeling like I don't understand or am aware of how I change my focus/thoughts/steer my mind where I want it to go. I would be very thankful if anyone wanted to help me understand. I want to think about for example kittens, and be aware that I'm doing it and understand how I do it with changing my thoughts. Thanks!
(15 Apr '17, 08:05) spnx
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Hi @spnx, the master key system has some really great techniques that help you to gradually gain control of your thought, have you tried those exercises?
Hi @Bluebell, no I have not. Thanks for the tip.