Often when things go wrong in our lives our internal focus or self-talk is saying, “Why me? Why do I have to go through all this? Why is God mean to me? What have I done wrong?”
If you’ve experienced this, your focus was internal in your head and you were conscious of the fact that you were thinking, but you were not able to overcome that thought which gripped you so tightly.
Once you stay in this negative thought for a period of time, it becomes your mood. Your autopilot mode kicks in.
Let me explain to you the autopilot mode by using the example of driving.
When you start learning how to drive, you are consciously present.
You look out the front window and use the rearview mirror.
You twist and look behind you when reversing.
You turn and look sideways when passing another driver.
In other words, you take all the necessary precautions.
Fast forward a few weeks, or years, and you are now so used to driving that you don’t have to think about it.
Instead, you respond in a pre-programmed way.
Sometimes you reach your place of work without even remembering which road you took.
You were in autopilot mode.
In the same way, we sometimes memorize our negative emotions so well that we respond in a pre-programmed way.
You might have heard people say things like, “This is the way I am,” or “This is the story of my life,” or “I am in a mood.”
If you asked them what happened that caused them to feel the way they do, they will answer by saying that this thing happened seven days ago or that thing happened to me six months ago.
Well, that person is still living in that same negative state of mind as they were at the time of that past event.
Our minds loves repetition and habits. Our positive or negative thought patterns become habits.
Choosing to shift our internal thinking through meditation is vital to choosing a happy life.
Think of something in your life which has caught your attention or focus, such as the thrill of a football game, watching an exciting movie, or reading a book so engrossing that you cannot put it down.
You get so absorbed that you lose track of time.
Hours pass by like minutes.
The question is, how does this happen?
When you are totally absorbed by and engrossed in what you are doing, you are engaged and present.
You are not thinking of the past or the future.
Your focus is external, as something in your immediate environment is helping you to enter and remain in an engaged state of mind.
When you focus in this way, you aren’t aware of what you’re thinking.
Your attention is only on what is going on around you.
When you are engaged in something you like, you cannot think negatively.
The bottom line is that your mind is either occupied with what is going inside your head or what is going on outside your head.
It is impossible to focus at the same time on both the internal and external, but it is possible to switch between them with a little bit of practice.
The practice of Meditation can help us learn how to switch our focus to where it should be.