James Altucher, in one of his best blog posts, talks about how he stops negative thoughts in their tracks with a simple mind trick. "Not useful," he tells himself. It's a switch, a breaker of sorts, shifts the pattern of the fear.
So, these tools, like light switches, exist. When fear arises, remember that it is a hallucinated snake or that it's not useful or that it's not real. All three work. There's many more, ones we can come up with ourselves, if we wish. As long as it works, it's valid.
So I ask myself the question, "if I loved myself, truly and deeply, what would I do?" I love this question. There is no threat, no right or wrong answer, only an invitation to my truth in this present moment. The answer is simple: I'd commit to the practice. And I would also share the next thing I've learned, which is, don't let yourself coast when things are going great. It's easy to wish for health when you're sick. When you're doing well, you need just as much vigilance.
This I know: the mind, left to itself, repeats the same stories, the same loops. Mostly ones that don't serve us. So what's practical, what's transformative, is to consciously choose a thought. Then practice it again and again. With emotion, with feeling, with acceptance.
Lay down the synaptic pathways until the mind starts playing it automatically. Do this with enough intensity over time and the mind will have no choice. That's how it operates. Where do you think your original loops came from? The goal, if there is one, is to practice until the thought you chose becomes the primary loop. Until it becomes the filter through which you view life. Then practice some more.
The key, at least for me, has been to let go. Let go of the ego, let go of attachments, let go of who I think I should be, who others think I should be. And as I do that, the real me emerges, far far better than the Kamal I projected to the world. There is a strength in this vulnerability that cannot be described, only experienced.
Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It