I had fallen off the toboggan and sliding fast. I couldn't see what was coming so I just grabbed onto my head, tucked my chin, and hoped for the best.
Finally I came to a stop just barely missing a couple of trees and a snow bank.
Man was I lucky!
When negative thought momentum starts we're not always so lucky. Sometimes we hit trees. Sometimes we hit things even worse.
Thought momentum works like this. You start with a thought (usually because of something you see) and then you repeat it in your mind. You repeat it again and again and something terrible can start to happen. Pretty soon the thought starts to repeat itself - whether you like it or not!
When repeated, thought begins to take on a life of its own. You can't even stop it if you wanted.
You've been doing this all your life. The emotions you feel and the events you attract are nothing more than the momentum you've generated from many yesterdays.
Since most of the thinking you do is based on what you are experiencing today you are caught in a loop. Negative thought brings negative results, negative results bring negative thoughts. Now you are in an out of control spiral.
You've got to find a way to stop negative momentum.
Because if you don't - you will crash!
The reason I meditate is it allows me to still my mind. When the mind is still momentum stops. When momentum stops I've created a space. In that space there is room for something new; something better.
When you meditate you don't even have to replace negative thoughts with good ones. All you have to do is stop the negative long enough.
Stop negative momentum long enough and it looses it's power. With no negative momentum you will automatically start to feel good and entertain positive thought. Hold onto positive thought long enough and IT begins to generate momentum too. This is where real confidence comes from.
How do you know if you are meditating properly? How do you know if you are doing it long enough?
Here's what I do.
I wait and notice the wandering of my mind.
Usually at first - during the first 10 minutes or so - my mind wanders back to the negative momentum I've created in the past. Negative worries, fears, resentments pop up.
When they do I simply turn my attention back to my breath. (I usually count my breaths)
But depending on the day as I continue to meditate and go back to the breathing at some point my mind begins to wander... but in a different direction.
When my mind wanders towards kindness, eagerness and fun I know I've gotten where I wanted.
I still treat this positive wandering like all wandering. I simply go back to the breath. (One of the worst things to do is to interrupt your meditation by trying to capture the good ideas that come up - they only are present because your mind is still. Trying to capture them is like trying to catch soap bubbles).
Sometimes I end up just feeling joy with no wandering thought. Sometimes I can hold this joy for long periods of time.
But when my negative momentum stops - and I begin to feel positive emotion I know I've meditated long enough. Then I only sit as long as it feels good.
As you meditate over several weeks you will notice life improves. You will notice many things that used to bother you simply go away. You will start to notice some of your goals coming to you naturally.
Positive emotion lets you know you've stopped negative momentum.
When you've stopped negative momentum you won't have to worry about hitting trees!