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Tending to the Negative Mind
by KD Farris, Ph.D.
In the early years of discovering my spiritual path, I was introduced to several big concepts that I was not yet ready for. I didnít really understand Love or God as it was being described to me, and Positive Thinking sounded and felt like lying to myself. Lying to myself was something I was trying to stop doing.
I opened up to the power of Love and the concept of God within the first year of my journey, but Positive Thinking took a much slower route.
One day, after being on my path for several years, I found myself in an argument with my best friend over whose driverís license had the better picture on it. I thought her photo looked better than mine, and she thought my photo looked better than hers.
If you can picture this scene: two grown women, standing in a large living room, huddled under a small light - because it was the brightest light in the room to judge ourselves by - arguing over whose driverís license photograph looks prettier!
Finally, the absurdity of what we were doing hit me and I said, "Wait a minute. You are the most beautiful person I have ever met in my life. If you, who I think of as the peak of perfection, wants to tell me that my photo looks great, what is wrong with me that I cannot just say, thank you?"
It hit me like a ton of bricks that I had always done this. That I had been putting myself down and keeping myself under, even in the face of uplifting events, for the whole of my life. I said to my friend, "I do this with everything. And so do you! We have to stop...."
And that is when Dollar Therapy, a game I invented to teach myself more about ORBIT (OR-BIT), was born.
ORBIT is the activity in the mind when it is producing thoughts that are born from fear and negativity, untruthfulness and denial. It is the recognition of the chatter in the brain that goes on, which is false or self-effacing, that can enable the chatter to stop. Naming this vapor-like noise in your head, "ORBIT," returns you to the present moment and the power of your mind back to its rightful owner - your heart and spirit.
Dollar Therapy is like taking ORBIT and adding a price tag to it! The rules of the game go like this: For every ill thought, undermining act, or unsupportive behavior toward myself that I witness, I am to put into a jar, one dollar. At the end of the week, I am to give the collected funds away to a charity or person of my choice. In this case it was to my best friend. She could use the money, and I needed a good healing!
After only a few hours I had to call and tell her the price had just gone down to a dime. She was disappointed, but I wanted to be able to hold up my end of the bargain and it was busting my bank to give one dollar for every slip.
The next afternoon my friend arrived to see how I was doing. I answered the door with an abundant source of life. "Well! Look at you!" she commented. "I know!" I replied, "I am an abundant source of life! You should see how much writing I have done just since last night. I cannot remember a time when I have written so much!"
I had been writing a screenplay, which was progressing comfortably at the pace of a snail for six months. Now, when I sat down to write, I had to pay out for every one of my negative thoughts about myself and I found that without my undermining feelings about my screenplay, I had no reason to stop writing it. I was forced into being more productive because, as I quickly discovered, it was my lack of believing in myself that was aborting my creative endeavors in the first place.
While my creative outlets were being given a shot of adrenaline, my thinking mind was becoming increasingly more challenged. By the third day, my mind felt like it was going to crack, and my creative impulses came to a screeching halt. It was as though my identity were breaking apart as the negative thoughtforms that made up so much of my integrity, were being derailed and confronted.
The first and most shocking response to this was the flood of memories from my childhood that arose into my consciousness. This was not negative thinking, this was recollection.
I kept remembering being little and playing peacefully and with abandon, and then having a shock. Like a blast of disruption came tumbling into the room. It was as though I had been minding my own business when a bomb went off. This memory left me with a terribly unsettled feeling and I got progressively more agitated as the day progressed.
By the afternoon my skin was crawling, and I called my friend to say that Dollar Therapy and I were taking a 24-hour hiatus! I felt I had to start thinking negatively again or I was going to die! I made a solemn promise to resume after my short break, and then, though it was only five oíclock, I took off all my clothes, turned off all the lights, and hid under the covers until morning.
I lay in agony, hardly sleeping all night. The bad thoughts unwound themselves into bad feelings, which unwound themselves into more memories - over and over again. At one point I had the realization that my father had taught me to think low of myself as a way to protect me from disappointment. I was able to understand that no one had meant me harm. My parents and teachers were only treating me as they had been treated, and as they were then treating themselves. But I was now healing and would be able to break the chain.
Finally the process became complete, and I was able to fall asleep.
The next day, after a glorious walk and a wonderful meal, I explained to my friend that I had seen what looked like pterodactyl birds coming out of my head and flying off to another world. That was exactly what it felt like, big black thoughtforms with wings and high scratchy voices leaving my aura and going off to haunt some other universe.
The good news was that they were leaving because they knew they were not wanted here. I was no longer serving food to the low self esteem-eating pterodactyl-like birds. What a frightening and bizarre evening it was.
That same day, I resumed the noting of my negativity and plopped a dime in the jar for each digression. My energy returned, my screenplay writing resumed, and the rest of the week went off without a hitch.
Dollar Therapy is a way of taking notice of the mindís activity and separating out the wanted thoughts from the unwanted. Just like ORBIT, it makes the notation, but with an explanation mark! It says: I hear you, I see you, but I am not you. You are a thought. ORBIT. You are an undermining thought - ORBIT. You are a really mean and nasty thought. ORBIT!
And so was born, not only my understanding of negative thoughts, but my relationship with Positive Thinking. It took, for me, which it may for many of you, the deep listening to my negative mind, before I could create a safe and welcome place for my positive mind.
I encourage you on your path to Affirmation & Visualization to develop a relationship with the voices that want to counteract your production of useful helpful thoughtforms. It is okay to make a place for the arguer in your mind. Give it a voice, a spot in your journal, or a temporary run at your thinking. But always be watching, and naming it - ORBIT. That thought might just be worth a dollar some day!© Copyright 2001 KD Farris, Ph.D..
KD Farris, Ph.D. is a successful counselor, healer, and bodyworker. For more than twenty years she has taught
extensive workshops based on MESHE, HESHE, MISON & ORBIT as well as many other self-discovery topics.
KD began developing her integrated bodywork and counseling techniques in 1983 under the tutelage of many prominent doctors and healers throughout the United States.
Her education into the spiritual and physical aspects of the human experience served as the foundation for her private practice and the development of a new philosophy. She combined her techniques into four guiding principles, which she shares in her book, MESHE, HESHE,
MISON & ORBIT: What My Grandmother Taught Me About the Universe. She teaches a companion workshop series, where she creates an interactive environment demonstrating the material from her book with tangible, life altering effects. In these workshops, individuals discover a
deepening of their relationship to self, others, and life itself.
Through individual counseling and group workshops, she has taught her results-oriented programs to many different types of people including those confined to mental institutions, substance and food abusers, and generally, people in life transitions, struggling with intimate
relationships, or who lack direction in their lives. Visit www.kdfarris.com.
KD is currently touring a new body of work, Talking About People in Transition, Also Known As
Liminal Space. She will be writing about liminality and its relevance to day-to-day living in upcoming issues of Soulful Living. For more information on this new and exciting topic, or to learn about more her private practice, workshops and lectures, visit
Contact KD at: info@MESHE.com