by Vincent Barra © November
received an email from one of my listeners who is concerned
about the lack of her ability to control rampant unbridled
thoughts. She is extremely fearful that she is either possessed
by an evil spirit, or she is slipping downwards into the
spiraling darkness of psychotic episodes. Her dreams are
also reflective of negative images and patterns that are
redundant night after night. Her question is, "What
can I do to quiet the mind or at least rid it of negative
I too have had occasions where the majority
of my thoughts and dreams seem to take on a life of their
own. Oftentimes, the predisposition of the dream is solely
comprised of negative and morose images. Sometimes I awaken
from horrible nightmares racing through my mind, leaving
me frightened and fearful and unable to return back to sleep.
From my studies, I know that nightmares are one of the warning
tools the sub-conscious mind uses to alert the dreamer of
pending disaster and/or obstacles that may happen immediately
or in the near future. Usually such dreams contain information
on how to avoid or change the situation for a better outcome.
This is referred to as: "working out the dream."
As the Yogi say, "To have inner-thoughts
guide us is perfect, these are the thoughts that we honor."
The message that we hear within our thoughts should be of
positive motivational stimuli, which make us a person filled
with love, compassion and understanding for our fellow man.
But unfortunately, quite often we find ourselves
with many thoughts that turn toward a more sinister nature.
Negative thoughts one has toward others usually are born
out of jealousy, envy or the fear we are lacking something
within our own abilities. These thoughts are built more
on depressing urges that cause a person to become mean-spirited
and unhappy. These trains of thoughts can become very powerful
as we endlessly repeat them in our mind. The problem is,
the more we focus on negative thoughts, the more powerful
they become. For that reason, it can become very difficult
to stop this endless cycle of negative thinking.
There are many ways we can take control of
these excessive conscious thoughts and bring tranquility
back to the dream state. Meditation is one method for soothing
a talkative mind. But for many it is extremely difficult
to sit still and empty the mind of thought in order to accommodate
most demands of various meditation modalities. It could
take years of daily practice to acquire such a state. Another
technique, one that I prefer, is using a daily journal.
Every morning upon awakening record your dreams and during
the day jot down all the negative thoughts that ramble through
your mind. Document your frame of mind (disposition) and
your emotional state of being for each occurrence.
In a relatively short period of time you
will begin to notice repetitive patterns and themes occurring
in your dreams. These patterns and themes will also play
out throughout your daily activities. For example: in one
of my reoccurring dreams I am driving a car and mindlessly
enjoying the ride, when all of a sudden the car starts to
uncontrollably accelerate faster and faster. When I try
to apply the brakes, either there are no brakes or I always
The dream is telling me in my daily life I
am moving too fast and if I don't slow down I will be unable
to stop [brake] what I had put into motion [car], and eventually
I will head toward a horrific ending [crash]. At first this
dream seemed like a nightmare, but in actuality was a blessing
in disguise, helping me to avoid major mishaps in my life.
I needed to reconsider how I was proceeding and the necessity
to slow down and apply the brakes thus turning a negative
situation into a positive outcome.
With time and patience, you can log and interpret
the symbols in your dreams and apply them to your daily
activities. Soon you will be able to predict future events
and make the adjustments to change the outcome. Eventually,
you will become so proficient in dream analysis that before
you retire at night you will be able to program your dreams
by asking a question then awaken with the answer.
Another problem is sometimes we attach ourselves
to certain ideas and problems, and we subconsciously get
pleasure going through a certain problems and issues over
and over again. If we subconsciously keep inviting the thoughts,
we will never be able to stop them. Another method is to
make a clear and conscious decision to stop the repetition
of theses thoughts. Become aware of their negative impact
and when they creep into your thinking, consciously push
them away and replace them with positive images. This method
is especially good with negative thoughts that are created
and solely based on jealousy and envy because of another's
good fortune. This deliberate step is an indispensable stage
in controlling our thoughts. When you learn how to be truly
happy and grateful for another's good fortune the uncontrollable
negativity dissipates and the mind stills itself.
Another technique is to try and discover the
origination of the thought. Ask yourself what situation
and/or person from your past would have made you render
such a negative reaction. By using this process, often called
"inner-child cleansing work", you'll be able to
rid yourself of habitual negative thinking, and find forgiveness
and understanding for the unfavorable transgressions and
deeds done to you by another.
Whatever methods you employ always remember
that you are in complete control of your actions and your
thinking. Do not give away your power by assuming otherwise.
You need to be vigilant and be mindful of every thought
that enters your consciousness. As soon as you experience
a negative thought, immediately discard it and refuse to
allow your mind to dwell on it, remembering to replace it
with a positive image. Then smile and give yourself a big
hug knowing that you are more powerful than idle mind chatter.