Empowered Youth Book Excerpt
Note from Editor:
Michael Eisen is one of our favorite bloggers. When he came to us with news about his new book Empowered Youth: A Father and Son's Journey to Conscious Living, we were all over it here at Masters Channel. We are happy to provide an except for you below.
Empowered Youth Book Excerpt:
During my entire life I’d felt powerless, believing that I’d simply been sent experiences, with no choice but to accept them or feel miserable. What I learned is that I not only had the ability to change the situations and feelings I once thought were permanent, but also that I was actually responsible for creating them in the first place. This was an extremely empowering concept for me to grasp, because for the first time it was as if there were something I could do to change the outcome of my life.
Everything that was going on within me was directly contributing to what was happening outside of me. After taking in this principle, I wanted to jump right ahead to the “change” part. If I was creating all the challenges, pain, and suffering, then I wanted to snap my fingers and make it all stop - now! Well, my dad was there to remind me that this process takes time. The outcomes we’ve created are all based on habits, actions, words, and thoughts that we have been living (unconsciously) for most of our lives. Therefore, reshaping all of these into different outcomes require time, practice, and patience. This was not easy for me to accept, because I didn’t want to be patient; after all, I never had been and just wanted to make all of it go away immediately.
To help ease my frustration, my dad had me focus on one thing at a time. He said, “If you want things to change, you have to make empowered choices. But before you can start doing that, you need to focus more on your awareness. Without awareness, there is no empowerment. And without empowerment, I wouldn’t have been able to make choices that felt better; and thus, I wouldn’t have been able to create positive change in my life.”
What came next was the realization that all of my life experiences were, in fact, influenced by how I was thinking. Did you know that the average person has approximately 50,000 to 80,000 thoughts each day? I had no idea. When you stop to think about this number, you realize how much is actually going on inside our minds at all times. If, in fact, we’re not really aware of these thoughts - which was certainly the case for me - then is it possible that we’re not really aware of the reality we’re creating for ourselves? When I realized this, it was a huge breakthrough for me. If I had the power to control my thoughts, and if my thoughts had the power to influence my life, then all I had to do was choose better thoughts. Well, this was easier said than done.
In order to get control of all those things running through my head, the first step was to simply become aware of them. What were they all anyway, and where were they coming from? Awareness makes you feel empowered, and when you’re empowered you’re able to make better choices. Dad taught me that in order to be aware of my thoughts, I first had to slow them down so that I could actually listen to them. A helpful practice for this was the action of keeping a daily-thoughts journal - a place where I could write down everything going on inside my head. When you put your thoughts into writing, you can see them more clearly.
A great way to understand this is to think about the garbage in your home. You know that you have to take the trash out regularly, or your living space begins to stink. The same is true for our minds. If we don’t dump out the “trash thoughts” every so often, our minds get cluttered, disorganized, and stinky.
Do you keep a daily-thoughts journal? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!
Michael Eisen is an inspirational speaker, author and the founder of the Youth Wellness Network (YWN), an organization dedicated to inspiring and empowering youth across the globe to live happier and more positive lives. Michael's first book, Empowered YOUth: A Father and Son's Journey to Conscious Living, co-authored with his father, is available for pre-order and will be officially released October 1, 2012. Visit him on http://www.youthwellnessnetwork.ca, Facebook or Twitter.