The subconscious mind is the store-house of all tendencies and impressions created in our past. These tendencies (samskars) and impressions (vasanas) are the primary cause of our current likes, dislikes, and desires. Because most of our existence has been “less conscious” than it is now, many of the impressions from our past don’t serve our spiritual growth as much as we would prefer.

Our “subconscious thought patterns” can be tricky to identify until we are able to break free from them enough to see them for what they are. Too often our ego says that there is no need, or no hope for change. (In our ego driven society we are constantly told in every possible way that we need to respect, protect, and even love our egoic self.) The ego is the “little self,” or the perpetual imposter on the spiritual path. Instead of sweetly chanting, “Lord, I am Thine” the ego cries, “Gimme that! It’s mine!”

Sometimes one has the self-righteous tendency to blame “others,” or “the situation” for everything they do, feel, or experience that is “bad.” If this is a deep habit one will defend their sensitive ego at all cost. Often, it’s not until every possible option to place the blame elsewhere has been tried, and our persistent failures become ridiculously predictable, that we begin to search for the true cause of all our suffering within our own self.

It is also possible to find a certain “comfort” in the belief that we are for some mysterious reason destined to fail in everything we do. Through our own thoughts we can develop a strong feeling of being “powerless,” habitually affirming; “I can’t” at every opportunity. Soon our natural way to feel is that nothing we do is ever going to go right or make any lasting change. This “victim consciousness” becomes a safe harbor where we don’t have to face the ocean of our real issues.

These are examples of how habitual negative thinking can become the stultifying ego protective enemy of our own welfare. The good news is that our misguided habits can be trained or eliminated and their energy can be focused in new positive directions. But first we must recognize them for what they are. They are just habits, they are not who we are. They form our personality, which is as impermanent as the habits that create it. These are the positive and negative soldiers on our mental battlefield, or the employees in our mental office. Positive change is easier once we see the situation for what it is. Knowingly or unknowingly we create and modify these tendencies by the way we perceive and interact with the world around us.

Joy creates upliftment of our energy, which is the purpose of all yoga techniques. Joy is positive. Joyful willingness shrinks our enemy. Grim determination implies resistance. It is an affirmation of negative energy. It may serve a positive purpose for a time but ultimately it is a bad habit.

“Remember, every affirmation is an act of becoming. For it to be most effective, you must see yourself on every level as a cause, not as an effect.” “Above all, always say ‘YES’ to life!”
Swami Kriyananda, The Art and Science of Raja Yoga

Reacting is by definition, giving power to what or whomever we are reacting to. It is an affirmation that you are not in control of your own experience, and this is untrue. BE A CAUSE, instead of an effect. Choose to be positive. Affirm your highest truth.
God is everywhere. Find Him in all situations. Make Him your nearest and dearest friend. Don’t give your Joy away.

“My outer life is a reflection of my inner thoughts. Filled with the joy of God, I express His joy and harmony in everything I do.”
Swami Kriyananda, Affirmations for Self-Healing

Author's Bio: 

I am a spiritual counselor, and follower of the eight fold path of Raja Yoga.