Gina Lake is a spiritual teacher who is devoted to helping others awaken and live in the moment through her many books, online courses, and intensives. She is also a gifted intuitive with a master's degree in counseling psychology and over twenty years experience supporting people in their spiritual growth. Her website offers information about her books, free e-books, book excerpts, a free monthly newsletter, a blog, and audio and video recordings: http://www.radicalhappiness.com.
Giving attention is a very basic form of love. You can increase the love in your life by putting your attention on the now instead of on thoughts. Asking yourself, What am I giving my attention to? can be an excellent spiritual practice, and it will help you train yourself away from the habit of identifying with the egoic mind.
One of the simplest forms of meditation is listening. You don’t even have to sit still to practice listening. Except for when you are asleep, listening is always happening. You are either listening to the mind or to something else. When you are not listening to the mind, the opportunity exists to be aware that listening is still happening. Listening is part of Awareness, which is another name for our true nature.
The antidote to conditioning, including negative thoughts, is acceptance, but the mind isn’t what can give this acceptance. Acceptance happens when you drop into essence (your true self) and notice your negative thoughts. From this place, negative thoughts are not a problem because you see that they have nothing to do with you—the real you.
Your self-image is just an image—an idea—but it can have a powerful impact on your life and on your happiness. As important as it is to your happiness, it is really nothing more than a thought that is constantly changing and often inconsistent from one moment to the next. It is a caricature of yourself, which leaves out what is most important—your true nature.