The idea of “attitudinal muscles” comes from Marianne Williamson, a well-known writer, spiritual teacher and public speaker. I have come to love and respect her as an intelligent, spiritual leader who has keen insight into the workings of the human mind. Her perspectives on world events are enlightening, fresh and grounded in Truth.
Our attitudes may first become evident in the “terrible two’s”. From that point on we grow into teenagers with rebellious attitudes and on in to young adulthood with a combination of attitudes and informed opinions.
As adults, we choose our attitudes. We can strengthen the recurrence of thoughts that we want and weaken the power of thoughts we do not want. The process of doing this is often associated with a spiritual practice.
In order to change a thought pattern or unwanted behavior we must intentionally choose a different path. According to behavioral research, it takes about 12 weeks for any change to stick in the end. A spiritual practice of prayer, meditation, and journaling helps us affirm what we want and prepare the way for the desired outcome to become reality. Daily exercise of these practices will eventually bring about the desired results.
While this explanation may seem dry and factual the reality is that even if you attend to these ideas in a disciplined manner, without supporting feelings to back up your intentions, nothing will happen. Emotions are a litmus test of our inner integrity. “Walk the talk” is a favorite phrase among coaches. I would like to offer a new twist on that idea:
Feel the thought!