Changing Negative Beliefs Wandering Ninja Style


Welcome to this week’s wisdom for the Inner and Outer You.

What a great group we had out for the Morning Meditation Session on Saturday. Everybody enjoyed practicing a variety of meditations from sitting to active. Morning Meditation sessions happen ever two or three weeks on Saturdays. Be sure to check on our website at for the next scheduled session.

It was also nice to see some returning students back in the Essential Martial Arts training classes. Even if it was private instruction it’s still great to see you making an effort to keep up your training. Awesome! Looking forward to seeng a bunch of new students out for classes in the New Year who have expressed an interest. Might be time to start looking for a bigger training space soon. Essential Martial Arts classes happen every Tuesday evening from 8:00 pm to 9:15 pm. Ask how you can come out for a complimentary class and find out what it’s all about.

The blog article today temporarily departs from my experiences in India to cover a topic that came up spontaneously as I started writing.  I will return to adventures had in India next week, with the next leg of our journey taking place in Darjeeling. Keep your eye on our YouTube channel to catch some stunning scenery of Darjeeling that will be uploaded in the next day or two. Better yet subscribe to the channel and you will be notified immediately when it’s uploaded. Simply click here –> Inner Outer You Channel and you will be taken there now to subscribe.

The article today came from random thoughts I had while reading an article I received by email. Please enjoy.

Personal Experience on Changing Beliefs

I opened up my email and replied to the usual number of correspondence on any given day. Then it came time to open up articles that are sent to me from various educational sources. I came across this short but sweet article called “Thought Patterns and Beliefs: The Mind” by Dr. Marilyn Mitchell. I’ve included it below so you can read it too:

Thought Patterns and Beliefs: The Mind

Published on December 10, 2012 by Marilyn Mitchell, M.D. in Heart and Soul Healing

The mind can be a great resource. It allows you to read these words, to organize information, to set goals. It can often be a bully, though, when we get into the thought patterns that are negative or outmoded for us.

We are usually not aware of our thoughts or thought patterns. In fact, we may be identified with our thinking mind, believing that we are our minds. When we first connect with our spiritual self, and then watch our thoughts, we are often surprised at what we hear.

Our thoughts are the beginning point of creating our lives, so it is wise to choose our thoughts, and steer them in the direction that we want them to go. Our thoughts send a powerful vibrational message to the other aspects of our being, directing how we function. If you concentrate on what is wrong with you and what you lack, you will continue these imperfections and lack. By shifting to positive, encouraging thoughts, seeing things as you wish them to be, you can create the life and health you want.

Beliefs are collections of thought patterns, often shared by groups of people. It is a good idea to examine our beliefs and be sure they are encouraging and support us in the direction of healing that we choose.

Ways to get there (tools):

•        Meditation

•        Affirmations

•        Limit access to toxic or negative thoughts (TV, news, certain people)

•        Inspirational readings

•        Visualization

*End of article.

Dr. Marilyn Mitchell has some great points here. All of which in my life I have had personal experience with.  At times I get asked from people the following questions, “How do you manage to live the life that you do? Why do you meditate and teach it so often? Why do you still practice and teach martial arts and Chi Kung every week?” Not to mention the funny look on people’s faces when they ask me, “Do you really hypnotize people at your coaching centre?” in which I usually have a little fun and reply back “yes and not just at my coaching centre either”  then I give them a little smile. I know when they get it because their eye brows usually lift higher in response as they wonder if I could mean… at this very moment?

It’s really simple I say to people with questions. I discovered a long time ago how powerful the mind is. When I awoke and realized this, I also witnessed at the very same time how so many people were stuck in the confines of their own mind. It was then I decided I wanted to somehow be of assistance in helping people escape from their dysfunctional perceptions and self imposed limitations; a lot of the time this happens unconsciously, without people’s awareness. They go on through life but one day they notice a feeling that, if neglected, with time can become nagging, having them start to question if everything is okay with them. It can begin in many ways. Sometimes people who are close to you may notice how stressed or anxious or in ill health you are and kindly mention something. Or you have a moment of clarity and honesty and you notice it within yourself. You might reflect back into your past and notice there were times when you were happier, healthier or mentally and emotionally calmer and at peace with yourself. It doesn’t matter how it begins; it only matters that you follow up on that feeling and see where it leads. I can tell you that these feelings simply don’t surface for no reason, they are trying to tell you something!

Terry Hodgkinson aka Wandering Ninja Meditating in Himalayas – Sikkim, India

So why do I practice meditation? I have found from my own experience it’s a method that helps to induce deep physical and mental relaxation, bringing health back to the body and helping with the maintenance of staying healthy. It’s also an excellent tool that can help cut through the fog and disillusionment of the mind, by increasing illumination, or the awareness of how things really are.  I found out that there is no power in self deception; there is only familiarity, a false sense of comfort. Like the lyrics from the Rock band called Pink Floyd say:

“…now the child has grown the dream is gone …I… have become comfortably numb”

You have heard the old saying before: “You might be fooling yourself but you’re not fooling everyone else”?  This can be so true; often we stick by our opinions and beliefs so rigidly, even when they are no longer making sense and they have become detrimental to us. I learned this when I was a teenager struggling with the mental and emotional abuse of an alcoholic father. Enveloped in my own fear, frustration, anger and pent up aggression, I started to do things that were hurtful to me and others. When I started meditating via martial art classes, I noticed no significant results in the beginning. However with some time I started to find my perception changing as I was acquiring greater internal strength and perspective. Soon I would discover that I didn’t have to feel like a floor mat for my father to trample all over when he wanted. I knew I was better than that and yet I didn’t need to get into yelling and screaming fights with him every day in order to prove it. I had gained better understanding of the situation and more efficient coping mechanisms. It was the practice of meditation that I attribute the elevation of my mind and gaining this awareness and understanding.

Sifu Terry Hodgkinson aka Wandering Ninja Essential Martial Arts Kunming, China

Why do I practice martial arts and Chi Kung?

Because I like to kick people’s asses! Ha-ha, that’s what I originally started training for when I was a teenager. Having problems in the school yard with being tall for my age meant lots of kids wanted to challenge me. I didn’t know a thing about fighting and the last straw came when I had a fight with kid in the school’s front yard. Incidentally this kid’s name was Steve Ellis and we’re friends to this day. I knew it was time to take some lessons after both of us stood out there for an hour jumping around like a couple of monkeys and never really seeming to get anywhere.

What’s amazing was how the practice of martial arts helped me to transcend my egotistical reasons for training and refined my consciousness into training for the reasons of better health, greater psychological understanding and spiritual reflection.  I found out that I was able to let go a lot of the pent of aggression I was holding on to.

Sifu Terry Hodgknson aka Wandering Ninja with Broadsword – Essential Martial Arts

There are certain experiences, especially those that are intense or traumatic in nature that can be held in the body’s muscles, perhaps even the body’s cells. After a while of training martial arts, it took on a whole new dimension where it became a “movement therapy” for me. Sure in the beginning it took time to learn all the moves properly but once that was accomplished, I no longer needed to think…I could just move through them effortlessly. The training now became an invaluable tool that was building my confidence as well as being therapy in motion for me. I was able to let go of the world while moving and work on enhancing my awareness using my body as the instrument. I found through the application of body movement, it became an excellent method for letting go of stress, tension and any repressed emotions I had. With my awareness on my body I could see these things manifest as I moved through the motions. As I continued moving, I was able to express them through my body and let them go. When they were expressed fully, my body’s movement became more serene and graceful. My mind clearer and emotions well balanced. I felt more internally centered than ever before in my life. Even to this day when I train I notice the expression of stress, tension and the transformational effect the training has on balancing and centering my being. It’s not as extreme as it was when I was a teenager as I have come a long ways, but I still feel it.

Terry Hodgkinson aka Wandering Ninja Chi Kung Kunming, China

When I practice or teach Chi Kung also known as Qi Gong, I feel the energy created through such movements that move up through my body and then back down, like a big circle engulfing my entire body; a wave of energy soothing, cleansing and renewing my physical health and clarity of mind. So who couldn’t use this kind of training? That’s why I practice and teach it.

So why do I do hypnotherapy at my Positive Changes Hypnosis and Coaching Centre? I found that many of the benefits I’ve accomplished with meditation in health related areas, and in changing certain habits and behaviours, I’ve been able to help other people accomplish in shorter periods of time using hypnosis. Depending on a person’s circumstances, not everybody has the patience or correct mentality for meditation.

Terry Hodgkinson Doing Hypnosis Session

Hypnotherapy is much like a guided meditation only calibrated moment by moment for the individual who is there for the session. Here there is a skilled person who is trained to notice what you are currently experiencing (with your input and help) and then help you to get to where you want to be or what you want to be experiencing instead. They do this with the many skills and tools they have acquired from their training.

If you read the article I included above by Dr. Marilyn Mitchell, it talks about the ‘ways to get there (tools)’ which are again:

•        Meditation

•        Affirmations

•        Limit access to toxic or negative thoughts (TV, news, certain people)

•        Inspirational readings

•        Visualization

We have covered the first one in my discussion about ‘meditation’ and also in ‘moving therapy’ as the movement in martial arts is not only therapeutic but also becomes a ‘meditation in motion’.

As for ‘affirmations’ there are plenty of those supplied in hypnotherapy sessions that are personalized for the client.

For ‘inspirational reading’, this is something that everybody should do a little bit of each day. Just have a book close to you always that is full of inspiration and motivation and pick it up a few times a day and read from it when you have a few moments. Or if you are by a computer most of the day then have a few websites that you can visit and read positive information from. Also in the hypnotherapy all the session are recorded and you will get to keep these, so it’s not exactly reading but it certainly does the same thing as you listen to it at least once a day.

As for visualization, this is something that is done in martial arts training, in meditation and in hypnotherapy, so there’s lots of practice with this right across the board.

Now the only one that I haven’t mentioned is the point on ‘limit access to toxic or negative thoughts (TV, news, certain people)’. However this can be accomplished easily if you are doing any of the three things I have mentioned here. If you are meditating each day, then you are spending more time in inner positive reflection than watching TV or being around negative people! If you are training martial arts, then you will be away from negativity and immersed into a more positive environment with highly creative, motivated and positive people. If you are taking hypnotherapy sessions, then you are certainly having your mind filled with positive, inspirational messages rather than spending time doing the opposite. If you listen to the recording of your session a few times a day there is even more time away from negative sources or information, while you soak up the positively supporting messages of your session.

I will finish this article with the first question I often get asked which I have not answered yet.

“How do you manage to live the life that you do?

Sifu Terry Hodgkinson aka Wandering Ninja

Well I just do. I made a decision a long time ago to do work that would benefit myself and others. It wasn’t even a decision really; it was just something I knew I was destined to do. Knowing the changes I’ve made in my life and the peace I’ve found through those changes inspired me long ago to help others experience the same. Now I’m at the next step of my journey where I am passing on as much of the knowledge as I can to others, so they too can not only experience the difference it makes in providing a life with better quality but also take up the torch and carry it forward to others. I want to light a few candles and have those candles go out and light some more and so on and so on. I would like to have one heck of a candle gathering party that people will come just because they were drawn in by the illumination of so many candles!

It’s actually happening already: I see my students taking their candles out and sharing them with the world around them. Ahh…what a sight to see, what a feeling to behold.

Anybody else want to join the party?

By Terry Hodgkinson aka Wandering Ninja

Read about Terry Hodgkinson’s book called Memoirs of a Wandering Ninja, Walking the Path of Enlightenment 


About Terry Hodgkinson

Terry J. Hodgkinson is a MindFit consultant. He owns Positive Changes Hypnotherapy and Meditation Centre in Toronto, Canada. As a corporate trainer, keynote speaker and retreat leader he enjoys his work so much that he calls it his passion. In 2009 Terry's book, Memoirs of a Wandering Ninja - Walking the Path of Enlightenment was published. *For information on Terry's international retreats visit: *Book Terry for your next event visit: *Martial arts training visit:
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