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The Silva Method: Mental Housekeeping

“What you think about expands” – Alan Cohen


To learn something new and apply it to one’s life, it is often necessary to do a “mental housekeeping” of sorts beforehand.  Our minds often seem to have tapes playing – some with positive messages or affirmations and others with negative, oppositional messages.  Positive thinking means thinking and talking about the things we want and not the things we don’t want.  Negative thinking is thinking and talking about the things we don’t want.

“I can’t…” or “I don’t want…” indicate negative thinking; thoughts that provoke the exact opposite of what is desired.  Negative thinking is like a photographic negative; just the opposite of the outcome hoped for.  Try avoiding phrases like, “That makes me sick,” “I can’t see that,” “He gives me a headache,” “A pain in the neck,” and the like.  These phrases create pictures in the mind of what we don’t want.

But what to do when negative thoughts are evoked and the negative tape is playing?  Jose Silva found the “cancel, cancel” technique to be effective and began teaching it to students before teaching them how to relax and get to alpha level.  The way the “cancel, cancel” technique works is, when a negative statement is made, say or think right away, “cancel, cancel.”  Think of as pressing the “delete” key on your keyboard.  Immediately replace the “cancelled” statement or thought with a positive statement or positive mental image of your desired goal.

Use positive statements about being healthy, being in control or being blessed.  Try counting your blessings.  Jose Silva believed the phrase “Better and better” triggers the mind to count our blessings and keep thinking about our goals and the outcomes we want.  The “Cancel, cancel” and “Better and better” techniques that have made big differences in my life.  The “Cancel, cancel” technique always seems to be one that people around me notice in our conversations and I always find myself grinning when I hear someone else in my life pick up its use.

Faith is another concept that Silva training defines as it applies to their techniques.  The word “faith” for many evokes thoughts of religion or religious beliefs.  For the purpose of learning the Silva techniques, faith is made up of want, belief and expectancy.

Desire is the motive force, the force that pushes us toward our goals.  Desire, being a pushing, motivating force is of the physical dimension. Without want, one would never even begin a project.  To increase the strength of one’s want, students learning the Silva technique are encouraged to repeat mentally or verbally what it is that is desired, along with the reasons for wanting that particular success.  Once able to enter the alpha level of consciousness more desire and reasons for success are manifested.  Why?  Both hemispheres of the brain are functioning and working together giving twice the results.

Belief is what sustains between want and expectancy; from the driving force and the goal already created in the mind.  Believe in yourself and your right to what you seek.  Believe it is possible; avoid setting goals you cannot believe you can do.  Anything your mind can conceive and believe and your heart desires can be achieved.  Expectancy is of the alpha, the subjective, and the dimensional.  It is the goal.  If want is the propelling force, then expectancy is the target in sight.



Procrastination is no Friend of Mine



But yet, my life is riddled with procrastination. As a result, I have issues, dilemmas, unresolved business, projects gone uncompleted, money left uncollected, bills – many bills overdue and pushing me into bankruptcy, all because I procrastinate. My procrastination is a fear based reaction, or inaction if you will. You know, I can’t even bring myself to go to the mailbox at all to check the mail? I feel that so much doom and gloom is inside those envelopes, that I’m afraid to even get them out of the box. Christopher is the brave soul in our family that make the daily trek to the mailbox to bring home whatever news may be contained within those envelopes.


I have a legal issue hanging over my head, and I owe about $1500 in fines to the municipal court. No opportunity has been given for a payment plan, since I don’t have the money. The judge wants me to pick up trash along side Phoenix roadways and freeways, even parks. Given my health status, there’s no way that I would have the stamina to pull that one off as community service. Even with a note from my doctor indicating I wouldn’t be able to perform the duties of that particular community service, there is no other option. I have to go down to the courthouse and try and get on the judges court docket so that I can appear before the judge and plead for a payment plan. After my last visit to his honor’s courtroom, I’m afraid to face him again. It was one of the worst experiences I have had. If I don’t deal with this situation, and the fines go unpaid and sent to a collection agency, a warrant will go out for my arrest. Should that happen, my Social Security Disability Claim will go on hold, which will put a severe strain on Christopher and me financially. Once my fines are paid, it takes a lot of effort to get through all of the red tape to get my claim back on track. I’ve already had my driver’s license suspended, so I can’t drive.


The damn car is missing too, which makes matters worse. And quite honestly, I couldn’t tell you if it was stolen or towed. When the tags were taken after my citation for driving with a suspended registration and no financial responsibility (i.e. no car insurance), the car could have gotten towed at the last apartment we were renting, or it could very well have been stolen. We have never received any communication that the car has been towed, and of course even though I have had the phone number of the towing company, I never called to see if it was in their possession. I didn’t call the police either. To make this judge happy, and for him to believe that I’m not going to be driving around without insurance and a registration, I have to show proof that the car has been abandoned, or stolen. Just more “stuff” that I have to deal with.


For more than five years now I’d say, I have been aware that a company I formerly owned is owed about $300 in commissions by a small insurance company we used only once. It seems they lost track of us, and we show up on one of those “unclaimed funds” lists. Every year someone reminds me that my name showed up on the list. But do I deal with it? Of course not.


My procrastinating behavior is annoying to those close to me. It should. To them it seems as though nothing ever gets done. I find I work best from lists, and that my mood plays a significant role in my level of procrastination. Depression certainly plays a part, but so does my hypo manic or manic phases. I can be just too damned distracted to take care of business, or be just too “full of myself” on some days. There are days however, when I’m just too tired, or feeling too anxious about my health, the amount of time here or what it will be like for me to transition to clear enough space in my mind to think about making a list, or considering the priorities of that which is outstanding. I’d like to change completely, and be a person who has initiative, motivation and will power. I’m not sure it will be a lesson I master in this life time, but I shall certainly keep trying!