“Sometimes what is obvious is what we miss noticing the most. We are blind to what stares us right in the face. We simply miss it. We cannot see the forest for the trees. We are oblivious to the elephant in the room. What if what we miss noticing were to make a critical difference in terms of our success and happiness?
If you are a regular reader of my blog, perhaps, you will recall that I wrote how I changed my life. There was a time when I decided to focus my attention on creating what I wanted instead of what I didn’t want. I was, as are many people, perhaps most people, really, really great at creating what I didn’t want.
You may recall that I have pointed out that the goal is not to be 100% positive and never have a negative thought. That wouldn’t be human. Most likely, it wouldn’t be.. The goal is to feel the best and think the best we are able to most of the time. We should spend far more time feeling wonderful than not.
Use Negative Thoughts And Feelings To Clarify What You Want
Negative thoughts and feelings inform us. They become useful in helping us get clear about what we do want. They notify us when we are off track. Frequently, it is because something is negative that a person will make life long changes. Too often, it is because things have gotten so bad there is no other realistic choice to make.
The knack is to not get caught in a negative spiral down but to recognize the signals and make use of them. The art is in not blaming or criticizing oneself (or others) when one thinks, feels or behaves in a less than glorious fashion. If your actions hurt others then you should be responsible, make amends and commit to not doing or hurting them again. The same applies when you hurt yourself.
So it isn’ that we are never negative but that we use the negativity to become more positive. Life may always present obstacles and challenges. Something that can help you when it gets tough is your own personal metaphor or explanation for what is occurring. For some people this is a god of salvation. For others, it may be another god from another religion.
Use Your Personal Metaphor
It may be that god is within you. It may be the universe, the matrix, the divine mother. It may be anything you call it. I call it your mind set and attitude. I am not writing to have you believe one way or another about who or what runs the show OTHER than you. That is not my place.
What I think may or may not be ultimately the explanation. Still, it works for me. My version may, or may not, work for you. I do think that whatever you believe can work powerfully. Personally, I like scripture from all religions. I even like trite aphorisms and sayings that help us remember to stay on track.
I love simplistic notions such as, ‘when life gives you lemons make lemonade’. It tells you precisely what to do. Yes, it is analogous to how we chose to view things and that there can be a positive action. It is simple and to the point. I like things like Psalm 23 ‘the lord is my shepherd I shall not want…’
Again, I don’t care whether the ‘shepherd’ is a real personal god, or a matrix. I like the mind set behind ‘everything is taken care of, my needs are taken care of, there is plenty, there is calm, there is power, I shall rest and I shall prevail. I believe anything can be a positive and useful reminder.
Use Aphorisms To Guide You
The key, as I see it, is to take control of the muscle between your ears and exercise it positively so that it works on or in your behalf. Your mind, our minds, do whatever they do. They run wild or the run on programming provided by other people, previously, and they do so habitually. Chronically. Whether we like it or not.
All your brain, your subconscious mind can do is say ‘yes’ to whatever orders are given it. Consciously, you can oppose but the subconscious mind runs the show. You know the analogy. The subconscious is the part of the ice berg we never get to see.
The conscious mind is the tip. So the conscious mind can articulate the instructions but the subconscious is the mechanism that carries these out. It will carry out whatever it is programmed to do. Most of our programming involves thoughts and strong emotions.
As a child you got caught doing something and felt bad. You felt negative and people said, ‘you were up to no good’. You personalized this to mean you were no good. You felt guilty, down, and blamed yourself. Since then, you relieve these feelings and thoughts consciously from time to time.
Use Your Brain – Control Your Thinking
They may continue to still influence your thoughts, feelings and behaviors outside of your awareness. These may be part of your self-image. It could also be that you have already resolved it and do not let it influence you. Perhaps, you learned from it and moved on.
It is a simplistic example, yes. Still, sometimes things are that simplistic and sometimes they are more involved.
The point is whatever, or however, or whenever or why ever we have limiting thoughts and beliefs, negative feelings and programming that causes us to think, be, feel or do less than glorious things, we can take charge, take control and change it for the better. We can make lemonade!
We do not have to be a victim to our past circumstances or our past conditioning. We can actually become free of it. In fact, I would argue, we are free of it, we just don’t know that so we act as if we are not. There is the story about Houdini, the world’s greatest showman and most re-known escape artist. Houdini would travel, during the days of vaudeville, to different towns and cities.
Stop Being A Victim
In order to get people to his nightly shows he would do stunts during the noon hour. Sometimes it was his famous suspended straight jacket escape. Other times it was to challenge the local police departments to lock him up inside a jail cell, naked and heavily chained and handcuffed. He would always escape,
He recounted a time when he was cuffed, chained and imprisoned. Being a master locksmith and lock picker he gained access to his hidden pick and went to work on the locks. Freeing himself from the cuffs and chains he tried the door. Nothing. He could not get the mechanism to turn over. He continued. He tried and he tried!
What normally took minutes, was taking more time. An hour passed and he feverishly worked trying to open the lock. Normally, he was out in minutes, dressed and presenting his ‘miracle’ escape to the police and the press who stood by waiting. Houdini had never previously been defeated. ONE defeat could mean his whole career!
Another half hour passed. He was beginning to panic. His training however, included keeping calm under pressure. More than having a trained body having a trained mind was crucial in his business. He took risks and could not risk having a mind that did not remain calm and methodical in crises situations. He was tired, sweating, nearly defeated.
Exploration Is The Doorway To Adventure
He leaned back against the door for rest, exhausted and it swung open. He stood transfixed. There in front of him was an open door. It had never been locked! In this one time, with all the commotion restraining him in cuffs and chains and the press noting every moment, the police forgot to lock the door. No one noticed the mistake. NOT even Houdini!
He spent over 90 minutes wondering why he could not get the tumblers to turnover. He spent 90 minutes with his career most likely flashing before his eyes. He spent 90 minutes IMPRISONED in a jail cell when he was actually a free man. The fact that the door was not locked was LOST on him. For all practical intents and purposes he was a prisoner.
Had he not accidentally leaned against the door he would have never known. In this case, he walked out. Opened the cell with his clothes got dressed and strolled out having defeated the police as he always had in other cities. He could rightly inform them that this jail cell had been his most challenging ever!
We are already free! Unless we claim it and act on it we will act as a prisoner of our past. The time comes for each of us to open the door on our lives and walk through it a champion. Keep in mind Houdini was trained to escape. He spent years conditioning his mind and body to serve him in harrowing and dangerous times.
Awareness Is The Key To Change
We can do similarly. We can train our minds to serve us to deliver to us the kind of life experience we want. We can condition ourselves to be successful prior to any success or happiness showing up. We can make it through tough times and easy times when we take charge of our thinking process and make it work for us.
There is NO need to live as a prisoner to the past. There is no need to live as a prisoner of circumstances. The past has no actual connection to the present or the future except what we assign to it. We live from stories and scripts we have been told and we tell ourselves.
It is time to do some re-writing. Chose the happy ending first and reverse engineer it. Imagine the life you want to live and live it in your mind. Fill it with happiness, success, positive relationships and possessions; whatever you want. Enjoy the feelings of living as you want to and as you deserve to. Dream big. Enjoy it. Celebrate making it happen!
Spend time dreaming like this each day. Remember, we become what we think about. Thought precedes action. We program our subconscious mind through our thoughts and images accompanied by strong and powerful feelings or emotions. Dream your life and you will someday live your dreams. We get what we focus on.
Stop being distracted by circumstances. Just because things are tough doesn’t mean you can’t have the life you want. Do not let present or past difficulty distract or dissuade you from making your life the way you want it. Commit to it. Train your mind to see the good in everything and everyone. Train your mind to find opportunity and possibility and advantages everywhere you look.
Train your mind to find the positive and think positive thoughts most of the time. Stop blaming or criticizing yourself and others and accept that there will be tough times. You may even feel like giving up sometime. Don’t you dare! Keep going. Stay committed and be flexible. Adjust the plans but keep the dreams. Make lemonade!” Rex Sikes
Be glad this day. Celebrate!
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*Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.
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