They have not gone anywhere but our focus on them certainly has…
It’s interesting that we as human beings seem to always focus on what we want and don’t have, or what is in our lives that we wish wasn’t. I have been working really hard on trying to produce a tool for you that will provide you with a huge list of all the experiences one has had, or is currently having. And the idea would be to choose from the list what is happening in your life, and then select whether it is a pro or a con. And I guarantee you that when you get finished with the list that I intend to provide for you, you absolutely will have huge list of wonderful experiences and a very small list of the ones that are not. It is not easy for me to create this in html code but I am nothing if I am not stubborn. But working on this tool has been keeping me away from writing to you so I have decided to set that project aside for now and connect with you instead.
What I want to draw your attention to is that all of us, always have so much to be grateful for but we have stopped looking and noticing. If something unwanted is happening in our lives, it would take a Mack truck pulling up in front of your house and pulling on it’s air horn a few times to take your mind off of it for even a little bit of time. (Let me know where you live, I will send one over just for you – very big smile.) But seriously folks, it is so imperative that we do everything in our power to not stay stuck in our heads and lose site of the beauty of life because we are allowing one or two things to bring us down on an almost permanent basis. When you do the math, a couple or few things compared to the myriad of beautiful and amazing things that are always happening all around us, it is almost unbelievable that we have any dark days for any length of time. Sure, we won’t be doing a happy dance right away, if we have a relationship break up or if our car gets stolen, but the difference is we will bounce back much quicker, if we deal with the issue, and then let go and get our heads back to life’s beautiful events – the sun, the moon, the stars, the flowers, the trees, the grass, the silent glistening snow, the birds, the family that loves us and who we love, the other vehicle that we have or will get, the next exciting relationship that will come after the one that just ended – I think you get the picture.
Instead, usually unknowingly, we choose to wallow in the unpleasantness of the one or two issues that will dissolve eventually anyway. Nothing in life is permanent – not a painful situation nor a pleasant situation. “We are the sky, our experiences are just like the clouds – they come and go.” Why is it, that even when we know a way out of our pain, we refuse to move out of the darkness back in to the light? I know, I have been there and done that and I can remember very clearly that I refused all help and just wanted to stay stuck to my couch.
Thank goodness, since that time, I have been blessed to have some more tools in my inventory that I use when ever I am tempted to leave the beautiful world that is always around me. That’s not to say that my life is a bowl of cherries – it is not. I like most people, always have issues to deal with and struggles to get through. But the difference is I don’t allow anything or anyone to keep me stuck in a painful place for any longer than necessary. Compared to the way I used to be, I am out of there so fast it makes my head spin. I finally figured out that any pain that comes my way, no matter what the seeming cause is, I have the power to move on by.
Here are a few of the tools I use to not stay stuck in any unhappy place:
See what’s around you – move your body to a different space.
If any worry thoughts are trying to pull me in, I find a flower to look at, I move from where ever I am to someplace different, maybe just as far as my backyard, or maybe just from my kitchen to my living room, and look around the yard at what’s there, or look around at the beautiful things in my living room. And before I know it, the thought that was tugging at me and trying to ruin my day has gone poof. And usually instead, I receive a new thought about something cool I can do in my yard, or an idea of what I can enjoy doing in my living room.
Do something for someone – even a stranger or for your furry family member.
If you are in your house with family or your housemate, take a minute and make them a tea or a coffee or if your kids are home, go find them and do something fun with them. If you live alone, just move your butt outside and find someone to smile at (preferably this would be a daytime event). Giving and receiving smiles is one of the easiest things one can do and the positive effects are immeasurable. You can also pick up the phone and call someone that you know would love to hear from you. If it’s the middle of the night, send them a compliment that will light up their day when they wake up. Or me, I go online and connect with one of the online friends that I have in different parts of the world. So I can always connect day and night.
And yes, I take my little doggie for a walk and I tell myself I do it for her, but in actual fact, I know I always enjoy it too. It definitely takes my mind off of anything heavy once I push myself out that door. Again if you are feeling troubled and it’s too late to go for a walk, just walk out to your backyard with your pet; that works too.
Get out your favorite pen and notebook and write anything. It could be about what happened in your day or the day before or it could be your grocery list. It doesn’t really matter what it is just so long as your focus has changed and you are no longer stuck in your head. Me, I am not so much a pen and paper person, but I love a nice big keyboard to do my writing. I have to admit though, I still hand-write my grocery list.
Whether it is long and luxurious bath, a quick shower or simply a trip to your office or workplace washroom, get some water on you. Literally, you will be washing your cares away.
Video/Audio and Other Media Input.
We are so blessed to have instant access to amazing, uplifting, and inspiring media at any given moment in our lives. You know what they say, “garbage in, garbage out”. The reverse is every bit as true, “wisdom in, wisdom out”. If you don’t already have one, start a collection of videos, audio recordings, internet articles, wonderful uplifting books and exciting and upbeat music that you know gives you a lift. I can’t express adequately how these have the power to bring you up and remind you to see and feel the beauty of life. We are so lucky to have so many wonderful artists and authors who are happy to remind us about the miracle of life.
This one really needs no explanation. One of my 3 mother-in-laws (yes I have been married 3 times – smiling again here), taught me years ago, how humming can not only take your mind off your troubles, but unless you are way off key, it can also benefit those around you. And I take it further (when I am alone so I don’t make others suffer), I like to sing to myself. And I have noticed that even my dog likes it when I do. I think she senses that I am doing well, if I am singing and she starts to bounce around and wag her tail. And whistling, this may just be my thing, but I know I had a boss at work that no matter how good or bad the day seemed, he would always whistle, and it always made me feel happier when I heard him. Even though, I am not a good whistler, just me putting in the effort to try and whistle will not allow me to have any other thought whether negative or otherwise.
I think this is enough of a list for you for now because I know, now that I have started it for you, you will come up with a long list of your own that you will be able to use to keep you high – it doesn’t take drugs or alcohol to do this, just the air that you breath. The key is you have to be willing to work on taking your focus away from what is working really hard to bring you down and make you forget how many amazing and wonderful things hang around us permanently. No one can do that for you; you have to be aware and catch the thought before it takes up permanent residence. I realize that sometimes, when a heavy thought strikes us, all the tools at your disposal can suddenly disappear from one’s memory banks.
So another little trick, I used to use until my auto programming kicked in was to write a little trigger note for myself. It only has to make sense to you and might be as simple as a single word that will help you to realize that you have the power to quickly scoot away from an otherwise downer moment, minute, hour, day, week or longer. “Beauty” or “Change Focus” wakes me up and is enough of a reminder for me, but you will know what works for you. And then just put the note in your pocket, or stick it on your closest wall or on your computer monitor – where ever you spend a lot of your time. For the longest time, I had a note just above my computer monitor that said: “Who would you be without that thought?” Got that from Byron Katie1. Another one I still use to this day comes from Eckhart Tolle2: “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, it’s my thoughts about it.” That’s all I have to see to remind me, Linda refocus, refocus, refocus – wake up, wake up, wake up.
As always, please get in touch or stay in touch. I love hearing from anyone and everyone. It would be awesome to hear from you what’s on your list and what you do to remind yourself of the beauty that’s in this world even in the middle of a pandemic. Until the next time, onward and upward you amazing and wonderful people. As Neale Donald Walsch3 always says, “Keep on keeping on.”
- Byron Kathleen Mitchell, better known as Byron Katie is an American speaker and author who teaches a method of self-inquiry known as “The Work of Byron Katie” or simply as “The Work.”
- Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher and best-selling author. He is a German-born resident of Canada best known as the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. In 2008, The New York Times called Tolle “the most popular spiritual author in the United States”.
- Neale Donald Walsch was brought up as a Catholic by a family who encouraged his quest for spiritual truth. He informally studied comparative theology for many years. He says his books are not channelled, but rather that they are inspired by God and that they can help a person relate to God from a modern perspective.