Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Negative thinking is insidious. It stems from fear, which is pervasive in human nature. And while I do honor the gift that fear provides us in our human evolution, I believe that we are here to learn the truth of how very unnecessary it is.
When I get caught up in fear, and so negative thinking, I hardly notice it at first. It builds over a few days, and then suddenly I become aware that I am more distracted, and worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet. As our Rev. Ken at Unity says, I get caught up in “awfulizing.” Instead of being easy my life becomes a series of issues that I need to power through, and it’s just no fun.
Optimism is a simple and effective tool for counteracting negative thinking. Rather than standing by and letting the unproductive thoughts feed on themselves and grow stronger, optimism shifts our focus to make room for our good. It helps redirect our attention to the truth that is always waiting for us to embrace, that what we expect we always find, without exception.
Count your blessings. Journal five things that you are grateful for every day. Laugh. Some of these tools for increasing our optimism can seem fluffy and unhelpful, but to me they are the very crux of creating the life of our dreams. In counting my blessings my eyes open to see that all things are possible. With my attention strongly on all that is worthy of my gratitude, the universe cannot help but respond in kind with even more expressions of grace. And in laughing my body finds its ever-present vibration of joy.
May you laugh often and be grateful for your blessings, and may this tool be a blessing. . .