Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Imagine how much brighter the darkest spot could be

“There is no use to worry,” Great Grandma Fehriens always said. And she was right. Ninety percent of what we worry about never happens.

If you are in the habit of seeing the worst in a situation you are exercising that pathway of perception in your mind. The neurons that fire together wire together. Anger, fear and anxiety produce the flight or fight chemicals of adrenaline, cortisol, and cyclophosomide while focusing on positives in a situation can generate endorphins, interleukins, and interferons which result in the feelings of relaxation and joy. Candace Pert at Georgetown University is just one of many researchers showing the ways in which our habits of mind can influence our mood.

At the turn of the 20th century, Williams James found this to be true in his psychological observations. One of his five characteristics of thought is that “…whilst we think, our brain changes, and that, like the aurora borealis, its whole internal equilibrium shifts with every impulse of change. The precise nature of the shifting at a given moment is a product of many factors. The accidental state of local nutrition or blood-supply may be among them” (234).

Observing the intransitive quality of thought, James speaks of the human mind seeing its thought object relationally. “When everything is dark a somewhat less dark sensation makes us see an object white.” Imagine then if we saw all around us as white how much brighter our darkest spot would be.

How do we learn to reframe situations? Making the effort to share positive experiences rather than negatives one is one important way and works to reverse the 20:1 ratio of negative experiences being repeated twenty more times than positive ones.

How do we habituate to state our experience in the positive? For example, if we are driving down the road with some friends how do we not say, “We almost hit that squirrel” but instead reframe our thought into the positive to say, “We missed the squirrel. The squirrel is safe!”?

How do you reframe life into the positive?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Just because I’m losing doesn’t mean I’m lost

“Healing Begins with You.”

"Every relationship in your life can be healed, every relationship can be wonderful, but it’s always going to begin with you. Heal your half, and you are going to be happy. If you can heal that part of you, then you are going to be ready for a relationship without fear, without need. But remember, you can only heal your half. If you are in a relationship and you work with your half, and your partner works with the other half, you will see how quickly progress is made.

Perhaps you cannot control what is going to happen around you, but you can control your own reactions. Those reactions are going to guide the dream of your life, your personal dream. Your reactions are the key to having a wonderful life.

Your reactions come from a belief that is deep inside you. The way you react has been repeated thousands of times, and it becomes routine for you. You are conditioned to be a certain way. And that is the challenge: to change your normal reactions, to change your routine, to take a risk and make different choices. If the consequence is not what you want, change it again and again until you finally get the result you want.

You can have a relationship that fulfills your dream of Heaven; you can create a Paradise, but you have to begin with you."

-excerpt from Don Miquel Ruiz's Wisdom from The Mastery of Love.