Your Thoughts Create Your World

     I am a card-carrying member of the Eternal Optimist Club (there is no such organization as far as I know, but someone should start one). I know that the sun always shines whether we can see it or not, the earth continues to turn no matter who sits in the Oval Office and the river of life flows on. Even though a boulder or two may drop in my path, or a sudden, unexpected storm may darken my day, I usually find something good about the situation.

So what good could ever possibly come from a tragedy that seems to destroy everything you have strived or worked for?  It doesn’t matter if it is a health or financial crisis.  It is when something happens in your life that stands as the silent testimony that life can change in an instant or turn on a dime?

It all depends on how you look at it.

When I teach seminars on “How to Create Health,” the first thing I ask the audience to do is to take a deep breath, then point to themselves. Some people look surprised, some are reluctant, but to this day, every single person in the audience points to the same area of their body.

Their heart.

That simple gesture has profound consequences in everything you do. When you take a moment to consider who your really are, you don’t point to your head, where your thoughts reside, you point your index finger directly at the middle of your chest. The identity that is “you” is not made up of your thoughts or beliefs about yourself or the world – it lives, grows and expands from your heart. Basically, “you” are not your thoughts!

Dr. Wayne Dyer, an internationally renowned author and speaker in self-development, advises to “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

You always have a choice about how you are going to look at a situation or circumstance. You can decide to focus on the negative (“What a horrible thing to happen…”) or the positive. No one makes that choice but you. And you do it in every moment you are awake, breathing and alive.

Follow the logic…if “you” are not your thoughts, beliefs or emotions, but something greater that resides in your heart, and then who is in control of your thoughts and beliefs about the world?

You are.

Once you truly accept that simple statement and allow it to guide your thoughts, the creation of your dream life lies in the palm of your hand. You can change your thoughts about anything and start to feel more vibrant, alive and joyful. Catch yourself whenever you allow negative thoughts and change them into something positive. Do this on a consistent basis and you will begin to feel better, more hopeful and joyful. Try it on something small or simple and then expand this technique to more complicated issues.

Keep a journal of your “thought experiments,” record the negative thoughts, how you changed them, and what effects came from that simple decision to change your outlook. After a while, patterns will emerge that provide valuable insight into many habitual thoughts that have kept you reacting the same way to the same situations.

It is simple – change your thoughts, and change your world.

As John Milton, the English poet, wisely observed, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.”

What you perceive to be “bad,” is. What you think of as “damaging” or “wrong,” is. You define your world by the thoughts you think. Two people can look at the same thing and have totally different thoughts about it. Instead of choosing negative thoughts, make a conscious decision to see the good.

The simple truth is that from the flames of destruction, something bigger and better can be born.

It will happen if we think it will.

What Can You Learn From A Dirty Dish?

The theater of life plays itself out on your inner stage. You are the director, producer and star of the production, but most importantly…you are also the screenwriter.

Think about it. The same event can happen to a thousand people and each one will interpret it differently. One person may only see misfortune and feel despair, while another feels compassion and takes action to help the suffering.

Are any of their interpretations wrong or deficit in some way?

To answer that question requires judging it, which is the cause of the problem in the first place. It is when we judge ourselves or another that our perspective becomes skewed and off center.

Can we change our interpretation of an event? The answer, fortunately for us, is a resounding YES!

Just because you always see some thing one way does not mean that you can’t train your self to see it differently. The key is to first identify your judgement then decide on something else. Let me give you an example.

If your significant other always seems to leave dirty dishes in the sink, and you interpret that as lack of respect or laziness, every time you see a dirty dish in the sink, you will immediately feel irritated. To break this cycle, you have to first recognize your initial reaction to the dirty dish, then decide to react differently.

“But I know he’s doing that just to irritate me,” you might be thinking.

Do you really know that for a fact? Even if he told you that, it probably was not the real reason. Surface statements seldom reveal the true motivation behind someone’s actions.

“But I have asked him nicely and even begged him to wash his dishes!” you cry in frustration. “What else can I do?”

Great question! You now see that you cannot make him change. In fact, the harder you try, the more he resists… which leads to arguments, blame, and all kinds of misinterpretations and misconceptions.

It is time to try another approach. One that will you peace of mind and resolve the issue.

Simply change your mind about the dirty dishes.

The next time you see a dirty dish in the sink that you did not leave, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Picture the dirty dish as a love letter from your significant other, complete with your favorite flower growing out of it. Then open your eyes and look at the dish with all of love you can muster. When your thoughts automatically start up with the same, tired judgments (I can’t believe he did this to me again; He’s so lazy) immediately replace those thoughts with ones of love and forgiveness.

Take another deep breath and smile at the dirty dishes. Yes, smile! Now see how you feel. You should be more at peace and calm. And the dirty dishes do not become a flag thrown down to taunt you.

Faithfully practice This technique for at least 7 days (longer if you can). You will begin to notice that you can reach your calm place much faster after you have consistently practiced this new perspective.

Don’t say anything to your significant other about what you are doing. Just work on yourself and see what happens. More than likely, he will start washing his dishes on his own, without you asking him. And you can smile and accept this gift of love that you gave to yourself.

This simple technique can be applied to anything in your life. Remember, you are the screenwriter of your life – if you don’t like something, try to see it from a different perspective, preferably from a standpoint of unconditional and accepting love.

Who knew a dirty dish could be so wise?