“Your card has been deactivated-PIN retry exceeded- 03h55”.
You know that feeling when your stomach drops and you feel instantly sick because you know something ominous is about to unfold? That was me a few weeks back. When I saw my handbag had been stolen off the table (along with its many contents) including car keys; then noticed a big blank space where our car used to be parked, I was part happy that we were all ok and part horrified that despite living in a security estate strangers found their way into my home while we slept to take what they could. This after my new phone was stolen out of my bag in Jan. I’m not sure about you so I will speak on my behalf (and some of my clients) but the ability to live life well and remain positive and upbeat is seems to be getting more and more difficult these days. It seems that the unexpected is usually not good news. And although I believe in ‘blessings in disguise’, I would appreciate less disguises at the moment.
1500 words=6 minute read
Shit happens all the time. And if you live in South Africa, the good news is that there is such an energy crisis that load shedding will probably mean that the fan is not working, so when it hits, it won’t splatter far. Point is, no matter where you live, at any one time there is enough adversity in our lives that we can be talking ourselves into and out of a positive or negative emotional state several times in a day.
And, when we are surrounded by negativity, it is easy to notice it. It takes HUGE self discipline to keep the laser beam focus on what IS working, what IS positive, what IS worth our gratitude and appreciation. Instead of what isn’t.
I am the greatest advocate of a particular piece of advice that I applied to myself, allow me to share it today so that I can be reminded, again.
It is a discipline and good habit to get into, to reach for a more positive feeling thought. The idea behind the ‘Law of Attraction’ and ‘Mind Power’ is that there is a vortex of energy surrounding each of us. We pull towards ourselves more of the same vibration/ matching energy (if we spend longer than 68 seconds in any one emotion). So, when we are feeling crap and live under a black cloud, we not only notice everything else that is wrong in the world but we also invite/allow ourselves to engage in other catastrophic incidences just to confirm what a crappy world this is (or what a crappy life we have).
Much of what happens ‘to’ us is our own perception, in hindsight we can connect the dots to get a sense of why it happened ‘for’ us. I spoke about this at length in my blog Living Inside-Out. In order to work from the inside-out we don’t want to be responding to the external world by getting upset with what we notice. Instead we go about creating the external world by continuing to remain positive or at the very least remaining neutral and accepting. We do this by diligently looking for and believing in the benefits of any situation. (I am mindful this is easier for those with faith in a higher power and greater good).
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be upset when stuff gets stolen or musn’t experience strong negative emotions. Allowing our feelings, the full juicy spectrum of them all, is normal and healthy. It just means that dwelling there for too long is likely to spiral us down into a dark place which is then very difficult to recover from. We deserve to be pissed off when we are betrayed or disappointed when someone lets us down and sad when we experience any kind of loss. All feelings are valid. What is detrimental to us however, is replaying the moment over and over in our head repeatedly. Wallowing in self pity. Making a mountain out of a mole-hill. Losing perspective. Forgetting the big picture. Not noticing or appreciating the outpouring of kindness and support from strangers. Neglecting the fact that at any one time, if you are breathing and have any kind of vitality in your body you are better off than millions of other suffering people who would trade your problems for theirs in a flash.
Much of our state of being boils down to our perceptions of a situation. Often, our perception changes when some distance/time passes and we can reflect back on a particular circumstance with a different level of understanding. A new perspective. It also helps when we attempt to imagine walking in another’s shoes; trying to step into a different worldview different than our own.
Weeks have passed since our home burglary and amazing things happened as a result. Firstly, as a consequence of that break-in we started a community watch in the area and only one week later managed to catch the perpetrator who came back for second and third pickings. Secondly, the neighbourhood got proactive and created a social media group so that we could contact each other instantly and easily if need be. That same group was the platform we used to communicate with each other in the early hours of the night when the Cape Town fires obliterated our neighboring mountains. It was the same community that provided integral support to the fire fighters and pilots by providing a constant flow of nourishment, eye drops and masks to the exhausted heroes. Thirdly, insurance allowed me to replace new all the stolen stuff , the car was found and the security on the estate has been severely upgraded since then. We are all better off because of it.
Because I believe in the power of thought, I do my best to reach for thoughts of hopefulness as I find from there I can tap into my optimistic self easier. Positive expectation is becoming easy for me now- a long way for someone who inhabited a permanent state of despair and unworthiness a while back- point is, this is all possible and probable if you want it badly enough.
The list below is the ‘Abraham-Hicks Emotional Guidance Scale’ which shows emotions in terms of their vibrational range with one being the best and highest vibration. If for example you were at ‘anger’ and reached for a thought that took you to ‘disappointment’, you have made a massive leap energetically speaking.
Look, whether any of this is true or not really doesn’t matter, at the end of the day, a habit of making yourself feel better is empowering and more uplifting for us than other destructive habits. Wouldn’t you rather reach for thoughts that make you feel good? We cannot struggle our way to joy, we joy our way to joy.
It’s just as easy to look for a reason to feel good as it is to look for a reason to feel bad- it’s just a habit.
This ‘emotional buoyancy’ is also known as resilience. I was recently lucky enough to attend a workshop run by Rod Warner – author of ‘The Building Resilience Handbook’.
He refers to resilience as the ability to recover from adversity. While some fall in a heap and collapse indefinitely, others come to terms with the impact and implications of a tragedy/incident quicker and navigate their way out of the darkness. Understanding why some recover quicker than others and why some fall so much deeper is covered in the theory, research and practical principles for bouncing back in Rod’s book.
Rod shared his Seven Principles for Building Resilience:
- Connect to your purpose and meaning in life
- Use your unique strengths (see www.viacharacter.org)
- Maintain perspective
- Generate positive feelings
- Be realistically optimistic
- Persevere by being open minded and flexible
- Reach out to others
My hope for you is to believe in the worthiness of your being, to believe in the power of who-you -are, to believe that you have so much more influence over the creation of your reality than you ever imagined, that you can manage your thoughts instead of them managing you. Our feelings (which are felt experiences) can be converted in more positive emotions (a state of being) by reaching for a better feeling thought. Like a buoy fighting its way to the top, we are designed to feel good, to be happy. Children demonstrate that to us all the time. Our natural state is light and joyful. It is our thoughts about the circumstances around us that weigh us down. Shed those heavy emotional weights and practice -with intention- letting go of thoughts that make you feel worse. It is a gift in these times to become emotionally buoyant. If you would like some support on this- inbox me.