In the world today we are faced with more division and anger then we have seen in a very long time. This can leave us with feelings of frustration, animosity, and worst of all fear. Daily I hear people complain about the government, different cultures, religions other than their own. It can also leave us with a wide array of questions. “Why do these people hate these people?” “Who is to blame?” Even if we are doing our best to fix problems the questions that come up can leave us without many answers. “Why is this happening?” and even the constructive “How can we fix the problems we face?”
How do we address all of the issues and questions above? While working my brain for an answer I thought of my favorite quote of all time –
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi
One answer I have found to all of these complex and difficult questions is rather simple. The best way to alleviate fear, to quell anger and to ease frustration is to become an example of the changes you wish to see in the world.
Being kind and understanding to people who are different from you may not change the world, but it will change your world and serve as an example to anyone who may be watching you. This advice goes double if you are a parent. Do not like the current political climate? Cast your vote and be a catalyst for change and not one who just curses the establishment. Not happy with the way the environment is being treated? Make sure to recycle and live a sustainable lifestyle.
As with many quotes that I enjoy the lessons I learn from them continue as the years go by. If everyone lived as the change we wished to see in the world, the world would change. Would you like people to be more friendly? Be more friendly yourself. As a bonus, if you are working hard on becoming the best version of you there is seldom any time left to complain about others, whom it should be noted, you can never change anyway.
Yesterday we spoke of challenges and seeing them as opportunities. Let me tell you, I sure got some practice at that today. Life is an amazing practice ground for maintaining a positive lifestyle. In addition to all things at my job at the post office. I discovered my aunt had lost her job and my uncle who is recovering from a serious injury may have taken a step back at least emotionally. In fact, it may even be affecting his relationship with his wife. Now, all these things are stressful. Most of them are either completely out of my control or involve the variable of other people and their personalities. So while speaking with my mother about this and hearing some of the challenges she encountered today we found ourselves discussing all the things and people we were concerned about. In this case ‘concern’ could be a quick replacement for worry. Well I am a firm believer in the law of attraction and focusing on other people’s problems, even if it is with the intent to solve them just sends more negative energy to the situation. It was then I remembered an idea I had read in a book I just finished. When there is a person with a problem, be it you or someone you care about, instead of focusing on their problem I have a solution that will not only help them I believe but it will feel better for you. In fact, I would go so far as to say it would feel good. That is exactly what I am talking about here. Say we are worried about a person who lost a job. Instead of focusing on how they must be worried about being able to pay the bills, and how hard it is to find a job, do something a bit more constructive. Close your eyes and picture that person in a job they enjoy being paid a decent wage. Feel their happiness and send them your happiness as well. Then, and this is very important, feel gratitude for that situation turning out for everyone’s good. Really feel it. Do this every time worry rears its ugly head. It won’t be easy, but it will make you feel better. If this is for somebody else and you think they would be receptive, encourage them to do the same. Then calmly keep your eyes open for that job. It can work with an illness too. Picture the person, or yourself, healthy. Don’t say “I’m thankful that illness is gone” instead say “I am thankful to see Kim healthy and happy” or Bob or Tom or…well you get the idea. The important thing here is the emotion. Really feel the joy, really feel the gratitude. You will feel better and you will be sending a lot better energy out to the world. Will it work? I believe it will. Not to mention it will feel a lot better than worry. Oh and if you want to be happy and grateful for my new-found wealth I would be ok with that too. Stay positive and stay grateful my friends!
One of the biggest obstacles to people living a happy life is they are never really in it. They either spend too much time regretting and reliving the past, or even worse, worrying and dreading what might happen in the future. I am a big fan of setting the past free, and not worrying about things that ‘might’ happen. I did find one interesting caveat to this theory. When we focus on ‘what is’ it becomes really hard to get to where we want to be. How many times have we said to ourselves “I really feel fat, I need to lose some weight” Only to find our efforts end in vain? Have you ever looked at a stack of bills thinking “I really have to get this budget under control” only to end up more in debt at the end of the next month? The reason for this and the solution is rather quite simple. I must confess it escaped me until earlier this evening. While spending time debating if my current job is for me and if I will be able to handle the upcoming challenges considering how overwhelmed I am already feeling, the answer came to me. I was focusing too much on what is! How could we ever expect to achieve weight loss when starting with feeling fat? You can not achieve financial well-being out of thoughts of poverty. Instead we should spend a good 5 to 10 minutes a day doing something most of us haven’t done since childhood. Daydream! That’s right put the power of our imagination to work for us instead of against us! When we were young we dreamed of all the great things we would do when we grew up. We pictured what our life would be like. Here is the important part, when we pictured that we were filled with all the excitement and emotion that we would feel when that situation came to pass. Then as we grew up our imagination changed. We wonder what will happen if I lose my job? How will I pay the bills? What will life be like looking for a job in this economy? We also fill it with all the feelings of worry and dread that go along with that situation. Either way we are drawing what we are picturing with such intense emotion into our life. So do yourself a favor, become a kid again! Imagine how it would feel to win the lottery. How it would feel if your job was thrilling and enjoyable. Picture it, but more important, feel it! Take yourself on a mini mental vacation. I would type more on this idea, but my flight to my mental vacation is boarding as we speak!