FREEDOM

Today is July 4th.  If you live here in the United States it is a day we celebrate our freedom as a country.  That is not what this post is about though.  No I am talking about a universal freedom.  A freedom that we all have.  One that is in the possession of everyone whether you live in Brazil, Greenland, Egypt or California.  This freedom, however, is seldom pursued or even used by most of us.  What is this freedom I speak of?  It is our freedom of mind, freedom of thought and freedom of feeling.  There are many people who let circumstances control their minds.  “Well I would be happy if only this political party wasn’t in”.  They let things they read, words other people say, political ideology, beliefs of the masses dictate what happens inside their own heads.  Sure it stings when someone says or does something mean or vindictive to us.  Remember, we cannot control circumstances.  As the saying goes “What people say and do to us is their business.  How we react to it is ours”  Like liberty and freedoms on a national level, personal liberty is an aspiration to be fought for at all costs.  We have been told how to think, how and what to feel since we were young.  It is our duty to decide what we believe and what thoughts we will allow to rule our daily thinking.  It is time to begin the struggle for mental and spiritual independence from negative and limiting thoughts and beliefs.  For no country can be free, no people can be free if first their minds are not free.

FRIENDS…WITH BENEFITS…

To add to the list of great and quite often unexpected benefits of doing our best to live a positive rewarding life is often the things that seem to just show up in your life.  Now of course there is some science as to how this happens.  When you are focusing on the positive, quite often the things that are most positive seem to attract your attention.  Perhaps you suddenly notice a beautiful garden you drive by every day on your way to work.  Perhaps it is a beautiful painting that hangs in your favorite coffee shop.  All these ‘fringe benefits’ continue to add joy to your life, but no area I think has been greater effected then that of the people in it.  This was made very clear to me this afternoon as I shared a cup of coffee with someone for the first time.  As we shared stories of each others lives and she gave me amazing ideas for my upcoming book, I was overwhelmed with how grateful I was to have such a wonderful person enter my life.  So later as I was going over my notes from our discussion and working on the next chapter I reflected on how we came to know each other, and how I may discover more hidden gems in the vast sea of humanity.  Well, here is how we met, and how living a positive life had a key role in that.  One of the most important things you can do to assist you in keeping a positive attitude is to surround yourself with people who are positive.  Now we may not get to choose our family, or our co-workers, but we can choose who we talk to and who we become friends with.  As i mentioned earlier, once you’re focusing on the positive it seems to stand out everywhere.  I couldn’t help but notice this young lady every time I bought a cup of coffee where she worked.  She always had a smile and a kind word for everyone she helped.  One of those people you just can’t help but smile after sharing a moment with them.  So naturally when I began working on my book about living a positive life, she came to mind as someone who might have some great insight.  I asked her if we could share a cup of coffee and perhaps I could ask her about her source of happiness and how she shares it with others. After having the chance to do just that, I not only gained a great insight in ways to become and remain positive, I also gained a dear friend.  Upon reflection, since I began this journey in earnest about a year ago, I have noticed without much effort on my part, negative people have seemed to naturally fade from my life and I am continually introduced and surrounded by more and more positive people.  Just another pleasant ‘side effect’ to look forward to as we make our way to a more positive and rewarding life!