There are so many scary things going on in the world right now. Even our day to day experiences can be frightening and sometimes overwhelming. However, in spite of all of that, I find that it is important to realize and remember that at our core, we are love, all is well, and there is nothing to be afraid of.
Holding to a deep and abiding belief in the beauty and goodness of all things isn't always easy for me either, but thanks to the help of some of my favorite authors, I've become so practiced at it that on the occasions when I slip into despair, I find that those moments have become fewer and farther between and that they last a lot less longer. So, I'd like to share with you some thoughts that I've embraced in my life that help me to more swiftly make the transition back into trust and joy.
1. Remembering Miracles and Gratitude. In his book, Pronoia, Bob Brezsny explains that we tend to have the habit of thinking that the whole day is going wrong if we do something like stub our toe on the way to the bathroom in the morning, instead of recognizing that we've already experienced twenty-five miracles in just waking up from sleep and moving our bodies, flicking on the light switch and taking a nice deep breath. His point is well taken. There is a stupendous amount of things to be grateful for in every moment of every day.
2. Realizing Our Higher Self's Perspective. One of my favorite mentors, Peace Pilgrim, has a chart of her spiritual growth that is shared in the book, Peace Pilgrim, Her Life and Work in Her Own Words. It shows how we can vacillate between the emotional ups and downs of the low self and the high self. As we progress on the journey of a life dedicated to spiritual development, our ability to move more swiftly through the challenges of a self-centered nature become easier and we engage more regularly with what she calls our God-centered nature.
3. We Alone Control the Direction of Our Thoughts. Viktor Frankl, in his life changing work, Man's Search for Meaning, wrote of his experience in a concentration camp during WWII. He said that they could take everything away from him except his own mind and that where he held his thoughts, or his attitude, was completely under his own control.
4. Healthy Clean Blood Makes for Healthy Clean Thoughts. The teachings of the great contemporary nutritional, health and well-being herbologist, Dr. Richard Schulze, consolidates the knowledge that we have gained over the last few centuries in regards to the role that good nutrition, internal organ cleansing and self-care play in our lives. He says to "Stop doing what is making you sick and Start doing what makes you feel well." Our bad junk food habits and sedentary lifestyles do catch up with us. Keeping our internal organs clean and functioning well, helps to keep the rest of us clean too. This includes our blood and thus our brains. When our brains are not so busy dealing with dirty blood, our thoughts can become cleaner, as well.
5. Choosing Our Level of Engagement. Jill Bolte Taylor, in her wonderful new book, Whole Brain Living, shows us how we can identify and begin to choose between the four main parts of our brains. We can decide which part of our awareness we would most like to have holding the microphone of our lives. It seems that too often, we tend to jump into our left emotional brain, which is all about, "Me, Me, Me," and about all of the things that are wrong in this moment. Instead, we can learn how to engage the other parts of our brain to skillfully handle and move through difficult events. We can consciously choose where we want to place our awareness like: in our ability to reason and figure out how to move forward, or in our playful side, or in our expanded sense of deep interconnectedness which holds everything with compassion and love.
6. We Can Heal Our Lives. Louise Hay, in her ground-breaking work, You Can Heal Your Life, shows us how creating the habits of positive thinking through self love and affirmations can move us into new dimensions of gratitude and joy in our lives. Her 'go to' reminder of, "All is well. Everything is working itself out for the highest good. Out of this experience only good will come. And, I am safe." has been life changing for me. It has helped me to work through some of the scarier situations in my life, allowing me to shift my perspective into trust and love.
7. When We Change Our Perspective Amazing Miracles Occur. Near Death Experiences, like Anita Moorjani's Dying to Be Me or Eben Alexander's Proof of Heaven or Mellen-Thomas Benedict's Journey Through the Light and Back, demonstrate the miraculous effects that changing our perspective can hold. A Course in Miracles teaches this too. Our beliefs have the potential to help us let go of the most dire of circumstances and turn them into bliss.
8. Our Consciousness Lives On In Love. Some very accurate and persuading examples of the ongoing presence of human consciousness have not only been shown in cases of Near Death Experiences but have also been shown through the work of talented mediums. These professional psychics have been able to share intimate details from loved ones who have passed on and who have reached out to their living family members to help them move beyond grief. This type of profoundly healing information allows those who remain alive to be assured that consciousness not only lives on but is whole and happy and well. Some of the mediums who have inspired me are Tyler Henry with Here and Hereafter, and Gordon Smith with The Unbelievable Truth. Death is not the end.
9. Good News is Great News. Most of our journal and broadcast news focuses on what is alarming and seriously concerning. But there is a lot of good going on in the world that we hardly ever hear about. Brilliant people, young and old are coming up with new perspectives and innovative solutions all the time. It serves us well to search some of these good news sources out and share them with others. Many of my environmental journals like National Wildlife from the Nation Wildlife Federation or Nature Conservancy Magazine from The Nature Conservancy often have great reports on collaborations that are turning the tides toward a healthier world or things that we can each do like planting for wildlife in our gardens. Also, the Good News Hub reports great good news stories online. News like this always lifts my spirits.
10. Singing and Dancing Our Way to Beauty and Goodness. I sing everyday. It makes me feel happy, even if I'm just humming. And I dance whenever I can. When we do these two, we lighten our hearts and leave our troubles behind. Even if you have to 'Fake it until you make it,' it is time well spent. You will feel lighter. And it's fun. Just allow your playfulness to come forward.
I hope these ten tips help you to hold a more positive outlook as much for you as they have for me. And finally, I'll leave you with this one last idea. Stay in your joy, as much as you can. Try to do something that you'd love to do every day. Make it your top priority and it will make your day, every day.