A certain friend (you probably know who) has asked for a little help. The help I am happy to offer is in retraining the brain to find the positive that is all around us all the time. We have been programmed by negative childhood experiences, by cynical and critical family members, by a society that loves to dwell on the bad, the scary, the suspicions, the perceived dangers. We have tapes that play in our heads.
Quieting those tapes in our heads, getting free of those filters that cause us to see limitations before possibility and threat before opportunity, takes a hell of a lot of work and a lot of time. But we have to start somewhere, right? And why not today?
Would you like to join us?
I am going to restart my daily habit of noticing five things every day that make me smile, that make me feel blessed to be here on God’s beautiful earth, that fill me with a sense of awe, that take my breath away.
If you would like to join in, you can leave a comment pointing us to your blog or you can post your five things in the comments section. Don’t worry. If you can’t make it to five, just enumerate however many you were able to find/notice.
I am going to set some guidelines to help us to be on the same page.
Whenever possible, try to be in the present moment. It’s great to say, “I’m looking forward to my upcoming vacation.” Sure, that’s a positive. But this practice is really, when you come down to it, about training ourselves to leave the realm of past and future, where worries and regrets rule, and settling into the holy Now, the only place completely free of regret or worry…and the only place where God can meet you.
Another guideline is this: try to be aware of an implied negative buried in your positive. If I say, “I was thankful when so-and-so left the room,” this is a not very well disguised comment on your negative feelings about that person. This is not really where we want to go in forging new neural pathways. So when you celebrate Friday but not Monday, quitting time but not starting time, be aware of the implicit negative in that positive. I’m not saying it isn’t a great place to start noticing the positive, but be aware that the ultimate destination is to transcend those veiled negatives.
Let’s start today.