75. The Power Of Your Thoughts

Your thoughts have much more power than you realize.  Most people think to themselves, thoughts that are detrimental to their lives, on a daily basis, and don’t even realize they are doing it.   Do you say things to yourself, like, “Oh, my back (or head, or leg, etc..) is killing me!”?  That is a good way to keep it from getting better. Really.  Your body is constantly renewing itself.  For example, your stomach lining has a lifespan of about two days. But, people live with things like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) for years.  The more your stomach bothers you, the more you think about it.  You keep the illness active in your thoughts, and thus, in your body.  Crazy as it might sound to you, your thoughts have a huge impact on your life.  This goes for not just your health, but all aspects of life.

Many of our negative thoughts come from our families, and are things that our parents, or grandparents said to us over and over again.  For instance, I remember my grandmother saying that you can’t go outside with wet hair, or you’ll catch your death!  Meaning, I guess, you would get horribly sick. I’m sure she was just repeating what she had been told as a child.  I’m pretty sure there is no proof that going outside with wet hair will make you sick, but a lot of people believe it nevertheless.  A belief, whether true or not, makes it much more likely to happen.

So,  while your entire body (except your brain) renews itself every ten years, if your thoughts don’t change, your body can change, and yet remain the same.  If you want help in resolving problems in your life, change your thought patterns. Pay attention to what you are thinking.  When you catch yourself thinking, “Oh, that will never happen!”, change it to, “It could be possible”, or, “It might happen”.

I’m supposed to skip winter, and spend my winter in warm Florida this year, but my trip seems to keep getting delayed.  It’s easy to think that it will never happen.  But, I am trying to remember to change my thoughts to something like, ” It will eventually happen.”

A quote from the Intuition Physician, one of my favorite physicians online blog:

Now disease is a real thing, it’s not *in your head* at all, and there is much more we can do to support and facilitate health then just changing our thought patterns.  But I write this post today so that you can give yourself a chance… just a chance… to open to the fact that the conditions you have now are not the conditions you need to be saddled with forever.

This is not a new age thing, it is some of the oldest knowledge, and wisdom out there.  Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Tao Te Ching was written.  This is where the inspiration for author and motivational speaker,  Wayne Dyers best-selling book called, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life  , comes from.  The message is in the title.  A big step in making any change in your life, is just to change the way you think.

For the next few days, just try paying attention to the thoughts that are floating through your head, and when you catch yourself thinking something negative, or something you don’t really know to be true (don’t go outside with wet hair), try replacing that thought with a better thought.  Try thinking in the positive instead of the negative.  What have you got to lose?  Do it, and things will start to change for you, for the better.  It may not happen overnight, so take your time, keep at it!  Your thoughts are powerful.  Expect great things, and great things will happen!

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74. Happy New Year

Happy New Year!  Another year, another chance to make changes and start a new life.  Sure, you can actually do any of that on any new day, but it seems to be a tradition for a new year to bring about change.  People make resolutions to make a change in the coming year.  I have never been much for resolutions.  If I want to make a change, I just do it, no proclamation needed.  But change is a part of life, it is bound to happen, so you may as well take charge of the changes that are coming your way.

Live your life looking forward to the future.  Don’t waste time living in the past.  If things about your past life bother you,  stop thinking about them!  I am sure many therapists would disagree, but I say you can only analyze situations so much, at some point you must just move on. Sometimes easier said than done, but you must look to the future, and envision what you want.  Forget about what is.  Always try to move forward,  not backwards.  Spending your time thinking about the past keeps you from making changes, it keeps you stuck in situations you don’t want to be stuck in.  I’ve used this example before, but it is a good one.  If you want more money, but you are struggling to make ends meet, then you are probably constantly thinking about your lack of money.  You are thinking about your bills and wondering how you are going to get more money.  You are angry, or jealous of people who seem to easily make money.  You are stuck in the lack of what you desire.  You have to find a way to be happy for those with plenty of money.  You need to believe that money will be there for you, that the Universe will provide for you in some way, somehow.  Feel the feeling of having enough for everything you need, and want.  Of course, you have to do your part.  You may hit the lottery, or you might find out that your dream job has an opening.  But, if that is the Universes way of sending money to you, you must first apply for that job, or it’s not going to happen.  It really does work, try it, what have you got to lose?

The same holds true for every aspect of your life.  Health, relationships, etcetera.  So, practice building the life you want to live.  Because, life marches on, whether you are planning the life you live, or not.  So, why not take charge of your life?  Like the song says,

Hang on to your hopes, my friend
That’s an easy thing to say
But if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend that you can build them again

 

73. Walk Like An Egyptian

If you find yourself longing for the days when all you had to complain about was the weather, or how many cell phone sales calls you received that day, then you might find the need to make some drastic changes in your life to survive whatever it is that you are dealing with.  In your pursuit of health, wealth, happiness, contentment, or whatever it is you are seeking, life might just get tough.  If you have a serious illness, you may find yourself in situations in which you have little control.  Your whole life can feel like you have no control over what happens.  If someone else is caring for you, they might be awesome, but they aren’t you.  They could be an amazing cook, but you might find yourself longing for the days when you chose your own menu.  Eating whatever someone else thinks you want is not always appetizing.  Or, maybe you are in a situation where you can’t even eat at all!  I know many people who live with that as a part of their lives.  Eating is just an example, out of the millions of situations you may find yourself.  This is where living life like a Buddhist monk, or walking like an Egyptian (at least for entertainment purposes), might be helpful.

After all, you wouldn’t expect a Buddhist monk to get upset when things got tough, or didn’t go their way.  They always seem to be at peace, at least in the books I’ve read, and movies I’ve seen.  I think part of their trick in finding peace, is not to focus on the situations that make you feel out of control.  If all you can think about, and worry over is in relation to food, for example, then don’t think about it.  Yes, it is really just that simple, and that hard.  Because, for instance, what’s the first thing you think about when I say, don’t think about a zebra!?  Didn’t that make you think of a zebra?   So, not focusing on something you don’t like isn’t always easy, but if you want the happiness and peace that is possible, you have to find a way to do it.

I have ALS.  I don’t want to have it, I don’t like it, but I can’t seem to stop thinking about it.  Even if I am not directly thinking about it, I’m thinking of something I want to do, or need assistance to do, because I can’t do it on my own, because of this thing in my life called, ALS.  So, I’m constantly indirectly, or directly, thinking about it.  One thing I just did to help myself stop focusing on it, was to change my Facebook newsfeed.  Everyone complains about Facebook, and how much political commentary is on Facebook, and how many people are starting up arguments, and negative postings.  Well, Facebook is whatever you make it.  You have control over your newsfeed.  You can make it what you want it to be.  If all the people on your newsfeed are always arguing and posting political or general posts that you don’t approve of, then maybe you should unfriend those people, or unfollow them. You don’t have to read every post you see.  If you don’t agree, keep scrolling.  You don’t have to comment.  I made changes to my Facebook.  My newsfeed is a pleasant and uplifting space.  I no longer see constant posts of people, who make lots  of political posts, on either side of the aisle.  I also no longer see posts from people who  are suffering through their daily grind, living with ALS.  I  am sorry if they have had a bad day, but me reading about it is not helping them.  I can still go to their pages and check in on them whenever I want.  I have several family members and friends who’s posts I still see, but aside from that, I do not have to wade through the negativity.

We all need to feel like we have a voice and somewhere we can share with others, and Facebook is great for that.  But, you have to know when it is not helping you, and causing you to focus on things you would be happier not focusing on.  That goes both for Facebook and life in general.  Make whatever changes you need in your life to be happy.  If you think walking like an Egyptian might help, give it a try.  It couldn’t hurt, and at the very least,  it might make someone laugh or smile!  My News Years hope for you all is that may you acquire more control over your life, and that you will be able to focus more easily on what you want, and not what you have.

 

72. Surviving Christmas

Just like the song says, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!  For me, anyway, it seems like December is just a little bit better than every other month.   There’s something about Christmastime that makes everything better.  That being said, December is also filled with stress for most people.  All the gifts you are expected to purchase, and extra holiday food you consume, which leads to credit card bills you have to pay, and weight you have to lose.  We find ourselves doing things we wouldn’t otherwise do, like having dinner with lots of friends or relatives, and trying to survive the whole ordeal.  It is a test of our inner strength, surviving uncle Joe’s political commentary, and grandpa’ s racist jokes.  Or whatever your situation, there is always a friend or relative you can count on to keep things interesting at your holiday get-together.

One of my favorite people, author and life coach, Martha Beck, came up with a way to not only survive your holiday dinner, but have fun with it.  She came up with a bingo game that you play with your friends, either out in the open, or on the down low.  You and your friend or friends, print off a blank bingo card, and fill it in with things you expect to happen over the holidays.  You know, like your friend Rachel brings her famously hated trifle for dessert.  Or, your daughter talks about something you did to her twelve years ago.  Whatever it is, you know what will likely happen, because it happens every year.  You and your friend play together, and whoever gets bingo first wins.  You take your own personal bingo card to your holiday dinner or party, and whenever something on your card happens, you cross it off.  So, when you usually would cringe at what your aunt Sue just said, you are now excited because that means you are one step closer to bingo!  What do you win?  Maybe the loser takes the winner out to dinner?  You and your friend decide.

So, if you want a little help to make it through this holiday season, try Martha’s bingo,  and maybe a few prayers wouldn’t hurt.  Try to ignore all the stupid things you are bound to hear, and see at your dinners and parties this year.  Just make a mental note for next years bingo card, and try not to roll your eyes too hard, you might hurt yourself!

Busted...repeatedly...DUH!

 

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71. The Magic Of Christmastime

The world is a much more magical place than we often realize.  Fairies, angels, energy, etc…  It’s all there, all the time.  That’s right, I believe in fairies.  Even the flowers in your garden are filled with magic.  One woman recorded her flowers, and the music they somehow produced!  Maybe the music is always there, within our flowers, but we don’t think it’s possible, so we don’t listen to them??  Once you catch a glimpse of the magic, everyday life will change for you.  Suddenly, the worlds problems of politics, and wars, and crime, etc, won’t interest you as much.  There is so much more to life than what the current President just tweeted, and what’s the latest news on E! 

The magic of the world during the Christmas season is just a little bit more noticeable than in other times of the year.  There is something about December, people are maybe a little nicer.  The air is a little crisper.  Things are just different in December.  Of course, it can be a bad time of year for those who have lost family.  For many reasons, many people are much more easily depressed at this time of the year.  So, if you are not one of those people, you should go out of your way to help others this time of the year.  Maybe you could donate your time or your money to a local charity.  Do something to share the magic of the season.

Expect to see and experience magic, and you will.  Your life is supposed to be filled with magic, each and every day.  It’s not a thing of the past, that only existed back in the times of alchemists, and when Christ was born.  It is a thing that exists today.  We seem to have just forgotten how it works, or that it’s possible.  Like the way the pyramids were built.  This knowledge seems to have been lost over time.  Magic, and the belief in magic has been lost over time.

Magic is not just things appearing out of nowhere. It’s not getting other people to do what you want.  Magic is what happens when you connect with the magic of the world.  Magic is me going to Wal-Mart and running into only kind and happy people.  Finding not only a penny, but finding $50 on the ground, at my feet.  Magic is getting to the movie theater late, and finding the perfect accessible seat just waiting for me to fill it.  Going to a concert, and running very late, but making all the lights, and getting to my seat three minutes before the concert starts. Things just work out for you.  Magic is having someone come to your house and cut your hair when you can’t get out to the salon to have it done (thanks Greg)  That’s magic.

So, believe in the magic of Christmas,  but not just at Christmas time, the whole year through.  Share the magic whenever and wherever you can.

 

 

 

 

70. Have Fun!

Whatever is going on in your life, don’t forget to have fun!  Fun is really what it’s all about.  Well, not totally, but I believe it’s meant to be a big part of your life.  Somehow fun gets lost in the midst of all the learning we do in school, and in the midst of the myriad of rules we learn to follow as we grow up.  What better time of the year to have fun than in this time of so many holidays, in December.  I’m sure there are more, but here are just a few of the days that are celebrated in December:

  • Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
  • Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican)
  • St. Lucia Day (Swedish)
  • Hanukkah (Jewish)
  • Christmas Day (Christian)
  • Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian)
  • Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish)
  • Kwanzaa (African American)
  • Omisoka (Japanese)
  • Yule (Pagan)
  • Saturnalia (Pagan

Everything in life should be as fun as possible.  Yes, everything!  I may not love having to go to the dentist or the doctors office, but I do love seeing my dentist and doctors.  I mean, checking in with them, to say hi for the year, and talk with them a little.  I make it fun, by rewarding myself for going with a trip to Starbucks, and maybe to a restaurant on the way home.  I guess that started when I was a kid.  If I went to the dentist for a check up and had a good report of no cavities, I got to go pick out something small I wanted at the store.  Usually, that would be a new outfit for my Barbie doll.  To have no cavities at my dentist was rare.  I found out years later that the first two dentists in my life were not the most reliably honest practitioners.  But, I do remember getting quite a few Barbie outfits, so maybe the rules of getting a present were not all that strict.

Everything should be fun, including work.  I mean, sometimes work is just work, but if you love what you do, then the bits you aren’t fond of will not be so bad.

Just because you don’t feel well, doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun.  Your idea of what’s fun might change, it might change drastically, but you can still have fun.  I think it’s fun to go to Wal-Mart now, something I only did out of necessity in years past.  I can have fun just sitting inside my house in my chaise, covered up and warm in the winter time, listening to Christmas music playing through my new Echo Dot, and working on my blog with the help of my eyegaze computer system (thanks Team Gleason).  A new thing I’ve discovered that is fun, is my Echo Dot.  I may never get everything figured out that it does, but I am having fun trying.

I have a friend who seems to have more fun the older she gets.  She has so much energy,  the fun never slows down for her!  I have an aunt and uncle who seem to have more than their fair share of fun, traveling every few months to some sunny destination!  They are doing things the way they were meant to be done, finding fun whenever and wherever possible.

Having fun makes your life less stressful.  You don’t worry as much about the troubles of the world when you are busy having fun.  It’s not that you don’t care, but you don’t worry.  Life seems just a little bit, or a lot, better when you are having fun.

What does this weeks video have to do with this blog post?  Nothing.  I just love the new album by John Prine.  Music is fun for me.  I inherited a love for it, and maybe even a little talent.  Find what makes your life fun, and enjoy it everyday!

69. Gratefulness = Happiness

Would you like to be happy?  Then, you need to be grateful.  Being grateful doesn’t come about because you are happy.  Happiness comes from being grateful.  Just listen to the Ted Talk by Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar.  He is very interesting, and has figured out how happiness works.  I totally agree with him.

I must admit I didn’t watch the entire Ted Talk, because my computer is trying to prevent me from being happy, by shutting down every time I try to watch a video of any kind!  It is very annoying, but I am doing my level best to be grateful that it even works at all.  I am also trying to be grateful for its constant reminder that I should probably have it repaired.

We must practice gratitude whenever and wherever we can.  Which, is pretty much all of the time.  There is literally always something in your life to be grateful for.  If you can breathe today, you should be grateful,  because you are probably breathing better than I am.  I should be grateful, because I am still alive in this world, and doing so much better than so many people, and I wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone.

Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, and the more power you have to use it on your behalf. If you do not practice gratefulness, its benefaction will go unnoticed, and your capacity to draw on its gifts will be diminished. To be grateful is to find blessings in everything, This is the most powerful attitude to adopt, for there are blessings in everything.  –  Alan Cohen

So, if you find yourself unhappy, practice a little gratitude.  Don’t even think about the bad stuff in your life.  No good will come from dwelling on it.  Just keep working your gratitude muscle, and it will grow stronger everyday.

 

68. Attitude Of Gratitude

Okay, Thanksgiving is this week, so I feel like we should talk about being grateful.  When you are in the mode of gratitude, that’s when good things happen to you.  When you appreciate the things in your life, and are thankful, you have a sense of gratitude.  When you are grateful for what you have, you feel happy.  When you feel happy, life feels a little, or a lot, more exciting.  When you are excited about your life, or life in general, you feel good.  Feeling good is the key.  When you feel good, that is when the magic happens!  You are all set and aligned for good things to happen in your life, and they will happen.  That is when all the wonderful stuff that you want, and all the satisfying things, both physical and non physical, will start to show up in your life. But, the catch is, you can’t wait for the good stuff before you have that feeling of gratitude, and feelings of happiness, and appreciation.  You need the feeling, before you can get the stuff.

Sure, sometimes it seems like, you get the stuff, or the thing you’ve been wanting first, and that’s why you are happy.  But,  if you really think about it, you were already in a place of happiness or a place of gratitude before you got the thing you really wanted.  Can you remember a time when you really wanted something, and then just stopped dwelling on it and went about your business, and BOOM, it showed up!?   Or, BOOM, it happened!?

All you have to do to have good things happen in your life, is to be happy.  Well, maybe a bit more.  Like, if the Universe leads you to your dream job, you should probably go to the interview! The Universe has got your back, but it might require just a bit of cooperation from you!  But, the first step is to be happy. To feel happiness. Your feelings are many times the only thing you have control over in your life, and that is really all you need to control, because with feeling good, comes the things that make you further feel good.  Nelson Mandela my have been incarcerated in a tiny jail cell for years, but he was still the captain of his soul.  He relied on the poem,  Invictus, to keep him himself mentally strong. He could not do anything about his circumstances, but he could control how he reacted to his circumstances.  He could control his level of gratitude,  his level of happiness.  How frustrating and maddening that must have been to his captors.  No matter what they did, he remained mentally, unconquerable.

Invictus, by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul

That’s how I can literally be unable to move a muscle (well,  maybe a couple),  yet remain happy.  I may not be able to do anything on my own, but I control of my level of happiness.  I still have a lot to be grateful for, thus making me happy.  Most days, anyway.  We all have bad days, that’s okay.  When you feel bad about things or situations and that’s alright, because you are probably discovering what you don’t like about something.   Which means you’re discovering what you like.  You can’t know what you want, until you know what you don’t want.

You were meant to be happy.  You were meant to feel good all the time.  When you are happy, you are aligned with your Source/God/the Universe/the Great Spirit.  When that happens, anything is possible.  You can even survive dinner with your family this  Thanksgiving!

See the source image

 

67. It’ll Be Okay

It will be okay.  No matter what it is, it will all work out.  Maybe not today, or tomorrow,  but one day, you will realize you made it through whatever it is that has you worried.  Nothing lasts forever.  If you voted Republican, you might be pretty happy right about now.  But, don’t worry all you Democratic voters, your turn is coming!  It has always been that way, and will be so for the foreseeable future.  We go back and forth, with one side in charge of things for a while, then the other side takes over.  Lately, not really working together, like they should be, but maybe that will change too.

That’s the good part about change.  No matter how much we want things to stay the same, they don’t, and that’s probably a good thing.  So you might as well embrace change, because that is the one thing you can count on.

The tiny things will work out okay too.  I went to a concert the other night, and I mistakenly told my husband the time we actually needed to leave the house (6:30). Our daughters and I have learned, over the years, that if you want to be on time, you have to tell my husband, their dad, to be ready at least a half hour earlier than you really need to.  Maybe even an hour.  Because, he is consistently late.  But, for whatever reason, I didn’t do that, and with the concert almost an hours drive away, I knew we would not make it on time.  He knew we would not make it in time.  But, I decided to ask the Universe /God to get us there in time, and I tried really hard not to worry, or even think about it.  Guess what?  The concert started at 8:00.  At 6:00, I was still waiting to get up and go to the bathroom, and change clothes.  This is something, for those of you who don’t know me, I can’t do on my own.  So, it takes an unusually long amount of time.  6:05, and we just realized that the tickets didn’t print properly, so I had to find the email, in the sea of emails I have, and reprint the tickets.  6:15, and I finally made it into the bathroom.  Dressed and, almost ready by 6:35.  Then,  my husband still had to get the van pulled around, and take out the chair in the back so my wheelchair would fit in the back.  6:50 and we were out the door, but it would take at least ten minutes to get me and my wheelchair loaded into the van, and the chair strapped down.  Then, to go next door and pick up my parents.  At least another five minutes.  We had some light traffic, which slowed us up a bit. Luckily, I had planned on valet parking.  We made it into the venue, and to our seats as the head of the venue was on stage talking about up coming shows.  Then, no more than two or three minutes later, Mr. John Hiatt took the stage.  I don’t know how, but we made it!

Our calendar day, month, or lifetime, is just a dot in the grand scheme of eternity.  The majority of the people in this world believe that we all live many lifetimes.  While our bodies are temporary homes for the soul, our soul will have many different  lifetimes to live.  Which, is great news if you are having a particularly tough life!  To believe you will get another shot at a life where you can make other choices, or maybe be healthier.

Anyway, the point is, nothing lasts forever!  What goes up, must come down!  The stock market will go back up.  But, it will also go back down.  The USA will again have a President who does not call people names.  If you lose your job, you will eventually find a new one.  You will get over your break-up!

Things will work out, sometimes in spite of ourselves.  We get in our own way so much of the time.  I may have mentioned this before in a previous blog post, but there is a quote from the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which says,

Everything will be alright in the end.  If it’s not alright, it is not yet the end.

If you believe there is no end, then, even if things don’t work out in this lifetime, they really will, at some point.  If you believe things are always working out for you, believe it, or not, that will go a long way in making it really happen!

 

66. Ignore Reality

Ignore reality.  Yes, you read that correctly.  If your reality, your present moment, isn’t something you want, stop thinking about it.  Stop trying to figure out how to fix it, stop analyzing it to death, and focus on how you want things to be.  Think about the reality you want.  Analyzing and thinking about what was is a good way to keep the past active in your present.  What is, does not have to be.  But,  it will as long as you keep thinking about it, or talking about it.

Getting over a split up, or divorce will never happen as long as you are still talking about all the things your ex did that caused you to split up.  Thinking and talking about things, whatever they are, to get through them can be good.  But, when you don’t move through them, and just get stuck in them, it is not so good.

Before reality was real, it was a thought.  Before it was real, it was talked about.  Then, over time, it became a thing.  It became real.  So, the way to create something is to first begin by thinking about it.  It then stands to reason, that the way to change something is not to think and talk about how it is, but how you want it to be.  The war on drugs will never be won, because it is focused on how things are, and not how we want them to be.  This war has gone on for as long as I can remember, and it is only getting worse.  You can’t focus on only the problem and expect a solution.  Think in terms of the positive, and not the negative. Have you seen the latest commercials against opioids?  A woman is thinking, or maybe she’s talking to herself,  about how when she gets hurt, her doctor will give her a prescription for opioids, and she will take them, she will take a whole bottle of them, and she will want more and she will go out and find more anywhere she can, then she will do anything to get more, she will lose her job, she will lose her family, the pills, and her addiction will ruin her life.  No thanks, she says / thinks, I would like a different prescription.  Geez!  Talk about dooming yourself!  She hasn’t even taken one pain pill,  and she confident her life is over!  Scared straight, I suppose is the goal of this advertisement?  How about thinking that you can follow your doctors prescribed treatment, and get better, and that millions of people take opioids as prescribed for long-term, or short-term pain, with no problems whatsoever.

That’s where we get stuck, focusing on our problems, or expecting a problem, where there is none.  No matter what the topic, when you focus and discuss to death the problem, you will never get to the solution.  You won’t get to the answer, or the cure, or the resolution.  You can’t get to a positive from the negative.

Ignore reality, even just a little bit, and see how it goes.  Yeah, you may be considered a Pollyanna, but there are much worse things to be other than an overly positive person!