Importance of awareness, thinking

The Power of Positivity struck me recently.  I liked the phrase, the alliteration, the effect on me when I read and said it!   “But what about all the horrors”, you may say…”the tragedies, the innocent suffering in the world.  Be positive about all that?”  Emphatically NO.  The power of positivity is not about being a Pollyanna and denying dark sides, challenges, hard emotions or actions, our own or others’. It’s actually a matter of where we put attention, about our focus and our thinking.  Yes, our thoughts and our thinking!

A challenge in my life’s journey has been to balance the seeming contradiction that I am not my thoughts or feelings (we are so much more than what we think or feel)…and at the very same time to grasp that we become what we think!   The Buddha said this many years ago: our life is shaped by our mind…we become what we focus on.   We could write books about these topics, and many have!  But to put it succinctly, where we put our attention is what looms large in our life, and the quality of our thinking, whether it’s catastrophizing or cultivating compassion, whether it’s planning and obsessing or focusing on gratitude and positive events or simply Being, these choices are part of what determines our quality of life, deeply affect our well-being and even our immune systems!   

It’s our mindset that leads the way…hence the “power of positivity”. Rather than looking for what could go wrong, living in fear and anxiety, if we focus on potential possibilities and what positive outcomes might exist in any given situation…no matter how challenging…that mindset affects us in numerous ways.  To me that is exciting and encouraging, and worth cultivating. 

Power of Positivity

While we are not in charge of what happens, we do have some (or quite a bit or absolute!) control over our mindset, what we emphasize, where we put our attention.  Thich Naht Hanh, yes, him again! talks about smiling, inside and outside, how it completely transforms us from the inside to the outside, and changes the world as well!   

What are some situations where you can remember you were thinking?  Was it negative, how was that? Were you able, even at some difficult times, to stay positive? How was that?  I’d really be interested to hear some of your experiences. We are in this together. 

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, andgrowth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook. 🙂

In case you’re hooked, here are few more inspiring resources to explore. Enjoy!

“The Power of Positivity” occurred to me after reading a DailyOm post with a similar name: The Power of Staying Positive.   “It is within your power to become as happy, content, or successful as you make up your mind to be. Staying positive may not have an immediate effect on your situation, but it will likely have a profound and instantaneous effect on your mood and the quality of your experienc

Remember Norman Vincent Peale? In the 50ies he promoted The Power of Positive Thinking. It was debunked by some at the time, but it is now enshrined in hard science.

Where we put our attention is closely related to what and how we think. The ToDo Institute regularly offers a course called Working with Your Attention. Check it”

Power of positivity

Viktor Frankl
wrote about and in the most horrific of circumstances, the Nazi extermination camps. “Regardless of the conditions around us, no one can make us think or feel anything. There is a gap between any experience on the outside, and how we think about it which them determines our feelings which is our reality.

The Cherokee Grandfather’s parable of two wolves treats this same topic. “The wolf you feed will win the inner battle between love and hate.”

Saying Yes to the Universe means accepting what is, which is absolutely not condoning.  More about that here

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