As I was having a conversation with my Mom this morning, she uttered the following words to me, ‘Mind over matter’. I knew she was right. I was going to a place of negativity and self-doubt about an upcoming challenge placed before me. I was complaining about my older body and that I am not as sharp or in shape as I used to be. She stopped me in my tracks. Thanks, Mom. I needed to hear that.
We grow up and develop a certain attitude about life. We are either primarily negative or positive, optimistic or pessimistic. We learn behaviours, phrases, words and dispositions, according to our own personalities, combined with our upbringing, our life circumstances and the people who we spend the most time with.
If we are fortunate enough to have positive role models, encouraging supporters, empowering teachers or wise adults in our lives, we will pick up on their attitude and often emulate it. The same is true for the negative role models.
Despite what we have been exposed to, or our natural disposition, we can consciously choose to experience life differently. If we are finding that our life is not going smoothly, we are more likely to consider a shift in our own attitude, if we think there is any way to feel better. The key, though, is that we must do the changing.
It took a number of life lessons for me to understand, clearly, that our experience of life is directly related to our attitude. We will notice, find and pay attention to whatever we are looking for. If we are looking for reasons to prove how unfair, cruel, sad or disappointing life is, we will find it. If we are looking for reasons to prove how wonderful life is, we will also find it.
The quote I focused on this weekend is from the late, Dr. Wayne Dyer which says, ‘The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of the state of your mind’. Although difficult to absorb, since it implies that we are responsible for the state of our life, it is a sobering reminder that we have a choice about what we chose to focus on.
Dr. Wayne Dyer grew up in orphanages and foster homes, until the age of 10. He was born in Detroit, Michigan and went into an orphanage when his alcoholic father walked out on the family and his mother was unable to care for her three boys. He tells a story of trying to console new arrivals to the orphanage by selling them on the idea that an orphanage was great because there were no parents around, telling them what to do.
His philosophy was that if we embrace our adversity and choose to look at things differently, the things we look at will change. He went on to write 40 books, including 21 New York Times bestsellers, has raised more than $120 million dollars for public television and produced a movie titled, ‘The Shift’, before his death, based on many of his own stories of life adversity.
He spent his life teaching people how to see the world in a different way, living from the perspective that we attract into our lives what we are, not what we want. If we are grateful, kind, serving, spiritual, thankful, purposeful, creative, appreciative, learning, growing and constantly transforming, then we will attract like results, into our lives. This requires practice, discipline and a choice.
I needed this reminder, myself. Since I have been given a new medication, for female issues, that has thrown my hormones out of whack for the previous three weeks, I have been so grumpy, irritable and annoyed, that my attitude has been less than desirable.
Even though I went for nine nature walks in the last eight days and that still didn’t fix my cloudy disposition, I knew that this new medication is not for me. I have decided to reclaim my right-side-up attitude and get back to feeling more positive.
Being perpetually in the dumps and feeling down or negative is not what I want to go back to. I choose the other option, since life is much too short to be miserable. I am so grateful I have the choice to switch it up. So do you.
‘Breathe. It’s only a bad day, not a bad life.’ ~ Johnny Depp