I woke up feeling sad the other day,
but didn’t know why.
I just knew that it felt bad.
My experience wasn’t about correcting the sadness, but rather about how I judged it. I laughed as I saw the simplicity in it all. Could it really be that easy? Yes, because I felt it.
(Originally Published January 6, 2020)
We don’t see things as they are;
we see them as we are. ~ Anonymous
Every day news networks lead with shocking headlines solely to increase their ratings. To quote playwright, Adam Langer, “You never hear anyone say, ‘that’s too awful to be true.’ No matter how awful it is, you can believe it, why not no matter how good?” (Vivian in Film Flam)
Some may say that seeing the awful is facing reality. That in order to be safe, we must dutifully arm ourselves with worst case scenarios so as not to fall victim. We must watch the news, binge on real murder stories, click on depressing reports about our health care system and the environment – this keeps us ahead of the game! Beware hopeful stories, for they must be treated with suspicion. We must be careful not to have too much hope or else others will call us naive.
Our reality is based on what we believe. I like to play Black Jack, but I never win, because I have a hang-up about gambling. On the other hand, I believe so strongly in my body’s immune system that I’ve never had the flu even though I’ve never had a flu shot. Our beliefs are strengthened by what we choose to focus on. Good news – we can consciously shift our focus as soon as we are triggered by negative comments or disturbing stories. There is always good to be witnessed, and science shows it makes us healthier. Every horrible headline can be countered with something good. This is one of my favorites from last week: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/montana-governor-signs-executive-order-keep-net-neutrality-state/
You’re probably already seeing the connection between this and your career. I’ve encountered some crappy people and situations throughout the years, but the moment I no longer allowed them to predict my future, obstacles disappeared. Einstein said, “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”
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As I write this, I am between my fifth and sixth day of doing the Master Cleanse. For those
unfamiliar, it is a fasting ritual that cleans the colon and other major organs over the course of several days. Each morning begins with a saltwater flush (good times!) and every evening ends with a cup of herbal laxative tea. Nothing – absolutely nothing – is eaten the entire time. A homemade organic lemonade with maple syrup and cayenne pepper gives the body all the nutrients it needs. Sound crazy?
Where did the time go? All of September seemed like a slow trip up the roller coaster tracks. October is now teasing us with a little drop that circles once around before we plummet uncontrollably after Halloween, only to be strapped into that non-stop ride called the holidays. No doubt, this is fun. It’s filled with events and family activities, reasons for old friends to meet at the pub, reasons to dress up and be festive. But like I said, it is uncontrollable and non-stop. We give in to rich food and drink, racing to buy stuff for other people, neglecting our own needs and finances. No wonder everyone gets sick right before New Year’s Eve. We’re in the habit of blaming it on “flu season”, but really we’ve compromised our immune systems.
I may sound like a crazy person, but what if we planned health days like holidays? What if we marked our calendars with specific non-negotiable time dedicated to clean relaxation and self-nurturing? When we put “Judy and Steve’s party” on our calendar why not add “foot massage”? When we race around town checking off our gift list, why not check off green tea and probiotics for ourselves? Wacky, right? Permit me be a full on nut case, and go further by proposing that we sign up for a restorative yoga or Tai Chi class? Whaaaat?
I love, love, LOVE roller coasters. They make me feel like I’m flying, and I laugh through most of the ride. But I remember a time when I didn’t like them. I would shut my eyes and white knuckle it all the way. If we have to be strapped into one two months out of the year, why not make the ride a stress reliever instead of a stress inducer? Any suggestions?