What a whirlwind the last few years have been! Some have found it to be the most difficult time of their lives, while others have prospered. What makes these experiences so different for different people and how do we turn something that might be horrific into something that can benefit us greatly?
There is a very simple way of looking at the world, those that prosper and those that suffer, but how can we become one of the prosperous people if we feel like we have a life of challenge and struggle? This is something I'm passionate about as I used to live a life of struggle and now live a life of prosperity, ease and joy. What's even more astounding is that the transition was a lot simpler than I'd ever imagined. If you're finding you have a lot of struggles in your life, if you experience harsh challenges and feel that it seems to be a constant flow of problems, then ask yourself - is this the life I want for myself? If the answer is no, then there is one thing you have to do, which is decide that YOU are going to change. It's simple and yet can be challenging at first. However, like everything, the more we practice the better we become.
Why would YOU have to change if it seems that its the external world that needs to change? The truth is, you can't change the world (at least most people can't in an instant moment), however you can change yourself. If you look at an external thing and say that it is that thing that is making you feel - stressed/anxious/worried/angry etc - then you have effectively given your power to that thing. You have made yourself powerless because you have no control over that thing. So, the result is that the thing doesn't change and you feel like crap. The only real solution is to change yourself - the way you think about that thing. Easier said than done, I know, however the results can be magnificent. You can go from depression into joy, poverty into abundance, worry into excitement and what's even more amazing is that this transformation can happen in a matter of moments. But how do you do it? How do you look at something that doesn't please you and think it's a good thing? I'll teach you how now but first let's look at a real life example. My life.
When I was young, I was successful. I had completed my double degree as a molecular biologist and biomedical scientist. I had lectured at University and I had completed my thesis study in immunology and virology. I went on to do my Masters in Pharmacy, I was promoted to a managing Pharmacist at a large community pharmacy and I was earning a great wage. On all accounts, I should be happy. So why was I depressed and anxious all the time? I used to think it was because I had a lot of medical conditions, at least that's the excuse I would constantly use in order to make myself feel bad. If you feel bad, that is what you're doing. You're making things external to yourself be your excuse to feel bad. That's totally in your power and right to do, I just ask, is that what you want for yourself?
I had hypothyroidism, alopecia areata - my hair would all fall out in big chunks and I had to cut it all off at one stage, which made me feel very sorry for myself. My cervical arthritis would give me so much pain that I would often vomit daily, again making myself feel sick and tiered of being sick and tiered. I had asthma and cystic rhinitis so when I had a flare up I couldn't breathe properly and it would make me panic that one day I would suffocate to death. While that might have been true, did the worry make me breathe easier? No. Did it make the condition go away or get better? No. But what it did do was make me feel horrible! In order to change my condition the only think I could do was to change the way I thought about my condition. So I began to "flip my thoughts." That means, I began to ask myself when I thought something that didn't feel good, what's a "better feeling thought?" When I first started this, I had to ask myself to reach for a better feeling thought constantly, however I noticed that the more I did this, the easier it was and in fact eventually it became automatic. When my hair would fall out and I'd think, "oh no! I'm going to lose all my hair! I'm going to look so ugly! No one will love me! What am I going to do?!" I would stop myself and say, does this thought serve me? It might all be true, but does it make the condition get better? No. So find a better feeling thought. And I would force myself to reach for something that was true AND feels better, something like, "if I lost all my hair, it's not a big deal because at least I have my sight and my hearing. I love that I can see and I love that I can hear clearly. These senses are special and they make me feel safe and they allow me to enjoy the beauty this world has to offer." This was all true. I love music, I love driving my car. I love watching the sunset at the beach and all of these things require my sight and my hearing.
If you can flip your unhelpful thoughts, no matter what you're focused on or how "true" that thought feels, you will learn to take back your power. The magic that exists when you learn how to do this is not only that you feel better, which you will, but magical things start to happen when we do this consistently. After 10 years of being incredibly ill and on lots of medication, I left the medical industry and started living my holistically healthy life. I managed to not only change from a depressed and anxious person into a fun loving and joyous person, I healed my body of every chronic illness! That's the power of thought. Not only does it change the way we feel, it can change our physical environment.
Some scientists explain this phenomenon saying that our thought habits can shape our brain, our prefrontal cortex and specifically our thalamus, in order to change the sensory inputs that we pay attention to. If we get trillions of inputs and we filter them in a more helpful way, then we will make better decisions that benefit us more in our life. I don't really care about the "how" too much (although I do tend to enjoy learning about the science of it all), at the end of the day it doesn't really matter "how" it works, only that it DOES! You get what you focus on! If you focus on all the bad things happening in your life, then you will create more of these things in your life. If you focus on all the good things in your life, then you will create more of these things in your life. The formula is very simple, and what's more, it's actually an anciently known fact. Some religions call it "karma" some call it "Law of Attraction," it doesn't matter what you call it, it exists and it's within each of our personal power to create reality. So what reality are you choosing to create for yourself? Do you constantly point out what's going wrong in your life to yourself and those that will listen to you? Does that make you feel good? Does it bring you things that you like and enjoy in your life? Are you living a life that you love? If you answered no, then to keep choosing to do what you're currently doing is only going to bring you more of what you don't want. This is your power and free will to continue to live this way. However, if you'd like to change this, it's as simple as paying attention to your thoughts, what you are choosing to think and focus on, and asking if they are serving you or not. If not, then flip them. Find a better feeling thought. You can do this NO MATTER WHAT the condition is. There is always a better way the think about it.
This is not to say that some conditions won't be more challenging than others to flip those toxic thoughts, however there are people that can do this even when they live in environments that are horrific. It's an example that it is possible, no matter what the environment. If you have food and access to clean water everyday, or even most days, then you are already better off than millions. There is a reason to feel appreciation. It really comes down to the question, "how serious are you about wanting to feel good?"
There's no excuses. If you feel bad consistently, then its entirely of your making. It comes down to sloppy thinking. That your life might be extremely challenging might be true. It doesn't mean it's necessarily easy, however you're far too important to feel anything less than amazing! I write this because I believe in you. Because I genuinely love each person and know that everyone deserves to feel good. And I write this because the only person in your life that can "make" you feel anything (including feeling good), is you. You're the only one that can think your thoughts. I want you to feel good. I hope you want you to feel good also. Enough to actually do the work, flip the thoughts and find a better feeling thought. Let's make 2022 the greatest year of our lives!
As always, sending heaps of love,