Quote of the Day: Feelings Come. Feelings Go.

Feelings, by themselves, do not create problems...

Quote About Feelings
 

Feelings, by themselves, do not create problems. It is rather the tendency to interpret and analyze them. When out of habit you believe those interpretations, it is there that the suffering begins.” – Mooji

Always be on guard for Stinkin’ Thinkin’. - Joi

Mooji’s description of the whole process is a lot more elegant than my own, but when all’s said and done, stinkin’ thinkin’ gets the job done, too.

We all know people who would be a lot happier (and, let’s face it, funner to be around) if they stopped allowing their minds to be breeding grounds for worrisome, negative, destructive, and ugly thoughts. Stinkin’ thinkin‘.  As Mooji points out, the feelings we have about other people or situations don’t always create the problems – we do by dwelling on them.

The hundreds of feelings we have throughout the day are just that… feelings.  Like visitors, they come and go. How we deal with them, while in their presence, strongly affects our mindset, and in turn, our happiness.

Thoughts can either be our best companions or our worst – depending entirely upon which ones we entertain.  We should be as mindful of our thoughts as we are the company we keep.  Just as we would never hang around with anyone who did nothing but complain, criticize, and condemn all the time, we should refuse to hang out with thoughts that do so. Because if we aren’t careful, these thoughts will turn us into those people.

~ Joi

Your Thoughts, Actions, and Words Write Your Life’s Story

Are You Victimizing or Empowering Yourself?

Define Yourself
A few days ago, I found myself thinking long and hard about baseball. Something, admittedly, I do a lot.  That’s one of the things that you should know about me… I’m completely obsessed with baseball. For me, there are two seasons: Baseball Season and Withdrawal. We’re in the latter, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still think about it.  I guess you could say I’m a “student of the game.” Not because I ever play baseball, or even have a desire to do so.  I grew up playing softball (every year from the age of 8 to 18), but I don’t even feel the call to play softball anymore – let alone baseball.

A fact my knees (and feet, back, arms…) are grateful for.

I love to dissect aspects of the game of baseball. The pitchers, hitters, stats, ball fields, match-ups, etc.  To give you an idea of how eaten up I am with baseball, the other day I heard an announcer on the radio mention a particular team and my mind immediately pulled up the following information:

  • the city in which they play
  • the name of their stadium
  • their best starting pitcher
  • the name of their manager
  • their infield
  • where they hold spring training
  • their chances for 2013… zilch

I am, for better or worse, just as big a student of the game of life.  A philosopher without the degree, prestige, and title. I believe that’s one of the reasons I was drawn to writing in the first place.  It provides a release for all the thoughts, analogies, and conclusions my mind creates. If they all stayed inside my brain, there wouldn’t be any room for anything else.

One of the thoughts bouncing around recently was this: There are two kinds of people in the world.  There are the kind who say, “Look at everything I’ve BEEN through!” and there are those who say, “Look at what I SURVIVED!”

This occurred to me when I heard a woman ranting about 2012. She literally said the words, “God PUT me through….”  and as the words came out of her mouth, I thought, “You’re looking at it all wrong. Say, God BROUGHT me through…

Sometimes just one word makes all the difference.

Our thoughts, attitude, and even our words create the story of our lives.  We’re the author of our life’s novel and, personally, I’ve always wondered why anyone would want to portray themselves as the victim. Isn’t it much cooler to be the hero?

Words and thoughts like the following cast yourself in the victim’s role:

  • I’ve been through so much…
  • I have too much on my plate…
  • God put me through…
  • Someone hurt my feelings…
  • Someone broke my heart…
  • This is more than I can handle…

Not only do they make you the victim, the words themselves scream, “I’m weak!”

Words and thoughts like the following cast yourself in the role of the hero/heroine:

  • I’ve overcome so much…
  • My trials have made me strong…
  • I’m actually thankful for the weight I’ve carried because they built muscle and character…
  • God has brought me through a lot of tough times…
  • This made me stronger…
  • I can handle that…
  • Hey, Life… bring it!

I’m reminded of one of my daughters, Brittany, when she was around 7 or 8.  She was in the yard playing with her sisters and a couple of their friends. I was working in one of my flower beds and, like all over-protective mothers, I had two eyes on my kids and two eyes on the flowers. Only mothers are equipped with these magical extra eyes.

Brittany – who has always known one speed, TOP speed – fell while running. Smack right on the patio. Before I could even get up to see about her, she was back on her feet and running. She shot me a look that said, “THAT never happened.” I stayed put and went with her version of the story.

Basically, she fell and – in one motion – got back up again.  I guess it’s odd that this scene from life has stuck with me all these years but I just thought it was cool.  Make no mistake about it, the fall hurt. Both knees were scrapped and one hand was scuffed up.  However, acknowledging the fall would have meant that, unlike the other girls, she slipped.

THAT never happened.”

If there’d been such a thing as “Pictures with Captions” back then, I’d have labeled her reaction, “Patio….  you hit like a girl!

The next time you find yourself heaving deep sighs or rolling in complaints – and long before you pick up your violin – ask yourself if you want to be the helpless victim or the conquering hero/heroine.

Let’s face it, one’s infinitely more attractive.

~ Joi

 

 

A Couple of Thoughts About Thought

Why You Should Choose Your Thoughts Carefully

Alexa looks at the world a little differently than most...

So….. Whatcha Thinking About?

The thought of bearing all the troubles of the past, the troubles of the future AND troubles that have yet to happen is a certain type of death.  Fortunately, we control our minds and, thereby our thoughts. It isn’t as though some mystical little voodoo priestess controls us from an island in the South Pacific (or anywhere else for that matter).

We can decide the thoughts we’ll entertain and we can just as easily chase away the thoughts we refuse to entertain.  Thoughts that are coated in fear and deep fried in anxiety are what that I call “poisonous thoughts.”  Life’s too short and far too beautiful to spend any time whatsoever with these types of thoughts.  It would make as much sense as filling a glass with Tide and guzzling every drop.  The hideous effect that it would have on your stomach is similar to the effect “poisonous thoughts” have on your mind.

Have you ever known anyone who spent far too much time thinking? They can’t seem to find anything constructive to do with their minds for the life of them! So they sit and dwell on things they wish were different. Usually this means sending their thoughts into other people’s lives and focusing on things they wish were different about them. Wow, how productive is that?!?!

A lot of times you can tell a family member has been doing this very thing when you walk in and instead of saying, “Hi!,” they get an accusing look on their face and demand, “So, why DO you buy only name brand food? There’s nothing in the world wrong with off brands.”

Been there. Answered with a straight face, “Because we have more money than we know what to do with.”

You and I are not what we eat; we are what we think. – Walter Anderson

Always, always, always keep a close eye on your thoughts. Whether your thoughts tend to think about problems in the past or problems you think you may one day have – keep reminding yourself to stay in the present.

Know this:  Your thoughts set the stage for the production you call life. They determine so much! For one thing, they determine how many people will want to share center stage with you and how many will exit stage right the minute you show up. Your thoughts also determine how your production (life) will play out. They can either give you an edge, or push you over one.  So the minute a poisonous thought pops up on the scene, grab a hook and pull it off the stage. The longer you let it wander around, the more likely it is to think it’s part of the cast.

Choose your thoughts carefully.  Make your thoughts the kind of thoughts that make your world brighter and happier.  What’s the use of having any other kind of thought? Think about it.

Never bear more than one kind of trouble at a time.  Some people bear three – all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have.  – Edward Everett Hale

More Quotes About Thought

Winning Out Over Negative Thoughts Once and For All

My beautiful baby, Alexa.

One of our spoiled rotten cats, Alexa (pictured above), loves bird watching almost as much as I do.  My husband fills the bird feeders and I set seed on the ground for the ground feeders, then Lexie and I get lost in the parade of doves, cardinals, robins, blue birds, blackbirds, etc.

Every now and then, a bird will land on the ledge of one of our dining room or kitchen windows.  Yesterday morning, the craziest thing happened.  I was at the dining room table on my laptop, sidetracked by a couple of the brightest cardinals in the world enjoying the seed on the ground.  Alexa was in another room, swatting around one of her leftover plastic eggs from Easter (I told you she was spoiled).

A dove landed on the ledge of the window directly in front of me and peered in.  He’d ruffle his feathers, pace back and forth, then peer in again.  He seemed to think his reflection was another bird and he was doing his best to impress (or scare) it.  I wasn’t sure which, but  I froze, wanting him to stick around – and hoped like crazy that Alexa didn’t arrive on the scene.  I knew she’d take a dive at the window and scare away my newest diversion from work.

After about the 9th pace, I heard Alexa let out her familiar “Where are you?!” meow and could tell that she was entering the dining room.  Just as I turned to look at her, she spied my little visitor and tried to make an all-in-one dive for the window.  I grabbed her and carried her into another room, offering to play a great game of swat the egg or chase the catnip-filled mouse.

She wanted none of it!  As soon as she thought I wasn’t paying attention, she tried to bolt for the dining room again.  Oddly enough, the bird was still at it, so I diverted Alexa’s attention again.  This time, I took her into another room and set her on the window sill of another favorite lookout.

She was content and by the time we returned to the dining room, the bird was gone.

I read a comment on this blog not long ago in which the individual was talking about thoughts and how hard it is to make negative thoughts stop.  As the commentator very rightly said, they often don’t go away just because we want them to.  Like extra weight, negative thoughts seem to have no particular place to go and all the time in the world to get there.

Sometimes our thoughts are like Alexa – BENT on going exactly where they have no business going.  Like her, left to their own devices, they’ll carry out their evil plan and never look back.

That’s where we have to step it!  We all know how negative thoughts can hinder us:

  • If we dwell on negative, self-defeating thoughts, they take the wind out of our sails and cause us to lose the game before it even begins.
  • If we dwell on negative thoughts about other people, we’ll be the ones missing out.  We’ll fail to see their wonderful traits and miss out on a great relationship, simply because we refuse to quit focusing on the negative.
  • If we keep looking back at past mistakes, we never really move away from them.  We keep carrying them around with us forever.
  • If  we keep thinking a negative thought over and over and over – make no mistake, it will come out of your mouth at some point, then it’ll be too late to do anything about it.
  • If we keep having negative, fearful thoughts – we’ll never enjoy life, we’ll always be too worried about what might happen or what could possibly happen.

Every negative thing done or said once began inside someone’s head.

Be sure to keep this in mind as well:  Negative thoughts often disguise themselves as concern.  They’ll try to convince you that you’re fixating on every single solitary thing your teenager does simply because you’re concerned for him.  While parental concern is as real as my love for animals, there’s something else that’s very real – The negative pit.  Once a parent falls into this pit (they don’t like what their child wears, the music they listen to, the people they hang out with, the job they choose, the classes they take..) – two things are certain:

  1. They will be far more miserable than their son or daughter – after all, they’re the ones in the stinking pit!
  2. The child will avoid them and refuse to discuss anything at all with them.  Why bother, they know what you’re going to say – they’re wrong, you wouldn’t have done it that way, they made a “dumb” decision, and… while you’re at it… why don’t they cut their hair?

The same is true for anyone, not just our kids.  If you allow yourself to flounder in a negativity pit, no one will want you around.  Negative people suck the life and energy out of a room and no one gets out of bed in the morning looking for that kind of action.

What about thoughts that only affect us?  This is where I believe most of us have problems.  We’ll often find ourselves doubting our abilities or selling ourselves short.  We’ll be smack in the middle of a job when the little voice says, “What do you think you’re doing?!  Who are you kidding, this is over your head.”   Then we recall past failures and begin to seriously doubt that we’re fit to do anything but tie our own shoes.

If these negative thoughts aren’t diverted, your success and happiness will be.

Whether you need to harnass your negative thoughts from polluting your own life or the life of someone else (as well as your own), the following are a few suggestions.

Just as I physically picked up Alexa and carried her to a different room, you have to mentally pick up your negative thoughts and carry them to a different place.  Simply saying that you don’t want to think a particular thought isn’t enough, you have to replace it with another one.

  • If you begin to doubt yourself in a particular area, bring to mind your strengths and past successes.  Write them down, so you’ll have them the next time negative thoughts come onto the scene.
  • If you keep having negative thoughts about a particular person, try to begin focusing on positive things about the person.  Thinking negative ones is simply a habit, create a new habit by focusing on the positive.
  • If you’re having a particularly troublesome day with negative thoughts – change the scenery.  Sometimes going for a walk, seeing a movie, going shopping, or just going for a frappuccino will do a world of good.
  • Get physical! No, I’m not giving you permission to punch a co-worker.  Get up and get that body moving.  Physical activity makes you feel better and may be just the “bouncer” you need for negative thoughts.
  • If you tend to be a worry wart, hold your thoughts accountable.  Ask yourself how many disasters you’ve actually witnessed!   We often expect the worse when, if fact, we’ve very rarely seen the worse.

Finally, if there is one particular negative though that you battle – here’s one approach.  Write it down on a piece of paper, crumble the paper up, and throw it away.  Tell yourself that that’s the last time you ever want to hear from it!

Granted, at first you may feel just a little ridiculous – but do you want to know how you’ll feel as the crumbled paper lands in the trash… where it belongs?

As free as a bird.

A Few Thoughts About, Well, Thoughts

Everything we say, do, and physically manifest first begins in thought.” – Mary J. Lore

I swim in motivational quotes almost as much as I swim in coffee, so you’ll have to forgive me if I can’t think of the EXACT quote, let alone the one who quoted it – but there’s a quotation that pays homage to the fact that the worst of times brings out the best in people.

I thought about this fact recently after finishing yet another brilliant book.  This one was Managing Thought: How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World? by Mary J. Lore and it was a thought provoking book if the truest sense of the phrase.

This book puts your thoughts on trial and sees which ones should be locked away and which ones can actually contribute to society.

I’ve always been fascinated by thoughts.  They can catch you completely off guard, can’t they?  You can be weeding your flower bed, thinking only of your marigolds, when suddenly you remember something that someone once said that hurt your feelings.  Then you’re faced with a choice – you can mark that thought as “unworthy” and squeeze it out of the way, or you can dwell on it.  The fun thing about dwelling on this kind of thought is that it ruins your entire day.  And mood. Then, you can run inside and call the person up – with icy venom dripping from your words. “Do. You. Remember. When. You. Said. I. Was. Selfish? – Yes, I know it was 18 years ago. You still said it!

So, you ruin your mood, the other person’s day, and look like a whackadoodle in the process.  I admit  it, I’ve been on the whack side of the doodle a time or two.

Most people claim that they simply can’t control their thoughts.   They realize that certain negative thoughts aren’t good for them, but they feel that they just can’t help themselves.  The author addresses this thought early in the book:

Most of us believe that we don’t have control over our thoughts.  To demonstrate the fallacy of this belief, take a look at the following exercise.

EXERCISE: Take a moment to think of an ice cream cone.  Think of the type of cone, the type of ice cream, the number of scoops, the toppings, if any.

Now stop thinking of the ice cream cone.

Instead, think of a puppy – the twinkle in the puppy’s eyes, the wagging tail, the squeals of delight, the excitement, the playfulness.

Were you able to do it?

If so, you have just proven that you have control of your thoughts.  You were able to stop what you were thinking to think about the ice cream cone.  You were also able to stop thinking about the ice cream cone and begin thinking about the puppy .   – Page 13

As my mind went from the chocolate ice cream cone (Breyer’s – I’m an ice cream snob) to the bulldog puppy, I had a Wow, cool! moment.  My version of an A-HA moment.

Another favorite part of the book was in Chapter 8.  The author discusses the importance of identifying and eliminating what she calls “Destructive and Diseased Thoughts.”Appropriately enough, it’s the name of the chapter.

Mary J. Lore gives 3 wonderful “Rules of Thumb” for identifying a Destructive and Diseased Thought:

  1. Does the thought bring me peace or inspire me?
  2. Does the thought cause harm to others or to myself?
  3. Does the thought move me toward or away from what is significant and of value to me and to those involved?  – (Page 55, Managing Thought: How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World?)

I love that – “Does the thought move me toward or away from what is significant and of value to me and to those involved?” We could really gain control of our thoughts if we put them into an interrogation room and asked what they had to say for themselves!

Why should we be so concerned with out thoughts?  As Mary J. Lore points out, “Every thought we’ve ever had has made us who we are today.”  That sort of makes you sit up and take notice, doesn’t it?  The thing is, 10 years from now, the thoughts we have between now and then will have made us who we are.

2019 wants us to steer our thoughts in the right direction – starting right now.

Managing Thought: How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World? would like very, very much to show you how if you’ll allow it to.

You’ll Discover:

  • The mental and physical harm destructive and diseased thoughts have on you.
  • How to replace destructive thoughts with constructive thoughts.
  • How to find out what you truly want from life and how your thoughts can help you attain it.
  • How to keep from placing limits on yourself.
  • How to shape positive thoughts.
  • How to let go of a thought you want no part of.
  • How to keep your thoughts focused when difficult situations (and people!) try and challenge you.
  • How to manage your personal energy.
  • And so very much more!

As you practice watching your thoughts, you will find yourself dismissing those that are negative and disempowering.  In time, you will find that your thoughts are working for you, instead of against you.  You will find yourself  calm and at peace. - Mary J. Lore

Make no mistake about it, every thought we have is leading us somewhere.  Finally!  An atlas.