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Monday, February 9, 2015


I’ve decided I don’t want to feel bad anymore.  If you are curious about why I was feeling bad to begin with, I thank you for your interest but I’ve also decided not to share that.  Because I just spent a whole week feeling bad and it sucked, and every time I thought about the “bad thing” that made me feel bad, my stomach tied up in knots and I had the urge to cry or puke or maybe both.  Feeling bad about the thing I was feeling bad about was also a slippery slope, as it made me anxious and my mind naturally went to other places of anxiety for me and before long I felt like I was having a full blown “nervous breakdown”, like people used to have in the old days before we invented medications to prevent such a thing.  But I knew I wasn’t actually having a nervous breakdown because I was still able to function in a way that appeared normal from the outside and also I knew intellectually that most of the stuff I was feeling so bad about was complete and utter bullshit.

Our attention is a powerful thing.  Whenever we focus on a situation or emotion or person, we are literally becoming one with whatever our attention is on, at least for a little while.  Quantum physics explains to us that we are all pure energy fields, vibrating at such a high rate of speed that we appear to be solid beings when in fact we are not.  We are fluid, transformative and capable of changing our world just by putting a little attention on it. We have all encountered people who can bring the energy of a room full of others either up or down, depending on their attention.  Every time you walk into a room, the option is open to you to be that person.  Are you the life of the party or Debbie Downer?  It is up to you and the magical powers of your attention.  What we focus on we see more of, good and bad.  This is why feeling bad is a really bad idea.
This is also why the expression “the rich get richer” and others like it are so steadfastly true.  Whatever we have our attention on we get more of, and the rich have their attention on…well, their riches.  Whereas most of us have our attention on our bills, our escalating health care costs, our wobbly job security…that is what we are looking at and that is what we are seeing.  Unfortunately, (also:  fortunately) that is how it works for all of us.  Ever notice you have the same fight with your spouse over and over?  Or you keep running into that same vexing person at the grocery store?  Or you keep recreating the same dynamics in new jobs, new relationships, and new neighborhoods?  It has to do with your attention and your expectations.  My father was EXTREMELY fond of saying, “The good news is life is a do-it-to-yourself project.  The bad news is there may be an idiot in charge.”  Thanks for that, Dad.  But he was so very right.  About a lot of other things, too.

 It is easy to get overwhelmed by input, both desirable and undesirable, and just throw your hands up in surrender to the inevitability of it all.  But you do actually have control and you do have choices.  For example, have you ever met someone and had the (unkind?  uncharitable?) thought, “This person is homely (ugly)?”  Then you get to know them and suddenly they are not so homely anymore?  Suddenly, they are quirkily attractive?  That is because your attention on them has shifted.  When you didn’t know anything about them, all the information you had was physical appearance.  But when you learned more, you realized they were intelligent, or funny, or charming, or kind or all or some of the above and magically, how they look shifted.  When you start focusing on what is desirable about the person, you see more of what is desirable about the person.  And the rich get richer.
This works for other things as well.  If you focus on what you hate about your job, you get a lot more of what you hate about your job.  But if you focus on what you like about your job, you get more of that and ***BONUS*** the stuff you hate get less “ugly”.  Here’s an experiment:  if there is someone peripheral to you that drives you nuts…a neighbor, the mailperson, that lady from the PTO…next time you see them, pay them a compliment.  It can be anything, nice sweater, whatever.  Then start doing it every time you see them.  See how they shift, both in your perception and in their behavior.  Seriously, I have worked miracles with this and I dare you to try it.  Focus on something positive, no matter how insignificant, and see if it doesn’t become significant over time.  And hey, try that one on yourself as well.  I don’t care how bad your hair looks or how big that zit is, you can find something kind to say to yourself every day.  Several times a day would be even better.

I want you to be rich.  In life, in love and yes, in money.  So look at what you have and bless it.  Notice it.  When your attention gets drawn away to the bad stuff, what is going wrong, who is letting you down, drown out those thoughts, shout them down.  Clap your cymbals like Jehoshaphat and insist on noticing what is good.  The more and more you do this, the more and more your attention will be drawn to the good.  My grandmother used to say, “Don’t go borrowing trouble” and I have shared this wisdom many times with people as they invented catastrophic scenarios that had not yet occurred and were really unlikely to occur in their lifetime.   I would like to amend this to, “Don’t go looking at trouble.”  Because the more you look for it, the more you will find it.  So seek the treasure you actually want.  Put your attention there and see if it doesn’t find you.

1 comment:

  1. OMFG EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED TO HEAR TODAY! What's weird is that you published this 8 days ago, but I was so slammed I didn't read it until I needed it:) Thank you so much <3