Avoid Resisting Negative Thoughts

June 29, 2022

My main theme on this site is to think positively. I’ve shared a million times that, when we think positive thoughts, it results in positive outcomes in our lives. What we think is usually what we get. That means the same is true for negative thoughts. If we continuously think negative thoughts, we unfortunately deal with negative outcomes.

So why does my title say to avoid resisting the negative thoughts? If negative thoughts bring negative outcomes, shouldn’t we do all we can to resist any negative thoughts? It’s an excellent question. After all, I’ve already said it. If we want positive situations in our lives, we need to think positive thoughts, not negative ones. Yes, we do need to remove negative thoughts. However, we need to be careful about how we do it.

I was recently re-reading a book by Rhonda Byrne called “The Greatest Secret.” It’s an amazing book (as all of hers are). One of the chapters deals with this subject about dealing with negative thoughts. In this chapter, Rhonda reminds us that it is counter-productive to resist negative thoughts. The reason is that the more we resist something, the more we give power to it. For example, I’ve recently had some negative thoughts about money. Our country is a mess right now, with prices from gas, food, travel, and pretty much everything else going through the roof. After going through a rather comfortable financial season recently, my family and I are starting to feel the crunch. Due to the much higher prices, we are struggling to keep up. As a result, I was having negative thoughts about money. I know that negative thoughts don’t serve me well, so I was fighting these thoughts. However, as I’ve learned in the past, fighting them only makes it worse, brings more stress, and doesn’t solve the problem.

Instead, I was reminded in this book of a different strategy. In fact, I’ve shared this in recent posts. Since I needed another reminder, I felt the need to share with you. The key is to avoid resisting the negative thoughts. Rather than fighting it, the best strategy is to simply acknowledge and allow the negative thoughts. When you notice a negative thought, stop and accept it for what it is. It is only a thought, and you are not that thought. So accept the thought. Actually allow it. As you allow it, you acknowledge that you have full control over it, and every thought. It’s not the other way around.

Again, it seems to go against the logic of positive thinking. However, in the past few days I’ve experienced the results of following this advice. When I was receiving the flood of negative money thoughts, I stopped and followed this advice. I acknowledged that I had negative thoughts about money. Instead of fighting them, I allowed them. I accepted them for what they were, and eventually released them. This alone provided an instant peace. However, things really changed when I took it a step further. Once the negative thoughts were released, I began searching for truthful thoughts. I thought about how God provides countless reminders in the Bible about His provision. I began to reflect on some of these verses.

This is where the magic really happened. As I did this, my mind automatically starting filling with positive thoughts. My overall feeling vibration also changed in a major way. Instead of feeling doubtful and stressed, my emotional vibration was at the highest end of the scale. I was thankful for God’s provision. I was joyful that these negative thoughts that were weighing me down had disappeared. Remember, it is these high emotional states that bring the greatest manifestations. No, I haven’t received any financial miracles yet. However, I was reminded of some other things. I am due for a significant raise at my job in the near future. As I a teacher, I am on vacation for the next 8 weeks, and I have some significant money making opportunities in front of me. I know I will be fine, at the very least.

Once again, I remind you. Instead of resisting the negative thoughts, acknowledge them and release them when you are ready to do so. Another great benefit of this according to Rhonda Byrne is that, besides releasing the negative thoughts that have held you down lately, this process releases all of the past thoughts about that as well. In my example, this not only helps me get over my recent financial stresses, but also helps remove money blocking negative thoughts I have had in the past. What a great relief! Hopefully the benefit of great peace, and moving from some of the lower to highest emotional states is an inspiration to help you with this process. It has helped me immensely, and I know it can help you too. Enjoy the blessings πŸ™‚


Throwing Back Negative Thoughts

April 26, 2022
Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Those that know me well know that I love baseball. There are many interesting traditions in baseball, but one that has always entertained me is with fans of the Chicago Cubs. When a Cub hits a home run, the fan that catches the ball is able to keep it. However, whenever someone who is on the visiting team hits a home run, the fans actually throw the ball back onto the field. They are able to keep it if they want, but since it’s not a Cubs home run, they throw it back and don’t want to keep it. It is a fun tradition that other teams have now begun to follow.

I was recently reading an article about rejecting negative thoughts. It was interesting because the article did not say to avoid negative thoughts, or even resist them. Instead, it said to reject them. I looked into this further. What does it mean to reject something? The definition I found is to “throw back”. It’s very much like the baseball example. When a Cubs fan catches a home run, they have a choice. Do I keep the ball, or throw it back? In the positive situation of a Cub hitting the ball, they choose to keep it. In the negative situation of an opponent hitting the ball, they choose to reject the ball by throwing it back.

This comparison is the same with our thoughts. We can never stop negative thoughts from coming, and to resist them gives too much energy to the negative situation. The Bible says to take our thoughts captive. We should take time each day to monitor our thoughts. It is up to us to choose the thoughts we wish to accept, and those we wish to reject. When we receive a positive thought, we should keep it and cherish it. When we receive a negative thought, we simply need to reject it. Once again, do not fight the negative thoughts. Simply acknowledge it is there, and throw it back.

I have found that this is a much easier and much more effective way to deal with negative thoughts. Instead of resisting and giving them power, we throw them away, thus making room for more positive thoughts. This is important because our circumstances are determined by our thoughts. The more positive thoughts a person has, the more positive circumstances they will have. In essence, when you throw away the negative thoughts, you throw away most negative circumstances! And the great thing is that you have full control of your thoughts, which is very empowering. So throw away those thoughts you don’t want. Replace each negative thought with a positive one, and I believe you will experience many more positive situations in your life. Enjoy the blessings πŸ™‚


Thinking About Ways to Improve Your Health

March 29, 2022

I’ve never been one to place too much of a focus on my health. I’ve been lucky enough that I haven’t paid much of a negative price for this, as my health has been generally good during my life. However, as I get older I’ve been reminded by doctors and my body itself, that I do need to pay a bit more attention to the habits and foods that promote good health.

I understand the need for greater health habits, and have no problem doing them. Well, some anyway. I am a very picky eater and not very fond of most healthy foods, especially vegetables. I do like some, and enjoy some fruits and healthy meats as well. I’ve been able to find enough to be able to enjoy the ones I do like and incorporate those into my diet. I’ve never been much for routine exercise. Don’t get me wrong. I love being outside and playing competitive sports and games. I just never enjoyed aerobic workouts, weight lifting, jogging, and any routine exercises that don’t involve some type of game. That makes it difficult and could take a toll on my body when I can’t get outside for the long Buffalo winters.

Recently, I did some reading. As often happens, I received the same information in several of the books and articles I read. I’ve said it a million times before, and I’ll say it again. That’s when I know God is speaking to me! The articles were discussing how our physical health is often a manifestation of our mental health. The quality of the thoughts we choose very often determines the quality of our health! I’ve seen this in my own life. When I allow thoughts of stress and negativity, the negative effects show up in my body as more sickness, and weight gain from being lethargic. When I think negatively, it also affects my energy level. I am much more tired and unmotivated during these times.

Fortunately, I have learned to control my thoughts much better, and I often don’t allow these thoughts to negatively affect my body. On the other hand, when I maintain positive, wholesome thoughts, my body reacts to those too. I have much more energy, and just feel much healthier, and simply more alive. And the healthy habits and actions I need to take seem to happen much more easily and naturally.

In these readings and other online information there were several bits of information that were very helpful to me. These were common themes I noticed that can help you and I rid ourselves of the mental causes of sickness and ailments that we can potentially encounter. Perhaps not all will apply to you, but hopefully at least one or two can help.

  • Watch your thoughts. I recently discussed this in another article. Watch what you are thinking. Only allow thoughts that are positive, edifying, and encouraging. Allow thoughts that align with God’s truth. What you think on the inside manifests on the outside, and that includes our health. Stressful thoughts bring us down. Joyful and positive thoughts lift our spirits, which have incredible positive benefits on our energy and overall health.
  • Remove guilt. It is amazing how feelings of guilt can weigh a person down. We’ve all failed and we’ve all done things that we regret. However, we cannot change the past. What’s done is done. Instead of harping on what happened in the past, I recommend doing one of two things. Let it go completely, or do what you can do now to make up for the mistake. That’s it. The more you release the negative feeling of guilt, the more you allow the necessary positive feelings and thoughts to take over your mind.
  • Forgive. Just as you are forgiving yourself for past failures and mistakes, it is also necessary to do the same for others. I know it is often easier said than done. I’m a very patient and forgiving person (to a fault sometimes), but I’d be lying if I said there was no one in my life past or present with whom I still hold some resentment towards. However, just like removing our own feelings of guilt, the more we release negative thoughts towards others, the more liberating it is to us. When we forgive, the mental strain is released, and this has positive impacts on our physical bodies.
  • Follow your bliss. Do you ever notice the joy and positivity you feel when you are doing something you really enjoy? And do you sometimes notice the empty feelings when you are not doing those things? The key here is to be deliberate about it. As mentioned before, I love being outside, especially if it involves a golf course or a beach. I feel amazing, and it’s no coincidence that my level of health is always highest during the warm weather months. The problem, is those options are not available here in Buffalo during the winter. So I have two options, and I’ve done both. The first is to feel the blues of the dark, cold, snowy winter and count the days until summer. The second is to take advantage of the many other things I enjoy doing while I can’t be outside. Hopefully you can see that I love to write. Being inside provides many more writing opportunities. I also enjoy watching sports with their seasons in the winter like hockey and basketball. I also enjoy family time, as we’re forced to spend our time inside in the cozy house. The key is to stay motivated and engaged with things that I love to do. When our minds have something positive to focus on and enjoy, it doesn’t have time for negative thoughts that ultimately can make us sick.
  • Know that you don’t have to do everything. I’m one that like to do things for myself. However, I’ve realized over time that it is OK to ask for help. Sometimes we need help and support from others. The more we allow that help, the more we can release ourselves of the stress and unnecessary pressure that causes us to wear ourselves out.
  • Don’t be afraid. So many of us are ruled by fear. As confident as I am these days, I still let fear rule in my life sometimes. Someone recently asked me what is easier. Suffering from the burden of doing things myself and worrying about what can go wrong, or letting God who has all the power in the universe help me get things done and work things out. The answer is obvious. However, we make it difficult because we have such a hard time putting things in God’s hands and letting Him work out the details and results. I know we are responsible to take some actions, but we are often so bogged down with fear because we don’t trust the all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present God that only has our best interests in mind. If we were ever to let go of even some of our fears, our minds would be so liberated that it would automatically have such a healing and energizing effects on our bodies.

These are just a few suggestions. I am certainly not a health expert, but these have been helpful to me, and I can attest to the positive effects taking these steps have had on my own health. I also know how my body feels when I allow the negatives to take over my mind. I believe most of us know that mind and body go together. When the mind is good, so is the body. And when the mind is bogged down with negativity and stress, that is when we invite sickness and other negative situations to enter our bodies. I realize that sometimes we can’t control some negative things that happen to our health and bodies. Accidents happen. Some truly good people are taken from us early for reasons only God knows. However, why not focus on the things we can control? Focus on keeping our minds clear of the negative, stressful, and fearful thoughts. Replace them with thoughts that the Bible suggests we fill our minds with, thoughts that are noble, just, pure, lovely, admirable, and praise-worthy. I can tell you that if you keep these healthy thoughts in your mind, your body will be healthy as well. Enjoy the blessings πŸ™‚


You Can Have Greater Control of Your Circumstances

March 28, 2022

If only you could control the circumstances in your life. How great would that be? I’m sure you would cherish the ability to live the life you want to live, to have the things you want to have, and to be the person you want to be.

Well, who says you can’t? I’ve been studying the power of the mind for over a decade now, and I still receive constant reminders that you and I, and anyone can have far more control of the circumstances of life than we realize. I do my best to share these reminders with you here.

So how can one exercise this greater control? Simply by controlling your thoughts. The foundation of life is in the mind. Whatever happens there, happens in the outside world. That is why it is so important to pay attention to what you are thinking. A Bible verse I’ve shared here often is Proverbs 4:23. It says to “guard your heart (which is your mind and deepest thoughts) above all else, because it determines the course of your life.” Another translation says to “be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”

In some ways, this is difficult to hear because many of us think negatively on a much more regular basis than we think positive thoughts. Knowing that these thoughts affect our lives is not very comforting! However, the part that is comforting is that we can have full control of our thoughts! And if we can take and maintain that control, we can affect our circumstances. I fully believe that it is much easier to control what I am thinking than to try and control the many circumstances in my life. It may seem difficult to do, but I can tell you that with experience, it gets easier and easier. It then becomes even more natural and more rewarding after you see the positive results.

At this point, I know what you may be wondering. Does this mean all of my negative circumstances will disappear if I simply maintain positive thinking? I wish I could say it would. Unfortunately, I cannot guarantee that all of your negative circumstances will completely disappear. However, I know that God communicates with us throughout our lives in various ways, and sometimes negative situations are ways he uses to do so. Sometimes they are wake up calls, and oftentimes they are used to bring us to something greater. For whatever reason, they are part of all of our lives on this earth. I can say this, though. The more you control your thoughts and keep them focused on God’s truth and His principles, the more joy and happiness you will experience. And even when the negative situations occur, they will be easier to deal with and much more short-lived.

I am sure you have heard these reminders many times, especially if you regularly read my articles. Whether it’s your first or thousandth time, I remind you (and myself) again. Take time each day to watch what you are thinking. Deliberately think beautiful, positive thoughts. Visualize the situations you want to experience, the life you want to live, and the person you want to be. Exercise that control of your mind that you all have. After that, take the actions that you feel led to take. I strongly believe (and know from experience) that you will see very quickly that the circumstances in your life line up according to the thoughts in your mind. They always do anyway no matter how you think. So why not take control and purposely create the life you are looking for. Enjoy the blessings πŸ™‚


Mid-Summer Reflections

July 28, 2021

Not everything goes as planned. Have you heard or experienced that before? Its on a minor level as far as this blog is concerned, but that’s been the case this summer. Since I am on vacation from the stress and fast pace of teaching, I fully intended to write and share a great deal in the 8 weeks that I have off, both here and with a new book I’m writing. Well, so much for that.

It’s not that I’ve been doing nothing all summer. In fact, at the halfway point of my break, it’s been the perfect mix of peace and relaxation and fun and accomplishment. I should have a lot to write about since I have spent significant time developing my spiritual muscles and feel very close to God. Sometimes I feel like things don’t happen fast enough, but I am continually learning ways to speed up that process. I’ve also been able to travel twice in the past two weeks. One weekend at a reunion with college friends in the Adirondack mountains, and this past weekend on a family trip to New York City. Both expensive, yet priceless experiences. Other rewarding experiences have been the continual development of the golf game I started last summer, and responding to a friend’s challenge to learn German together. So far I’ve learned about 300 words in a month, and definitely feel like I can already use the language in a very minor way. Sehr gut, Joe!!

I can’t say I’ve learned a a whole lot of new ideas, but the great thing about this past month is that I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on and review what I already do know. And that is, that whenever I desire to talk to God and learn more about Him, He is there to help and guide me. Also, life is lived on the inside. I’ve shared it hundreds of times, and I’ve been reminded again in excess that the quality of life (thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs) on the inside are eventually what I experience on the outside in the exact quantity and quality.

I hope that, whether this is a peaceful or extra busy time for you, you can take some time to shape your own thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs to create joyful experiences and manifest excellence in your own life. Enjoy the blessings πŸ™‚


Focus on This to Experience Heaven on Earth

March 30, 2021

I’ve been writing on this site for over 8 years now. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve written close to 400 articles. I don’t say this to brag or promote myself. Instead, I share this because it sometimes creates a humorous situation. When people ask me how I decide on what to write about, I provide the same simple answer…whatever is on my heart. Often times, whatever is on my heart is what I feel like God is prompting me to share, usually because I feel like He’s been speaking to me about it.

I’m surprised it didn’t start happening sooner, but during the past year, there were several times where I was given this great idea to write about it. I started writing, and what I was saying seemed awfully familiar. Not because I had read about it somewhere, but as I continued writing, I started to realize…I think I’ve written about this before. I then realized that was true. In fact, in some cases, I was using the exact same title I used for the previous article that was written years ago. I’ve even shared some of these recently.

The same thing happened this morning. I had been prompted to talk about this heaven topic. I was going to use the title “Can We Experience Heaven on Earth?” That was until I realized, I used that exact same title for an article I wrote in November 2018! You can read that article by clicking on the title link above. In that article, I talked about the Bible verse that says that the kingdom of heaven is among us. Not only is it among us or in our midst, but it is a part of our very being. For today’s article I had a bit of a different take in mind. I watched a message from I preacher I enjoy watching named Martin Trench. It was an excellent message that provides a picture of heaven, and also discusses this concept of experiencing heaven on Earth. The best part for me was how he simplified the process of seeking the kingdom of heaven. He shares several attributes of heaven, the most significant being the constant presence of God. He says that the best part of heaven is that you are constantly in God’s presence, and you continually experience that presence there.

This was really an awakening for me. God’s presence is all over heaven. But it’s also all over everywhere and everything on this earth. I realized that, instead of trying to keep in mind this mysterious kingdom that I can never possibly understand during my time on earth, I only need to focus on the presence of God! That’s something I’ve done many times, and I certainly know the power and wonderful feeling it brings!

Here’s a Bible verse that we can tie this to. Matthew 6:33 says to “seek first the kingdom of God and all else will be added to you.” Using the idea above, let’s just change that a bit and say instead to “seek first the presence of God.” I am not trying to twist scripture verses around. I am just finding that these words are synonymous. Understanding God’s presence is much easier than understanding God’s kingdom. It is not difficult to find and experience God’s presence because it is omnipresent. Any time you want to find God’s presence, you will. The difficult part, at least for me, is having the discipline to focus my mind on God’s presence instead of the circumstances or past failures in my life.

What happens when you seek the presence of God? From my experience, I can share several things. First, it brings an incredible peace. Whatever chaos is going on around me all of a sudden seems very insignificant. Second, I feel amazing! This is because instead of thinking thoughts of failure, negativity, and fear, I start thinking thoughts of love, power, and gratitude. As we think these types of thoughts, our overall energy vibration raises to a much a higher level. This then brings positive situations into our lives that match the positive thoughts and feelings. In essence, we begin to live heaven on earth. Our relationships are strengthened. People want to be in our company. We are healthier. We enjoy life more, which also enhances our careers, financial situations, and whatever else we want to accomplish in life. These are the things that are added onto us when we seek first the kingdom and presence of God.

The answer is the same now as it was in 2018, and it’s the same as it will be in 2028, or even 3018. Yes! You can experience heaven on earth. It may not be as beautiful as it is when we leave our bodies behind at death, but you can certainly experience heaven on earth by remaining consistently in the presence of God, and seeking it wherever you go. You don’t have to wait until you die. You can start right now. Enjoy the blessings πŸ™‚


How to Live Your Dream Life

March 25, 2021

What is your dream life? It’s a question I think we all have an answer to. Or at least we should. Many know what their ideal life would look like. However, they don’t like to think about it because they feel like it could never happen for them. After all, it’s not fun to think about something that’s never going to happen.

I was reminded of this dream life idea while reviewing “A Course in Miracles.” I’ve gone through this course more than once, and I often spend time reviewing parts of it again and again, just like do for many other great books I’ve read. This book is full of great, Biblical advice about living in love, forgiveness, and joy. The part I read is from the Workbook chapter 132, paragraph 5. It says… “There is no world apart from what you wish, and herein lies your ultimate release. Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly.” The paragraph later adds that “it (your world) changes as you change your mind.”

How powerful is that? Who’s mind do you have the most control over? There’s only one answer to this question, and hopefully, you already know it. It’s you. Your own mind is the only one you have control over. This is good news! What I get from this quote is that, as you control your mind, you control your world and the circumstances in it. Take control of your mind (the Bible says to take every thought captive). Be sure to think only the highest quality thoughts. That will result in the highest quality circumstances.

Speaking of the Bible, it is filled with verses that back this up. I’ve shared these often, but I don’t think we can be reminded too many times. Proverbs 23:7 says that as a man thinks, so is he. Proverbs 27:19 says that “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” The heart in this case is one’s most predominant thoughts and beliefs. The manifestation of our desires in life is quicker and more powerful and stronger our beliefs are. My favorite Bible verse in the entire book is Mark 11:24 which says “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” You believe you have received it by aligning your thoughts and feelings as they would be if you had your desire in the outer world.

These are just a few of many verses that show that what you experience in your outer world is a direct reflection of the life you are living in your inner world. Now I know some of you are thinking that we can’t accomplish things by thought alone. We have to take action and make things happen. That is true. We can’t just sit idle and wait for things to happen. We do have to act. However, as I’ve shared many times, you are more likely to take action when your thoughts are right, and you believe you can have what you desire. If your thoughts are good, noble, and praiseworthy as the Bible suggests, the action you take will be inspired and productive as well. That’s another reason your desires manifest much more quickly when your thoughts are right.

So you want changes in your world? Then remember that your world changes as your mind changes. See the positivity, greatness and victory that you desire in the outer life in your inner world (your mind) first. Then the inspiration and direction to act will come to you almost automatically. Eventually, what you see in your mind you will experience in your life. I have seen this in my own life so many times. I challenge you to do this, and it will work for you too. Enjoy the blessings πŸ™‚


The Importance of the F Word

March 12, 2021

During the past few weeks, I continue to be shown the significance of the F word. It is very important that I place my attention on it and use it as much as possible. The reason is that…

OK, stop it! I am not talking about THAT F word. I know you were thinking it. Seriously, I try to avoid thinking about and using that other F word. I’m sorry, I should stop now before this blog post becomes cursed. Anyway, there is another word that I keep being reminded of. I’ve written about it, I’ve heard sermons preaching it, and it has been part of almost every reading material I’ve come across in the past few weeks (do you think God is trying to drive it into my head and asking me to share?).

That magical F word is focus. Focus on what? It’s come up several different ways. Mainly, the discussions have been about focusing on positive thoughts. Focusing on whatever is “true, noble, right, lovely and admirable” according to Philippians 4:8 in the Bible. Focusing on who God says I am, not the false thoughts that I have or others may have about me. Focusing on the good in everyone else. Focusing on the fact that God is constantly working for my good. Focusing on the fact that in God I have all things, and all things are possible.

That’s a small sample of where my focus and your focus should be. Another reminder with this and why it is so significant is that what we experience in life is a direct reflection of what we focus on. If we focus on those things I mentioned, we experience situations and circumstances that back them up! If we focus on what’s wrong or what’s missing, that is what we will continue to experience. It’s such a simple formula. Yet so many (and I certainly add myself so many times) try to do things the hard way by trying to change the circumstances instead of the mental focus, which is the root of the problem. I’ve said it many times, but this is so liberating to me because it gives me full control! No one in this universe except for me determines my thoughts. It’s all in my control. Only you control your thoughts. It’s simply a matter of controlling your thoughts (remaining focused on them) and then letting the circumstances play out accordingly. If you like the thoughts, you will like the circumstances!

So keep reminding yourself of that F word… FOCUS! Constantly check in with your thoughts, to make sure they are high quality, just as you want your exterior life to be. The more you do it, the easier it gets, and the more rewarding your life will be. Enjoy the blessings πŸ™‚

 


Driving Home the Point That Thoughts Matter

March 3, 2021

This may be a different way to begin a post than I normally do, but I will admit that I am not the most patient driver. In fact, if I’m being honest, I will say that I am rather nasty. I have many pet peeves when I drive. I don’t drive very fast, but I get frustrated easily when people drive under the speed limit unnecessarily, or I get angry at those who don’t use their turn signals. Others annoy me because they are simply clueless on the roads.

Now, I am not painting a very positive picture of myself so I’m going to quit while I’m behind. It always surprises people when I share about how impatient and inconsiderate I am on the road. Most that know me well would tell you that I am one of the most mild-mannered, patient, kind, and sympathetic individuals on the planet. In fact, some even criticize how far I will go just to avoid a conflict. Perhaps it’s because I learned to drive while living on Long Island (one of the most difficult places to drive), but for whatever reason, driving is the only time I behave so poorly.

I share this with you because my negative driving habits came to light this past week. We added another (and last) daughter to our auto insurance policy. In order to keep costs down, we are offered discounts for enrolling in an online defensive driving course. I spent the day on the computer and actually enjoyed this excellent course. It was also a major wake-up call. I realized that my bad attitude and corresponding bad driving habits like illegal passes, balancing all kinds of foods with the steering wheel, and spending more time checking what’s on the radio than what’s in front of me were not only dangerous to me, but also to those around me. I realized I needed to change these negative habits. I decided that I was immediately going to become more courteous and more focused when I drove. In fact, I was going to take it a step further. Not only was I going to be courteous. I was going to be the most courteous driver on the road!

After being such a nasty driver for so long, and having enough experience to know how life works, I expected immediate tests to my patience. I was curious to see how long this new attitude would actually last. For the first few days, I held my end of the bargain (even though my end was the only end). However, as the days went on, there were no tests! No slow drivers or series of red lights to test my patience. Everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing. Traffic was flowing smoothly every time. Drivers were even being extra courteous to me!Β  Even the weather cooperated. On the first day after the test, it snowed for most of the day… except for the times I drove that day!

I’ve written countless articles on this site about how the circumstances in our lives reflect the quality of focus on our thoughts. If we focus on positive thoughts, we generally experience positive outcomes. Of course, the same correlation is true for negative thoughts. I’ve seen many examples of this in my life. However, this experience has been a very powerful reminder. I realized that, even though it was on a subconscious level, every time I got into the car, I expected negative situations, that I ultimately encountered. Now, as my focus and attitude changed, I stopped encountering these negative circumstances. Driving was actually a joy. And this change occurred instantly!

I share this reminder with you, my cherished reader. Be conscious of your thoughts. Continually watch what you focus your thoughts on. If the circumstances in a particular situation are not as you would like them to be, I challenge you to change your focus. Instead of thinking about what’s wrong or what you don’t have, focus instead on what is already right and good, or at least what could be positive about it. I find this very encouraging because this strategy puts us in full control. We may not be able to control some or all of the circumstances around us, but we can all control our thoughts and attitudes which have the ultimate effect on how the circumstances turn out. Your results may not be as immediate as they were in my situation, but in most cases changes occur very quickly.

Once again I remind you that you will experience in life whatever you focus your thoughts on. If you constantly see the negative in people and things, that’s what you will continue to experience. If you see the good in people in things, you will only experience more of it. In addition, as they did with my new driving attitude, the negative situations will eventually diminish if you keep focused on the positive. Not everything is always going to go our way, and I’m not saying you’re wrong if you’re not happy every minute of the day. However, I have learned from many experiences (and now this recent one) that good things happen when you look for them. Enjoy the blessings πŸ™‚


Keep Me In The Moment

July 21, 2020

Singing oh Lord, keep me in the moment
Help me live with my eyes wide open
‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me.

These are lyrics from the latest Jeremy Camp song. They serve as an excellent reminder for me to focus on this moment. I often speak about the importance of living in the present moment. It is the only moment where we have full control of our state of mind and emotions. And remember, it is the quality of that state of mind and emotional level that controls the quality of our lives.

People always ask… is it ok to even think about the past? I would answer yes. It is good to think about the past if we are either re-living a positive memory or even using a negative situation as something to learn from and build upon. However, when we do that, we are doing it in the present moment. It is not good to think about the past if we are longing to go back to “the good old days” instead of living in the now. Or it is not good to dwell on the negatives in the past and feel angry or guilty about them and allowing those thoughts to affect your current emotional state in a bad way.

Is it ok to think about the future? Again, I would answer yes. I believe it is sometimes necessary to think about the future because it is valuable to use as a planning tool and for getting a solid picture and goal in your mind for what you want your life to be like. Once again though, you are actually doing that in the present moment. It is not good to think about the future as a way to escape your negative situations you may have today, or to fill your mind with worrisome thoughts about what bad things can possibly happen. Why would you negatively affect your present moment with thoughts of something that hasn’t even happened yet? I know it’s easier said than done, and I would be rather hypocritical if I didn’t admit that I’ve done it myself. In fact, I’ve been quite good at it for most of my life. However, I’ve learned that most of the situations I worried about never actually occurred, and more importantly that the quality of my thoughts and feelings on the inside now, at this moment, determines the quality of my life on the outside now and in the future.

The great news is that we have full control of our thoughts and feelings. And when we do have that control fully? In the present moment. Think about it. At this very moment, as you are reading this, what negative thing is happening? Ok, I guess I shouldn’t set myself up like that. Perhaps the negative thing is you think this article is horrible. Let’s step back from that and assume you’re enjoying the article. Seriously, unless something life-threatening is coming at you right now, if you focus solely on this moment right now, there is nothing negative about it unless you place your thoughts on it. That is true for any moment. There is nothing negative about the present moment unless you believe there is. Knowing this and the fact that you are the only one who can control what enters your mind and heart, I challenge you to pray this prayer to God. Ask for His help in keeping you in the moment. It is a glorious place to be, mainly because God helps keep your eyes wide open and ensures that you don’t miss the opportunities and blessings He has for you.

Prayer is one way that I anchor myself to the present moment. Simply meditating on the presence of God is an amazing way to feel the peace of the moment. Visualization is another way. I realize that we are often imagining future events when we visualize, but the key is to picture them as they are happening right now. When you remain aware of the present moment upon visualizing, it makes the process extra powerful. There are other ways to remain in the moment too, such as immersing in nature, listening to music, taking a warm bath, dancing, and many others. I would suggest you do what works best for you and adds the most joy to the experience.

As I live more in the present moment, I have a greater longing to remain there. Hanging on to the guilt of the past just isn’t attractive to me anymore. Worrying about the future is not worth it to me. I share this with you in the hope that you will join me in this peaceful, joyous place called the present moment. There is no better place to be. Enjoy the blessings πŸ™‚