The picture to the right is a photo of a mandala, created from coloured sand by Tibetan Buddhist monks. If you don't know anything about the creation of mandalas such as this one, please take a moment to have a look at the website from which this picture was copied: http://www.artnetwork.com/Mandala/gallery.html
I was up at 7 am this morning with monkeynut nerves (no, I don't know what it means, but I like the sound of it) jangling loudly in my stomach. This means that I am stressed: that little things are queuing up in my mind to niggle at me. Most of them are work related, but I also know that the amount of time I am currently spending on my work is also leaving a queue of family and friends (each with lives, thrills, losses and excitements) that I am slowly losing track of. This bothers me.
Armed with the fifties wisdom of Earl Nightingale and his strangest of secrets - if you haven't listened to him yet, take half an hour out of your schedule and do so. Come on! If you've got time for Hollyoaks/X Factor/The Apprentice/Lost/Eastenders etc then you can make time for this, if you hate it, write to me! - I leapt out of bed, tummy nerves flummoxing around as I made coffee and thought about the central premise of Nightingale's argument.
I remembered Earl declaring: We become what we think about. Then, I began to think about the other people in the world that I admire and I thought about some of things they said, to see if any of these things could make a difference to my day, and my jangling monkeynut nerves. Here's what I came up with:
Everything you imagine is real.
Whether you believe that you can do something, or whether you believe you can't - You're absolutely right!
from Steve Hender, Positivity Genius and designer of the course, Tuning the Orchestra
“The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, “Hey – don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride…”
And we… kill those people.
“We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up. Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real.”
Just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn’t matter because: It’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one.
Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defences each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.”
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.
Change your thoughts and you change your world.
Norman Vincent Peale
If you don't like something, change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.
So, I tried to hold these ideas in my mind, all wrapped up in Earl's maxim: We become what we think about.
Last year, I completed a course called Tuning the Orchestra, with Steve Hender that I think I may have mentioned last night. This course aimed to encourage the particpants to think positively, to deepen communication and to become more creative. It used a lot of NLP techniques to achieve this goal. On the last day, Steve asked us to participate in a 'Positive Thinking Diet' for the next ten days. Every time we felt a negative thought, we had to immediately counteract it with a positive one. This was hard enough. Harder still, we had to do it for ten days. If on one day, we thought that we had forgotten or succumbed to negativity, there was a simple solution - we started again.
I managed for three days or so and then I forgot. Deadlines came in, work came and went, and I forgot.
Now I see what Steve Hender was trying to get us to do. Earl Nightingale asks the same thing, but this time for 30 days! And all under this central premise: We become what we think about.
The diet helped me today to work on my positive thinking. I still had some negative thoughts, like when I got to work already 5 minutes late for a meeting, only to discover that I had left my purse at home (with my entry card to the Civic Offices still in it). I called the office and lovely Norma answered the phone and walked down two flights of stairs to come and let in my silly forgetful self. I asked the glamorous Miss Sally if she could lend me a pound for a coffee and she lent me £5, which made me feel both trusted and loved and I went on my way. Like the Dalai Lama might say, only a crisis provides us with the opportunity to accept the kindness of others.
I got a lot of work today. It's almost half past ten and I stopped working about an hour ago. I've worked on all three contracts today and haven't given myself a moment for self-doubt. Taking this lead has put me on top of all three workloads for the first time in...actually, for the first time!
We become what we think about.
What are you thinking?
Today's 3 beautiful things
1. My Mum - she knows why, in every sense.
2. The satisfaction of giving today my best shot.
3. The candles burning on my cards table.