Garbage In – Garbage Out

I’m talking trash.

I generally try to surround myself with positive people. However, this is not always an option, and, at times, I struggle with how to deal with people who are less than positive, less than optimistic, less than happy. And what to do when some of these folks are close to you presents even more of a dilemma.

Today I tried explaining to someone that by focussing on the negative, the bad, the undesirable, we are actually attracting the negative, the bad, the undesirable into our lives. Whether you subscribe to the law of attraction, or not, think about it. If all you think about, or worse yet, talk about, is the horrible things you heard on the news, the pain throughout your body, the poor state of your finances, your lack of energy, what are you experiencing? Horrible things, pain, poor finances, lack of energy. What you think, is what you experience. It is that simple. If you dwell on something in your mind, it is what you experience.

Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night and heard your heart beating? And why is it in the middle of the night our anxieties are most acute? You think, “is it normal to be hearing my heart beat?”. Anxiety rises, heart beats faster. “My heart rate is accelerated!” Anxiety rises, heart beats faster. “Am I having chest pains?”, now focussing on possibly having pain in your chest, and you honestly can’t tell if you’re having pain in your chest, or not! Anxiety rises. You think you’re dying of a heart attack! It is totally normal to awaken and hear your own heart beat, but we can easily convince ourselves that something, potentially, is wrong. We lose sleep, and feel like hell the next day, confirming our suspicion that we aren’t quite right, when, in fact, we are perfectly fine.

This type of thought pattern is common, it is how the “untrained” mind naturally functions. The key to being positive, to being happy, to being content, to evolving into a productive, fulfilled person is to train our minds. Much easier said than done, and, in my humble opinion, it is a job never 100% done. Like doing cartwheels, you may be really good at it, though never perfect. And if you don’t practice all the time, you’re going to lose the skill. Thinking positively is just like doing cartwheels. Practice. Practice. Practice. And never stop. You may get close to perfect, but never quite.

The trash we allow our minds to dwell on is compromising our physical, mental and emotional health, and so, our quality of life, even our longevity. Take the trash out.

In my conversation today, about not focussing on the horrible, the pain, the poor finances, lack of energy, etc., part of my message was what you allow into your mind is usually what comes out. If you fill your mind with garbage; horrible news, that is all you have to think about. If you fill your mind with productive reading material, that, in turn, is what drives your thought processes. If you begin your day not with a mental list of your ailments, your aches, your pains, your poor situation but with affirmations of what you want to experience instead, and with gratitude for the positive things your already have in your life, your whole mindset shifts to those more positive drivers. Garbage in, garbage out.

This is an exercise I do each and every morning. Well, most mornings. And I really want to do it every single morning. And if I don’t, I usually have a more difficult time remaining in a super positive frame of mind. But, honestly, while this may be a starting point, it takes constant “policing” of our thoughts to keep them from nose diving back into the negative during the course of the day. I spent a full year actively re-training my mind to focus on the positive, and still, now and then, I have to give myself a pep talk.

During the course of losing my dream of living on a ranch in the country to foreclosure, during the course of losing the house in town, shortly thereafter, to a short sale, then leaving my husband after a lonely marriage of twenty some years, and getting my kids through the last years of high school and off to college reasonably unscathed during the midst of all this turmoil, in all the trials of moving multiple times, trying to discover who I really was, trying to reclaim my health and fitness, trying to build a life for myself and provide emotional and financial support to my family, all the while trying to progress in my career, I have, somehow, kept quite upbeat and positive. I consider myself a modern marvel!

I read highly nutritive material. I always have on my Kindle, a book I am reading that fosters a positive mental attitude, the law of attraction, developing good relationships, or something along those lines. Yes, I have fun reads, too, novels by Candace Bushnell or Sohpie Kinsella. And always a classic, my favorite being Jane Austen. But I really try to put into my mind only positive matter, so that what come out is positive in kind.

I, personally, believe in the law of attraction. I’ve read The Secret, I’ve listened to it in audio, I’ve watched the movie. And, to me, it a lot of it makes sense. I usually glean out of all the material I read, the snippets I think will work best, and sort of craft my own “philosophy”. But I do believe in the law of attraction, that energy attracts like energy. Positive thoughts are positive energy, and in kind, attract positive results. No, you can’t just think “I want a million dollars” and it magically appears. I’ve tried that. Doesn’t work. But, in thinking reasonable and positive thoughts, I have been able to progress considerably in becoming more financially stable, and, financially independent; mostly by focussing on budgeting and living within my means. But, where a few years ago, I thought retirement was never a possibility for me, I see now, I may, at some point, be able to retire. This, I am certain, is because I am focussing on positive thoughts in this area, and through those positive thoughts I have found positive solutions and have achieved positive results.

I read another book, Relax, Focus, Succeed by Karl W. Palachuk. This was a man who suffered incredibly from pain due to a very real medical condition. Through training his mind diligently, he learned to override the thought processes of focussing on the pain, and now lives a far more pain free and active, fulfilling life. His material is definitely worth a read.

So, in my conversation today, I am hoping I made some sort of impact, because I care a great deal about this person. And while there may be fear of the horrible things heard on the news, true pain, dwindling savings and a resulting lack of energy (probably from depression over the other items), I am hoping that a concerted effort at altering thought processes will provide relief, and, better quality of life.

I challenge you to really, deeply examine your thoughts. What are you allowing into your mind that influences your thoughts, and what are the results manifested in your life? Take the garbage out and keep sweeping up, I’m certain you’ll see a positive difference if you are diligent. Why do you think they call it being down in the dumps?

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