"What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind. If a man speaks or acts with an impure mind, suffering follows him as the wheel of the cart follows the beast that draws the cart. What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind. If a man speaks or acts with a pure mind, joy follows him as his own shadow." --The Dhammapada, trans. by Juan Mascaro
How apt that on the Vernal Equinox, this first rainy day of Spring, when I sat to write this morning specifically about re-establishing my discipline of positive thinking, I found the above quote in my in-box courtesy of Tricycle Magazine
I recently posted about re-reading some old journals, a process that did not make me feel very good. I was not surprised to realize that following periods where I wrote about what was going wrong in my life, well, things continued to go wrong. And when I made a shift and somehow got myself in a good mood, and then wrote about how I felt, the entries that followed were on an up-note.
Over the past two years as I've been playing with this work of attracting your life by focusing on your feelings, I've noticed that emphasizing positive thought requires daily mechanics. I'm hardwired to slide into anxiety and despair, hopelessness and victimhood. They are my default settings. So staying positive is like holding a valve open manually; I first have to take my strongest wrench or prybar as the case may be, and once it's open I must strive to keep it there against the deluge of foul negativity that wants to flood through it. Positivity is like exercise; it doesn't happen if you don't make it happen at first. It takes a long time for it to become second nature, so the only other way to stay positive is to work at it every day. I'm willing to do that because the results are worth it.