Good morning. I care about you, as many others do and would (if they knew you). I say this because, by focusing on our strengths and other’s support, we can learn to care about ourselves as others do. To that end, today’s meditation suggests that we express gratitude for the simple ability to change our minds.
With or without a morning intention, our life will happen in moments. Our responsibility in being conscious is only to notice moments of positivity, so that we can learn its sources for us; or to respond in some useful way to negative feelings like fear or anger or sadness.
If those negative feelings are ones that we want to experience at that time (like after a break-up, or death, or the loss of a job), we can allow ourselves to simply feel them for as long as they are what we truly want to feel. We should just be wary that we don’t hurt others or ourselves while we’re feeling that way.
If we do want those feelings to end so that we can shift to something better, then we can do that too. But to be deft at the shift, we’ll need to practice.
Ideally we’ll be catching ourselves in some negative thought pattern. Our first response can be to check to see if our thinking can actually help the situation. And if it can’t (which is almost always), our meditation is to successfully divert our attention to something positive or productive.
We should try to do this at least five times today. In addition to practising the skill, by shifting our attention from a negative course of thinking to something more positive, we win those moments. Once a portion of our life has been lived in a positive mental state, those are victories that cannot be taken away from us. That film is shot.
This is our saviour skill. We will practice it in many forms. Learning to make this shift is the key to living a fluid life that still has the capacity to refocus to really pound away at life’s challenges. As Bruce Lee said, “Be like water.”
By living this way, we respect ourselves and our time far more. But we are leaving something behind if we fail to recognize that this ability is another thing about ourselves that we can be genuinely grateful for.
Thank yourself. In your future, it’ll be by executing some variation of this exercise and you’ll be the one to save yourself. And you’ll do it by using that moment to change the direction of your experience. I’ll just be the guy who showed you how.
So let’s all practice up. Minimum 5 switches, from negative to positive. Every time we succeed we are best to take a moment to actually be consciously grateful for the ability to change our minds. For us to appreciate who we really are we must start acknowledging our abilities more routinely.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.