At the very bottom of the foundation of our lives are our thoughts–whether they uplift us or discourage us. For this reason, the very first thing we must master if we are to live soul-prospering lives is our thought pattern.
We know this requires mindfulness and we also understand that it involves being positive and optimistic.
But what about the days when it isn’t possible to do this, what do we do then? Perhaps we had a difficult day at work and, to top it off, we had to stay late. Or maybe we’re handling challenging situations in our personal life. It just might be, though, that we’ve been working on moving toward our soul-prospering lives but the progress is tiny, and now we’re plain old discouraged. During times like these, we just don’t have the wherewithal to monitor all our thoughts and when we try to be positive, it feels like we’re being incredibly naïve and foolish.
Mindfulness doesn’t mean ferreting out and hearing every tidbit of a thought that we have and then measuring each one with some sort of positivity scale. It would be an impossible task and, most likely, we’d drive ourselves batty if we tried it.
Also, it isn’t reasonable to expect that every thought is going to be positive. We’re allowed to be discouraged, sad, angry, worried, and the like. Feeling our emotions is what make us human and is what adds depth and richness to our experiences. “Negative” emotions are “bad” only when we find ourselves wallowing in them or when they are the only emotional responses we have.
To get a handle on our thoughts, schedule time to learn what triggers negative thoughts in us. For instance, we know when we’re with certain people we tend to become easily annoyed, or when we’re called on to give a presentation we know we become tense, nervous, and worried. We may discover that when we’re faced with an unfamiliar task, whether in our professional capacity or in our personal lives, we find ourselves thinking I can’t or it’s too hard.
As I said, it’s okay if we find ourselves responding in a knee-jerk fashion with the thoughts we’re accustomed to thinking. As we work with mindfulness and adding more uplifting thoughts into our thought patterns, we’ll lessen these habitual responses.
When we identify our triggers, prepare phrases and words ahead of time that, when you need them, they are handy.
Don’t stress over making these phrases and words positive. Instead, strive to make them as uplifting as possible. They’ll ring truer and be more believable, especially when the circumstances are particularly difficult.
Here are some thoughts that uplifted me when I felt foolish using positive statements:
~I’ll figure it out somehow. I don’t need all the answers right now; I just need one bit of information at a time;
~I only need to take one tiny little step–just do what seems to be the next best thing;
~I can call or I can ask my mentor/friend/librarian/colleague;
~Right here, right now, I am okay;
~Universe, I put this in Your Hands to work out because I have no clue what to do next. Show me what I need to do and make it very clear!
~Universe, I have no idea how You’re going to work this out because it seems impossible to me. I trust that You have it all figured out and that You’ll let me know when it’s my turn to do what I can.
Let me know if any of these helped you. Also, let me know what uplifting thoughts you use. Thanks!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,