Thirty years ago, when I discovered the Power of Positive Thinking and a bit later that My Thoughts Create My Reality, I was thrilled. I felt like I had been given the keys to the kingdom. A simple success formula: think happy thoughts, have a happy life.
Yet, something seemed off and my life often wasn’t happy.
Over the years, I tried many versions of the formula. I wrote positive affirmations, read uplifting books, hired a coach to help me raise my vibration and attended Create Your Best Life webinars and seminars.
While they all seemed like good ideas, I could tell that something still didn’t fit for me. Without knowing what was missing, I moved on.
More accurately, I thought I had moved on. Four years ago, I wrote my first book, Thriving Work. With a subtitle of “A journey to your best self…” I see now that a journey to my best self abandons my “worst” self somewhere along the path.
The book includes 33 affirmative prayers. 27 of them are written from the power-of-positive-thinking perspective, 4 point toward being ourselves fully (all the “good” and “bad”) and 2 directly address including all of ourselves (“All of Me, None of Me” and “From the Fullness of You”).
When I wrote the book, I didn’t sort the prayers that way. I simply wrote what I knew at the time. All of the prayers have been wonderful companions on my life journey. And, they have uplifted and positively impacted many readers.
Only recently, did I come to realize the missing link.
We don’t always control our thinking. And, when we do temporarily manage to control our thinking, we cut off part of our human experience.
I love how Michael Neill describes this. “If we think we are meant to be in charge of what we think, we feel like victims of our own inadequacy, and that if we only tried harder/were more vigilant/had better techniques we would have everything we want and could always be happy and never angry, fearful, or sad.”
Now that I am beginning to realize thoughts are like clouds, I allow them to be how and what they are, without taking them too seriously. I allow all of them, without trying to make them positive. And I consciously (as best I can in any moment) choose which ones to act on and which ones to allow to pass.
Without needing to control my thoughts, I’m relaxing more. I’m enjoying being human, without so much vigilance. When I notice my thoughts are less than positive, I remember I don’t need to be so concerned with the content of my thoughts.
I’m making less distinction about “good” and “bad.” I’ve spent so much of my life avoiding what I consider “bad,” and it’s been exhausting.
I’m becoming more and more aware that this moment is my life. When I am present in the moment (however “good,” “bad” or in-between), it is somehow wonderful regardless. Now that is the beauty of the whole human experience!
(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for returning to the joy of you“)