(Or what to do with your backhoe)
If you want to learn Spanish, you practice. The same is true for piano, or anything else you want to be good at. So the question is do you want to be good at life skills? All it takes is practice. Trust me on this one, if it was really difficult, I never could have done it.
Start by taking a look at yourself. How do you want to be in word and deed? Your words and actions indicate what is going on in your internal universe, so is what you say and do showing that you are practicing positive thoughts? Isn’t it more fun to make people laugh? A calm demeanor takes practice, so does one of acceptance and compassion for your family and also the people that you come into contact with daily. But, sometimes we are a disgruntled malcontent. Lets face it, it is so much easier to think about how everyone else should change. Unfortunately, it never works and ends up making you mad! Ask yourself “How can I change my interactions with the people I care about or have to deal with?” So, back to ourselves. Start noticing if your conversations are positive or negative. Are you griping or complaining with other people most of the day? Why shouldn’t you? The kids are crying, you are tired, someone was rude and you don’t like it at all, so you keep talking about all the things you don’t like. Over and over to whoever will listen.
Here is the interesting part of this process, you are intentionally dwelling on something that you didn’t like the first time it happened, the only time it really happened. Every time after that, you keep the negative event no matter how big or small or how long ago it was alive in your thoughts. This causes the neural pathways in your brain fire together and this reinforces whatever it was. No wonder it is so easy to get mad or be depressed, it becomes an automatic process of negativity that we have created ourselves and weren’t even aware that it was happening and then we spread it around! Doom and gloom! Oh poor me!
I’m going to assume that since you are reading this you are waiting for the good news! This is where practice comes in-start paying attention to what your thoughts are notice them. When you do this, you create a space to quietly redirect them.
Where ever shall they go? Let’s start with somewhere you remember being enchanted by, somewhere in nature. Why? Because nature is already perfect as it is and is a gift that can sooth your soul, not to mention your troubled mind, just by being there. You have made your problems real, take a moment to make something beautiful real. A hillside covered with wild flowers, their petals become floating colors over the ground waving in the soft spring breeze. As you become still you can hear the sound of the wind in the trees and feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Above you in the azure sky are the clouds that brought the seeds to life and created these flowers. Give yourself this gift of beauty and tranquility as you take a deep breath into this moment. If you stay there long enough, the scent of the flowers will softly surround you. It will be there for you anytime you choose to remember this peaceful place.
When you have a moment to yourself, this is the practice. Find a picture of wild flowers and really look at it. Are there hills, clouds, streams? Are there riots of colors, or just one? The space you create will help create calm when you need it. Aware of a problem thought? Where is your flower picture? Picture it in your mind and picture that hillside tonight as you are falling asleep, it is a practice and you can get good at it.
Love and Lighten Up, Kellina
Every night this week, go to sleep with the mental image of that hillside covered with flowers. Thoughts come up? Let them drift up and away with the clouds. How comforting it is to know this can be done at the very end of the day, when you close your eyes, the only effort being switching your mind to that hillside. If you have had a tough day, you may need a backhoe to build your hill, but that’s ok, backhoes can be a lot of fun too. Got a problem? Bury it with your backhoe and then plant flowers on it. It’s nice to go to sleep with a smile on your face. Our mind loves something to do. Did you give yours a chance to look over the picture of the flowers?
Spring Wildflowers Feedback
*Here are prompts for practice work and feedback. Use the space to fill in your responses and when you’re finished please send it back to us. We love your participation and when I receive your feedback form, I will send you mine so that you will know I am working on it also. *For more writing space, use the back*
Remember, Love & Lighten Up ~ Kellina
- Anything you want to learn takes practice. Can you see how your thoughts could use some practice?
—Now that you mention it, why, yes. All week long I have had a huge pile of negative thoughts I was letting run amuck in my head. I will fire up the backhoe and start digging. Then, I will go through a seed catalogue and pick out the flowers I want to plant. When a negative thought pops in my head, I will picture the flowers or rev up the backhoe to keep them where they belong-out of my head! I love the smell of diesel fuel in the morning.
- Notice the people around you and what it is they choose to talk about. How much or how little is positive?
–A dear relative will turn any nice ordinary conversation to something bitter from her past. It feels like it literally smacks me upside the head. I go to another family member to process this out. She will talk about a situation that is annoying, but ends it by making light of it. How fun is that? Makes me want to spend more time with her because I know it is okay to gripe if you put a better spin on it when you are done. Like, “This was shitty, but at least we weren’t stung to death by killer bees!”
- Think of someone who has been in your life that is light and funny and makes you feel better just by being around them.
—My daughter, Raven. She spontaneously laughs more than anyone else. And when she laughs at something I said, I feel like the funniest person around and want to keep doing it. We have also really worked to make our relationship one of the best, really listening to each other and just waiting for that chance to laugh.
- The mental image of a place in nature is calming and restorative and will help you relax and get a good nights’ sleep. Where is your favorite place in nature?
-How can I pick a favorite, they all offer something in their own way. The Grand Canyon. How something like this can exist is not explainable. It’s not just the cliffs and river and rocks of ages of time. It is wild and open and so very vast. Standing on the rim feels sacred. Yellowstone. See, I told you I could not just pick one.
- We all have some tough days, so can you picture driving a backhoe and digging a hole for your problem and then planting flowers on it?
—Oh yes! I can hear the diesel motor and feel the energy of the earth moving. It is good work but it is worth it and I can already smell the flowers.
By Kellina Martin – Positive Living Strategist
Edited by Raven K. Ashleigh