I think I have mentioned before that I like to get up early to spend an hour or so writing before the rest of the day takes over.
I usually enjoy this time; my desk is next to an open window and just outside is a splendid example of a mature Murraya bush with the most heavenly perfume. On good days, the sun brightens the flowers on the roses and the soft early morning breezes really get my energy going.
The problem is – there have not been that many good days recently. We are in the middle of a tropical depression; and all around me I see grey skies, lowering clouds, and incessant rain. The flowers on the roses hang down, sadly sodden with moisture, and the heavy rains have blasted the perfumed flowers off the Murraya and they lie in a broken heap around its feet.
In such circumstances it becomes difficult to maintain a positive bright outlook on what tasks we have to hand. I would love to get out and prune back the Night Scented Jasmine, but it is raining quite heavily; and I have noticed from my bedroom window that the Cooktown orchid which blessed the Acacia tree is now hanging down drunkenly; a victim of a savage rainstorm last night – so I am soon going to have to get out the galoshes and the secateurs and affect repairs.
It is becoming a struggle to remember the simple basics that I teach about self-talk. I really found myself beginning to slip, as once more I sat down at the computer with such thoughts as:
‘Another miserable day I see; what’s going to get destroyed in the garden today. It’s hardly worth doing anything until this weather changes –if it ever does!”
Now I ask you – what kind of a start to the day is that!
Haven’t I preached all along that what we think affects the way we feel? Am I not the one that tells my clients that “you are a product of your own thinking?” Of course I am! So I need to revisit the principles of positive self-talk; and if you are experiencing the same type of weather as here in South East Queensland then maybe this might help you too!
Regardless of the temptation to believe otherwise, the truth is that I am in control of my own thoughts. It is what I choose to think about that affects the way I feel; I know that, and the recent period of unpleasant weather has merely highlighted the truth of it.
Grey skies; constant rain and sodden garden are merely the triggers – I can focus on the depressive nature of it all or I can glory in the fact that the garden is at last getting the water that it needs. The dams here are filling up to almost 98% – something that hasn’t happened for many years. In fact we were far more familiar with drastic water restrictions than the abundance that we now enjoy.
You see, simply changing the focus of my thoughts has brought a new perception of the situation.
The Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, who lived from 563BC to 483 BC knew a thing or two when he said “The mind is everything, what you think you become” He went on to found the Buddhist religion so he practiced what he preached. So you see the concept is nothing new.
There seems to be a perception that the principle of Positive Self Talk is a New Age thingy; and that rational, logical thinkers rightly dismiss it. But we see from the above that over two thousand years ago Buddha was teaching the same ideas that I am today.
Regardless of whether we are a new age hippie or a logical thinker we all talk to ourselves; as Juliene Berk points out :
‘We all have voices in our heads which talk to us on an almost constant basis. Our voices give us messages continually, and what they say to us affects us.’
So if we know the problem, why can’t we correct it?
It’s because we underestimate the deliberate and constant attention to the simple solution – it is repetition of positive self-talked created to impress the changed ideas onto our brain that solves the problem.
Denis Waitley, the author and Motivational Speaker knows that ‘Relentless, repetitive self talk is what changes our self-image.”
Relentless and Repetitive – these are strong words; it takes determination and absolute focus to achieve it.
It’s like a litany, everywhere we turn we find people who say the same thing – Henry Thoreau, from his wilderness retreat and his diet of beans, instinctively understood that the solution to negativity was hard, mental work:
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
So, mentally pulling my socks up, I am once again able to take on the grey skies and miserable weather and see the positive outcomes for the life of the earth; to appreciate the opportunity that being house-bound gives me to focus more on my writing and less on my gardening.
I’m feeling better already – and look; the skies are clearing and the sun is beginning to struggle out from behind the clouds.
According to the forecast it will not last, but I am prepared to enjoy it while it does, and put the alternative to good use when it changes.
Now that’s turning grey skies into sunshine.
Michele @ Trischel