By Marcela Owen
I’ve learned to take difficulties and challenges as a project and even though my knees may be trembling, my hands shaking and my heart pounding out of control feeling like it’s going to fall off, I move forward and I focus on positivity and solutions. Trust me. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to train your mind to do what we want it to do because we are in control. It’s just a matter of mastering this process. Here are some tips/steps that work for me.
- Take several deep breaths. Fill your lungs with fresh air and exhale air out (physically) while envisioning all your troubles flying out of you. Repeat a few times until you feel better. If your mind insists on controlling your body, go for a brisk walk, phone a friend and repeat your breathing exercises.
- Think and focus on three aspects of your life that bring you happiness and joy. Think of family members, close friends, pets and situations that give you warm fuzzy feelings inside. Here are a couple of my favorites, I think of a picture that I look at from time to time where I’m sitting next to my brother and my sister in the back seat of a car. It’s a special picture because we are very young. I’m probably 10, my sister 6 and my brother 13. We are laughing hysterically, it is not just a smile or a simple grin. We have this intense joy written all over our faces. We found something extremely funny and the picture shows the sincerity and authenticity of our laugh. This picture is so special to me because it reminds me of a period in my life that was carefree and full of bliss. I also love that I’m sitting so close to my siblings in this picture because we look so unified and connected.
The picture makes me think of unconditional love and how I felt this love throughout my life and from whom. In another instance I may specifically think of someone that has affected my life and that has influenced me in a positive light. I can think of a handful of people but I’d like to focus on one particular person at a time. My paternal grandmother for example was the kindest, most unselfish, most loving human being I’ve ever known. I had the opportunity to live with my grandparents for 2 years and had the chance to experience direct unconditional love. My grandmother took care of me like a mother takes care of her daughter, and since I lost my mother at a very young age, I didn’t get to receive this kind of love directly from my mother. Thinking of my grandmother and all her acts of unconditional love fill my heart with joy and love. When I think of vivid memories of this love, all my worries and problems seem unimportant. Of course, these problems are still there but my attention and focus shift from that dark place to a very loving, fulfilling place.
- Disconnect from our earthly, material world and connect to your spiritual world. When you link your feelings and state of mind to your spiritual world, earthy problems, issues and challenges become less important. I’ve realized that I’m not in control of my surrounding environment, circumstances and other people’s actions. When I connect to my spiritual world, issues that appeared so critically important and taking over my life suddenly become less important. I’m connecting to my spiritual side and in this space all is harmony, peace and full of love. Nothing can change that.
- Don’t take things, circumstances and people so seriously. As human beings we tend to over think, over analyze and over focus on negative situations. We don’t always understand or know all the reasons why someone else is acting the way they are, we sometimes need to view things from another point of view. Think about compassion and how to practice it. When I apply compassion to any person or situation, everything appears easier to deal with.
- Focus on your dreams, goals and aspirations instead! Why not switch your thinking from dark beliefs to what you truly want and desire. Then make a conscious effort to focus in detail on what you really want to manifest in your life. Take steps to get you closer to your objectives. Write your goals, think about whom you will contact next, research the internet, figure out your budget, join a network group, and just make it fun! Connect with your soul to figure out next steps. Take a task and mold it to bring you closer to your purpose.
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- Stop speculating the future, all potential what ifs, buts and hypothetical notions belong in the garbage. I can’t emphasize enough how important this step can be in your life. Before I realized (and experienced) how much my life has changed since I decided to stop painting all the possible hypothetical situations in the canvas of my mind. My habit of expanding all the possibilities and all probable negative scenarios were literally polluting my heart, my brain and my soul. I would come up with myriad of imaginable scenarios until my brain started to ache. What if this, what if that, they could do this, they could do that, she might this or he might that. Seriously, it was a very debilitating and taunting exercise. I am so thankful to have completely become aware of the benefits of staying away from this frame of mind that it’s simply toxic. Now instead, I focus on all the positive aspects of a bad situation and force myself to take charge of my brain and think or do what’s going to get me closer to accomplishing my goals and aspirations. I concentrate on thoughts that are based on love, peace, joy, compassion and kindness. Trust me, I know this process is difficult to modify, I know it’s not easy to shift gears – especially when we’ve conditioned our brains to operate in this manner for years. But the more we practice changing our thoughts the more we will be able to modify our habits. Changing our habits means that we will ultimately change our actions.
- Commitment to daily meditation and prayer is essential to making any major change in your life. I learned to embrace meditation and prayer a few years ago. I realized that without mental concentration and focus on what I want, my objectives don’t move very fast. Not much is happening. But when I mediate and pray I experience movement and substantial actions that are taking me closer to my finish line. I’m very in tune with my spiritual side, I feel connected to God and that works for me. Each of you will figure out your spiritual path and once you discover what that is, the possibilities are endless!
I’m constantly learning, I’m in learning mode is what I mean. I’m studying how to navigate life better and how to maintain joy in my life no matter what curb balls are thrown at me. I’m learning all about how to take tragedy and convert it to a good outcome. It’s the most difficult, heartbreaking thing to do at times but we are all capable of doing it. We are capable of transforming anything, absolutely anything into a positive outcome. I trust that all situations come together for the good of everyone involved and we just need to make “patience” our friend, let things develop and unfold as they should. Even tragedies and situations that at that particular time, may feel so devastating, all come together for a good, legitimate reason. I have learned to elevate myself and plug into a spiritual realm where I can view things from an objective point of view. I make an effort to detach myself emotionally and to not allow my turmoil to affect how I feel. My goal is to find a way to respond to my problem and go on with life in the most pleasant way possible.