“A negative thought can be sensed before it reaches the mind…”
When I read this discerning statement this morning during my mediation time, I wrote in my journal:
“I would add, in addition to negative thoughts, the same is true of thoughts of loss and self-pity. So many times I focus on what I can no longer do—my losses. But what would happen if I reverse this practice and think about what I’m still capable of doing, and what I still have? I’ve been chalking up my losses way too often. And I certainly haven’t been conscious of ‘sensing’ my negative thoughts, and detouring them from entering my mind.”
I vowed I would try to be more proactive with my screening, deleting the negatives and inviting in the positives.
I started making a list of what I am still capable of and the blessings I still enjoy…
“Reading, Writing, Walking
Speaking/conversing with family and friends
Family, friends, who I know love me
My home, my pets, ice cream, chocolate, embroidery, some TV shows, theater performances, nature shows, train trips to my college friends in Milwaukee, my college friends of fifty years and our gatherings
The birds that grace me with their visits, Pandora, my plants, my therapy sessions with my psychologist
My Baha’i Faith, the change of seasons, my daily readings, TIME to make choices, and time to do nothing at all, my children, my grandchildren and now a great granddaughter, my yoga sessions, my walks with Keith and our dogs around the lake in town, the research studies I’m able to participate in.”
There were more, but you get the gist.
I ended the entry with a “WOW! What a mood changer!”
I’ve posted this list on my refrigerator door to help remind me that I can filter out the negative thoughts before they take root in my mind, and so I can add to it. I also added a quote from Viktor Frankl:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
I’m in my infancy regarding this skill. I still experience a silent groan when I can’t find something, can’t remember a name, or stumble in my speech, but I’m better at not allowing the thought to take up residence—at least some of the time. I remind myself of the definition of practice, by Webster: “a repeated performance of systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency.”
Which reminds me another positive: I’m human.