Many of us are told to never focus on the negative. I’m convinced of the opposite.
As Aristotle postulated, there is a difference between considering worst-case scenarios (for preparation) and believing them as fact. And this is the nuance that we often fail to realize.
How we intentionally steer our mind puts the locus of control on us. We decide the rules of engagement, as opposed to ruminating and mind wandering, where we often feel like we’re on a raging river, unable to steer the boat.
Committing to a practice of visualizing negative outcomes (as the Stoics often did) and reconciling with the hypothetical consequences of these outcomes is a powerful tool in fostering the feeling of gratitude for what we have.
We’ve all heard the mental health benefits of gratitude. But for gratitude to have its desired effect, it can’t simply be an automatic behaviour devoid of feeling.
When we ponder the loss of things we love, it manifests a feeling of gratitude that wells up from our core and leaves an imprint that brightens our day.
Stealing from Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, sometimes we need to walk into the dark to see the light.
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Books I am Reading: Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron
I can’t say enough about Pema Chodron. A prominent Buddhist monk, Pema has been my guide on a journey to increase my compassion. Start Where You Are focuses on this journey, both inwardly and outwardly, however it starts inward.
Self-compassion allows us to truly understand what compassion is. Without having compassion for ourselves, we simply have the knowledge of what compassion should be but never fully understand how that feels.
Pema reminds us that ‘The reason we’re often not there for others… is that we’re not there for ourselves.’
The conversation always needs to Start Where You Are. Thanks Pema.
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