With the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, there has been a lot of talk about "change" and optimism. Some even think we have been hearing about it too much during a time in which many are experiencing significant crisis. Yet, while some have an easy time maintaining a generally optimistic outlook, others are asking, "What the hell is there to be optimistic about?"
Personally, I feel that there is a lot to be optimistic about. For instance, we can be optimistic about the fact that we have a compassionate president who is willing to stand in the shoes of those who hold opposite points of view and willing to admit when he makes a mistake. However, when we are riding the 401-k roller coaster, experiencing the worst unemployment rate in 25 years and moving through the trials of a heinous economy, it can be an elusive experience. Nonetheless, I encourage you to explore the role that holding a positive, optimistic point of view can play in your life even through these trying times. However, to do that, it takes a bold and courageous leap into acceptance for all things, good and bad, past and present.
I can hear some of you thinking, "I can't take ownership for Wall Street screwing me over and losing my job," Of course, I'm not suggesting that you have caused all of the circumstances of your life, but rather that your experience of circumstances, therefore, your reality, is based on your response to these circumstances. How you react to any given situation is the result of an internal choice you make. Therefore, it is within your realm to accept and take ownership for your experience. When you take ownership you are empowered to make enlightened, conscious choices that can support you in focusing on the positive, and what is in your life for which you can be grateful.
Victor Frankl was a Psychiatrist in Berlin, Germany who was a survivor of Auschwitz. It was during his time in Auschwitz that he made this discovery: "The one thing you can't take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one's freedoms is to choose ones attitude in any given circumstance." In addition in Ben Sherwood's book The Survivor's Club: The Secrets and Science That Could Save Your Life, he provides a significant overview of research that illustrates that one's attitude and faith are essential to overcoming tragic, dire circumstances.
One's outlook can play a key role in co-creation, the symbiotic relationship that forms when you allow spirit to be in the driver's seat of your life while simultaneously making informed, empowered choices. When you are powerfully co-creating you emit the high vibrations of love, bliss, joy, gratitude. This level is where the Law of Attraction (so famously demonstrated in The Secret) gets triggered powerfully and allows you to call forth new visions and desires for your life. Defined simply, The Law of Attraction is, "like attracts like, you get what you think about, and you get what you put your energy and focus on whether wanted or unwanted." Therefore, though it can be very challenging, it is critical to shift into an optimistic point of view.
My mother died tragically following seven months of suffering and complications following an elective surgery -- an event that ranks among the most tragic circumstances of my life. I would not trade my mother for anything in the world, however, there are things I had to go through as a result of my mother's death that I am very grateful for. The experience offered deep personal transformation, learning and maturity. Accepting the circumstance inspired my willingness to go within and access the courage to experience gratitude; which continues to shine wisdom and insight into my life.
Recently, I had a client who was laid off. Prior to the lay-off it became clear that she would be taking her career in a different direction than her job. At that time she enrolled in graduate school to pursue something completely different. However, although it was not her passion, she knew that it was not time to leave the job. Then the lay-off happened. When I asked her what the lesson might be that she was getting from this lay off she realized that it spirit's way of putting both of her feet on the path that she was choosing to walk. As a result, she was able to see this lay-off as an affirmation of her new direction. Although this circumstance did present her with challenges it became clear that it served her and this supported her in maintaining a positive perspective.
I encourage you to do what it takes to shift your attention away from what is negative and place it on what it is positive in our life. If need be enlist help from your support network or a professional. Also, there are exercises you can engage in that will support you. Daily I write at least five things I am grateful for in a gratitude journal. I also acknowledge myself for something I am proud of or accomplished during the day. This exercise has helped me to keep my attention on the positive aspects of my life, particularly when in the moments that I have felt like things couldn't get any worse. Actually, when things can't get any worse, guess what? That's when they often start to get better.
If you would like to learn more about shifting your perception from negative to positive e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for Jason's new complimentary e-book: Mind Your Mind; Manage Your Thoughts, Tips to Turn Your Mind Into Your Ally.
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