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Compliments of dogwelder via Flickr

One of my dear friends made the above observation. Imagining the worst conditions our minds to conjure musings of the same material. I love what Nepo (2000) says in The Book of Awakening regarding the present moment: “Settle into the miracle of what is.” Racing toward a future that isn’t may just assemble the scenario you distaste.

Focus instead on what you desire; e.g., Jack Canfield describes “reverse paranoia,” or the process of envisioning the best possible circumstance arising from possibilities. If we have a hand in shaping our future, then we must engage in mental gymnastics to overcome the hurdles of what we hold fast. Many times a mind left to itself is the problem – and we are simply not doing enough to occupy our full capacity. If this is true, what could you add to your life? More (and better) relationships, another job, volunteer work, daily devotion to a journal, or, community outreach? There is a multitude of ways to occupy our time, and sometimes it’s just a matter of reaching out to other people.

The army has recently prescribed yoga and meditation to relieve troop stress. A two pronged approach – (1) one that multiples your focus, and (2) the other that produces calm, may be the magic elixir to eliminate the unwanted. Another tack is to focus on what you can control – this in all cases, regardless of the conditions, is your attitude.

Stress is induced not by what we fear, but by the manner in which we face it. Our rendition of reality then depends on the perceptual lenses in use. If we are to be at peace, we must see things as they truly are (and not as the magnified monsters within our minds). In the film “Lady in the Water,” the protagonist is faced with a recurring nightmare of mythic creatures and bizarre occurrences – his own way of dealing with the aftermath of devastation.

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

Lao Tzu

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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