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Call it Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or call it ancient wisdom, but I have learned that in order to change the outer circumstances of my life I must change my thinking.

I know there are some people in this world who believe that this simply isn't so, because I've met them.  But I've tested this concept in my life many times, and I've read enough literature, and now science has proved it.

Consider:

  • The Bible tells us that as we believe, we will receive.
  • Ernest Holmes, founder of Centers for Spiritual Living,  has dozens of books, all talking about changing our thinking to change our lives.  Here is a quote from The Art of Life, "Since you are fundamentally a mental  being, you can think yourself into being unhappy and depressed or you can think yourself into being glad."
  • Quantum physics:  I am not a scientific sort of person, but in my quantum physics class I learned that there is scientific proof that our thoughts have power.  The Observer Effect comes to mind, where it was proved that scientists effect the outcome of their experiments simply by observing them.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been tested and developed through many scientific studies as a very effective way to change one's life, and it begins with changing your thinking.

If you are having problems in your life, or you wish to change a circumstance in your life, or simply want to open up to  new possibilities in  your life,  the place to begin is with your thoughts.

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I woke up this morning, and as is my usual practice, looked out my window to see what Mother Nature was up to this fine morning. I noticed that a storm had moved in while I slept, and was hovering over the mountains west of me. This is the normal weather pattern here in my neck of the woods, and I wondered if the storm would make it over the mountains to gives us valley folks some moisture. As I sat and contemplated all the metaphorical meanings of this, a rainbow appeared! It was almost magical, one minute it was not there and the next minute it was.

I love rainbows. To me, they are a reminder to always look for the good. For there is good in every situation. Even in the midst of stormy times, there is good.

Using Mother Nature as a metaphor is a valuable practice for me. Storms have to come. They provide much needed moisture. In the mountains they provide snow, which brings visitors for ski season, which bring jobs. In this valley, the moisture from the storms facilitates the vast acreage of pasture land here, which feeds the cows and horses, which provide jobs, recreation and food. People like to complain during the storms, but I stopped doing that since I realized the storms were a metaphor for life. Storms are necessary for life to proceed.

We all have storms in our lives. Changes, loss and illness, all are the storms of life, and rainbows cannot form unless there are storms. So when I see a storm, I always look for the rainbow. Likewise, when I have a storm in my life, I always look for the good.

In this way, I can, even in the midst of sadness or anger or any of the other feelings I might be experiencing, know that there is good in this experience, and there will continue to be good. There will always be a rainbow.

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minicard_template_usLately I've had some clients that are extremely intelligent.  We're talking genius IQ level here.  Being smart has a lot of benefits, but sometimes we can be too smart for our own good.  Smart people tend to think....and think.....and think.....and many times the ways in which they think don't serve them too well. They are consumed with negativity, lack of confidence, doubt and all those other patterns of thinking that just don't contribute to a higher quality of life.

If you find yourself in the category of perhaps being too smart for  your own good, here are some things to try:

  • Remember that you can change the pattern of your thinking.  This isn't easy, it is like changing any other habit, it takes conscious effort at first.  You simply redirect your thinking, as you would the attention of a child who is misbehaving.  Every time you have a thought that doesn't really serve you, move the focus of your thoughts from negativity to something more positive.
  • Try not to be such a smarty pants.  In other words, try to move from the intellectual to the emotional or feeling tone.  Or, to put it another way, try to get out of your head and into your heart.  Again, this will take conscious effort at first.
  • Meditate.  Meditation is about focus, not about clearing your mind.  Repeated attempts to focus your mind will train the mind, so that it behaves better.  Focus on a word, such as the one in the photo above, or a mantra, or a phrase, or do a walking meditation where you remain totally mindful of your surroundings and the placement of your feet.

I'd love to hear about how you turn your thoughts from the negative to the positive!

KAL_3387Has it ever happened to you:  that feeling that you are NEVER going to get it all done...NEVER!  I know it has happened to me.

It is called overwhelm, and I think it happens to all of us occasionally.  Overwhelm can be caused by a number of things, but usually it is because you have said "yes" to too many things.  The second most common cause of overwhelm is projection:  you are thinking about some point in the future instead of right now.  Overwhelm has a tendency to stop us in our tracks, there might be a feeling that there is so much to do that we might as well sit down and do nothing, because there is no way to get it all done.

Here are some things you can do to prevent overwhelm:

  • Say no.  If you can't say  no, the invitation is to take a look at that.  Why can't you say no?  Usually there is some underlying fear that causes this.  Fear of displeasing someone, fear of not being included, fear of not being accepted.  Take a good hard look at what you have said "yes" to and see if you can remove any of those yesses from your life.
  • Live in the moment.  The Buddhists have it right when they say  mindfulness is the key to peace.  Don't think about yesterday, it is a done deal.  Don't think about tomorrow, it hasn't happened yet.  Think about right now.
  • Break it down.  I don't know about you, but I can do anything for an hour.  I may not be able to even contemplate doing it for a day, but I can do it for an hour.  If you have a number of tasks in front of you, pick one and work on it for an hour.  Then give yourself permission to take a break.  Then do it again.

And if you have a pattern of feeling overwhelmed, consider that it may  not be serving you.  It might serve you better to get some help to change that.

I can help, contact me.

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