Hold that thought

Sidewalk outside, August First Cafe, in Burlington, VT

One thing that I have come to see, both in myself and others, is when we are getting close to a breakthrough; when a new opening or opportunity is just about to come into our lives, this is often the time that we experience the feelings of being “attacked”, where inner or outer conflict and struggle can intensify.

What we do during this time (in thought, words and action), will determine if we go through the door, into the new life that we have been wanting to experience, or cave-in and turn away in anger or discouragement with thoughts like, “I’ve faced this same old scenario, same old struggle, 1000 times. It will never change. I will never change. I’ve tried it before and it doesn’t work.” There is the temptation to think that we are doing something wrong; that if we were “doing life correctly” we wouldn’t be experiencing these thoughts and feelings. We tend to forget, that every one of us is on the “Hero’s Journey”, which by definition involves struggle at times, overcoming, and advancement into new and higher levels of awareness and life experience.

I was in that space the other day. I could feel discouragement like a heavy blanket on me. I had the thought, “I don’t see how this is going to get better”, about a situation in my life.  I went for a run and started asking for help. It is a curious thing that for all of the tools that I know, have used successfully, and taught others, I suddenly forget about, when I myself need them most.

Of course I couldn’t see how it could get better. We hardly ever see how things will work out. As I ran along, the thought, “You are at the door” came into my mind, followed by a sense of relief. This is the time to intensify positive affirmations, to focus on my desire, and not to entertain those low-energy thoughts. If I have faced a situation 1000 times before, and have had the same old negative thoughts/feelings about it, then of course it is going to turn out the same. Just the thought, “This won’t change.” is such a powerful affirmation for keeping life from changing. The past does not have to repeat itself.

As I picked up the pace on my  run, I also started to say, “I am really in a great place. I have never been here before. Something great and new is about to happen. I am so ready. This is the best time in my life. I am so grateful to be here.” On and on, as I ran, I felt myself getting more optimistic, happier and lighter.

Imagine what you want your life to be. Today is a new day. Think a new and a happier thought and hold that thought for a minute. Then think it again and again.

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer“. Ralph Waldo Emerson

43 thoughts on “Hold that thought

  1. You are in a great place Mary! You were able to know, understand, ask for support, use your resources, and thus demonstrate to others! I have never thought it out so clearly! Thank you!!!! Thank you!!! You have given yet another gift!

  2. This relates so much to what I am going through right now with a major life change due to retirement and a medical condition I’m trying to overcome. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Mary, you always seem to know just the right thought to share! this was just what I needed to hear this morning, I’m actually going to print it out to reread throughout the day. Changing my habitual thinking of things like ” I can’t do it ” or “it’s going to be too hard “etc is an ongoing daily process and your thoughts are so helpful. As the new year begins I’m excited to see how the positive affirmations I’ve been using will bring new experiences into my life.

    • Thank you Renee…Changing our thoughts is an on-going process for us all…so glad that we are all in this together!

  4. Mary, you are a blessing! I have a possible change in my life and I’ve gone from being optimistic to the dreaded fear that it won’t, maybe I’ll mess something up or a thousand other things. I am going to do just what you did and I know the outcome will be just fine. I just recently discovered your blog, and always look forward to reading your posts. Thank you!! Syl

  5. Mary, I love how you use your own life experiences and fold in wisdom and lessons for us all. I have always been a person of prayer, but positive thinking and affirmations are newer to me, thank you for showing me the way.
    And to my fellow WFF friends, you are wonderful human beings, I look forward to all comments, I think of you all often and am sending many blessings for a happy, healthy 2012. May we live it with passion!

  6. Loved this message! It’s particularly helpful as we start a new year- wanting to have the courage to move forward despite feeling some of the same old fears and negative thoughts. Thank you Mary!

  7. Good morning, Mary! You have such wonderful clarity about all the “little things” that make up our lives. I think the definition of life IS change … some changes just seem to loom larger than others. Relaxing and releasing the lock in our minds about “how” something will turn out allows grace to enter that open door. Reminding myself that no matter how a situation resolves itself, it’s always for my benefit helps to keep me centered and just keeps me able to put one foot in front of the other time and time again.

    Happy New Year!

    • Laurie, I read the posts from everyone this morning, but tonight checking in again, and re-reading yours, your encouraging words are ones I needed to hear: Relax and release the lock in one’s mind – allow grace to enter the open door – and there is always benefit in whatever resolution. May sound petty, but my husband is all in a tither about where we are going to spend New Year’s Eve, here – (which means another marathon in the kitchen) or going to one of our son’s homes and let them start traditions. Well you can imagine what I’m hoping for, – new traditions! and a night out, but I will keep this in mind, no matter how it turns out, it will all be for good. (I hope!) I guess because we talk here so often about living in the moment, cherishing the present, New Year’s Eve sort of seems like a ‘poser’ – every single day is a new day, and the only one we have, – NYE is a big marketing ploy for another party, but then again, I’ve given so many, I’m just worn out from them. Thanks for letting me vent.

  8. Hi Mary and all! Wow. I’ve been in front of that door and experienced similar thoughts and hesitation, sometimes indecision, to walk on through. At once thinking it will be locked and at the same time wanting to burst right through. We can put up so many thought barriers. Having just returned from Christmas travel, reading the recent three posts and comments presents such a wonderful road map! It helps to feel certain that we hold the key. Your thought of the upward spiral is so inspiring. What a wonderful time to remind us of this Mary! You are on the brink of something great Mary! Sending all my positive energy and love your way!

  9. I have to echo what Terri said, Mary, about your using your own life and thoughts to help bring lessons to us that we all need. It helps so much to learn that sometimes you struggle with your life and emotions just like everyone else does.

    I think it’s human nature to assume that those who “teach” never suffer a minute of discouragement; that they have it all together and go along easily, slaying all the dragons. You, Mary, never teach better than when you open up about yourself and how you are feeling. And then you end it with THE most perfect quote!

    I am facing a possible health situation about which I will know fully in 2 1/2 weeks. I intend to immerse myself in all the lessons from today’s post to keep my mind from going into the dreaded pit. Thank you for today’s gift….just one of many from you.

    • Suzanne, most definitely you will be in my prayers. When I light my candle the mornings I do my yoga practice, if there is someone I want to dedicate my practice to on that day, I light that candle for that person, and today it will be you. Much love and a hug!

    • Suzanne, I echo our other friends here in sending you love, hugs, warm fuzzies, and peace of mind and heart. Please know that you will be in my prayers for vibrant health. Blessings and a joyful day to you!

    • Thank you Suzanne, and we will be holding you in our thoughts and prayers for a positive unfolding of your situation. Love and a big hug, Mary

    • Suzanne, a brigade of positive warriors surround you with loving, healing and resolute energies—and a trampoline at the bottom of the pit to bounce you back into a feather bed of family and health. Stay strong.

      • Wonderful words Cheryl…I can feel us all gathering around a trampoline made of light and love right now

    • Thanks to all of you for your good wishes, your hugs, your prayers and your good energy. I don’t think I have to tell you all how very much this means to me because I know that you already know.

      As the unverse would have it, I serendipitously made contact today with someone who knows of a really honored Reiki practitioner. I was encouraged to set up a session with her prior to my having to go for my test, not only to calm me but to balance my state of health. I was grateful for that ‘accidental’ meeting and then I came on-line to find your sweet words of support.

      Life can get no better than this! Love you all.

  10. Oh, Mary, Mary, Mary. . . This is my birthday (# 60, the “oh s#%t how did that happen birthday). I had a restless night stewing about everything in (and not in) my life and work and family worries, until I suddenly woke up with the thought: “You have all the tools you need.” Not the thought that I have everything I need (much less everything I want, or think I want), but that I have all the tools I need.

    I just have the overwhelming feeling that I need to intensify and somehow “purify” my focus and effort and intention, while staying alert and open. Does that make any sense?

    • Happy Birthday Jill! And welcome to club 1951! Seems like there are a bunch of us who turned 60 this year…your feeling the need to purify focus and effort and intention resonates deeply with me. Sounds like a personal mission statement…hope you don’t mind if I adopt it too! Cheers for a wonderful day!

    • Wow—As a member of the ’51 club, I must say it was a vintage year!! Who knew that so many of us, from near to far, would find our way home, here on the Farm.
      Okay, close your eyes; put yourself back in front of that 12 inch black and white console Zenith TV screen; don your Mouseketeer Club ears as I sing you Happy Birthday!! See, 60 can feel kinda fun again 🙂
      [And you inspired me to attempt an ode; check out Maria’s website.]

    • Happy birthday, Jill! And if you are saying “oh s#%t how did that happen,” today….just wait ’til you turn 69! You’re gonna say a whole lot worse. 😉

      Have a beautiful day. And hang around some old people……you’ll feel like a baby again.

  11. Jill, I love that! We do have all the tools we need, – we just have to have the courage to use them, and if one doesn’t work, then there’s another that will, and if Ralph Waldo is right, maybe it really is as simple as hanging on that extra five minutes. Wow, what a thought. To persevere but with calm and faith. And Jill, I too was born in 1951, so you’re not only turning sixty. Do something fun just for Jill today! I’ll light my yoga candle for Suzanne, and eat a piece of something good in your honor! Mary, I’ve noticed that you often find an insight to something that is troubling you when you take it out with you on a run! I wonder if the fresh air, the endorphins that they say are a runner’s natural high, – I wonder if simply moving WITH our concerns, even on a walk, could help to get us out of the box where we feel stuck. By physically moving forward while embracing whatever it is we need to deal with, it is already symbolic of moving ahead. I won’t forget to be brave, or patient, or even hold my tongue, just five minutes longer. Thank you Mary for always finding those perfect quotes – they’re like the icing on the Mary Cake. We love you!

    • HI Susan! I love the idea of moving WITH our concerns. Instead of sitting and stewing…get up and move with them! Love that thought and the symbolism of moving ahead and/or upward. Thanks!

  12. Mary, you are a born teacher and I admire the way you share your own challenges to enlighten us all.

    You are so right about the “Hero’s Journey” aspect of life; how easy it is to forget that, but how comforting it is when we do remember! Wishing golden winged sandals and magical helpers to all as we make our way along the path…

  13. Hello Mary, I am a first time visitor via Jon’s blog. Every positive person I am led to in turn leads me to another. I plan to return again to dig a little deeper here – where the air appears fresh and inviting. It’s been a pleasure so far.

    • Welcome John! I think a lot of us have Jon to thank for, first and foremost for his wonderful blog, and for sending us on down the road to Mary’s. Best wishes in the New Year!

  14. PURR-fect timing Mary! A quote: “there is nothing more constant than change . . . ” Thank you for putting YOURSELF out there for us and “stirring our pots!” A blessed new year to one and all. PEACE.

    • Oh thank you! …writing this blog and sharing my life with you, is fulfilling beyond words.

  15. Mary, What a lovely and timely homily this is. We are going through some difficult employment,health care and financial issues right now. I will take your encouraging words to heart.
    When we say grace each dinnertime we always pray to stay grateful. I loved the picture of that sidewalk!
    Peace, Cindy

  16. Today is a new day, thanks Mary….

    it is so easy/familiar to get “stuck” …on our “Hero’s Journey” …
    wishing all WFF bloggers… peace, love and joy ….on this new day,
    the last Wednesday of 2011…

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