The land of (good) opportunities; our lives

our little old guy, Noah (a sweet, sweet cat!)

I woke up on Wednesday morning with a new resolve to focus my mind only on the good. To look for the good in myself and in others, talk about the good in Life, write and think about the goodness of this world. I’ve known (seriously known) for a while that we get what we focus on and that if I’m looking for what is wrong with something (or someone), that quality will be magnified until it seems like that is all they are.

It is odd that it can seem so much easier (and even more natural) to do this, than to look for what is right and refuse to entertain the negative. And yet at our core, we are all Love, we are all growing tips of God-consciousness, and the most “natural” thing for us to do is to express that…and we have hundreds of opportunities to do just that everyday.

On Wednesday,  I woke with the thought,

“Before I really knew about the power of my mind to create, I created a fair amount of crap,…a lot of good, but some not-so-good too, and I’m going to let myself off the hook for all of those years when I was less conscious about what I was doing. But now I know, and I don’t want to be sitting here, 25 years from now, thinking, ‘I knew this stuff when I was in my 50’s. I was just too lazy and undisciplined to focus my mind.'” That would feel like a lost opportunity to me.

Every thought presents another opportunity to choose which way to turn, and like little tiny steps taken in the right direction, they will lead us into more happiness, more love, more connection…more of the life of our dreams.

“A man who is happy seldom tells anyone. The unhappy man is more communicative. He is eager to recite what is wrong with the world and seems to have talent for gathering a large audience. It is a modern tragedy that despair has so many spokesmen, and hope so few.” Oscar Hammerstein

 

20 thoughts on “The land of (good) opportunities; our lives

  1. As with the breaking of any habit, new neural pathways and ‘high’ways must be constructed. And it really takes constant vigilance and a tremendous commitment. I have been working along with your blog and have slowly been retraining my negative thought patterns. I have met with some wonderful successes, and also some failures – though I try not to see them as such now -more just as a part of the process.

    The most difficult thing has been staying focused, as I sometimes am easily sidetracked. I am at a point in my life where I am really trying to “chant the beauty of the good” while I currently am moving into unfamiliar territory. I have a lot on my mind right now – and it would be so easy to become absorbed in negative thinking.

  2. Lynne, you have said it for me perfectly! Keeping my focus on the positive is hard WORK!

    Thank you Mary for reinforcing this mind set for us and thank you expecially for pictures of your beautiful kitties! Loving connections are the ultimate goal for me and when I falter I bring to mind the story or your rescue of Noah, his recognition of your voice and your loving response as the model to which I aspire.

    Love from Fran

  3. I had a 6-week summer teaching assignment, 4 days a week starting at 8 AM. I had to wake up at 5.30 to make it on time. The first couple of weeks, when the alarm went off, I groaned and moaned as I stumbled out of bed. I was so exhausted after a 2-hour class, I’d come home and take a nap. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get myself to think differently.

    Then I decided not to worry about the thoughts, but simply to focus on changing my behavior. So when the alarm went off, I started saying “Yea, just 4 more weeks and I’m finished. Thank you, Lord!” Within about a week, I stopped taking naps, started taking a walk in the early evening, and became a lot more productive during the day.

    Sometimes, I think it’s easier (for me) to change a behavior and let the thoughts and emotions be gently seduced into following.

    Thanks again for a great post, Mary!

  4. Having grown up around negative people, I’ve been focusing on looking for the good in every day and if every person. It sure has made a difference.
    p.s. Mary, we had a cat named Noah and he was the sweetest, most laid back (and goofy) cat we’ve had.

  5. Mary – I read your blog daily and enjoy your perspective on life and thoughts. I was looking up a quote for my friend’s birthday today and thought you might appreciate it since you give me so many wonderful quotes. I even have a word document saved as “Mary Quotes” and store the ones that I can really relate to or want to keep. Maybe you already know this one:

    “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” ~Stephen R. Covey

  6. Good post, Mary. This is an area in which we all seem to be struggling, especially those of us who were raised with a negative color around our lives. There are days when I can be positive and happy all day, with no effort. And there are other days when, I don’t know why, I get up and I am negativity personified. Sometimes I wonder if we don’t have chemical changes in our bodies on certain days that influence how we think.

    In any event, I salute us all. We are trying. I guess that makes us warriors….not a bad title to carry!

    Looking at Noah’s picture is enough to make anyone happy.

  7. Amazing insight, Mary. I also like what Lynne B. said so eloquently in response. I aspire to “chanting the good,” and I am consciously working on changing my thoughts about certain people and circumstances in my life that seem to automatically bring up a negative feeling. It is hard work! There is much positive and good in my life too and I celebrate that vigorously.
    Tonight I am going to see one of my favorite artists, BB King, who will no doubt sing some very awesome blues. Kind of ironic that a a whole genre of music about hardship and trial could be so uplifting! But there you have it!

  8. The part of your quote “despair has so many spokesmen” is exactly why it is so important to pay attention to what we allow ourselves to be watching, listening to, reading. There are so many bad news bears out there! Telling us this is the slowest recovery blah blah blah since WWII. (front page of Phoenix paper today) I wonder, back in the day, when entire countries were in shambles after the war and were rebuilding if there was as much talk and complaining of how bad everything was, or if that is a virus peculiar to our time of 24 hour news stations, etc. I’m not saying stick your head in the sand, but there is always beauty to be experienced, no matter what age we come into this world. Thanks Mary – I’m copying this entire post and printing it out. Including sweet Noah, how sage like he looks crowning the top of the White Feather Post for Today!

    • me too, susan. i’m printing out today’s post as are you. so glad this blog is about positive vibes and aspirations for the uplifting of consciousness. i want to stay in the “happy” camp.

      i love noah’s nibbled-off ear. thanks mary, you’re a dear soul.

  9. It certainly makes for a better day if you can do that. I have a gratitude journal I keep notes in, of all the great things that happened in each of my days. I’ve recently seen on Pinterest the “New Years Jar”…that for every great thing that you saw or did or was grateful for you write it on a slip of paper and put it in a jar. Then on New Year’s Eve you take the jar out and read the great things that happened to you that year. Looking for the good in life, it’s what lifts us.

    • Catherine, I too keep a gratitude journal but I love the idea of the “New Years Jar.” I would think that keeping the jar out in a very visible spot would bring a sense of happiness every day just by glancing its way and being reminded that the notes inside each represented something good that happened. Reading them all on New Year’s Eve would be the icing on the cake.

      Come 1/1/13, there will be a jar on my kitchen counter! Thanks so much for sharing this great idea.

  10. Sign me up ! I feel as though I have been skirting around the edges of a more expansive reality and realize that I have been lazy in taking responsibility for my part in creating it. With that acknowledged, I now commit to the discipline and the discernment necessary to raise my energy, to create the life that is possible and to welcome the beauty and the good. I’ve seen it happen and I know it works and am grateful for the reminder to Focus ! Thanks Mary.

  11. I’ve often wondered why it’s easier to be negative, but I figured that’s just how I was raised. Takes an effort to look for the good in everything, but I’m working on it! Mary, I love love love the photos of your cats! Do keep them coming!
    Thank you!

  12. Dear Mary, thank you for your commitment to goodness! And thank you to all your blog followers who echo this reality. The power of positive thinking is one of the greatest mysteries of science and a yet it is a cornerstone to higher consciousness. Sometimes we don’t need to know how it works, just that it does. Today’s post is filled with everlasting goodness and I am so grateful for being able to participate in that!

  13. It is so true, Mary, it’s easier for people to see the negative than the positive. Nearly everyone here has expressed words I can relate to. I’ve had two experiences in my life which has brought me into contact with negative people. The first, I terminated after ten years of living with it; the second, I decided that I needed to look at myself and learn how to deal with it more effectively for myself and thus for the person with whom I was living though I’m not responsible for ‘making him happy’ other than relieving him of my stress. I’ve found Jon Katz’s blog and yours has given me more awareness of my own ‘stories’ that play over in my mind and how I relate them to others…and yes, most of what has happened has been uncontrolled by me but it’s how I relate to them now rather than in the past that matters. I don’t know how you refresh yourself and manage to come up with new thoughts, new inspirations as you do but they seem bang on the mark for many of us here and we’re all fortunate to begin our day with them.
    SandyP in Canada

  14. I think I might just say ‘ditto’ seventeen times!!!! I love your message today Mary and all of the inspiring, comforting reactions to it! One of my favorite sentences is “…I created a fair amount of crap…and I’m going to let myself off the hook for all of those years when I was less conscious…”. Me too. I like the acknowledgement and the letting go. And I understand the potential for lost opportunity and of our daily choice. My intent is to make better choices…choice of thought. Despair seeks despair. Happiness seeks happiness. I am Happy…and I want to share it here. It feels good to say it…and even better to write it..Thank you! XOXO

  15. As Jon K. says, beware of the lamenters. I can’t listen to them and find the negativity draining and potentially contagious.
    Noah looks so sweet, I want to kiss my computer!

  16. your post reminded me of something I would like to share. Being a Pittsburgher (home of Fred Rogers) and a grandma, I can say that Mister Rogers, though deceased, is an important person in our family. A new animated series called Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, created by Family Communications, Fred Roger’s production company, will premier in Sept. I was visiting the web site for the program with my grand daughter, 5, the other day. We found a video called “Strategy Song – when something seems bad turn it around and find something good.”
    Daniel sings that when bad things like a rainy day, a ruined painting, a dropped birthday cake happen, we can “turn them around and find something good,” and gives examples. It’s a catchy tune – and I have found several occasions to sing it with my grand daughter when she has been grumpy or negative about some disappointment. We adults can remember the message of the song, sing along, and learn the same lesson that kids can from our dear Mister Rogers and his neighborhood — you can find the video here – just click on Strategy Song http://pbskids.org/daniel/videos/
    I hope you and your readers will like it as much as my grand daughter and I do.

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