This post has been swirling in my head since I made my intentions and wrote my 2012 Future Letter.
What I didn’t expect was to be in such dire need of this advice myself at this very moment.
You see, I digest a lot of spiritual, self-help(ish), business, and intention material. About 40% of the books, tv shows, podcasts, and blogs I consume focus on these themes. It’s a personal passion that has been a part of me my whole life and serves my purpose pretty well, too.
Some passionate accountants have been tracking expenses since they were a kid. Where as I was nicknamed Inner Peace on my seventh grade basketball team and my AIM screen name in high school was InnerPeace40. Yeah, I was that cool.
But back to the point: in all of the messages I have absorbed, one theme has been bubbling to the surface lately: we have the power to choose what we think and say, which will impact how we will eventually feel.
The opposite of this would be to think and believe whatever silly, mindless, hurtful, or fearful thing pops in our head and believe it as fact. I personally don’t regulate my thoughts that much, and therefore have more of these negative thoughts than I’d like.
And I want to change that.
To make this metal shift, I have realized that I am going to need to start observing my thoughts more carefully and find out where my attention lies. Just like in yoga class, I want to start noticing my thoughts at my desk, in my bed, on the bus, and while blow drying my hair.
Naturally, I fluctuate between positive moods and negative ones. And there is a symbiotic relationship between the mood I’m feeling and the thoughts I’m having. Both fuel one another.
So by changing what I’m thinking about, I’m hoping that I can over time influence my mood and reactions to things that happen day to day.
However, the first thing that comes to mind is affirmations. Then I immediately think of hippy dippy crystals, meditation chant circles, and Vegan ice cream sundaes.
Not that there is anything wrong with those things, but despite my new-age childhood nickname, I don’t relate to them naturally. Though spiritual, I don’t balance my chakras and therefore, I associate affirmations with things that don’t feel like me.
So to change that, I chose to look at the same habit in a different way. I “re-branded,” if you will, the idea of affirmations and came up with a term that sits with me a bit better: focus points.
Since we naturally always have a focus point, whether it’s chosen or not, we can stop and identify what we are centering on. And then we can choose to shift the focus to a more positive one, if needed.
For myself personally, I’m hoping to shift my focus point when I’m feeling stressed out or thinking about work after hours, to more positive beliefs about the situation or more presence.
I also have a theory that I’m excited to test out: I think I have the ability to get much more enjoyment out of fun things like hanging out with friends or Mr. Lively if I just take a moment to reflect on the fun I’m having and the moment that I’m experiencing.
Too often I don’t let really cool experiences sink in. I can be distracted by a negative focus point in a totally different area of my life that is completely separate from the present, fun, moment. By reflecting, even in the good times, on my focus point, I think I’ll enjoy life more.