Teenagers aren’t the only ones who go through periods of angst where it seems the whole world is against them and nothing will ever go right. We can pick up on that common attitude very easily without consciously realizing it, because a state of victimhood is rampant in our culture and has been for thousands of years.
We learn as children to look around and decide what we do and don’t like, and when there’s a condition or event that happens that thwarts our wishes, we feel it is being done to us by others, and we’re helpless. Now, of course, as kids, we don’t have the same power to change all of our circumstances that an adult with more freedom of choice would have. But if we learned as children to access the true power of our thinking, we wouldn’t have attracted those unwanted conditions in the first place. In future generations, all this will be common knowledge, and people will use the law of attraction with much more ease than we usually do, because they won’t have to be constantly reminding themselves to “think positive” or “say your affirmations.” It will be just as much habitual thinking as ours is, but superior in its ability to direct the results that come home to roost.
When you get that sinking feeling that everyone is against you, stop and consider this:
“A million people could be pushing against you and it would not negatively affect you unless you push back. That million people pushing against you are affecting their millions of vibrations. They are affecting what happens in their experience. They are affecting their point of attraction, but it does not affect you unless you push against them.”—Abraham-Hicks
Sometimes we read a quotation in an image on Facebook or in a tweet that is being shared, and we glance at it, smile or nod, and pass it along without really taking time to absorb the meaning or see where we might apply it in our habitual actions.
However, when we pause and reflect on a quote that catches our attention, we allow ourselves to learn from its simple wisdom. This is how we grow, how we start making choices that are better, how we slowly but surely create better results in our lives and impact others around us in a positive way.
Here are 10 quotations from the Dalai Lama on various topics:
ANGER & HATRED “Anger or hatred is like a fisherman’s hook. It is very important for us to ensure that we are not caught by it.”
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL “The creatures that inhabit this earth—be they human beings or animals—are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.”
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTION “Instead of wondering WHY this is happening to you, consider why this is happening to YOU.”
COMPASSION “You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things; but with compassion, you must do what you can to stop them — for they are harming themselves, as well as those who suffer from their actions.”
ENEMIES “I defeat my enemies when I make them my friends.”
KNOWLEDGE “Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”
LOOK TO EACH DAY “Let us try to recognize the precious nature of each day.”
SUCCESS “Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.”
VIOLENCE “Through violence, you may ‘solve’ one problem, but you sow the seeds for another.”
WORRY “If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.”
When we look at emotions, at first it can seem like there are so many different ones: happiness, love, compassion, annoyance, hate, despair, confusion, bliss, and so many more in a wide range of changeable feelings. However, if we simplify matters, we can set up two umbrellas, one for “Love” and one for “Fear,” and then place all emotions under the appropriate umbrella. If it’s an emotion that feels good to us when we experience it, then we can put it under the category of “Love.” Most of us were taught that “hate” is the opposite of love, and yet it is more accurate to say that “Fear” is the overall umbrella for what we term the negative emotions. Hatred is an outcropping of fear.
But what can we do about it when we feel in the clutch of fearful emotions? Whether we call it a panic attack, “GAD” (General Anxiety Disorder), disgust, contempt, or nervousness, it comes about when our thoughts have instantaneously judged a situation and sounded an alarm: danger! Get ready to run!
You’ve heard of the “fight or flight” syndrome that pops up with fear—it’s our incredible bodies preparing us with a rush of hormones and energy to defend ourselves or to flee. Nowadays, it’s rare that we are being chased by a sabre-toothed tiger, but our bodies can’t tell the difference between the perceived threat of poverty as you open a credit card bill, or the actual threat of physical danger. Indeed our emotions are tied completely to our thoughts, but the emotion happens so swiftly we don’t often take time to get curious about why we are feeling the way we are in any given moment. It seems to be so random, so out of our control.
But what if you could do something to ease your fears? To make your fears go away? Here is a wonderful affirmation to help you do just that. This comes from Thomas Troward who was a famous philosopher and metaphysical author/teacher early in the last century.
“I am breathing in the life, love and power of the universe right now! I and my father of love are ONE. I am protected and supplied with all the love and power life has to give.”
Repeat that affirmative statement slowly to yourself, again and again until you feel calmer. You will discover that your fear has disappeared. And in that calmer state of being, you will be more capable of making decisions and choices about your life instead of reacting in haste that could lead to worse problems.
Have you ever wanted something very badly and failed to get it? Of course you have. We all have had that experience as it is a common one. In generations to come, it will become less common as more and more people learn to access the true power of their minds. But in the meantime, during this transition from Old Worldview (life is a struggle and stuff just happens to us randomly that we have to deal with) to New Worldview (life is an adventure and we create it).
An important distinction to make, that you can begin practicing right now, is to understand the structure beneath our creations. Most of us learned to wish for something and then give up when it either didn’t turn up right away or began to look too difficult or outside our area of expertise. We didn’t have the correct tools to do what we wanted, as if we were trying to build a wooden table and only had a giant log and a nail file to work with.
In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill states in his chapter on “Desire”:
There is a difference between WISHING for a thing and being READY to receive it. No one is ready for a thing, until he believes he can acquire it. The state of mind must be BELIEF, not mere hope or wish.
Open-mindedness is essential for belief. Closed minds do not inspire faith, courage, and belief.
Remember, no more effort is required to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity, than is required to accept misery and poverty. A great poet [Jessie Belle Rittenhouse] has correctly stated this universal truth through these lines:
“I bargained for Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.
For Life is just an employer,
He gives you just what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, must you bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.”
Perhaps you saw the film “Invictus” starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, captain of South Africa’s national rugby team, who was entrusted with an idea Mandela had to help unite the bitterly divided country following the end of apartheid in 1994.
Invictus is the Latin word for “unconquerable.” The poem of that title, which is an integral part of the film mentioned above, was written by William Ernest Henley at age 26 while he was recovering from a leg amputation due to complications from childhood tuberculosis. Knowing that true story, we can step into Henley’s thoughts and imagine that he wrote this poem as a commitment to himself that he would not give up, no matter what came next.
As a matter of fact, it wasn’t long before his doctors announced that it was necessary to perform a life-saving operation and amputate his other leg, but by then Dr. Joseph Lister, the scientist who championed antisepsis (anti-germs in medical settings and health matters), was on the scene and was able to save the young man’s limb and life.
What in your own life is calling to you to be brave? Perhaps you are struggling with poor health, or financial challenges that just won’t seem to go away. Although it may not seem like it, we always have control over our own thoughts and attitude, and as you learn more about accessing the power of using the natural laws of the mind, you’ll discover you aren’t the victim of circumstances at all, but rather the captain of your soul.
By the time you reach the end of this poem, you’ll recognize an often-quoted excerpt, which has become part of our lexicon: I am the master of my fate/ I am the captain of my soul.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of Chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet this menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll.
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley
(written in 1875; published in 1888)
Russell H. Conwell was a famous author and speaker, and the founder of Temple University. You may have read or heard of his inspirational book Acres of Diamonds about the right way to set and achieve a goal that uses your individual talents and abilities, and capitalizes on being right where you are. You can prosper in any business in any city by learning how to use your mind in the right way. He explains that it’s not true that you must leave home and travel far away to some “other place” to find your opportunities for success. Plenty of opportunities abound wherever you are, if you look for them.
In another of his classic books called What You Can Do with Your Will Power, Conwell wrote, “Every one has within himself the tools necessary to carve out success. Consecrate yourself to some definite mission in life, and let it be a mission that will benefit the world as well as yourself. Remember that nothing can withstand the sweep of a determined will–unless it happens to be another will equally as determined. Keep clean, fight hard, pick your openings judiciously, and have your eyes forever fixed on the heights toward which you are headed. If there be any other formula for success, I do not know it.”
His method can be explained in more modern terms, I believe, in this way:
- Keep clean: Keep your habits of thought and action orderly.
- Fight hard: Be persistent; don’t give up just because you’ve hit a stumbling block or two.
- Pick your openings judiciously: Weigh your choices; avoid the tendency to dash off in the direction of every shiny new idea that pops up.
- Fix your eyes on the heights toward which you are headed: Keep your goal in mind, not in a slavish way that is fear-based, but by allowing that vision of success to draw you onward, day after day.
Enjoy the journey.
The Dalai Lama says, “My religion is very simple: my religion is kindness.” Let’s not even get into the history of other religions in the world, because they are all so littered with war, cruelty, intolerance and hatred that we can barely see the landscape of the original messages of love and kindness that the religions’ founders espoused.
One of my favorite personal affirmations, that I began using a few years ago is, “My middle name is kindness.” I began saying that to myself because of my long history of codependent relationships in which I was kind to everyone but me. Maybe you have that issue in your own life—you do acts of kindness (random or otherwise) and yet you overlook being nice to yourself and treating yourself with dignity and respect.
Let’s all begin spreading more kindness in the world. When we are kind to ourselves and others, we allow room for mistakes, for forgiveness, for tolerance of our differences and compassion for one another’s troubles.
Here are a few quotations you might enjoy on the topic of “kindness”:
- “Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” Albert Schweitzer
- “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Perform a random act of kindness for someone: a smile, compliment, or a favor just for fun. These will multiply and spread very rapidly.” Steve Brunkhorst
- “Always be a little kinder than necessary.” James M. Barrie
- “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” Henry James
- “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” Plato
- “He that has done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.” Benjamin Franklin
- “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Mark Twain
- “Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.” Kahlil Gibran
- “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” Lao Tzu
In our busy lives, we tend to have a running commentary about time. We’re planning next week, next year. We glance at the clock and exclaim “Four o’clock already? Where did the day go!” And we also talk about “killing time” when we run up against an unexpected delay that leaves a hole in our schedule.
Even when we devour books like “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, the message about learning to live in the present moment can slip right past us. We pay it lip service and we put it into practice during a meditation, but the rest of the day speeds past in a blur. Do you ever have the experience of blinking at a calendar as you realize what day it is, and wonder what happened to last week (or last month or last year…)?
This is a common factor of our culture, but it doesn’t mean you can’t break away from being a slave to busyness. It doesn’t mean you can’t learn to pause, breathe, and mindfully enjoy the moment you are in, whether you are taking a sip of tea or washing a dish or walking up the stairs to an office building. When we dash along through our lives with our minds focused on what we said and they said, or what we’re going to say and going to do, all of it runs together in a blur.
It’s as if we unwittingly scoop up the banquet of our lives and toss it into a blender, to whirl into one big homogeneous glob.
What if you made a daily practice to pay more attention to the life you are living, while you are living it and not in retrospect as you look back at photos or a diary entry?
What would it feel like to “look to this day” and pay heed to what you are experiencing right now, the delicious feel of air against your skin, the taste of a ripe mango, the scent of roses and jasmine, the sight of a tree or a beautiful work of art. No need to get esoteric about it all—enjoy the satisfaction of washing a dish that you like, or neatening the bed covers. In those few moments, be real and be alive, and look to the joy of your life. It is created in the moments, not in the rush from one thing to another.
Kalidasa was a 5th century Sanskrit poet and dramatist. You may have seen quotes from his poem translated to mean “Look to This Day” which is a beautiful reminder to us to enjoy the present moment.
Look to This Day
Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendor of achievement
Are but experiences of time.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!
We all know what it’s like to walk into a crowded room, whether it’s an informal get-together or a work conference, and have the instant sensation that there’s a good “vibe” going on. Of course we have the contrary experience many times, too, when we detect an energy of anger, sadness or upset of any kind. What’s going on with that? Even people who have little interest in spiritual matters or personal growth will comment on the bad mood, whether anyone has spoken or not. We’re reading energy, that’s what is happening. Because all of us, and everything in the universe, is energy. We are light beings. We vibrate. Everything vibrates.
And so, when there is something we detect in our lives that need a helping hand—perhaps you wish for more money, better health, a more satisfying job or relationship—what we really need to do is raise our vibrational level to match the level where those good things reside.
An easy trick to help us along is to simply imagine that we send “light” to the object of our attention. We can even pick a certain event that’s on the calendar and imagine beautiful light glowing all around that event date, lifting its energy.
In Spiritual Growth: Being Your Higher Self, Sanaya Roman explains, “You can change your future by imagining what you want to happen, and adding light to the picture. You can think of a future date —a day, month, or year —and send light to that time. Light will make everything you experience at that date better.”
Most people have learned to inadvertently send “darkness” to all our dreams, and all our planned events—we do this by immediately getting into worry mode, or fretting about what might happen that would prevent a favorable outcome. We populate our picnics with ants and thunderstorms.
Let’s start sending sunshine instead. Simply breathe in, imagine sparkling light swirling up and around you, and let it pour over your dreams and calendar like liquid gold.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying “We become what we think about.” It’s nothing new. It’s wisdom that has been around for thousands of years. And yet we go along through life as if our thoughts don’t really count. I think the problem is that we don’t take it literally—we get the idea it means, if you are generally thinking good thoughts about others and living a decent life, then you’ll “become” a nice person.
But here is the simple truth: we create with our thoughts.
Every single thought we have is transmitting a specific frequency. The reason we scoff at the idea that we create our own reality is that there is a time lag. You think happy thoughts about something you want, but you don’t get it right away, so you give up and believe in good and bad luck instead of your own intrinsic power of creation.
Florence Scovel Shinn explained nearly 100 years ago that our words are really our wands. Did you ever see the Disney film Fantasia? Do you remember the Mickey Mouse segment called “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”? Without knowing what he was doing, and the power he was wielding, Mickey happily waved the wand around, imitating gestures he’d seen the sorcerer make, and inadvertently created complete havoc.
We do that too. We think mean or nasty thoughts about a person, but feel it doesn’t count since we smiled and didn’t say what was on our mind. Those thoughts went out into the “ether” and began creating on our behalf. Keep sending similar thoughts and the results will come more quickly, but those words will never return to you without a result.
Our thoughts are somewhat like boomerangs, they always come back to us, but not in the same form: they come back to us, bringing relationships, experiences, events, that are in harmony with those thoughts. So if you don’t like the results you’ve got in one or more areas of your life, take a look at the thoughts you’re transmitting!
Also, we can often get frustrated when weeks of positive affirmations seem to land us in a worse mess than ever. For example, you’ve been studying and really working with the law of attraction principles to keep your focus on what you desire, to make sure your thoughts are uplifted as much as possible. And then you get in a car accident! Huh? How could that happen when you were being so darned positive every day that you started to feel you should change your name to Pollyanna? It happened because of that time lag I mentioned earlier. It’s the result of some of your old thinking, so just be patient with yourself and don’t take an accident or an unexpected bill as a sign you are not doing things the right way.
Keep on with your happy healthy thoughts, and the tide will turn.
I suggest using this powerful affirmation from Florence Scovel Shinn:
“I am in perfect harmony with the working of the law. I stand aside and let Infinite Intelligence make easy and successful my way.”
Standing aside means we stop interfering and trying to force events to turn out a specific way. It means sending out our transmissions of joy and goodwill, and holding the full faith that things of like nature will return to us—and it will be an easy and delightful process.