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It's All In Your Head

by Alan Powitz


It’s the weekend. There is a light rain gently falling. It’s been raining on and off all day. All month, really. My friend is debating whether or not to come out with his guitar and play with us tonight. He tells me, “It’s been so beautiful out all day.” I pause. Most of the people I know become disgusted over yet another rainy weekend. He continues. “There is a misty sweetness in the air that you can actually taste.” He hears me sigh and starts to laugh at the extent of my involvement in his poetic description, so I go on to tell him of a walk I took the other night, strolling the neighborhood in the light rain. I came upon a tree covered in giant white flowers that smelled so sweet that I buried my face in them, and inhaled the “misty sweetness” he was just describing. He stopped laughing. That image suddenly brought him to that very same place. There we were, fifty miles apart from one another, indoors, in the dry comfort of our homes, yet both of us felt as if we were outside in the rain, immersed in flower scented air.

It’s amazing where you can go in your mind. Sometimes to very deep, dark places; other times to the brink of euphoria. All without ever lifting a finger. Sometimes all you need are perfect visualizations. It doesn’t matter what your situation happens to be. It often seems like our circumstances cause our feelings. But if that were true, how could two friends fifty miles apart from one another be blissing out over an experience that wasn’t even occurring?

A monk I know told a story of a vacation he took with a friend of his several years ago. They were in some fantastic setting, like Disneyland, and not long into the trip they started having disagreements. Disagreements turned into arguments, and before long their beautiful vacation had become a nightmare, and a wonderful friendship came to an end. Years later. a fellow student of his was arrested on immigration issues. His advice to her was to use this opportunity as a spiritual retreat. The experience was, quite literally, life transforming. As a result of it, she decided to devote her life to helping others find inner peace, and eliminate emotional suffering wherever possible. Does Disneyland cause arguments and dissolve friendships? Do prison terms bring people to some higher spiritual state? If not, how do these things happen? And, more importantly, where do they happen?

In our minds, of course. We do it all ourselves. Going into bliss from hearing of a misty stroll in the floral scented air. Getting angry when people won’t agree with us and do whatever we want them to. Change our lives based on a catastrophic experience.

So many of us go around angry, annoyed, or discontent much of the time. You need only stand at the water cooler for a moment before you hear someone grumbling about having to be at work, or about the weather, or some family member not meeting their expectations. It doesn’t take long. We do it all the time… find things to complain about. If we’re at a party and someone points out the sanitary foible of everyone sticking their hands into the potato chip bag and we’d just eaten some of those chips a few minutes earlier, we can easily blame them for wrecking our entire experience. It seems like a never-ending cycle, one complaint leading seamlessly into the next. How do we get out that?

First of all, we need to own it. Take responsibility for all of it. This gives us an enormous amount of power – the power to change it all. Even if we don’t create all of the experiences, we interpret all of them in our own way. That’s where the power lies. In the interpretation. Just as one person finds heaven in a jail cell and another finds hell on vacation in Disneyland, we can consciously create our own state of mind. The first step is to recognize that we actually have that ability. The next is to develop the determination to use it. We need to be grateful for every moment of life. It’s too precious to waste fretting over little annoyances, or creating big ones. Watch your mind closely, and notice every negative thought as it’s happening… and then catch them before they even arise. Keep up this exercise, and make it a lifelong practice. It won’t take long before you start naturally becoming more positive. You’re friends and family will all notice the difference. You’ll seem lighter, easier to be with. And you’ll notice, too, as your whole life shifts, and you gradually become more at peace with everyone and everything you encounter!

Alan Powitz is a free lance writer and editor, available for all forms of corporate promotional materials. He is also a therapist, using dharma principles, hypnosis, and tools derived from The Option Process and EFT, to help clients overcome fear, anger, issues with relationships, family, work, self confidence, and other life challenges. Visit his website at www.TrulyAwake.com, or contact him at info@TrulyAwake.com.


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