I spent a lot of time in my 30s absorbing the teachings of the personal growth movement, going against the grain of Evangelical Christianity to listen to people like Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Ram Dass, Anthony Roberts, and many others. Other positive thinkers were considered safe and not a threat to your spiritual life, people like Zig Ziglar, Denis Waitley, Robert Schuller, Brian Tracy and the like.
But I never felt threatened by anything I heard … and I would not necessarily agree with everything that someone taught. I rather enjoyed hearing many different kinds of ideas.
Here is an example of an idea that might get you to thinking, I am not certain but I think I first heard this on a Deepak Chopra tape:
Every cell in the body dies and is regenerated approximately every 4 years, so the body you have now is not the same body of cells that you had, say, five years ago. So, if every cell in your brain has died and been regenerated, then mind is not something that is physical … it is meta-physical (i.e. beyond the physical body). And with my apologies to Deepak should he not be the one who taught this, or should I not remember correctly the key point of this concept … if mind is meta-physical and dwells in the realm of limitless possibilities (read, God), then there is no limit to what you can do if you just set your mind to it. Pretty cool idea, and even if you disagree with it, this idea will get you to thinking.
Back in the days when I was in my 30s, I had the good fortune of having a 45-minute drive to work, mostly on the highway. My place of employment had a huge library of cassette tapes for use by the Sales Team, most of them on “positive mental attitude” and effective selling techniques. Though I was not in Sales, I persuaded the company librarian to let me borrow any tape series … and I would listen to them all the way to work, and all the way home. I listened to virtually every series they had over several months, and it was a fantastic time of learning for me.
I still do the same thing today, although the CD – I have since graduated from cassette tapes – that is in my player now is the Rosetta Stone audio companion to the Spanish (Latin America) language learning program I am taking.
I’m not sure how I got on this path, but growing up there were some very negative people in my life. And negative people can sap the life out of you, if you let them. Something inside me, probably the voice of God, taught me that I don’t have to believe or embrace the negativity of any other person. The hard part is rejecting their negativity, but doing it in a loving manner. Peaceful interpersonal relations are not always possible, however, because there are many negative people who are so intent on living in negativity (or so practiced at it), that when they realize that you won’t wallow in the muck with them, they feel rejected and lash out. Sometimes it can be a delicate balancing act, empathizing with someone in their disillusionment, negativity, or depression, while at the same time staying positive and offering encouragement and instilling hope.
Call me Pollyanna, but I just don’t want to dwell on the negative, I don’t want to be around negative people, and I don’t want to even hear negative things. Sometimes people feel that they are being helpful by sharing negative information, such as medical research that states if you have these symptoms or these readings or this physical manifestation, then you are 60% more likely to … have a stroke, be debilitated, or die. Don’t even share that shit with me, if you want to read and let seep into your mind negative thoughts … than keep it to yourself. I want to hear things like:
- “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.” Helen Keller
- “Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.” Grace Hansen
- “Trust your hopes not your fears.” David Mahoney
- “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” James M. Barrie
- “There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way.” Wayne Dyer
- “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Jesus of Nazareth
- “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
Remember, People, Keep it Positive!