The fresh scent of salt air. The breath of a warm breeze on my skin. The sound of waves crashing into the shore. My happy place. Theocean. As I sat and looked at the beauty before me, all of my surroundings seemed to shrink away to only me. I was truly present in mind, body, and soul.
The euphoria of the scene brought a sense of calmness and inner peace. No outside distractions like my phone, social media, negative nellies, or any past turmoil were allowed into this space. It is amazing how a day at the beach, or in nature, can thoroughly cleanse us of stress and anxiety.
I was recently blessed with a beach vacation that came at the perfect time. God always seems to know when we need to hit the refresh button. I have studied the power of mindset and thoughts over the past few years and continue learning and growing. However, now I have a heightened awareness of losing control and falling into a script that I want no part of. This is what I wish for others. Let’s take a closer look.
What are you thinking about right now? Are you thinking about something that happened in the past, currently, or something that hasn’t even happened yet? Are your thoughts causing you to feel happy, sad, or angry? Do your thoughts become actions? Everything begins with a thought.
Like Buddha states, our thoughts become our own worst enemy if we let them. Everything that goes on inside our heads is self-induced. You heard me. We do it to ourselves! Since that is the case, can’t we find a way to use our thoughts more positively and purposely? The answer is YES!
How we prepare our thought process will determine our fate when faced with any challenge or adversity. Our thoughts become action. It’s called thought energy. Where our thoughts go, our energy flows, and our realities unfold. There are times we use up all our energy by fighting the good fight for a cause. This will come back and benefit you because your actions came from the right place.
On the other hand, people can use thought energy to talk themselves into becoming sick or scared depending upon what they are continually thinking about. Humans can think themselves into or out of any situation, so why not productively use our thoughts?
Emotions, whether positive or negative, drive human beings. What do our thoughts do? They attach a feeling to them, which can be detrimental or beneficial to our day-to-day lives. Here is an example of a past thought stirring up emotions. I am sure most people have a song. Maybe it is a song that reminds them of a loved one, first dance, or the best party ever. An emotion is stirred within us whenever that song is heard, which could be once in a blue moon. “The Wind Beneath My Wings” was played on my mom’s memorial video nine years ago, so I instantly become sorrowful and cry when I hear that song today. On the other hand, I immediately become energetic and happy when I listen to the retro station because those songs were played during my college days. Amazing how two different emotions were brought to the surface from past thoughts.
Another example is how we can make ourselves feel anxious, angry, or fearful thinking about something that hasn’t happened yet. Thinking about what we don’t want is precisely what we get. How can it be any other way? The fact that we can create emotions based on events that have not yet occurred is scary! That is how powerful our thoughts are. AWARENESS is the key.
It’s safe to say that social media is by far a top trigger that gets our juices flowing. Again, it is a choice whether we engage or delete any negative thought energy from our lives. We cannot and will not change other people’s beliefs. They have been programmed with those beliefs since birth. Who’s to say those beliefs are right or wrong? Perspective comes into play as well. We then decide to get caught up on a pendulum or diffuse it. We are always in control of how we handle situations and individuals daily. Be open to listening, be empathetic, don’t be so closed-minded to think that it’s your way or the highway. There lies the joy of diversity. If a thousand people are looking at one picture, I can guarantee there will be a thousand different reflections. Weren’t they all looking at the same picture? Is one thought any better than another? Not necessarily. We can always agree to disagree in a formidable manner or don’t engage at all.
Again, YOUR CHOICE!
Mindset plays a pivotal role in dealing with anything life throws at us. Don’t play hostage to your thoughts. Don’t let fear, doubt, and other emotions control you. Don’t let others steal your energy. It sounds so easy, but it is difficult. I am a work in progress, but once you become aware of your thoughts, you will be better able to make sound decisions that are good for you. Our brains are wired for negativity; however, we don’t have to let those negative thoughts influence any aspect of our lives. It’s easier to be negative and see all the bad that could happen. Why not change the narrative? Invest your energy in things that you will get a good return from.
I want you to become aware of your thoughts and mindset and their impact on your life. We cannot control everything, but we can control our thoughts, actions, attitude, and who/what we surround ourselves with. If you need to refresh your mind, eliminate distractions and find your happy place. Each day, you are capable of rewriting your story if you need to be. I hope you can find solitude and inner peace.
- Lee Ann Raikes is a resident of Ottawa, and works as a seventh grade ELA educator at Marseilles Elementary. She’s been teaching for 17 years.