I just read a short tale of a king who offers a prize for the best picture of peace.To see it click here. It is a great little diddy on perspective, and I thought it worth sharing.
It says a lot about what "should" be obvious. I really believe that there should be no shoulds (smile), because they often lead to pain, confusion, and guilt. I find that shoulds often come from the mind of someone else, or something else (like "society"). However, in a case where a should can be empowering, I make an exception.
How can anyone acknowledge strength, if he did not have weakness to compare it to? Or acknowledge peace without knowing what turbulence was like? How do we often know something? Usually it's in the absence of its counterpart.
What is really fascinating to consider, though, is that within everything is everything else. Within strength, there IS a point of weakness. Within peace, there IS some turbulence. The parts of the weakness and turbulence may be tiny, but they are there. The only reason we don't see it or acknowledge it in that moment is because we focused on the more positive attributes, but those parts are there.
I say this because the same thing applies in reverse. The times that we are our most upset, our most frustrated, there is a seed of peace within. In order to find it, it may take everything we have, and maybe sometimes it's a battle that seems unable to be won - or a battle you are unwilling to fight.
I know how it can be. I have my moments. As much as I "know better" at this point in the game of my life, I still go to places that aren't productively creating outcomes that I want. However, the times that I can redirect my energies, it is almost magical.
The next time you are stressed, if you want to get out of it, take a couple of moments to do the following, and you may be surprised.
Take a deep breath in to the count of 3. Then exhale to the count of 6.
Take another deep breath in to the count of 3, and exhale to the count of 6.
Do it one more time. Breath in to the count of 3, and exhale to the count of 6.
You will likely notice that your body has relaxed. It couldn't help itself. And it took a minute, or two, to do. The key is to CONSCIOUSLY change your focus. Before I was aware of the things that I am now, I would feel like anything that I felt was being true to myself, and any attempt to alter it would be potentially seen as a deception.
While there are reasons to be willing to allow myself to feel what I am feeling, there is a point that it can become counterproductive, and feed the very energy that is uncomfortable (the energy that I am holding onto to be "true to myself"). In my work as a coach, I tell people that even if you are fooling yourself - so what? If the focus you have is not getting you anywhere but depressed, why not fool yourself?
There are people that believe that whatever you focus on you get more of. If that is true, then changing the focus if it's something you'd rather be without would make sense, don'tja think? If it isn't true, then what do you have to lose, really?
The next time you go looking for some quality, consider that you already have it and that you just need to awaken your awareness to it. The amazing thing is that a little "water" (thought power) can go a long way.
But don't take my word for it. Try it for yourself, and see what happens. One word of warning though. The first times you do this, you may find that you go back where you were fairly easily. It's the comfortable and familiar after all. If that happens, it just means you'll have to do some considerable redirection. After awhile, though, you'll be surprised. You'll do less, and what you do do will get easier.
For this reason, you won't want to abandon ship quickly, and say it doesn't work. In my opinion, you will be doing yourself, and your life, an injustice.
Have a great weekend!