Times of Stress Provide an Opportunity to Strengthen the Muscles of Your Mental Focus
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” — Viktor Frankl
You are the center of your universe. On one side, there is what happens in your external environment. On the other, is what you make of it in your mind. We are finding ourselves amidst a world that is deep in fear. Survival is on the line — not only in the physical sense. As of the writing of this article during the Coronavirus situation, our global community is at the precipice of a paradigm shift in the way we live our daily lives. We are called to go within by mother nature itself. We are called to realize our unity as a human species, to reconsider the way we interact with ourselves and one another.
The way you experience YOUR life in these times springs from your perception of what is going on around you. Shift your perception and you will shift your experience. The situation outside your window may still be the same, but your state of being can be elevated. This is an opportunity to cultivate your mental strength like never before.
Life has not stopped producing abundance. Yet your mind seems to be magnetically drawn to focus on lack and fear. It’s not easy to be proactive and to think like a leader while everyone else is reacting and following the herd. Yet that is where your power and freedom lies. To shift your mental focus away from fear, notice the goodness that is present in life even despite the difficulties. You will be able to bring more relief to others through your own internal state of peace.
Here are 5 things you can be grateful for right now:
1. NATURE IS STILL PROVIDING YOUR BASIC NEEDS
The earth is still in its orbit. The sun rose today. It is still is providing light to help plants grow. The birds are still chirping their morning songs. The seeds in the ground that will turn into the wheat that your bread baked from are still sprouting. The orange trees are still blossoming to bring you your orange juice. There are still countless natural springs and mountain streams through which the water that quenches your thirst flows. The world’s forests are still releasing oxygen for you to breathe in. Their trees provide you the resources needed to build shelter. The stars are still shining in the darkness of the night, reminding you that everything in this world is made of stardust.
2. THE HEALTH THAT YOU DO HAVE
Regardless of your current health situation, there are always aspects of your body that are in a state of well-being. Perhaps you are blessed enough to have your eyesight to see the smile on another’s face. Perhaps you are blessed enough to be able to hear the laughter of your friends as you try to make the best of the situation. Perhaps you are blessed enough to be able to breathe fully and to think clearly. Perhaps you are blessed enough to have your arms and legs. Perhaps you can move around — even if it’s only in around the comfort of your home — there are some that would give anything for that ability. Maybe you are lucky enough to have shelter that protects you from the cold and the rain.
3. YOUR ABILITY TO DIRECT THE FOCUS OF YOUR ATTENTION
You choose where you want to direct the beam of your conscious attention. You can dwell on what has always been or you can start asking “what if” questions in the direction of your dreams. You can mull over what is missing in your life or you can start drafting strategies for taking action towards what you want to bring out into the world. You can spend your mental currency worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow — or you can change something you do today to create a brighter tomorrow. You can live life within the confines of your mental comfort zone or you can create new mental habits that empower you. You can use your time to read, learn, study, go within. You can plan the seeds to cultivating new habits of mindfulness, gratitude, or self-discipline.
4. GREAT PEOPLE THAT ARE HELPING
Doctors and nurses are working overtime. The policemen, firemen, and government officials are strategizing to figure out the best ways to keep you safe. Business leaders are creatively finding ways to ensure they can make employees’ and customers’ lives safer and more comfortable. Your family members and friends are calling and messaging you to make sure you’re ok. You are loved. You are surrounded by a world of people that want to feel safe, a world of people who want nothing more than to feel peace and happiness.
5. WE WILL ARISE OUT OF THIS STRONGER & MORE CONNECTED
Every crisis brings the opportunity to flush out what is no longer working. Innovations surface out of difficulty. New solutions arise out of problems. The need to go deeper may help us uncover the root causes instead of focusing most of our efforts on fixing the symptoms. If we go beneath the level of biology and into quantum physics, we may start paying more attention to the link between the internal environments of our thoughts and values and our physical well-being. If we go deep enough into quantum physics, we may realize that life is not a game of “Us Vs. Them” or “Us Vs. Nature” — we are all nature showing up in different forms. We are all learning how to be human and how to co-exist and co-create in this beautiful life together. We have all been a source of wisdom, healing, patience, kindness, and compassion at some points in our lives. The more we express these qualities from within, the more we get to feel them and help others do the same.
I am grateful for YOU. Thank you for reading this and for contributing to a kinder world through your desire to shift your thinking. You are awesome!
“You are a ghost driving a meat coated skeleton, made from stardust, riding a rock, floating through space. Fear nothing.” — Unknown