28 Jul A Happy Life Starts With You
No matter how fit, athletic, well-read, or healthy you are, if your mind and soul are not thriving, then none of those other things even matter. I focus on looking at ourselves not just from the physical health perspective but more from an all-encompassing viewpoint, for it has to be acknowledged that health and wellness are nothing if our minds are not well.
Negativity and negative intentions are toxic; we can literally think ourselves into being sick, into failing, even into relapse. And so we must change our outlook. We must re-program our neural pathways and start looking at life with a brand new perspective.
The basics of a happy life start with you. With your mindset. Ever heard the phrase “intention is everything”? Well, it is. The way that we embark on each day, the way that we enter into new activities or experiences, are molded by our intentions and our thoughts. Often we enter into early sobriety with the same grim outlooks we adopted while using, we enter with a sense that the world is against us or has wronged us somehow. This negative mindset bleeds into everything that we experience, and therefore every single thing we do is already dampened by the outlook we have on the world. The GOOD news is that this is something that we can control, something that we can change. The good news is that YOU and only you have the power to completely redirect your life. And this redirection starts with intention.
DO NOT discount the power of intentions, or the power that you harness in your mind. Olympians, the elites of all athletes, visualize themselves winning. They visualize themselves careening through the courses, winning medals. It is SCIENTIFICALLY proven that positive visualizations can have a huge impact on outcomes in life. So if an Olympian can think themselves into performing better, it certainly stands to reason that you can think yourself into being happier, right?
In the morning, set intentions for your day. For example, instead of dreading going into work, literally say to yourself that you are going to have a great, productive day, and then see how things plays out. You may be shocked at how different your day can go just by having a more positive outlook and setting positive intentions. At one point, I wrote “You are you and that is enough” on a sticky note and placed it on my computer so that I saw it constantly. It was a consistent reminder to be positive, to be satisfied, to be grateful. Understand the intention behind the things you do, make it positive, and watch how amazing your life can become.
Not quite ready to set intentions or not sure where to start? No problem. Another great way to set your day up for success and positivity is by reflecting and meditating. In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, on pages 86-88, daily meditations are discussed. By prepping your mind each day to engage in the world with positivity and optimism, you set yourself up for freedom from the negativity and pessimism that can creep up on you in sobriety. Read this portion of the daily meditations each morning for a week and see what changes. You might very well be pleasantly surprised!
“On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.
In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.”