Today I got to listen to coverage of the ongoing troubles in Vermont in the wake of Hurricane Irene. What strikes me is the resilience of people who have been hit so hard, and the way that they have created a new sense of community.
In one town the only bridge was taken out by the flooding which means that one half of town was completely cut off from the other side of town – and the rest of the world – until they built a walking bridge. Now the school bus stops at the bridge and picks up EVERYONE who is waiting – not just school kids, but their parents and other community members as well – and brings them into town so they can get to school and work.
I suppose the words are a bit overused, but what kept coming up as I listened to these stories was the phrase “Triumph of Spirit”. When put to the test, we are capable of so much more than we think we will be. It was a very powerful reminder.
Here’s what I heard people saying in this coverage – We’re thankful for the hot meals provided by neighbors, friends, and the school system. We’re thankful for the school bus bringing us to our businesses. We’re thankful for the generosity of people who are donating money to help the disaster-stricken areas recover.
Here’s what I didn’t hear – We’re thankful that our house floated away. We’re grateful that we’re cut off from our businesses. We’re grateful that we have to rebuild.
You may be thinking, Well of course they wouldn’t say that! But I beg to differ.
There are teachings in the popular culture right now about “just think positive” and “just be grateful” that I believe are doing some real damage to our psyches.
In our culture, we’ve heard so much about the “just think positive” philosophy and it being the way to attract unimaginable riches to us. It leads some people to believe that if they sit and imagine themselves behind the wheel of a Ferrari hard enough, the Ferrari will appear. If we just say enough gratitude statements, surely it will show up.
But it doesn’t address the underlying core belief that says we don’t deserve the Ferrari. If we don’t see the manifestation of the Ferrari after doing the visualization, then we feel like a failure – like we obviously can’t get anything right, and if we only believed harder and were more grateful those things would come to us. Feeling like a failure gets us even more disconnected from handling the underlying issue.
A visualization session only addresses the surface situation of not having a Ferrari. It takes a bunch of smaller, sustained steps to change the underlying belief about deserving a Ferrari.
The 30-Day Challenge is designed to give you a chance to take those smaller, sustained steps toward changing the underlying belief. Which is why I’m going to encourage you to stay with gratitude statements and miracle acknowledgements that you can see are ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY and CONCRETELY true.
For instance, in looking at financial issues in my own life, I’m not going to say things like, “I’m grateful because I trust that a million dollars is coming to me.” I have absolutely no concrete evidence that this is true – it sounds like a nice affirmation, but what it does is kick my intellectual mind into saying, “Well where is it going to come from? What do I have to do in order to make that happen? Why am I not good enough for it to have happened yet?”
What I’ll say instead is, “I’ve always had enough money to pay my bills each month.” “I’ve never had a creditor call to harass me for non-payment.” Those are things that are ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY true and they help me to acknowledge the good that is already present in my life!!!
By acknowledging the good that is already present in our lives, we start paying more attention to what we have than what we don’t have. That creates the space for more miracles to come in because we’re spending less time worrying.
Clear as mud? Good! If you have questions or comments, please head down to the comments and let me know.
(Did I mention that there are prizes? ;-))