Light, to dark, to light again - Taking Control of your Mindset
Today's blog is a synopsis of the "Inspire Us" Episode 2 podcast, now available on most podcast platforms including Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Audible, TuneIn, PodBean, and more. If you haven't listened or subscribed, please do. I'm certain you'll love it and it only gets better from here.
It's about how we sometimes find ourselves happy and fine one minute, and then slipping into sadness, anxiety, or depression the next. Sometimes it’s because of circumstances out of our control that brings the darkness on, or a sudden change in our circumstances, be it relationship-wise, financial, or whatever that may be. Is there a way to prevent ourselves from slipping into that dark place and choosing a positive mindset, despite what happens? I believe there is. I call this episode ‘Light to dark to light again.’
I’ll start off with a quote from a movie some of you might recognize. Remember Rocky’s quote to his son outside his restaurant in the Rocky Balboa movie? In the scene, Rocky’s son resents his dad because his own life isn’t going the way he’d hoped and he feels like he’s merely a shadow to people because of his dad’s success. Rocky finally decides to call him on it and tells his son: “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!” And that’s the quote. It’s also great life advice.
If there’s anything we know for certain is that life is unpredictable. The coronavirus taught us that by smacking us upside the head with that truth. So, we’ve been knocked to the mat and we can’t give in. It’s not only our job to get back up, but we also have a responsibility to help others up too. Let’s help those who find themselves in a dark place toward the light. One of the things I’m worried about is that the causalities of fear, uncertainty, loneliness, and confusion may prove to be greater in the end than the virus itself. Let’s not let that happen. And if you find yourself in a dark place right now, know that it’s ok to reach out to someone who can help you back into the light. I spoke about light carriers in my first podcast and some people’s light is beautifully brilliant. Don’t avoid the wonderful and trustworthy people in your circles who can help. Give them a chance to be the light you need right now and one day, you’ll be the light for someone else. If you don’t have those people, find new circles. Call a distress center. Do everything you can to get out of that dark place. And that’s my topic for today’s podcast. How to find the light in even the darkest of situations. We all slip from light to darkness sometimes, but how long it takes us to get back to the light is up to us and no one else. Sometimes it’s a matter of a simple mindset shift. There are those who look for light despite whatever darkness hits them. When they find themselves being sucked into darkness– those ‘life-sucks so bad’ situations –they choose to keep moving through that dark hole until they find their way into the light once again, often with the help of others, because they know there is light at the end of the tunnel if they only work to find it. They refuse to stay in the heaviness and destructiveness of the darkness trying to suck the joy and life out of them. Who wants to stay in that for long? So, what is it they do that others who stay in the darkness don’t? One of the first things is that when the darkness first appears, they acknowledge it. They become aware of who's knocking at the door trying to get in. They don’t give in to the self-sabotaging voices trying to get in their heads. They immediately begin to drown out those voices that want to take them hostage and lock them in cages of their own making. They deploy their self-preservation back-up team and kick those happiness killers right where it counts. They understand that they are the landlords of their own thoughts and these new darkness tenant wanna-be’s have no right to just move in. If you deny the darkness (that heaviness) to take control of your thoughts, they’ll get the message. And if those voices are one’s you’ve heard before? Give them a name and tell them to get the heck out – you’re closed! To remain in darkness without actively moving through it – and acknowledging it – is detrimental to your mental wellness. How do you move through the darkness? First, go into the heart of your fears and worries. When you face your fears, you begin to disempower them. Yes, all the worse things in life could happen. But when you examine that fear and anxiety for what it is, without dwelling on them and giving them the power to control you, you come to realize quickly that worrying about them won’t make things any better. So why do it? What purpose does dwelling on them possibly serve, other than to mess you up? Sure, there are things we have no control over. Life sucks sometimes. But what we do have control over is how we respond to what happens to us. Focusing on the darkness and remaining a hostage to it won’t help you find the key to the cage you find yourself in.
The problem with darkness is that it clings to things, and it becomes addicted to outcomes. When we lose focus of the journey we’re on and look solely at the outcome, we miss the magic of the journey. We miss the now. The moments we’re in. Darkness often stays because people fail to acknowledge how much they can’t actually control in life and don’t look hard enough for what they can control. Once we acknowledge the truth that life holds very few ‘guarantees’, we get to focus on the things we can control and that leads to results. Focusing on guarantees and outcomes robs us of the joy of experiencing our journey. Some of the people who see the light most tend to be the ones who have seen how wrong things can go. When you’ve seen how horrible it can all go, then you realize that the only right response to any of this is to cherish this moment, this gesture… this encounter. So, where’s that key? That key is this moment you’re in. Your mindset, right now. It's living in the ‘now’ with the right mindset. Realize that despite what may lie ahead, you have this moment in time to create whatever joy and feelings you wish, and you can take control of whatever comes your way. You get the now to experience the moment, whatever that is and you know you'll face whatever comes your way. The company of who you’re with, the work you’re doing, the beauty around you, matters. In this moment, you get to influence the outcome. You get to pick your state of mind. What happened in the past is in the past. What the future holds is not guaranteed. But this moment is in your control. Make the best of this moment by choosing how to feel. Here's an Exercise|: Make a fist. Imagine all your fears, squeeze as tight as you can until it hurts – now open it. Feel the difference? Releasing the grip opens you to healing and also allows the universe to know that you’re open to something greater than darkness. Now that you’re open and projecting positive energy over negative, the world around you changes. Your light returns. The same is true when you release your anxieties and stress. Happiness is subjective. It is not a direct result of what is occurring externally to or around us that creates happiness. Rather, it is what is happening internally within us that determines happiness. And we have the incredible ability to change our states to receive the happiness we so richly deserve. Our happiness is based much on our life experiences, our upbringings, our personal tastes, and our choices. Triggering the sensation of happiness is different for each of us. We are each beautiful, unique individual’s living very different experiences than those next to us, but we are more similar than we are different. Happiness is a choice to experience, to create, to feel; and so, it is our right to choose to be happy. It is within our power to do exactly that. Take control of your life, one day at a time, and marvel at the outcome that awaits you. Thanks for listening. Please visit often and share the message. If you’re going through a dark time right now, reach out to a light source. You’re stronger than you think. And if you’re a bright light – keep it lit and share it with others. Until next time.