It’s no secret that people who are more positive are happier and attract more of what they want in their life. You see it all around you. You notice people who have great jobs. You see smiling couples holding hands.
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We all want to be fulfilled and happy, but how can you be more positive when negative thoughts are floating in and out of your mind all day?
For some people, the ability to be more positive comes naturally. They are born with a positive gene or their parents passed down positive thinking skills. The rest of us have to find our way through trial and error or stumble upon someone who can teach us.
In early 2001 I was separating from my husband of fifteen years and stuck knee-deep in a miserable place. I had to find a home that I could afford in our school district, no easy feat for a single mom. I had to borrow money to pay for a lawyer and buy beds for my children. My attitude was full of despair sprinkled with fleeting moments of negativity.
One night my young daughter was getting a ride from a friend's dad to a Middle School function. I thanked him for driving and he asked me what was wrong. After explaining my situation he looked at me and said "I was in the same place with my divorce. What helped me was going to the Essential Experience Workshop in Bala Cynwyd."
I took his advice without bothering to learn what the workshop was all about. It didn't matter. Doing something different--that was important. It was only twenty minutes away and I had nothing to lose. The truth was that I needed a miracle, not a workshp, but I went anyway.
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My Breakthrough Moment
On the second day of the workshop, I was gazing out the window and half listening to the facilitator. He was chattering and scribbling on a blackboard to illustrate his story. My thoughts were bleak as I worried about the future and my young children. I had no idea what he was said.
My eyes were drawn to the front of the room as he wrote "CHOICES" on the chalk board, almost in slow motion. Suddenly my attention was on the blackboard and I was aware of only his voice.
"You have a choice in every situation in your life, he said. "You can choose how to respond. You can even choose which thoughts you want to listen to and which to toss out the window," he said.
Was he was talking to me? I can choose my thoughts? Wow. I have a choice in how I respond to any situation?
That "Ah ha" moment slammed into me as if I was a dog who realized that the cat was on the other side of the glass door. It may seem silly, but up till then I thought I could only respond one way.
Until that moment it never occurred to me to choose my thoughts. It never occurred to me that I could change how I feel and be more positive. I could rid myself of the negative thoughts that had always been in my mind.