Whether you know it or not, and more importantly, whether you believe it or not, your thoughts create your reality.

What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract, What you imagine, you create.”

~BUDDHA

It is verifiable science. Our thoughts create our energy which in turn attracts like energy. If you vibrate a high, positive energy, then high, you will attract positive energy like a magnet. Conversely, if you vibrate a low, negative energy, then that is what you will attract.

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The great news is that you can control your energy by your thoughts. The key here is “control.” You have the ability to think good, positive thoughts even when outside circumstances may not necessarily be perceived as positive.

Say you are on your way to work and get caught in a terrible traffic jam. You did not cause the traffic jam, yet you let this traffic jam put you in a bad mood because you do not like sitting in traffic. By the time you get to work, your mood has gone from bad to worse. Even though you are no longer sitting in traffic, you start complaining to your co-workers about the fact that you sat in traffic, which only serves to perpetuate the upset and negative energy that you experienced as a result of the traffic jam. Suddenly, you find yourself complaining about your boss, a client or a project that you have to complete. Your day seems to be one negative thing after another and when you get home that night, what do you do? You complain to your family or friends about what a bad day you had. You’ve let the traffic jam dictate the tenor of your day, a day that you will never get back.

In this situation, you are not taking control of your thoughts, but rather allowing your negative feelings about the traffic jam to control your emotions for the rest of the day. By passively allowing your bad mood to dictate your energy, more things will show up in your life for you to complain about, and the vicious loop of a “bad day” is born.

Now let’s look at the same scenario, with a completely different result. You run into the same traffic jam, but rather than allowing it to put you in a bad mood, you decide to stay positive. Instead of seething at the river of tail lights in front of you, you express gratitude for the time alone in the car to call someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile, or turn up the music and have your very own mini-concert. Whenever I am sitting in traffic, I like to breathe, consciously observe the beauty around me and think of things and people for which I am grateful (including being grateful for the car that I’m in as I sit in traffic!) You must remember that the Universe is not confronting you with a traffic jam because it wants you to have a bad day; it is confronting you with a traffic jam so that you can learn how to consciously create a good day.

Taking control of your thoughts, and consequently, your reality, requires conscious effort and the formation of good mind habits. Here are some of the practices I have cultivated to live consciously positive:

  • Get into the habit of expressing gratitude as soon as you awaken in the morning. This was initially difficult for me, as I would often start thinking of the tasks of the day ahead before even getting out of bed. To flip the script, I developed the habit of expressing gratitude before even getting out of bed by placing a prayer coin on my nightstand that I couldn’t miss when I turned off my alarm. This coin was a visual reminder to express gratitude first thing, which has now become part of my morning routine.
  • Set reminders on your phone that will alert you at certain times of the day to take note of your emotions. I would set a reminder on my phone for 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. that would show up as a positive affirmation, or prompt for me to check in with my emotions (and to change them if needed!)
  • Self care is crucial in keeping a positive mindset. Let’s face it, we all know how things can snowball downhill when we are sleep-deprived and time-crunched. Setting boundaries so that you can get proper rest and rejuvenation is not selfish, but the foundation for a healthy, happy life.
  • When your mood takes a nose dive (and, as humans, we all have those days), write it all out in notebook, or just a blank sheet of paper. Get it out of your system without worrying about grammar, proper sentences or syntax. Just let it all flow onto the page, and allow yourself to really feel the emotions you are experiencing. Once you’ve emptied yourself of everything, then let it go. Tear the page out of the notebook and burn it. Feel the emotions being released as the smoke wafts up and dissipates. Then breathe, express gratitude for yourself for taking the steps to release these emotions, and continue on with your day.

Life is not a spectator sport. As the saying goes, things do not happen to you, they happen for you, your spiritual growth, and more importantly, for your happiness. Your job is to be an active participant in co-creating the best possible life for you.

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