Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Story of Two Dogs

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I cannot help but start thinking about what I am grateful for. This past year has been an amazing journey for me, opening up my new design business, starting a coaching business and really experiencing a personal transformation in how I think. I am truly grateful for all the opportunities that have unfolded in my life this year. As they say “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. So many wonderful teachers have come into my life this year to truly help me understand and appreciate, “how I think is how I am”.

My journey started in January after I picked up the book The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon literally on whim. It is a quick read (my favorite) but the wisdom presented in these pages is beyond measure. I’ll share a simple story with you now from The Energy Bus that is truly profound and really opened my eyes and literally started me on my journey:

A man travels to the village to speak to the wise man. He says to the wise man, “I feel like there are two dogs inside me. One dog is positive, loving, kind and optimistic and then I have this fearful, pessimistic, angry and negative dog and they fight all the time. I don’t know who is going to win.” The wise man thinks for a moment and responds, “I know who is going to win. The one you feed the most. So feed the positive dog.”

We spend far too much time feeding our negative dog. The power of our mind is incredible. We so often live in our left brain, whose primary purpose is to connect our thoughts and experiences, forecast an outcome and protect ourselves from harm. But those thoughts and experiences are frequently interpreted in a negative light and instead of seeing possibilities; we experience anxiety, stress and become fearful of that which would require us to act in faith versus logic. Our right brain is our creative side, experiencing the here and now, seeing the possibilities and the goodness in everything. It doesn’t know fear or anxiety; it only understands positive energy and the light it brings to us to share with others.

Expressing our gratitude for all that we have is the first step to feeding our positive dog. As we begin this holiday season, take time out each day to acknowledge the good things in your life. Start a gratitude journal and write down ten things each day you are grateful for. We’ve all experienced the stress, anxiety and even sadness this time of year can bring. By focusing your minds now on gratitude and getting into the habit of gratitude, you’ll be amazed just how much more relaxed you’ll feel to really enjoy this holiday season.

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