Our spring issue is out now. Our regular contributor Judith McAdam writes on the magic of changing our focus during challenging times. Dive on in to learn more…
The Game of Positive Steps
Redirect Your Focus
by Judith McAdam
When we are going through a challenging experience, it may seem like we don’t have any freedom or choice. We may feel trapped in the situation, or only choose to see things in one way. Would you believe we have the freedom to choose in every moment? But it’s our fear that makes us feel like we are trapped, stuck or broken. That fear, anger or resentment causes us to create monstrous stories in our head. The chitter-chatter of all the perceived outcomes is horrendous, and the anxiety felt viscerally in our bodies is palpable.
The truth of the matter is that each negative thought, word or action is taking us further away from any satisfactory conclusion. Those negative thoughts are blocking our way forward like big rocks in front of us. Take, for example, people who are going through divorce; often, they have been so wounded by their experiences with each other that they unconsciously choose to berate their ex-spouse and punish themselves internally in the process. I know this to be true from my own experience with my former husband. Each morning in the shower, my incessant negative inner dialogue would run amuck, invariably spreading all sorts of negative vibes into my day. This angry internal chatter would consume me, leading to all sorts of resentments, regrets, anxieties and fear. I remember thinking divorce was supposed to set me free from negativity, not lead me further into it! Ironically, when I had the freedom in the form of a piece of paper in the shape of my divorce decree, I didn’t have freedom in my mind. I needed desperately to redirect my negative feelings and create something better. Otherwise, I stood the risk of becoming very bitter, and this would most definitely stop me from moving forward. So, I took the advice of Florence Scovel Shinn in her book The Game of Life and How to Play It. Her words of wisdom were in the form of this mantra: “I bless him a success and I go free.” So, I took to blessing my lovely ex a success. Each time I had a negative thought, I blessed him a success. At first, it was very hard as my mind wanted to regurgitate old stuff, but gradually, with practice, I got the hang of it and formed new neural pathways. Florence was right, it did set me free. I was free from anger, resentment, guilt, and a myriad of mindless negativity.
In fact, because of my own experiences with divorce, I now know there is a much better, easier, more cost-effective and positive way of decoupling. So much so that I, along with my colleague, help others to do the same through Mindful Mediation.
You can create internal freedom; all it takes is a little practice, and there is always a better choice. You can choose to play The Game of Positive Steps. If you would like to know more, contact me for details, and I will help you.
With love, Judith