Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Small Steps

I have been thinking this morning about some more good advice I have received. I think the best advice is simple advice and these two examples both fall in that category.

The first was something I read in one of Tony Robbins's books. I think (ironically) it was in Giant Steps, but I don't have the book anymore and can't be sure. He was talking about how to get out of being "stuck" and said that when you are feeling overwhelmed by all that you have to accomplish and that is causing you to be unproductive, the best thing to do is to just do something - anything - even something really small. So, you can't figure out which one of the eighty million things you have to do you should do first. Instead of sitting there thinking about it, wash the dishes or make the bed or brush your teeth or pick up the clothes on the floor -- or cut your toenails or do some stretches. By doing something active, you get into the mode of accomplishing things, which puts you in a more positive frame of mind and helps you get going with the rest of your list.

The second piece of advice came from my Mom. For a long time she has been interested in positive thinking and the movement around all of that. I think the best thing she has shared with me from her studies is that it's important, when you're thinking negatively, to find something - anything - positive to focus on. So, you're lying in bed and you're really, really tired and you really don't want to get up and you are totally miserable at the thought of going to work. But, what is good about that moment? The bed feels so nice under your body. Your body is really relaxed and comfortable. Your breathing is calm and deep. Your partner (or cat/dog) is there with you and it feels nice to be next to him/her. You can see outside and it looks like a beautiful day. Mmmm... that coffee you made in the automated coffee maker smells good. Ahhhh... the CD playing in your CD alarm clock sounds nice. Etc. etc. etc. If you just start the ball rolling with a few positive thoughts, it sets things up in your brain so that it's easier to keep thinking positively.

On a related note, I have started practicing the loving kindness meditation and so far it has been wonderful. By thinking about directing thoughts and feelings of love towards myself and others, I start to feel more at peace right away. I am a very emotional person and someone who can be totally overwhelmed by negative thoughts and emotions. It's hard sometimes to get to a state of mind in which I can even begin cultivating loving kindness, but I am trying and I'm going to keep trying. I can tell already that it's well worth the effort.


Suze said...

I totally get that small steps thing. I have days at home with Daniel when I just don't know how I'll get through all those hours without losing my mind, and I start with, "OK, I really need to brush my teeth. And then we'll wash the dishes." And then I get through OK. By the same token, when I'm overwhelmed with a task like writing a huge paper or learning a difficult piece, I try to take one little bit at a time and not worry about the rest. It really helps.

A friend of mine was over here yesterday and she told me she saw a talk by some famous neuro-biologist here who does research on the effects of meditation on the brain. It sounded pretty cool.

andre said...

Thank you Pam.

Thank you