Thursday, February 24, 2011
Life is a Flower Garden: Lesson 1
“A man is what he thinks about all day long”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every plant starts with a seed. If you plant zinnia seeds, then zinnias will grow. If you plant daisy seeds, then daisies will grow. Life is the same way. If you plant seeds of unhappiness then naturally an unhappy life will sprout forth. If you plant seeds of joy, then happiness will naturally grow. But what are these seeds? And how do you plant them? And how can you weed your garden so that you’ll have room for joy to grow?
Through a series of simple steps, this book will show you how to take control of your garden, weed as necessary, and continually enrich the soil so that the flowers are so healthy and dense that even the occasional bad seed will be lost in the lush flower bed.
First, it is important to understand the seeds that were planted in the first place. It all begins with your thoughts. Every thought is a seed that will germinate, form roots, and grow. Over time, repetitive thoughts of the same nature tend to grow stronger, supporting each other. This is great if the thoughts are happy and positive, but this is detrimental to your well being if the thoughts are negative.
In “The Power of Positive Thinking”, Norman Vincent Peale wrote, “Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex." If you are in a state of unhappiness, it is a result of repetitive unhappy thoughts, which over time have become your natural way of reacting to the world.
Many people aren’t even aware of what they are thinking, or that their thoughts have so much power over their emotional state. How can you tell what you’re thinking? One sure way to reveal the nature of your thoughts is to gauge what you’re saying. If most of your conversations revolve around drama and complaints, you probably feel stressed and depressed. Anything you say out loud first began as a thought in your mind. Speech is a mirror of your mind, therefore the nature of your speech will either positively or negatively affect your mood.
Joel Osteen understood this concept well when he said, “If we say it long enough eventually we're going to reap a harvest. We're going to get exactly what we're saying.” What kinds of things do you repeat all day long? Do you plant seeds of happiness and content with your words or do you plant weeds of stress and despair?
Your thoughts affect your emotions.
This week start to notice how you are feeling. When you are upset, what are you thinking? When you are happy, what thoughts are on your mind? Begin to understand the relationship between thoughts and emotions. This lesson is about raising your awareness of both your thoughts and your emotions. Nothing else is required other than paying attention to both as much as you can.