Wednesday, December 7, 2011
In the Face of Adversity, Choose Joy
Did you know that there is a bacteria that thrives in cat litter that can infect humans and when it does it releases dopamine in the brain? It is the same bacteria that pregnant women need to avoid, and when your kitty scratches the litter, it’s released into the air.
Did you know this bacteria may be a factor in the success of high powered athletes and business people*? The releasing of dopamine in their brains as a result of exposure to this bacteria may give them super confidence that empowers them to rise above the fray and achieve super success.
So...what does that say about success and confidence?
I have always contended that our success and happiness are in direct proportion to our belief that we deserve these things and our willingness to do what it takes to bring them to us. There is no rule that states that only x number of people get to do what they love or be happy.
There really is something there to the idea that our chemistry defines us. I fight that chemistry myself most days, especially at this time of year when there isn’t much light.
So how do we, Zen master trainees, make our way around the large rock of adversity and flow with the stream of happiness?
Well here are my two cents. I wake up every day and think deeply about my life. I think about the job I just left, the money that’s not coming in yet, the bills coming due, my chronic health condition, what all of these things mean to my family, the people who have hurt me, the people whom I have lost along the way...I think about every thing that worries me, makes me sad, hurts me...and then I let it go.
Then I let the myriad of ideas I have that may be the answer to these problems rush into my brain like a tidal wave. I could do that! How about this? Why am I worrying, it will work out! I can’t control what has been, but I can control my reaction to it.
I zero in on one or two things I can do that day to begin the process of bringing success to me. I get up and do something. Because thinking is only the first step, then the doing starts.
I let go of the negative thoughts that tell me I am not worthy and it will never work and I embrace the simple idea that I am in charge. Then I think about my considerable blessings and focus all of my energy in a positive direction.
I choose joy.
You can too! You can choose joy, even in the midst of the most difficult moments of your life, you can choose joy. That doesn’t mean you ignore the sad stuff, but it does mean you move through it with a mindfulness of the good stuff that is still surrounding you even when the tough stuff is happening. Then you can move from that place and impact positive change in your life and the lives of those around you.
Pay it backward, pay it forward, pay it sideways. Focus on the good stuff and I swear your thoughts will impact your reality. Everything in life is perspective.
If *people who sniff kitty litter believe they are limitless, well galdangy...so can you.
*Do not sniff kitty litter! An imbalance of dopamine can be a very bad thing and is a factor in sleep disorders, hyperactivity, schizophrenia and other so fabulous mental illnesses, I'm just using this as a way to make a point. Forget the kitty litter, the confidence is in you.