Attitude - Section Two
My belief in the power, influence and effect of attitude goes way back and incorporates other aspects of the mind. Essentially, a positive and optimistic attitude have been of paramount importance to me as far back as I can remember. An upbeat approach to life. An outlook of joie de vivre.
Attitude has also long been something I have felt vital to an enjoyment or rather even joy of life, of living. Regarding my positive and optimistic attitude towards life many have asked how I could drink so abusively when I had such a good attitude. A good question, but at least it helped me to stay attuned to the eventual healing I experienced. However, it is so that on the lower level of attitude I always felt that I should be positive at all times, no matter how I felt or what the circumstances were. By doing this I now realise that I was piling positive thoughts, feelings and emotions on top of any negatives that existed and they did.
At some stage they would have to surface and I think when they did I gave in to alcohol again. Attitude was all about the mind, all in the mind, mind over matter, the power of the mind to the almost exclusion of feelings and emotion and the heart. Not taking into account that we are also body and soul, not just mind. And so my attitude became one of accepting certain negative realities rather than just passing over them as if a good attitude would eliminate them.
I believe that my positive and optimistic attitude has played a major role in my life, in a number of ways. As a result of this approach to life, I have been able to lead a very joyful and enjoyable life, even through the depths of alcoholism. It may well be so that the fact that I am alive can be largely attributed to this attitude.
Attitude has a bearing on virtually all aspects of our lives. In my case, I was encouraged by my attitude to develop and maintain a purposeful approach. My attitude motivated me to exercise regularly, to seek spiritual answers to my questions of life, to appreciate and be grateful.
Source: A SANE MAP - My Journey in Recovery from Addiction.
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Day 3: Acceptance Of Others
It is important to accept others exactly as they are.
To have no expectations of them, whoever they may be – family, relative, friend, and colleague. We might influence others but we cannot change them. Just as only we can change ourselves, so can others only change themselves.
If we have no expectations of others, we cannot be disappointed. Just as we have freedom of choice in everything, including how we behave, so do they. There are probably people wishing that we were different, but we are what we are. The same applies to them. We make mistakes, can be unpleasant, behave badly, are rude etc. We do these things so we need to accept that others do as well.
Whereas some time ago, I might have done something wrong, and, angry as I was then, with time I have accepted it happened and cannot be changed. Someone else might be doing a similar wrong currently. The only difference is the time factor. In time she/he may well accept it. We will be wise to accept it right now.
We will retain our positive energy by accepting others for who and what they are, and not waste our energy on negative, debilitating wishes for others to be different.
“If You Feel Good About Yourself You Will Feel Good About Other People” – Myles Munroe
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You have probably heard of the “Power of Positive Thinking” (incidentally also the title of an excellent book by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale). Some realize how true and beneficial positive thinking is, and put it into practice; others believe it to be true, but don’t actually utilize it; or if they do, only infrequently, whilst still others don’t believe it to be true or merely see fit to ignore it. Others at the extreme end of the spectrum castigate it and call it an unrealistic approach to life.
Positive thinking is fundamentally wonderfully powerful. There are far too many examples of vast numbers of people’s personal experiences, achievements, improvements, so-called ‘miracles’, resulting from such positivity, for it not to be taken seriously and accepted and used as a solid foundation for your life.
What would you prefer to be: happy or unhappy? ; content or disgruntled, depressed?; calm and relaxed or apprehensive, anxious, tense, ‘stressed’? ; attractive – and attracting — or unattractive — and non-attracting?; healthy or unhealthy? ; optimistic or pessimistic? ; lively or lethargic? ; enthusiastic or disinterested?
I am sure that virtually without exception, everyone would give the same positive answers. But many people do not realize that they themselves control these emotions and conditions. Consciously or unconsciously you largely create these circumstances for yourself. You have the incredible power to dictate and control your life to a far greater extent than you may realize.
Ultimately, you decide for yourself if you are happy or unhappy. It is not ‘outside’, external circumstances or influences that cause you to be happy or unhappy, but rather how you react — or better, respond — to these circumstances. The very same incident can cause one person to be happy, and another to be unhappy. It is an individual’s own choice and decision. Happiness and unhappiness are states of mind. Who do you think controls your mind?
Whatever your current circumstances may be, it is vital to know that you can change them, for the better or worse, through the use of your own mind. From a technical or scientific point of view, it is not necessary to understand precisely how the mind works. It is necessary though, if you desire to be happier, that you know you are capable of causing happiness to manifest through the power of your mind, through positive, optimistic and constructive thinking.
We spend many hours working to earn money for necessities, comforts and luxuries in our own lives and others’, or for whatever purpose. And yet, we often allocate so little, if any, time to improving ourselves, to ‘positivising’ our attitude and state of mind, so that the quality of our lives is automatically and habitually improved.
‘Positive Being’ is a description of what you are when you consistently strive to internalise and practise the power of positive thinking. It is in your hands. Or mind rather.
In the introduction, I wrote that the purpose of the book is "to motivate, uplift and inspire myself. To remind myself I am a human being with weaknesses, that I have good qualities, and that with commitment I will be healed. In this spirit I pass these writings on to you. I hope and pray they will serve to motivate, uplift and inspire you.” - Active Acceptance - 100 Meditations For Happiness & Recovery
Day 1: Self-Acceptance
Accept yourself totally as you are right now; who you are, what you are; no matter what your circumstances may be; forget about what you have been, or what you might still be, as you are right now is as you are.
You can change it. Nevertheless you cannot change in the immediate moment, the present, who and what you are.
It is necessary to accept yourself fully, unconditionally and with love.
Do not wish that you were someone else, or that you were a different you. You can still be a different you, probably the real you, but now be happy with who you are and what you are.
Unconditional Love Heals
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I was walking along a mountain path recently as the sun was rising, I was walking towards it as the sky was lightening and I thought, yes, I am walking towards the light. In doing so I felt that I was also heading in the direction of a lightness of spirit, a lightness of being.
I was considering the many things I could be grateful for. I did not have to go any further than look all around me to appreciate the splendour, variety and abundance of Nature. As I reflected on these things I felt lighter – physically, mentally and spiritually.
I turned around to look at the path I had just travelled, away from the light. Sometimes we have to face the dark as well, the less than pretty things that Life puts in our way. It is necessary to face and deal with the dark, and we do it best when we remain aware that there is always light – we just need to face in the right direction. Then we see more clearly; the path we need to tread becomes more visible again.
I also took in the myriad colours all around me. I thought, these colours are inside me as well otherwise I could not recognise them externally. I focused on sensing these colours at their vibrant, brightest intensity. In so doing I felt these colours to be uniting into a pure white light, vibrating and pulsating from me outwards. And I felt I am thus surely having a positive influence on my surroundings. I felt a lightness of being.
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Here is a quote from the digital eBook:
"Reading just a paragraph at a time can inspire and motivate you to growth and healing. No specific religion is implied in this book and you may wish to use whatever term is your preference for ‘God’. Take what you feel is of benefit to your particular, unique, individual circumstances. This book may also allow those who are affected by others’ alcohol abuse (or addiction) to have greater understanding and thereby possibly greater compassion and empathy as well. This book is not intended as a ‘cure’ for alcohol abuse (or any other addiction). The intention is rather attitudinal healing, motivation, upliftment, empowerment and inspiration."
Although the topic of energy can be somewhat philosophical in approach, in the context of this brief discussion it is a very tangible concept.
Similar to the feeling we experience when we are in a powerful car or boat or airplane, so also can we feel the presence of energy in circumstances. environments, things and people — individually and collectively.
Life is not theory, ii is practice; and that should be practise, the verb. Hence the title ‘Living Approach’, not ‘Life Approach’.
It is easy to talk, theorise and philosophise about life. But what happens on the ground, as it were, is what counts.
Life to a great extent revolves around choices we make and decisions we take.
Being aware of possible consequences and choosing sensibly is often something we only consider in hindsight, often to our detriment.
We may be fearful in taking a definite decision. Sometimes the results of a decision might be damagingly irreversible, which is why deep consideration is often required of us even in seemingly small or mundane matters.
On the other hand, when an opportunity or situation arises it may well be better to take a decision and move with the opportunity rather than linger on in limbo, ever analysing; even a ‘mistake’ can be a step forward in a positive direction.
In actual fact the more mistakes we make the more successful we are likely to be, because we are ‘practicing’ more. (Please note: this does not apply to every activity or profession in life!)
I am a Recovery Coach, Life Coach, Author and Speaker. I live in Cape Town, South Africa.