Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Careful Construction 1/13/09

We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.

Carlos Castaneda
Hello from freezing Pennsylvania

There's a modern Kabbalist scholar who likens our minds to a radio which only plays two stations, One station only gives us good news, the other only bad news. We can choose to listen to the bad news station if we wish, the bad news coming from our heads, and many people do. Or we can listen to the good news, the good thoughts.

But here's the catch. According to the Kabbalist, Satan will come and switch the dial from the good station to the bad station the moment your back is turned. So you have to pay close attention to what you're hearing and keep you eye on that dial.

My analogy has always been a stream. If you're sitting in a row boat in the middle of a stream and you wish to go upstream you have to row. If you sit there and do nothing but wish your were upstream, you will float down stream. It's inevitable.

"Oh how can I think positively with my life in such a mess? I just can't" But now is the best time. Things take time. Some of the misery you have today is the result of things you used to think about. So knock it off. Throw a grain of light right into the face of all the darkness in life and keep doing it.

Thoughts affect not only our lives but the lives of others also. Even though we're all humanoids and as different from each other as flowers are, there is such a thing as group think. Collect a bunch of nihilists, antagonists and fatalists in a room and then add a few, just a few, positive thinkers and watch the change.

I was doing a play in Cincinnati and it was generally well received by the audiences. But one afternoon the folks who came were a particularly good group. After the performance we had a talk back session with them where they could ask us anything they wanted to. And the end of the session I said to them that if they treated actors the way they treated us they would never see a bad performance. One of them asked my why. I said I wasn't sure but I thought it was because they came in to the theatre expecting to have a good time, they came in with a good attitude and it affected us, the actors. They made it easy for us to give our best.

Years ago I spent a winter all by myself in a house upstate New York. I had a store of food, plenty of wood for the stove and some books, But there was no one else around. I had no one to talk to except my cat, who was a nice guy but not much of a conversationalist. I vowed that if I ever got the chance I would talk about what I learned from going through that dark, cold tunnel. And so I do.

Do something good for yourself today.
The Vagabond


Linda's World said...

I love your opening quote. half Our lives, even with circumstances we can't control, are still what we make them. The old "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade" thing. Linda from Washington where it's drying out.

Leigh said...

I picked up a set of audio CD's on Kabbalah at the thrift store, but haven't taken the time to listen yet. A cold winter's night is the perfect time to do that, I'm thinking.
:) Leigh

Big Mark 243 said...

Interesting post!

a corgi said...

I so totally agree DB; most of the battles we are facing are in our own minds; its easy too to be affected by the people you are aroud; being around negative people does make one see all the bad things in this world; being around someone who sees joy in the midst of difficulties is a true pleasure to be around; great insightful words today :)


Alice said...

Hi DB. Thanks for the pep-talk. Now in this cold weather (your place is sooo much colder than mine) is a good time to be optimistic :)....

Beth said...

Great thoughts, D. Just as negativity feeds itself, so does positivity. I always prefer to be around the positive, or gently nudge others in that direction!

Love, Beth

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Positive attitude is contagious. Catch some today :o)

Breezy said...

Negative thoughts are so damaging. I took a class once where the teacher explained when you deal in negative terms... like asking yourself "Why am I so stupid." your brain searches for an answer, and usually will give you one. So you should always make your phrases Positive.. like How can I make myself more knowledgeable in this area. Sounds like a logical thing to try, but I don't always remember to do it.