Thursday, July 06, 2006

Are You For or Against?

You've probably heard it said that you've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything. Well, I watched the movie The Secret again last night with a new group of friends, and I started thinking about what I really stand for.

The whole mayor race in my hometown has also taught me a lot about the importance - for me - of being for someone, not necessarily against someone else. Although my friend Brad was defeated in his bid for mayor, I was extremely proud of him in his campaign. I also understand more about what Deepak Chopra once said regarding any political election: the candidate who is elected, whether it's for mayor or for president, represents the collective consciousness of the group who elects him or her. In essence, you get the person the collective whole is ready for.

In any rally, the person (or the cause) with the loudest voice will win. I don't mean loudest in terms of volume - although sometimes that is what happens. Wherever the collective whole puts its attention is where the action will take place.

I heard about at least one experiment where violent crime was reduced by 23 percent in Washington, D.C., during an 8-week period in the summer of 1993 by a group of people who engaged in meditation.

So if we're rallying against something, we will just as likely cause that to come to the forefront as if we were standing for something, unusual as that may appear on the surface. If we're marching against drugs and against terrorism and against war and against teenage pregnancy and against a certain political candidate, we are focusing more on what we don't want than what we do want.

Mother Teresa said: "I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there."

She knew that being "anti-" anything only brought more attention to what she didn't want.

So instead of thinking of all the things you don't want in your life, what are the things you really do want? Begin to notice where you're putting your attention at work. What are the things that bug you? What's the message there for you? Could you shift your attention from what bugs you to what you really appreciate? How about at home? Are you more aware of what you don't want your kids to do than what you do want them to do? It seems easier to tell little kids "NO" than to show them "YES." But what's more effective in the long run?

Just try it. Begin to be for things instead of against them and notice the results. How do you physically feel when you focus on what you do want instead of what you don't want? If stress is the number one cause of illness and dis-ease in our lives, wouldn't it stand to reason that focusing on what we do want would alleviate some of that stress? I think it's worth a try.


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