I wonder how much of our reality is based on external circumstances, and how much is a product of our attitude. Of course, this topic has been explored and written about extensively. Everyone knows that it is a combination of the two and that the mind is powerful when it comes to persuasion. But, how much reality can the mind create or influence? And, how does it do this?
I studied psychology in college and I know about the various theories. I am probably too self-reflective, but I am still always surprised when my my world shifts suddenly. I want to know what has the power to do this!
Sometimes it is the weather. I love the clouds. The rain stirs life into my soul. Then a warm sunny breeze can make me feel very peaceful. The right weather can make me become absorbed in my earthly surroundings and draw all my attention away from everything else and into the present moment.
Sometimes, I wonder if it is hormones. Can hormones really override intellect and established beliefs!? I love my family and my life is good, but if my biology is out of whack, I can get into the fight or flight mode. In a normal female cycle, this lasts about 3-5 days, but my menopausal body can be much more complicated.
The other factor is stress or crises. When things are going well, we can be happy in our lives or we can feel comfortable enough to get restless and wish for more, or for change. When a tragedy occurs or an upset, we long for the clock to turn back, we hold on to each precious moment. Sometimes, the bad circumstances make us more unhappy. It can go either way.
As young adults we are told to find out what we need to be happy and to seek it out. We think "if I have security, a loving partner, success, adventure.. I will be happy". Some of this is true and we need to avoid situations that make us unhappy. But, recently, my sister told me about something she heard while listening to Deepak Chopra. He said that we don't need things to be happy, rather, we need to be happy to have these things come into our lives. Crazy, backwards, but simple and probably true. So that leaves the happiness coming from within (our attitude). That leaves our mind (not to be confused with our ego) having a ton of control over our reality. If this is true, I choose door #2 please - having a happy attitude as much as possible.
There was a story I heard recently about a man who said he had a wild dog and a tame dog living inside his soul and they fought all the time. His friend asked him which one was winning and he responded - which ever one I feed the most.
It is a beautiful day, I love my family, I have a comfortable home and I get to do art everyday, I have friends and I get to explore the world and my potential. Are there bad things? Yes, but I am not going to feed them.
[ This is the apple tree that I pass everyday on the way to class. And, yes, I am still wearing my skirts.]