Positivity is not something that everyone has. When faced with a challenge, or a dilemma, some people’s first reaction is “I can’t do that!” For example, when I wrote a post about Relaxation and how important is is for our mental health, a couple of friends told me that they just don’t have time to relax. I have another friend who is very ill, but I never see her without a massive smile on her face and a determination to make the most of every day. I wonder what makes the difference? Why does one person find quite small challenges impossible and yet another is willing to keep trying even when they know that the challenge they face is enormous?
A Change of Mindset
I had lunch with my mum the other day. She is 80 this year and never ceases to amaze me. Since my father died 16 years ago ( I can’t quite believe its that long…) she has grown and grown as a person, full of energy and vigour. Having smoked for 60 years she recently gave up and looks even brighter than ever. But she wasn’t always like this. I remember her being quite a negative person, but as time has gone on she has changed. Her cup is no longer half empty, but half full. Most days she would tell you her cup is full to overflowing. Even when she has difficult times, and she’s had a few lately, she lifts up her head and says, “I am not going to let this affect me. I am going to be good and kind and positive.”
So how has she changed? And how do clients I work with change from the negative loop they are in, to a loop of positivity?
The Two Wolves
There is a story I tell people…you may well have heard it before, but I find that it really resonates with the people I see. It is the story of the Two Wolves… There was once an old man, a Cherokee, who was sitting with his grandson….They were talking together about life and the way we live.
The old man told the boy that each of us has within us two wolves who constantly battle for superiority. There is a Bad Wolf full of Anger, Hatred, Self Pity, Arrogance, Envy, Lies and Negativity…. and there is a Good Wolf full of Love, Kindness, Empathy, Hope, Humility and Positivity.
The boy looked at his grandfather and thought for a while, then asked, “Grandfather, which of the two wolves is strongest? Which wolf will win?” The old man smiled at his grandson and said, “The one you feed…”
Every Cloud has a Silver Lining
So is that the secret? Can you become more positive by seeking out the good things in life and choosing to feed your Good Wolf? My answer to that would be, Yes. Now, I know that not every day is brilliant. There are days when things are actually rather rubbish and there can be periods of our lives when it seems everything is dark and dismal. Yet, even in those days there will be moments where the sun shines through, moments where the dark clouds are not quite so dark.
By feeding our Good Wolf we lighten our days. If we can find one good thing from a terrible situation, or if we can react in a way that is kind and understanding, it changes the way our brain works. By feeding the good we start to notice more of the good around us and that way the sun starts to shine.
I am not saying that this is the easiest thing you will ever do, but wouldn’t all of us rather live in a world where the Good Wolves thrive? There is no script to our lives…. There are no rules that say you have to be a certain way… and that means that you can change. Tomorrow, or today, or now….you can choose to think a different way. I think that’s what my mum has done. I think that she has chosen to love the people and the world around her, no matter what, and by feeding her Good Wolf she has changed the way she thinks, the way she lives. She relishes life.
That is part of the work I do….helping my clients to think a different way. It is so wonderful to see people realise that, if they choose to, they can change their lives. If you are curious then why don’t you get in touch?
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