When I was in my mid-thirties I moved to a new town and I needed to find someone to cut my hair. A very good friend suggested that I use the woman that she had been going to for years. I liked her hair, so I decided to give her a try. When I first started going, the hair stylist was very nice and complimentary. Soon, however, she moved to a place where she would spend my entire hair cut complaining about her ex-husband, her money and the sad state of the world. Her hair cut was well priced and she did an excellent job. But, how I felt was much more important than the state of my hair. While we may wish the best for people and want to help if there is some way to help, we just can’t allow ourselves to sit for an hour in hostage to negative energy that will set us back in our efforts to stay positively aligned. So, because feelings are contagious, I stopped going.
There is a rule of energy that comes from the book “A Course in Miracles” that relates to the reason I stopped going to the hairstylist. It is “thoughts increase when we share them.” Thoughts are contagious when they are shared. It seems painfully obvious but it is worth exploring. A single thought really does not have much power. But a thought shared increases in power in the person sharing as well as the person you share it with. How we feel is based on the thoughts we think yet every subject could have hundreds of thoughts surrounding it. Why share the negative ones? Especially if sharing them increases them. So we need to change our thoughts so better feelings can follow. How we feel is always, 100 percent of the time, based on what we think. There are a number of ways to redirect our thoughts and feelings. The easiest way is to change our focus from what you don’t want to what we are thankful for. Get into gratitude.
It's not always easy to find a place for gratitude. It feels almost inappropriate at times. In my work as a Life Coach and Energy Healer, my main motivation is to help people find their most empowered thoughts in order to live their most empowered lives. The world does seem to focus on the negative. Look at the media, for example. How often do you hear stories about the good things that happen compared to the amount of fires, shootings and terrible things that happen on a daily basis? We are practically trained in anticipating what can go wrong. This is not always a negative thing. We do need to know how to handle a crisis, I would never suggest someone not take CPR training. It is always a good idea to know what to do in a fire, a car crash or if someone is choking. But, we are not trained in is how to be happy. Our training basically stops at “staying alive.” We want to thrive and gratitude helps you get there.
Gratitude is the simplest and the fastest way to move negative energy into a u-turn. There are many different ways we can move into gratitude. The simplest way to do it is to start a list. You can start with broad strokes and get more specific. There is always something that you can find for which to be grateful. I have had clients tell me this is impossible given their situations. If you have two eyes that can see, two ears that can hear and two hands that carry you are better off than many people. If you have people to love and who love you, you are incredibly blessed. There are always things for which to be grateful and these shouldn't be taken for granted. I suggest starting the day by jotting a few things down. Sometimes I suggest that my clients carry a small notebook with them and try to add to it during the day.
Another way you can shift into gratitude is to look for things to appreciate. I used to tell my children when they went into school that at the end of the day I expected at least one story of something wonderful that happened. This actually set their minds to find something wonderful and they always did. In addition to the energy and coaching work I do, I am also a massage therapist. When I first started massaging I made a decision that with each client I would find something to appreciate. I never had a client that I could not find something beautiful about, from their smile to their personality. Our energy body really does not know the difference between an expectation of something and a guarantee of something. If you expect something to happen, you are pre-paving the road energetically, making it so much easier to happen in the physical world. This is why athletes visualize a win before they play a game. If you can visualize something or expect it, you are positioned to attract it.
A third way to step into gratitude is to vocalize appreciation. I had a friend who suggested when my children were young that I should tell my children three things that I liked about them each day. This helped me be mindful for things to appreciate about them. But, beyond that, it got me in the habit of complimenting them when they did something well. I did not make up things or pretend. I spent my day searching for things to tell them they did well or that I appreciated. When you say your appreciation out loud, you are increasing appreciation in them and in you. You can do this with clients, with co-workers, too. You can find something to appreciate in even the most onerous of relationships. Because energy is contagious, you might find that the more you express your appreciation, the more you feel appreciated.
The HOW TO with Kim Mazzella is a weekly column featuring Kim's expert life coaching tips for the modern woman navigating entrepreneurship, motherhood, work-life balance, and more!
ABOUT KIM MAZZELLA:
Kim Mazzella, founder of the Life Guidance Center, is a Healer, Teacher, Spiritual Coach and Writer. Her work is based in the belief that our natural state is health and wholeness. Her job is to help those she works with remove the blocks that they have placed in the way of the free flow of energy and healing. She integrates the knowledge from her study of A Course in Miracles and universal laws with her study of massage and understanding of the body’s energy system to create a holistic approach to healing and change.