Have you walked through life feeling trapped only to discover you were the one who caged yourself?
Are you quietly answering Yes or No to this question? I’ll take a general guess on the averages; if you’re a younger person reading this I’ll jump out and say most of you are answering No, if you’re an older person, one who’s lived 45 years and beyond, I’ll guess that most are answering yes. Hey there’s always exceptions!
The age split I’m anticipating on ‘the yes’ versus ‘the no’ crowd has nothing to do with being young and having less to feel ‘caged’ about. Rather it’s based on the assumption that age, wisdom and often difficult self-analysis leads us to one of the greatest secrets to life, that ‘we are the only ones who CAN trap ourselves‘. In order to fully appreciate the power of that statement, think of historical figures who have literally been wrongly imprisoned, yet their mind, their true self, could never be caged, unless they allowed it. The inspirational gift of our time, Nelson Mandela, was the greatest example of this.
The Poem that helped Nelson Mandela Get Through 27 Years of Prison:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Invictus, by William Ernest Henley
Featured Video: Today is Your Day by Shania Twain – [Tweet These Lyrics] (Lyrics) ‘You’ve got what it takes to win, today is your day to begin’ by @ShaniaTwain #yourday
The Power of the Mind is a very difficult concept to wrap our heads around! Taking control of our thoughts can seem like a foreign concept until we give it a try. It’s like building any muscle in our body..the mind muscle can be shaped and trained. I’m not a doctor of the mind (obviously!), however, I do practice mindful thought. Sometimes is easy to control and direct my thoughts and when it isn’t, I just keep trying. Here are some personal techniques I use to get myself out of a funk:
- When I’m worried or stressed about a life event, problem, crisis … you name it… I actively STOP my mind from rehashing the worry and event over and over. There was a time I believed this technique to be impossible and, in fact, thought it was complete hogwash! I’ve since learned that the only hogwash was my short-sighted thinking. One of the exercises I practice when my mind is running away with stress, worry and unproductive thought, is repeating something of my own choosing over and over and over in my head until the worry/stress/ thought is completely drowned out; pick your repeat-thought..mine is usually a prayer, or one single inspirational word. I use this prayer or word to drown out my negative thoughts.
- I’ll use headphones and inspirational music whenever possible. The operative word here is inspirational. I don’t choose sad, depressing, or negative song lyrics that will only ‘feed’ the worry and stress!
- I’ll try to deal with the issues head-on whenever possible. Avoidance doesn’t work for me, and dedicating scheduled time to deal with issues works best. That way I feel as though I’m working towards a resolution, solution, or am just plain moving forward instead of standing helpless in the pit of worry.
- I talk to my closest, most trusting friends, and ask for their ear – My friends and I do this for each other. I used to be very bad at discussing in great detail my worry and problems with friends (primarily because I didn’t want to feed those issues by talking about them). However, now, when I’m ready I will give my inner most thoughts a way out of me, BUT it’s always with the intent of being productive, not just whining…although it may start as a dump-fest of whining and anger, ultimately my friends are the sort where something productive comes from the talk.
Number ‘1’ is my favorite. It’s the easiest to use anywhere, anytime. It doesn’t require other people or access to music or headphones; you can call upon this technique no matter what you’re doing and where you are. As an example, the other day, while taking a walk, my mind started going ‘in the wrong direction’ so I immediately called upon this technique to stop that train from leaving the station! Once I started repeating my own personal mantra over and over, half way through the walk I was back on track with effective thinking. If I slip into negative, useless worry …back to my mantra – rinse and repeat brain training!
So Small by Carrie Underwood, Another Country Song about Not Stressing that gives us Perspective
The lyrics to this song are a perfect reminder about what’s important in life and what we need to focus on: (Lyrics) ‘What you’ve been out there searching for forever is in your hands’ – As the song says, when we figure out that love is all that matters after all, it sure makes everything else seem so small. – So Small – Carnival Ride
About ‘Today is Your Day’ by Shania Twain
The song was released on June 12, 2011 and was Shania Twain’s first song release in over 6 years. This uplifting tune was used as a promotional single for the documentary television series ‘Why Not? with Shania Twain (2011)’. Fans of Shania Twain can find more about her on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.