Beginning in the 1970s, positive thinking was all the “buzz.” The discovery of esoteric philosophies and the introduction of such forums as EST was the “in” thing. Meditation was popularized. Psychologists, psychiatrists, ministers and social workers share the idea that it is always beneficial for one to think positively about what is going on in your life. These professionals tell us that holding onto negative thoughts and beliefs is like holding onto a time bomb that is constantly ticking — and eventually it will explode, causing massive damage to yourself — psychologically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

People like Jon Kabat-Zinn (Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts and author of several books on mindfulness) emphasize the importance of being mindful of what you are thinking. His book, You Are Not Your Pain, helps one to recognize that the pain in our bodies does not define us. With a change in our thoughts and beliefs, we can live more healthy and joyful lives.

Often when I share my beliefs about life, I am told that I should be “real.” The question that I pose in response to that statement is, “What is reality?” Is reality what I believe or is reality the current facts?

We all have read about the woman whose child got caught under a car. This 5’1″ mother – in undeniable love and will power — was able to lift that 4,000-pound car just enough to free her son from being crushed to death. What happened here? Logic tells us that this tiny lady should not have been able to lift that car. Yet she did. Why was this possible?

All of us have an undeniable power and presence within us, and when we don’t doubt it, and things need to get done, we forget the limitations that we have subjectively accepted. The most powerful tool we have available to us is the power of our minds. If I am speaking religiously or spiritually, I might call this power the Mind of God that dwells within each of us. This power that is available to all of us determines what our lives will look like.

If we believe disease and illness are powers, and that it is inevitable that we should have these experiences, then that must become our “reality.” I have a friend whose 34-year-old daughter believed (for whatever reason) that she would die of cancer. Her family and her friends frustratingly tried to convince her to change her mind. She departed from this life experience even though she had been given the best medical attention available. After the first series of treatments, doctors at a well-known hospital in New York City told her mother that there was every possibility that she would survive this cancer experience. Yet, the daughter continued to believe otherwise. Even the doctors were surprised that she did not survive. They said she had nothing within herself to combat the disease.

I have had several experiences in my life whereby the approach I took to remedy a condition or situation was absolutely caused by my willingness to trust that “something” within me. I believed that my body is not in charge even though there was an appearance of ill health, undesirable relationships and my finances were far from what I desired. The impact of my positive thinking changed my life.

I don’t feel sorry for myself. When I share with others who are experiencing similar situations, my positive attitude has assisted them in changing their attitude. They begin to think positively and their lives have changed. Positive thinking is an awesome tool that helps to bring about peace of mind.

When we look at what is working for us and shift it from what is not, the former takes a bigger role in helping us to live less stressful and more joy-filled lives — and that shift impacts not only on ourselves but others, as well. So think positively. You will find that we are not victims of life circumstances. We are victors in spite of all appearances.

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Portia Jones was ordained as a Unity minister in 1991. She furthered her studies of Religious Science and became a Licensed Practitioner and led a Religious Science group in Manhattan. Later, she let go of her spiritual teaching responsibilities and became a full-time school teacher for the next 20 years. She is now retired and resides in Puerto Rico, where she continues to write spiritual articles, give classes and workshops and is a monthly guest speaker at the English-speaking Unity Church in Santurce. Contact Portia at imgodaware13@gmail.com or call 787.242.2487.

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