Our minds are way more powerful than we know.
I recently read about an awesome insight that the cognitive psychologist Ellen Langer stumbled upon.
She noticed that elderly individuals who pictured themselves as when they were younger began to experience magical transformations in their lives.
Envisioning younger versions of themselves gave birth to them feeling and even thinking like they had actually become younger.
Men who had trouble walking were soon playing touch football. Memories improved and their blood pressure scores began dropping as well.
But we’ve all experienced this type of magic in our own lives in some shape and form.
Where the predominate thought that we hold over ourselves or a situation colors that moment.
The Buddha said, “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.”
All of this reminds of me of a girl…
Who became a friend.
It was weird getting to know her though.
She looked at the world through the lens of fear.
She trusted no one. Sure she had been hurt in the past by people she loved.
But she kept letting those memories shape every single encounter she had.
Every person she met she kept at arms length. Why? Well because they were going to hurt her. They would betray her.
And to protect her from having that happen to her again she never let anyone close. Never giving anyone the chance to get to know the real her.
She was lonely, depressed and lived her life on the brink of a nervous break down.
I asked her one day, “So how’s this working out for you?”
Because clearly it wasn’t.
And I gently suggested another way to look at life.
To lean in with trust. To believe that the universe was conspiring in her favor. That people were inherently good. That they could be trusted. And that she deserved to be happy and to be loved.
It was a leap – a giant one.
But eventually something shifted. She started to have a front row life. One filled with joy, love and laughter.
She had broken free from the prison that she had trapped herself in.
Khalil Gibran said, “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”
It may not be easy to make the shift to a front row life. But it’ll be totally worth it.
Keep Being Buddhaful!