What we think about…grows.

Everywhere we look in the world we see things “going to hell in a hand basket” because it gets views, clicks, headlines, sells advertising and makes money.

It’s a bummer that things going well doesn’t generate nearly the BUZZ in our culture as distasteful deeds, disaster and destruction.  It also is a self-fulfilling thought cycle.

brain its the way it is lillibridge

OUR BRAIN SAYS: “I’ve been told things are very bad—so I will vigilantly look for ways to confirm this bias over and over.”

Whatever we choose to give the most attention to is what will grow and grow and dominate our thoughts.

Can you imagine if our news and political discussion every day/all day was filled with stories of remarkable acts of generosity, compromise and courage? 

Of course there are times in our lives when very challenging events and situations require a lot of thought and energy.  However, if we stay in that place when we things have settled down—it will no doubt adversely affect our health and our relationships.

So, why do it?  We all get addicted to ways of thinking…just like any other addiction.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix for long practiced patterns of thought. However, if we start to notice we just might be able to self correct this negative pattern of thinking a little tiny bit at a time.  If we all try focusing on the good things in our a lives a tiny bit more—we might just start a thought revolution. 

Hey, it’s worth a shot, huh?

what we think about lisa lillibridge

Happy International Day of HAPPINESS!

when-we-appreciate-the-good

I’m studying positive psychology with Tal Ben-Shahar through Kripalu and the Wholebeing Institute.  If I hold one thought in my head to make my life better it’s Tal’s quote, “When we appreciate the good, the good appreciates”.

We are what we think and  we’re always capable of changing our thought patterns. We have to BELIEVE that change is possible though.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HAPPINESS “A profound shift in attitudes is underway all over the world. People are now recognizing that ‘progress’ should be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing, not just growing the economy.

March 20 has been established as the annual International Day of Happiness and all 193 United Nations member states have adopted a resolution calling for happiness to be given greater priority.”

http://www.dayofhappiness.net/#join

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I need to lighten up.

This morning when I woke up I asked myself,

“What do I really need to pay the most attention today?”

This is a really good question, but I did not take my own counsel. My natural inclination is to get pretty intense.  Example: Over coffee this morning my husband and my daughters & I spent time reading about the 1973 Wounded Knee FBI standoff on The Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. It was interesting and my memory was jogged.  My girls wanted to know what I remembered about the story from when I was 8 years old.  We all wanted to know more about Leonard Peltier.

However, after they left for school, I thought, “WOW, we need way more kitten videos and way less dense discussion”.

There’s something about this day and age that I can’t quite put my finger on—a heaviness that’s way too pervasive in our culture.  Yes, lots of issues demand our attention…but, many, many don’t and I know that I’m wasting a lot of energy even thinking about them.  I want to keep a couple of images in my head for when I start getting too intense.

We are just a cog in the machine.  I’m only a microscopic portion of what makes the world hum. Too often I supersize my role—thinking it’s much greater than it actually is…you’re just a cog, Lisa, simply just a cog.

I’m simply a blade of grass in a field.  I’m not the field.  I’m a blade. Too me this is actually quite liberating. Now, if I can remind myself of these images when I start supersizing my place in the world, I’ll really have stumbled onto something.

 

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Here’s a few kitten videos if you find yourself getting way too intense today. Enjoy!

kittentoob.com

 

Pretending is perfectly OK.

bigger than life fake it till we make it lillibridge

Today I don’t feel at the top of my game, so, thought I would visualize myself BIGGER THAN LIFE.  I don’t have any idea what kind of affect it will have on my mental state throughout the day, however, so far it’s proven to be highly amusing.

happiness is a choice

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After a wonderfully dense four hour conversation this morning with two very smart thoughtful friends over coffee, pastry and strawberries I learned of the book: The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky. I wanted to give you a quick visual for the basis of the book. I personally need to use this pie chart as a quick visual reminder for my own happiness and choices.

“But what precisely can we do to hasten or bolster such increases in happiness? The answer lies in the pie chart theory of happiness. Recall that 50 percent of individual differences in happiness are governed by genes, 10 percent by life circumstances, and the remaining 40 percent by what we do and how we think-that is, our intentional activities and strategies.” Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside

OUR HAPPINESS IS WITHIN OUR POWER TO CHANGE not an entirely predetermined way of life. Let that marinade in your brain a while OR put that in your pipe and smoke it. Whatever resonates more for you. It might sound ridiculous, but some little changes could net big gains in your happiness level. Maybe worth a shot, huh?

Here’s the link to the book:
http://thehowofhappiness.com/

Status doesn’t get us much in terms of happiness.

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“Consider any individual at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his comfort.” —Alexis de Tocqueville

Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (French: 29 July 1805 – 16 April 1859) was a French political thinker and historian. He analyzed the rising living standards and social conditions of individuals and their relationship to the market and state in Western societies.

I caught the tail end of the Ted Radio Hour show Saturday afternoon with Alain de Botton’s new book and documentary. He talks and writes about our rising levels of comfort and our dwindling levels of satisfaction and happiness. It is all about COMPARISON. We live in a time of constant comparison and the irony that I am sharing this post on FACEBOOK isn’t lost on me. See if his work resonate for you. I thought there was some very provocative material in his research.

Status Anxiety Documentary by Alain de Botton:
http://www.documentarywire.com/status-anxiety

Ted Radio Hour/NPR:
http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=240782763&m=240817961