“We have two alternatives: either we question our beliefs – or we don’t. Either we accept our fixed version of reality – or we begin to challenge them. In Buddha’s opinion, to train in staying open and curious – to train in dissolving our assumptions and beliefs – is the best use of our human lives.”
Remember when you were a kid and you used to go for what you really wanted? You didn’t think twice about it. What happened? Where did that person go? The truth is, you still have it in you. Now, how do you bring it back?
As years go by, we start pushing down our desires, and what we truly want. Maybe we talk ourselves out of buying that new dress, or we tell our friend that we will grab dinner with them some other time, or perhaps you decide to put off learning French so you can watch Netflix. Before you know it, it’s been five years since you took your last vacation! The fact of the matter is, paying attention to ourselves takes practice. It is so easy to get caught up in our everyday lives. It becomes easier to take care of everyone else in the world, and it is usually us who gets tended to last. We forget our dreams or goals, and we lose sight of the idea that we can have more. But wait…THERE’S STILL TIME! You do not have to live like this, and you CAN have more!
You Get What You Focus On
“Neuroscience research has shown that our attention density – that is, what we put our attention on consistently – is what shapes our brains, shapes our reality, and guides how we create who we are and the world we see.” 
If you start to believe that you cannot have more, well then that’s what you are going to get. You start thinking smaller, and look at life through a microscopic lens, rather than seeing the possibilities that are surrounding us. You pay attention to all that is going wrong in our lives, rather than seeing the person who held the door for you at the coffee shop. Or maybe you just shrugged off the compliment that someone just gave to you. You start missing the joys in life, and that can have effects that go beyond just thinking positive. According to author and professor Barbara L. Fredrickson, PH.D, “Positivity broadens our minds and expands our range of vision.”  When we lead with a positive mindset, we have hope, and the desire to want more increases. We begin to see the possibilities for ourselves and for others. We catch ourselves in our victimhood, and shift out of it. “Positivity expands the scope of your visual attention, it also expands the conceptual connections you make. You come up with better ideas. When you face problems, you can come up with solutions and can see the possibilities,” she explains.
So, what does your thinking look like? Do you set goals for yourself? Do you have a five-year vision of what your life may look like? Do you map out your day, and create the day that you want to have? Or do you allow others to hi-jack it? If you are creating boundaries that delineate what you will and will not accept in your life, this will definitely help you to stay on track.
Most importantly, what does your self-talk sound like? Be mindful of how you are talking about yourself with others. Get rid of phrases such as “I’m never,” “It’s so hard,” “I tried,” “I’m such a…” You would be surprised how powerful these words are, and can get in the way of your happiness and success. Have the intention to succeed, rather than talking yourself out of something before even trying. I’m not saying that this process is going to be easy, but with practice and dedication you can certainly live the life that you want. No more shaming and blaming others… The only person getting in the way of happiness is you!
How Do I Break The Cycle?
According to author Joe Dispenza, of the book Evolve Your Brain, “The frontal lobe is a doorway we must enter if we choose to break the cycle of repetitive thinking and feeling, feeling and thinking.” So what exactly does this mean? Our brain is designed to create, build, and want more. But what happens when we stop?
- We become lazy, lethargic, and uninspired.
- We desire sameness or routine.
- We have difficulty focusing on single-minded tasks; we start projects or wishlists such as a new diet or exercise routine, and never follow through.
- We hardly ever learn anything new from a situation; rather than creating a different outcome for ourselves, we stay the same and continue to create the same situations.
- We have emotional outbursts when our routine is disrupted.
- We do not make any future plans, and go “with the flow.
Now, if any of these things listed above sound familiar to you, do not get discouraged. You are definitely not alone. Rather than focusing on all that isn’t happening in your life, shift your focus on all that you have accomplished lately, and on all that you can still change for the better. For instance, if you have thought about calling up a friend, call them. If you find yourself eating the same thing for lunch everyday, pick a new place to eat; or even better, bring your own lunch to work. This way, you are using the frontal lobe of your brain, and opening up new creative pathways for yourself. Sometimes it takes something drastic to happen in one’s life to make a change. However, if you are reading this blog that is a great first step. Have questions? Contact my office at (833) 488-9355 and schedule a free relationship coaching consultation.
**Rumaisa Khawaja – Relationship and Life Coach at Mandala Integrative Medicine.
 Dr. Judith Wright and Dr. Bob Wright, Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living, Nashville: Turner Publishing Company, 2013, Pg. 237.
 Dr. Barbara L. Fredrickson, Positivity, Crown Publishing Group, New York, 2009, Pg. 73.
 Joe Dispenza, Evolve Your Brain, Health Communications, Inc. Deerfield Beach, FL. Pg. 380