Today I would like to revisit a blog that I originally posted on March 7, 2013:
Sunshine or Shadow?
I love to collect quotations and have since high school. Back then I had a literature teacher who required us to keep a notebook, and write down quotes that we came across in our readings that struck us as profound, funny, irritating, and well or poorly written. It’s a habit that’s endured to this day. After all these years, you can imagine that my notebook (now in a computer file) is quite extensive. Anyway, a little while ago I was skimming through my notebook and I came across one of my favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.” I posted it on my Facebook page and planned to move on to blogging and other pursuits, but the quote stuck with me and I found myself meditating on it for several days.
When I think of that quote it conjures a picture in my mind of a person standing in mountain meadow filled with beautiful wildflowers. It’s a beautiful spring day with a clear blue sky. The sun is shining brightly overhead, and a cool breeze is gently blowing up from the valley below. However, the person has their back to the sun and is looking down towards their feet, at the dark shadow they’re casting. They’re so absorbed by the darkness they’re creating that they’re completely oblivious to the spectacular beauty that surrounds them.
I realized that the reason this quote and image stuck with me for so long is because it reminds me of so many of the people I see on a daily basis; not just in my practice, but also friends, colleagues, the person standing in line in front of me at the coffee shop, and yes, even myself at times. How many of us find ourselves fixated on the difficulties and irritations in our lives, or worse yet, worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet?
My point is that unpleasant and unfortunate things happen in all our lives; we can’t help it, that’s just the way the world works. However, while we usually can’t choose what happens to us, we can choose how we think and react to those situations. We can choose our attitude and mindset.
Unfortunately too many of us stand there concentrating on the dark and negative aspects or our lives and completely miss the fact that if we simply lifted our heads and looked around us, we would be flooded by the realization that we are also surrounded by bright and beautiful people, things and events. How much better would it be if we turned toward the sun so that we couldn’t concentrate on the shadows, because then they would be behind us?
If you constantly find yourself staring at your shadow instead of the flowers; counting your difficulties and misfortunes instead of your blessings, it’s probably because of the programming embedded in your subconscious. The good news is that hypnotherapy can help! In just a few sessions, a qualified clinical hypnotherapist can help you change your subconscious programming and thereby help you change the way you think, feel and react to life’s events.
So, what it comes down to is this; you have a choice. You can choose to live in the shadow cast by your own mind, or you can choose to turn and face the sun and put the shadow behind you. What’s it going to be; sunshine or shadow?
Here’ hoping you have an intentionally great and bright day.