Think on These Things

Finally, brothers and sisters, 
whatever is true, 
whatever is noble, 
whatever is right, 
whatever is pure, 
whatever is lovely, 
whatever is admirable
—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things. 
-- Philippians 4:8

My head has been in that bad space where every thought turns negative, I'm sour, I'm anxious, I'm not the person I want to be.  Sure there's a whole list of things I wish would change in my life and I think if these "things" change, I will be happier, more positive, more....

But I've lived long enough to know that's not how it goes.  You must start from the inside out.  I must choose where my mind lands and where my thoughts go when life isn't going according to my plans and people don't behave in kindness.  It's so hard.  That's why this verse from the Bible is great, mostly because it's true.  Because what you think really can change your outlook and your person and just maybe your circumstance.

Sometimes it's hard for me to conjure up good thoughts when I'm in the midst of ruminating.  So I created this "Think Good Things" spot that is a visual push for me to get out of my negative mindset.

This little corner in my dining room is a little visual sampler of the Philippians Bible verse.  From there I can turn my thoughts on things that are true, honest, noble, praiseworthy and lovely.

Master Gardener

"Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, growing the flowers and fruits, which he requires,
so may a man tend the garden of his mind,
weeding out all the wrong, useless and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of the right, useful, and pure thoughts. 

By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul, the director of his life. 

He also reveals, within himself, the laws of thought, and understands, with ever-increasing accuracy,
how the thought-forces and mind-elements operate in the shaping of his character, circumstance, and destiny." 
 – James Allen As A Man Thinketh

A Lil' Bit of Beauty

Many years ago I had a friend who told me that when she was having a bad day she would call a friend - usually one she hadn't spoken to in awhile to catch up and see how they were.  I think this is probably one of the best pieces of advice I've ever heard and have used.  As Anne LaMott wrote, "A sick, worried mind can't heal a sick, worried mind."  But sometimes the hardest thing you can do is just get out of your own head.  Another friend said to me a couple of weeks ago that my mind was like a bad neighborhood and I shouldn't go there alone.  Or,  at all...  I love my funny, wise friends.  I owe them so much for keeping me laughing and sane and showing me a different way.  Then, I can move forward and help someone else get through that bad neighborhood.  I think that's primarily why I blog.  Sure I like showing you what I paint.  But I have found that painting not only makes me happy but it also makes others happy.  And for some reason that's really important to me.  There's so much in the world draining us of our creativity, energy and joy, we really must find ways to put some beauty back.  And if it's as simple as drawing a smiley face in the dirt on your car window, painting a vase of roses or walking through a bad neighborhood with a friend, it's a good thing.  It's important.  It matters.