Q2. You write about positive thinking and living a lot in your columns. Is it as easy as you make it sound? I come from a very negative background and I find it hard to trust people or life for that matter.
How can someone like me change to become happier and more at peace with myself?
A. The very fact that you've written as you have and sincerely want to change means you're already on your way.
Our past, upbringing and background has a lot to do with how we think and feel but this is not fixed in stone. You can change everything except your basic nature. Practical tips help so here goes - write down all the ways in which you think you live negatively and then look for ways to change each one.
catch yourself out every time you think a negative thought particularly about yourself and change it straightaway.
read lots of books about positive thinking and living, especially success stories as they offer inspiration
positive affirmations really help as they're very powerful and over time can change many of your so-called fixed ideas
surround yourself with positive people as ideas have energy and you will absorb those of the people around you
forgive those in your past who passed on negative ideas to you as they probably were taught that themselves
Trust is the vital key as the more you trust, the more life rewards you. Read Florence Scovel-shinn's book, `the game of life' to help with this.You will gradually feel more confident and happy as you practise these strategies and you will start t0 notice your life changing around you.
It always amazes me how ready most of us are to live with limitations. We settle for second best, put up with things we don't like and generally, let a whole series of factors limit our experience of life. Of course, it comes back to our belief systems and how we perceive our choices and our journey.
If you feel that struggle is normal and life should be hard, it will be but if you love yourself and expect good things to happen for you, they will. Your own self-worth will determine the external realities of your life., the `reflections' you see every day. Most people don't ask much of life and what we do want, we believe to be unreachable instead of realising the infinite power we have at our disposal to get what we want, not by manipulation or control but simply asking. We will look more at the power of the mind next month but for now, I want to talk more about limitations.
In previous columns, I've mentioned labels and how we tend to wear the ones that have been placed on us from childhood, unconsciously following the path set up by these ideas like `fatso,' `stupid,' `clumsy,' `untidy.' of course not all labels are uncomplimentary but even the nice ones still limit us. None of us should have to be confined to one behavior all the time, as we are really a mass of conflicting characteristics. If we embrace that idea, we can live quite comfortably with our apparent contradictions and experiment with being different things. If on the other hand, we try to live in a black-and-white way, we will be confused or too controlled - neither is desirable. So accept that you are both tidy and untidy, talkative and quiet, rude and polite and so on.
Body Talk Column is hosted by Charmaine Saunders. www.charmainesaunders.comSend your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org attention Charmaine.