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What Do You Think?

"If you knew how powerful your thoughts are, you'd never think a negative thought."- Peace Pilgrim

This weekend, I went to watch a men's doubles tennis match for the team I play for. Although our team struggled and ultimately lost the match, one of the men on our team had a pretty awesome serve. Throughout the match, our team would win the games where it was this particular player's turn to serve. He would win the games easily because his serve was so strong and fast, it was rare that the other team would even be able to return the ball. His serve became such a nuisance to the other team, that even though they were winning, and did win the match, their main objective was to win a game that our teammate was serving. On the last game of the match, as our star server stepped to the line, and even though they were already winning, our opponents loudly declared, "We are going to win your serve!" Everyone laughed, except the player making the promise. In fact, listening to the conviction in his voice, I was intrigued to see what would happen next, since he seemed to believe wholeheartedly that his team could actually pull it off.

The first serve went off. It went out of bounds. From there, the tension was palpable. It was as if you could see that the opponent had gotten into his head, and the more he tried to prove him wrong, the truer the declaration became. It wasn't long before his serve gave up enough points that our opponent's words became reality and they had won his serve. What is probably even more true is that our teammate lost his serve. He was so obviously affected by the other team's statement, he ended up self-destructing. He lost the game on his own errors rather than the other team's talents. The only reason they won that game was because they thought they could.

The degree in which we will experience success in relationships, personal goals, and our lives as a whole are all dependent on the thoughts we are thinking in any given situation. If we wake up thinking we are going to have a bad day, we usually do. If we believe an interaction with a particular person is going to be uncomfortable and problematic, it usually is. If we want to lose 40 pounds but we don't really think we could ever make that much progress, we usually don't. And if we have been behaving in a way for so long that we don't think we would ever change, we usually won't. Conversely, when we choose to surround ourselves with tools and people that create positive thoughts in our lives like positive affirmations taped to our bathroom mirror or podcasts that offer inspiring and encouraging messages of hope and meaning, we soon experience a shift in our level of satisfaction with ourselves, from that of occasional joy and inspiration, to regular excitement and reverence for all that fills our richly lived lives, regardless of what we choose to do with them.

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right."- Henry Ford

Becoming Self-Centered by consistent practice of The Four Seeds of Self-Care is essential in learning how to create the thoughts we need to succeed. Why? Because these practices all have one thing in common- they contribute first and foremost to a healthy, optimally functioning brain. We can't expect ourselves to be able to fire off positive thoughts for any given situation if we don't feel good. If we are not getting plenty of rest, eating a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, we are starving our brain the nourishment it needs to properly function. If we don't spend some time daily in a silent, meditative state or move our bodies on a regular basis, we will find it more difficult to focus and we will feel less physically strong as well. Even the importance of scheduling time for self-care is a reflection of the thoughts we think. If we think we are too busy for self-care practice, we will often spend our lives tired, overwhelmed, and frustrated. However, when we believe in the power of self-care for optimal brain health and so we can feel amazing most of the time, it is easy to make the good choice to continue to practice. That practice will lead to healthy habits and healthy thoughts which will fast track you to wherever you want to go in this life.

With love and gratitude,

Kinda and Rachel

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