When things don’t go right, injustices flare, troubles attack, fears loom, business plummets, we can get unsettled, depressed, angry, resentful, sad. Like our nation, I experienced several of those feelings a few days ago.
Then I happened to pick up a little book that included an anecdote addressing the very issues I was dealing with. It told of a man whose business was failing who sought help from a friend who, in effect, told him, “You have a home, enough to eat, clothes to wear. Your business won’t fail tonight or before tomorrow. Go home and get happy today. For 24 hours think and say all the pleasant things you possibly can to your children, your spouse, to every living being around you; say to yourself that you are not afraid and that you are happy. Now stick to it until you believe it!” In a month’s time of following this directive, this man’s business had improved by 40 percent.
After reading this true story I started taking this man’s friend’s advice. Though not applying it as consistently as I’d wished, I did find some good surrounding me and was able to forgo the bad. I saw that my business, like his, is really first thought before it becomes a business. In my case, my business as an artist is first thought before it becomes a painting for sale in a gallery. And clients, too, first think about art before looking to buy it. Everything starts with thought. And thought–good or bad–directs consequences.
Watching what we allow in, or kick out of, mind, and enlarging our thought to include a wider perspective than self, is vital. We forget sometimes that thought is behind everything. Can we get up off the sofa without first thinking about it? Can we let a friend know we love them without showing them? Can I be happy if I don’t first think that I am?
We have to own happiness in our thinking. If I say “I am depressed” I’m owning depression as mine. I am declaring it mine as much as my brown eyes. If I say my business is not doing as well as it deserves to be, I am claiming that what I do for a living, which is part of me, is unwell. And it isn’t! I have to stand up for what is true first in thought if I wish to see it in actuality. That’s what I do to get off the couch and that’s what I do to get my business out of an unjust hole.
Oh, I’m no master at this! But I will continue to patrol my mind, to think that which I would like to have come to pass. “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” (Shakespeare’s Hamlet).
Artwork: Hills and Oceans of the Mind, mixed media, 24″ x 24″ $975. This is a very recent piece that includes words because words convey thoughts and dance well with images of color and shape to complete an artist’s idea. “Where green hills of the mind meet oceans of ideas, listen.. . listen. . . listen.”