Alfred E. Neuman said it: “What, me worry?” His face doesn’t look like it has a care in the world. All he wants to do is create mischief. Looking like a combination of Howdy Doody, The Little Rascals and David Letterman, Alfred E. Neuman is a major philosopher of our time, helping us to see what potential there is in giving up our gloom and doom proclivities of mind. Now that may not be easy nowadays as we know. Earthly cataclysms and untold personal challenges often bombard our consciousness. So what can we do to move forward in more positive ways?
I Heard it On the Radio
When I was in grammar school, I listened to the radio while I was eating breakfast (would you believe that TV wasn’t even invented yet?) –and at the end of a particular morning show, the host always said, “It’s going to be a wonderful day for you!” I made it a point to listen to this every day. In fact, I even invented a superstition that I had to listen to it before I went to school – and then it would be a wonderful day for me. We can invent such mind games and program ourselves with some affirmation or good omen that will create a wonderful day. Robin Roberts from TV’s “Good Morning America” always says “rabbit, rabbit” on the first of each month – and to her, doing that will make the coming month a good one. You can have blessings, mantras, Hail Marys, simple or complex activities or ceremonies that you can install in your mind as good omens for a wonderful day or a wonderful life. Why not?
What Are Samskaras?
“Samskaras” is a Sanskrit word for habits of mind or thought forms that we carry within us our entire lives and perhaps in all of our lifetimes. Some of us envision the worst possible scenarios. Others have low self esteem and criticize themselves, like the size of their thighs or the power of their brains. Others are convinced the world will end. We need to be able to witness our own minds to see what thoughts are playing themselves out in the movie theater of consciousness, and then we can counteract them if we like with doses of alternate realities or more fruitful thoughts.
Fasting from Negativity
Did you ever go on a fast? You abstain from something or many things for a given period of time for health or just to see what it might be like. Would it be possible to abstain from negative thoughts for a period of time? This may not be an easy alternative to criticizing, thinking depressive thoughts, worrying, or chastising yourself for one thing or another, but it’s a game you can play with yourself. See if you can give yourself a challenge of not thinking negatively for a certain period of time. If you do think that way, that’s okay. Just notice the thoughts and then come back to your negativity-free zone whenever you’re able to do so.
Giving Thanks in Advance
Here’s another idea. If you have a tendency to worry or feel anxious, you can say, “I give thanks for my____.” The thanks might be for your perfect work or your great diagnosis or your burgeoning bank account. Just say it over and over. It can work as a method of mind-creation. At the very least, it feels better than its gloomy alternative.
Your thoughts are flowers in the garden of your consciousness. What kinds of flowers are planted there? Are they drooping, sharp-edged, carnivorous? Can you plant some bright and happy flowers? Can you fertilize them with love and trust that everything has a way of working itself out in this universe that has a perfection of its own?