Forcing positive thoughts

Why forcing positive thinking won’t make you happy

“…emotions like sadness, guilt, grief and anger are beacons for our values. We don’t get angry about stuff we don’t care about. We don’t feel sad or guilty about stuff we don’t care about. If we push these emotions away, we are choosing not to learn about ourselves. We are choosing to ignore our values and what is important to us.” Source: A Harvard psychologist explains why forcing positive thinking won’t make you happy – The Washington Post

Forcing positive thoughts

What I’m reading on Positive Thinking

Article: “A Harvard psychologist explains why forcing positive thinking won’t make you happy,” Washington Post

Article’s Key Points

  • The “tyranny of positivity” is leading to a (largely) fundamentally-avoidant cultural dialogue
  • Emotions are “beacons for our values,” including our sadness, guilt and anger
  • Pushing away [negative] thoughts and emotions only serves to have them come back magnified
  • “…emotional agility is a skill set that builds on our ability to face our emotions, label them, understand them and then choose to move forward deliberately.”

What about Law of Attraction and Positive Thinking?

In energy work, we talk a lot about the importance of positive thinking when it comes to applying the Law of Attraction (i.e. the world reflects back what we project). The idea is if we are to attract what we want, we have to project and feel what we want. A lot of folks confuse this with forcing positive thinking, and positive emotion. But there’s a huge difference between forcing positive thinking/emotion and cultivating *positivity*. This is one point I’d like to clarify from the article.

The way out is through

Cultivating positive thinking: It is safe to feelSo many of my patients and students come in deeply desiring “to be rid of” what feels uncomfortable and unpleasant. They want to “get rid of” their anger, their sadness, their guilt, etc. When we force positive thinking in these cases, we stuff the unpleasant. Or, we dissociate from our being, so as not to feel the unpleasant. But what happens to the ‘unpleasant’ in these cases? It compounds, because it’s not being dealt with. Now we carry the weight of the last time we felt this unpleasantness, our resentment for having it at all, and the frustration of not having dealt with it already, etc. Multiply this compounding by each time this emotion or story arises. Each time we stuff part of our experience, or dissociate from it, it makes our negativity seem that much more real, and that much more insurmountable. But the good news is, you don’t have to get over it. You can move through it.

Feel the emotions, listen for the needs

In the system of Nonviolent Communication, emotions simply reflect needs being or not being met. They’re reflections, not entities. So, to cultivate positivity would be to hold in compassion where we feel sad, angry, guilty and afraid. To listen to what needs are not being met and to what values we hold dear. Through listening, we open the door to serving our values and needs. I see time and time again in Reiki sessions ‘negative’ emotions and thoughts simply dissolve when tended to with love and willingness to understand. This is Law of Attraction in action — being the embodiment of love, staying in the frequency of what you want.

Need help?

Sometimes we can need support to take that first step or even to persevere in the face of discomfort. Reiki can be an excellent support on this journey in helping to create a space of unconditional love and illumination. To book your local or distance treatment today, visit Black Pine Holistic Healing’s online scheduler.

Creating-Money: Attracting Abundance
Book Review, Energy Work, Self-Care

Book Review: “Creating Money, Attracting Abundance”

“To the spirit of abundance
that is in each of you.
May you recognize your greatness,
discover your path,
and make the contribution you came to make.”
–Orin and DaBen

Creating Money: Attracting Abundance

What a most excellent book!– That’s why I’m having folks read it this January for the 30-Day Abundance Intensive! This one comes from Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer, channelers of Orin and DaBen. The copy I have is 247 pages, full of instruction, affirmations, reflection points, and play exercises. The dedication at the beginning pretty much sums it all up: This book isn’t about ‘getting rich,’ it’s about discovering your path– finding what you have to offer this world, and welcoming support on all levels to meet that mission.

What makes it so great?

It’s based on the Law of Attraction.

“You can effectively draw things to you whether or not you know the specific form, amount, or appearance of the items you want.” p28

Creating Money: Attracting Abundance is an easy introduction into working with the Law of Attraction. (You might have heard of “The Secret”? That’s another illustration of how to work with the Law of Attraction.) The Law of Attraction states “that which is like unto itself is drawn,” and suggests that our thoughts and emotions formulate the vibration to which all resonant things respond. In other words, ‘I draw to my experience that which resonates with my thoughts and emotions.’

It doesn’t confuse quantity with quality.

“View money and things not as something to create to fill a lack, but as tools to help you more fully express yourself and realize your potential.” pp18-19

Every word you speak and every thought you think is an affirmation for your future//
I often hear people criticize the Law of Attraction because of their introduction to it through other means, claiming the idea of “attracting abundance” is materialistic. Orin and DaBen make it clear that working with the Law of Attraction isn’t about getting more of something [physical]–whether that’s money, a car, house or whatever. The process is about self-expression, realization, and ultimately about serving humanity through our being and sharing what we love.

It’s very hands-on, completely manageable.

The exercises provided in the book are straightforward and imaginative, helpful for both more right-brained and left-brained folks. Each chapter ends with either a multi-part playsheet prompting reflection and imagination or exercise. Playsheets address everything from “Coming Out of Survival,” and “Discovering Your Life’s Work,” to “Clarity and Harmony,” for example.  Meanwhile exercises help you learn to relax, focus, visualize, magnetize, and energize what you are welcoming into your life. There’s no major leap of faith required — it’s just a sure and steady effort welcomed towards shifting your vibration and intention onto what really matters: Your heart’s calling.

Want support?

Come join us — let’s support each other through this process of letting go of what no longer serves us! This January, we’ll do a 30-day intensive, taking the bull by the horns! I know you deserve the very best in life. Are you ready to accept nothing less? Declare it so!

To enroll, register online. Deposits are due Dec. 19th.


A Sweet Life

melissa dana,black pine holistic healing,acupuncture,reiki

With life comes the opportunity to create, to stand in awe, to contribute, to receive. It often also comes with bills, stress, and inconveniences… illness, death, and great suffering. We are bombarded with images and stories on the news and internet of the injustices occurring around the world. It would be hard not to have a visceral response to so much suffering. So, how and where do we find sweetness in this life? Can we still feel good about indulging in it?

Renowned author and self-help veteran, Louise Hay has long bridged the gap between body and mind. Her first book on the subject, Heal Your Body, was published in 1976 and is still one of my favorite books to recommend to patients. It’s more of an index than anything, in which she lists the mental causes for various ailments/illnesses and affirmations one can use to heal them. The belief is, what you concentrate on, you become. This is a common theme seen often over the last few years– what with The Secret and the renewed interest in the Law of Attraction; but it can be seen earlier, as in Napolean Hill’s works of the 1920s and 30s (e.g. Think and Grow Rich). In this book Hay writes that feeling “longing for what might have been,”–or that there is “no sweetness left” may in fact contribute to a disease of sugar imbalance in the body: Diabetes. The statistics on this disease are astounding–with over 25% of people over the age 65 experiencing symptoms; and the numbers grow among populations known to face considerably more discrimination than non-Hispanic whites. Coincidence?

We all know eating sugar isn’t going to fix our problems, but it sure can feel comforting in the face of stress! The truth is it’s not uncommon that when our need for ease, joy and celebration goes unmet, we often turn to coping mechanisms. For many, this means indulging in food, or other pleasure-producing activities. And the big companies are aware of our inherent need for sweetness as they plump up our foods with corn syrups–high fructose corn syrup (see below).

People think they can cheat the system with artificial sweeteners – but the studies are showing low-glycemic sugars are only bitter-sweet. I recently read this great article by Marlene Merritt, DOM, LAc, ACN, “Think Fructose is Safe? Think Again,” in which she explains how fructose is processed through the liver, unlike glucose. Since fructose never triggers insulin, the body doesn’t know when it’s full. Likewise, when we eat falsely-sweet foods, our body surges out insulin in expectation of the incoming energy burst.  But when the energy burst from broken down carbohydrates never comes– we just end up craving them instead [to balance our insulin overload].

While the cause of sugar craving can be explained with a longing in life, or basic science, Traditional Chinese Medicine looks at the relationship of organs involved and their level of functioning. When our body is running optimally, and our emotions even, health naturally follows.

The best way to enjoy a sweet life? Love, share gratitude, extend kindness–and when necessary, see your acupuncturist.

PS. Some suggest that the “first” artificial sweetener may have led [note the pun] to the fall of the Roman Empire – too bad the article didn’t also mention how aspartame breaks down into formaldehyde in the body…