In his book “Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life,” Dr. Wayne Dyer states the following, “Don’t fight colds, illnesses or even serious afflictions. Don’t fight with family members, or against political opinions. Don’t fight addictions, and most important, don’t fight yourself. If you have cancer or arthritis cells in your body, talk to them from that perspective: ‘If you insist on living in my body, I wish to live in harmony, peace and total health with you, otherwise, I invite you to take up residence elsewhere.’”
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• Not fighting colds, illnesses or even serious diseases works pretty well for me. Recently I faced four afflictions that brought a halt to my desire to play tennis or work out for about six weeks.
• I meditated daily about those afflictions, consulted my wise and caring physician, Dr. Susan Shiells, who provided plenty of great advice, encouragement, medication and optimism. My wife, Monika, offered plenty of “this, too, shall pass” advice and encouragement, and I was back to tennis and working out within two months. Three days later I played in a Round Robin tennis tournament and placed second, losing first place by one point.
• Instead of cussing my bad luck, I focused on being restful, sleeping longer and visualizing good health returning to my life. It never occurred to me to fight the health problems with anger. Optimism paid off.
• Fighting with family members makes no sense to me. Families should have each other’s back and never be involved in backstabbing. Fighting consumes lots of energy that could be directed towards loving and sharing kindness to your family. When family members fight verbally or physically, nobody ever wins. Fighting creates distance, not solutions.
• To battle against other political opinions is pretty stupid. I’ve never seen political arguments result in solutions to problems. When politicians quit arguing and fighting, then you have hope for resolving problems. Nobody changes his mind after political arguments. When the arguments stop, possible solutions begin.
• It seems strange to suggest that you become a friend with your cancer or your arthritis. However, in my life I have seen handshakes and hugs solve problems when anger and bitterness failed to resolve anything.
• Positive thoughts have helped me deal better with diseases and relationships. Studies have demonstrated that a positive attitude helps your immune system to fight off diseases and pain. A dangerous or deadly disease does not define who you are. In the final analysis, you are still the shot-caller in your life.
• It’s probably impossible to stop negative thoughts from entering your mind, but you have a lot to say about how long those negative thoughts remain.
• What you expect from life is probably what you will receive. You are about as happy as you predicted you would be. Your expectations are directly colored by how you feel about the universe. Pessimists expect the worst, and receive it. Optimists let go of disappointment and go forward to the next day.
• When you go camping, do you worry about sunburn, snakes, insects, getting lost, having a jerk in the tent next to you, etc., etc.? When camping out, do you instead enjoy the birds singing, the beautiful views, the nightly campfire, etc.?
• Camping offers lots of quiet time, the possibility of meeting some very nice people, and a relaxing change of pace in your life. Your attitude and your expectations will determine if the camping trip will be lots of fun and create great memories.
Bob Billingsley is a columnist at the Mountain Democrat. His column appears bi-weekly.