lkjlkj

Friday, February 3, 2012

WHAT’S YOUR BUTTERFULY EFFECT?

I worked this week and don't have anything quilty to share with you today, but while bored at my job waiting for the phone to ring, I remembered a conversation Vickie and I had at dinner about being positive and how difficult it is to maintain that positive attitude when things don't go as expected.  So I decided to do something to fill my time today.  At the risk of sounding preachy, these are my thoughts on changing the world.

I live only 2.5 miles from my job, but driving to work can be a challenge.  Some people make New Year’s resolutions like, I’ll lose 10 lbs, or I’ll stop smoking, or I’ll save enough money to go on that vacation this year.  Not me.  I’ve been trying to monitor my thoughts, keep them positive.  Let me tell you it is a moment-by-moment struggle.  People don’t drive right.  The radio is blathering about the war here or the gun shots and robberies there.  If that isn’t bad enough, my thoughts then veer off into what-ifs, what if I get sick, what if the company folds, what if my kids….and on and on.  I could spend hours ruminating on all the fearful things that could happen.

Realizing what I was doing to myself, I quickly tried to change my thoughts. You’d think I’d concentrate on driving during this short jaunt to work.  However, our daily routine becomes automatic and allows our mind to stray, which for some reason for me is always in a negative direction.
 
REMAINING POSITIVE

 In my struggle to maintain a positive level, an image popped into my head of a former minister speaking from the pulpit.   “Imagine a red line,” he said.  “Now keep your thoughts above the red line.  Every time you find your thoughts sinking below that line, raise them.  Keep your thoughts above the red line.”

Today, years after his death, I realized how this man has touched my life.  His positive words have helped me tremendously.  I believe that thinking good thoughts about people, things, and situations has helped me to be a better person and lead a better life.

I’m not talking Pollyanna thinking.  I realize we need to be realistic; aware of what is going on around us, but how will negative thinking help me to get through my day?  How will negative thinking help me to respond with gentleness and soft words?  How will negative thinking help me to touch another life in a good way when I’m upset because of something negative I’ve been dwelling on?

What is your Goal?

My goal is to leave this world a better place.  We never know how our words or actions will be remembered or how they will affect another person.  A frown may touch a customer in such a way that he/she never comes back.  A smile and encouraging word to a small child may be remembered when as an adult she walks across the stage to receive her Master’s degree.    

How do you touch another life?  Will you be remembered with kind thoughts?  Will your words encourage or discourage?  

“The life I touch will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops, or in what far place my touch will be felt. “  Frederick Buechner

This beautiful quote brings tears to my eyes.  I pray that I can remember what butterfly effect I may be having on the world.  

People often talk about how positive thinking can reduce stress, lead to growth, success; change your life, etc.  I don’t remember where I read this, but I remember that first a person has a thought, then a feeling, then there is action.  Therefore, my thinking determines how I feel and how I respond to others.  When I am thinking positive thoughts, I feel better physically and psychologically.  I am happier and can respond in a way that is more positive, loving and kind.

How have you touched someone today?  Did you offer a smile, a gentle pat?  Have your words been positive?  When someone is harsh or unkind with you do you respond in like manner?  Or do you decide that that person will not control your thoughts or your life and respond in a positive way, one that might be remembered for years.  

WIIFM?

So many times our first question is what’s in it for me.  My answer:  A LOT

You are in control of your life and your thoughts.  Do not let another person’s bad behavior determine how you will think or act.  Do not let another person’s bad behavior ruin your day.  You are in control.  Don’t give your power to someone else.   Keeping your thoughts positive not only will reduce your stress, lower your BP, make your life better, but you will automatically touch another life in a positive way.   By doing this, you can change the world!
 
Stay Calm! Stay Kind! Stay Positive!
Caroll

11 comments:

Mary said...

Great words and thoughts today. I understand what you are saying. Postivie thoughts have helped me get through several challenges. Depression still gets in my way now and then. I love how you end each of your posts. "Stay Calm, Stay Kind, Stay positive." So true.

Lynn said...

I needed to read this tonight. Thank you! Not getting to sew this because of work is getting to me. I got my Modern Monday block made but that was it. Next week doesn't look any better.

Allie said...

What a beautiful, thoughtful, inspiring post, Caroll! I love the idea of the red line, and keeping my thoughts above it. Since I love hockey, maybe I'll make it a blue line *G*

Years ago, I heard an analogy of our actions being like ripples in a pond - you throw a stone [action] and the ripples continue to spread, and you sometimes don't see what shores they touch.

Great post hon, thank you!!!

Bev said...

Bravo!

sew.darn.quilt said...

You are a wise woman my friend :)
Your words hit home big time! I've got a house full of kiddies and there are times I could suffer major meltdown, When they are in a bickering, fowl mood straight from school and it carries on until Dad gets home. Then it's all sunshine and roses, meanwhile I'm in the kitchen banging pots around trying to get a meal on the table after the fall out. It seems like my motely crew is saving this behaviour just for me! Aaarrrggghh!!
I guess it wouldn't hurt to see the humor in their words and try "ALOT" harder on my part!
Thank heavens for sewing, it keeps me somewhat sane! :)

hugs,
Carolyn

tink's mom said...

It is always great to be reminded that thinking positively is so much healthier than not for yourself and for those you come in contact with. I took a psych class in college and to this day I remember the lesson on self fulfilling prophecy. You think bad you get bad you think good you get good. Oversimplyfied yes. But thanks for the reminder.

Sue said...

What a great post. I agree that thinking positively is something that you can pass on from one person to the next.
My first step in being positive is to start my day in the Word of God. Second one is to not even turn on the news! LOL There's not much good being broadcast out there that 's for sure.

Thanks so much for sharing this today. What a blessing it was to read this!

Mama Pea said...

This is a great post, Caroll. Truly, I cannot see you having negative thoughts. I want you to know that you bless my life every day! You touch me on a regular basis. I am very, very grateful for your friendship.

And the whole thing about the red line....Okay, that gives me quilting inspiration!

Miss Nancy said...

This is a super great post and ever so true! Good for you for reminding us what we need to do to be the best we can be. Being kind, staying positive, remaining calm brings peace to ourselves, to others and to the world. Great message! Thank you ever so much.

Have a super great sewing and stitching day.

Sharon said...

Wonderful post Caroll - thank you for the image of staying above the red line - it will help me to keep those negative thoughts in check.

Have a great weekend!

Karen said...

What an inspiring post. Thank you for sharing.

Quilting Teachers at the shop.

Quilting Teachers at the shop.
Chris, Marilyn, Jill, Lee Anne, Sue, Vickie

Quilts For Wheels

Quilts For Wheels
Many thanks and much appreciation goes to the women who work diligently each month to make quilts for those in wheel chairs. Kudos go to: Yvonne, Mary T., Fran, Joan, Mary Ellen, Barb, Lee Ann, Nancy, Mary.

Quilting for Kids With Cancer

Quilting for Kids With Cancer
Generosity has no bounds. Above are the women in the Quilts For Kids group at the Attic Window Quilt Shop. Left to right, Henrietta, Phyllis, Nancy, Carol, Karen. These women donate their time, fabric, money once a month to make quilts for kids who have cancer.