People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be, not what you nag them to be. - Scudder N. Parker
You will only rise to the level of your belief. - Catrice M. Jackson
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. - Aesop
Set peace of mind as your highest goal and organize your entire life around it. - Brian Tracy

Unleash Your Positive Energy!

In case you haven't noticed, Western society tends to focus on the negative. The media would have us all in doomsday depression if we didn't know better. Friends and relatives mean well, but sometimes they just can't help themselves. People are often critical and degrading - of us - of others - and of themselves.

Scientists are aware that there is a positive energy flowing through the Universe. It is this positive energy that creates life, protects life, and causes evolution and growth. This positive energy force is what causes our hearts to keep pulsing. It seems this positive energy must bemuch more powerful than negative energy, in order to sustain life. It is simply a matter of which energy we choose to connect with. And each moment of our lives is an opportunity for choosing - one or the other.

There are many things one can do to create and sustain the feeling of positive energy. Contrary to the old hardwired theory that the human brain is fixed from birth, the recent studies of neuroscience has revealed that our minds are reshaped through repeated experience and thought. The most important thing one can do then, to have more energy, is train their mind to focus on positivity, mainly these three aspects:

"Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed."

- Maya Angelo

Connection involves three components, in this order:

Acceptance of what is, the way things are, the way we are, and the way others are is the basic state of mind to begin to unleash our positive energy. Tara Brach, a psychologist and instructor of mindfulness practice, counsels students to harness an active "yes" through something she calls radical acceptance. "Our basic nature is loving awareness, but we forget," Brach says. "We disconnect; we perceive separation, and along with that illusion comes most of our suffering."

"Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it…This will miraculously transform your whole life." --Eckhart Tolle

An excellent means of plugging in to positive energy, is to begin with self-acceptance. When people are compassionate with themselves, they automatically feel better and feeling better leads to more energy. When you accept yourself (with all your baggage) you will be able to connect with your true spirit, which is the source of energy.

Gratitude is another powerful mind focus. Focusing on gratitude enhances the positive connection. Something people often say, "Count your blessings," is actually a very powerful statement.

Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence, discovered that the components of energy are mostly present in presence. The most energetic people he found were "lively and engaged, extremely present, involved in the moment, often funny, yet profoundly at peace - even in disturbing situations." He also said, "You always felt better than before you'd spent time with them, and this feeling lasted." One of the words used to describe this magnetic state is sukha, meaning "a sense of completeness, contentment, delight, calm, and abiding joy regardless of external circumstances." Sukha is selfless in nature and connected to a greater purpose - which is why it increases through service to others.

After spending time with the Dalai Lama, San Francisco psychologist Paul Ekman detected four characteristics common to people with this energy:

· Selflessness (lack of concern with status, fame and ego)

Traditional cultures recognize that spending time with individuals who radiate this quality is nourishing in itself. In the Hindu custom known as darshan ("presence"), people "tune in to someone who is already in that magnificent internal space."

"It wasn't luck or culture or genes that created this qualitative difference," says Ekman. "These people have resculpted their brains through practice."

You can "resculpt" your own brain through relaxation, meditation, and/or prayer. Positive energy lives deep inside each of us. We need regular, consistent "mental exercise" in order to bring it forth. It's amazing that people report only spending five to ten minutes in deep, relaxed, concentrated focus can give them the same energy as if they had taken a two hour nap. Take some time to practice and experience this state each day - it will give you positive results!

"Your happiness increases the happiness of everyone who knows you. We have so much. All we have is all we need. All we need is the awareness of how blessed we really are. Big changes come with small choices. Little changes [and] little choices add up to be revolutionary changes in your life."

--Sarah Ban Breathnach