Word of Mind, Word of Mouth

What you can see depends on what you’re looking for

Special to The CambrianOctober 21, 2013 

It’s hard to find what you’re not looking for — but when you are looking, you can find what you’re focusing on in many places, including heart-shaped rocks on Moonstone Beach.


I was reading this book for young people about creative writing, “Rip the Page!” I figured it was time for a fresh perspective. I loved being reminded about parts of speech in a voice that sounded more like my own now!

One sample writing was about a boy who commented to his mother he wasn’t seeing any yellow as they were driving. She pointed out a taxi. From that point on he noticed everything that was indeed yellow, from the fire hydrants to the lines in the road to the sunflowers peeking over a fence to a yellow lab.

Have you ever noticed that when you get a new car and all of a sudden it seems like everyone is driving a Toyota Matrix (although not quite like the one I’m driving…)? It is true that we may see a particular pair of shoes we like and we go find some for ourselves or whatever it is that is a good bargain or useful and we just go and get. But that is not the point.

The writing sample ended with, “What if today, yellow cars … what if tomorrow, world peace?” I thought about all that implied … Yeah, what IF tomorrow, world peace? What about today? What are we choosing to give attention to, give life to?

Have you ever felt like everything is going right and it just keeps getting better? Or conversely, have you had one thing go slightly not-as-planned and “bad luck” just domino-ed on down through the day? Is it just happening to us — or is it that we are giving it credence?

I choose to be optimistic when I think you all by now have heard of the power of positive thinking and maybe even have experienced it firsthand. Perhaps you are even aware of “vibrating” on the same level as someone and that is how we are connecting. People actually vibrate with others from miles and miles away. That’s why moms always know what’s essentially going on in their kids’ lives (others do it too, of course).

No, really. Why do you think conferences and churches and motivational workshops and even Weight Watchers are so influential? People start vibrating for a like cause or need or desire and it triggers momentum and things very often will move in a particular direction.

It’s where your focus lies — and how you can shift it. You know when you are mad or upset and count to 10 (or, better yet, count backward from 48 using only every third number). It was a nice little reminder for me reading that piece: when I choose something to pay attention to, I see it — birds in the woods, peoples’ hair, eye contact, a need for human contact … focus.

If I forget about an appointment in the morning, I immediately find three good things to acknowledge and shift my attention from one of stress to one of, at least, a neutral place! Try s-l-o-w-l-y breathing in every aspect of that blessing (what, why, how …) and exhale as slowly, letting the niceness settle gently down over you like a soft mantle.

And, “what if tomorrow, world peace?”

Dianne Brooke’s column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at ltd@ladytiedi.com, or visit her website at www.ladytiedi.com.

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