When is positive thinking positive?

 

Positive thinking is an extremely powerful technique to use, in order to redress the imbalance of perception in our lives. Negativity can act in a crippling manner; it can imprison the thinker in a small world, seemingly limited of choice and free will. It can stifle creativity. It can suppress courage that is much-needed to confront bad habits, in order to transform them into thoughts and actions which are in harmony with our well-being.

 

We have all heard phrases such as, “how full is a glass of beer? Half full or half empty?" It is true that there is too much negativity in the world today. I might not like it at first when the weather is atrociously wet and stormy during my free time, where I had planned to go for a bike ride. But if if I focus on the fact that I can get some chores out of the way in one fell swoop: tasks that were hanging over my head for weeks – then I can feel great about that. People lack hope, in my opinion, because they are used to either letting information that causes negative thoughts and emotions, just take effect, or they suppress negative information by switching off from reality and thus don't experience the great possibilities of transformation through confronting the problem head on and finding a solution with resolve.

 

Positive thinking can alter the belief system of the observer. If it is used effectively with visual imagery and association with positive feeling, we can actually reprogramme our subconscious into a more pleasant state. We can relieve stress, vanquish recurring nightmares, quit smoking etc.. However, it can also be used to dangerous excess. If we are fearful of negative thoughts, and want to escape from them, we will perhaps find temporary refuge with the use of positive thinking, but we are simply hiding from ourselves – that is very counter-productive.

 

We may try to do this by rationalising, rising above the negativity with pure resolve, or letting go. I believe there is a danger in trying to escape from negative thoughts. We should basically learn to live with them, as a normal part of life, but not be dominated by them. Negativity has a very useful function. It allows us to see what makes us tick. It gives us insights into our belief system, which is not always very apparent because we are not always conscious. If we can learn to face this negativity, to dive into it and find out where it's coming from – from time to time – then we can use it to our benefit and transform our lives. We can use it to become stronger. What we don't want to do is become obsessed with it, or stagnate with it.

 

Nobody really wants pain in the end, but it enlightens eventually. There is such a thing as obsessive positive thinking which stems from fear of pain. Pain is part of life, whether we like it or not, so we better get used to it and just make the most out of it. If we flee from pain – switch off from it by suppressing it, it will come back at some point through the back door, possibly many times magnified. The suppression or bottling-up of emotions always backfires eventually, in unexpected and unpredictable ways. Creating a bubble of distorted reality is not where we really want to head towards. I have experienced my greatest realisations and leaps in development via my most intense suffering. For that I am grateful – how could it have happened otherwise?

 

The implications of the suppression can manifest in any number of ways. One example to illustrate, would be how the sense of compassion is numbed, when we avoid feeling any pain whatsoever. It is certainly my experience, that when I have been through a period of suffering, I can understand others who have been to the same place and give them sympathy. This is a form of sharing pain which creates bonds and a sense of belonging between people, as long as it is eventually understood as a means to transform the suffering. If you can accept pain, you can share it with others as a learning experience. It needs to be felt, nonetheless. Without courage to confront our fear of pain, and therefore look pain straight in the eyes, we won't be up to liberate ourselves more than in a superficial, temporary way. Sometimes this process can be achieved alone, but it may need the guidance of a good therapist or other experienced healer with a solid reputation for success (that person will have to be compassionate and understanding themselves!). It all depends how far the distortion has developed. Switching off may seem like an easy option, but it becomes psychopathic if neglected. That's why so many dreadful deeds are committed in the world today, yet everything is so often accepted – described as normal, human nature, just the way of things. Don't be fooled.

 

We live in a world of seemingly endless bad news. This can be overwhelming for those who have not yet discovered that we can stay connected – instinctively, intellectually and emotionally –  with the whole network of life AND we can dive into the Abyss of Hell and come back with a new-found hope.

 

Don't be afraid of pain and fear, because we are stronger and can go beyond it. Just make sure to find outside loving help if needed. We can reach out to our brothers and sisters in distress AND dive into the ocean of positivity and good vibes.

Vegans – can they be successful in sports?

 

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There is a common belief that to succeed in sport, you need to eat meat and drink milk. It is thought by many that vegans won't have the necessary strength or stamina to beat meat eaters. These beliefs are false and based on a lack of knowledge.

The 'proof' that's sometimes offered is that there are hardly any vegans who are at the top in sporting endeavours. This is faulty logic which could only be applied if there were an equal number of vegans to meat eaters.

There are precious few vegans in the world. To become the best in any sport you need the dedication and focus to reach the top when there are so many distractions that could stop you. Not many people have that dedication. You need the right genes to give you the edge over your competitors. Very few have the right genes that can make them champions.

If there is only, say, 1 person in 400 who is vegan, what are the chances that that 1 person is the one who has the ruthless dedication and the right genes for the sport they are interested in? What is the chance that they will have had the right encouragement or influences when young that will bring them into that sport? You would be much safer betting that a meat eater would have those things because there are 399 meat eaters and only 1 vegan. We'd have to pin all our hopes on that 1 vegan to emerge with everything needed to be a champion. Your money would be much safer betting that one of the 399 meat eaters would have what it takes. It's a numbers game: double the number of vegans and you'll double the number of vegan champions.

In the UK there are supposed to be about 250,000 vegans out of a population of 60 million. That is about 1 person in 240. Some will have been vegan for just a few months. Some will revert to being meat eaters or lacto-ovo vegetarians. There is an even smaller percentage of vegans in some other countries. It is my guestimate that long-term vegans are more likely to be less than 1 in 400 or even 1 in 500. If you have a group of 400 how many will have the genes to become a champion? Very few. How many of that very few will have the determination? Very few. How many of the very few (of the very few) will be vegan? Most probably not even one. More likely those people will be meat eaters. But vegans do still manage to become champions against all those odds. Strange, isn't it that the still common perception of vegans is of weedy, skinny, weak and unhealthy people?

There are a few vegan champions but why aren't there more if it is such a healthy lifestyle? There are so few vegan champions because there are so few vegans. How many ginger-haired, left-handed sportsmen called Alphonse are champions? None at all. Not because someone like that is incapable of sporting success but because there are so few of them.

Most top sportspeople are single minded in their pursuit of excellence. They won't let anything get in their way. They are willing to give up family life, friendships and leisure time to concentrate on training. They are ready to risk their health, as can be seen in the number who are willing to take dangerous performance enhancing drugs. They are willing to train to excess to such an extent that their immune systems are weakened. They care nothing about the possibility of suffering from arthritis in later years as a result of punishing their bodies in training and competition.

Winning is everything to them. They are like fanatics. And, like fanatics, nothing else matters as much as the object of their desire. Compassion for farm animals is of little importance to them in comparison. Thus, this fanaticism will prevent many individuals who might have become vegan from doing so because from an early age, like all of us, they have been indoctrinated with the lies that meat and milk are necessary for good health. This lie reduces the number of athletes and sportspeople who could become vegan and who could go on to glory in the sporting arena. Being a champion is more important to them than being a vegan. The few vegan champions are those who don't believe the lies about meat or those who put compassion first.

There are quite a few vegan sportsmen and women who regularly beat meat eaters. I will only mention a few as representatives of the vegan sporting world.

Mac Danzig won his King of the Cage fighting title as a vegan. You have to be tough to survive in that type of contest and yet he thrived and prospered.

Carl Lewis has said that his best performances on the running track came when he was following a vegan diet.

Scott Jurek is the multiple winner of 100-mile races and twice winner of the Badwater Ultra marathon, which is run over a course of 135 miles. The race starts in Death Valley, at 280 feet below sea level and finishes at Mount Whitney Portal, which is 8.360 feet above sea level. That's a 135 miles course over three mountain ranges with a cumulative ascent of 13,000 feet and a cumulative descent of 4,700 feet. You have to be tough just to think about doing it.

Brendan Brazier is a vegan and a professional Ironman Triathlete, twice winner of the Canadian Ultra Marathon championship.

So, it is possible for vegans to be world champions in both sprinting and endurance events. But what about strength sports? Can vegans be strong? Or can they be top bodybuilders? Can they build up formidable strength or huge muscle bulk?

The answer is (you've guessed it): 'yes!'.

There are many very strong vegans who train with weights. There are quite a few impressive bodybuilders who have built up their bulk on vegan diets.

But where are all the vegan Olympic weightlifting champions and powerlifting world record holders, then? Where is the vegan who has won the World's Strongest Man title?

Give it time. As I said above, there aren't enough vegans from whose ranks these people can emerge. It will happen. It is happening.

There are two vegan strength champions who come to mind, though. Both women. Pat Reeves – she's a world class powerlifter. Many times the British powerlifting champion. And Jane Black olympic weight lifter who has set records in masters' lifting events.

What about the men? Perhaps too many male strength athletes are worried about not getting enough of their usual slaughterhouse products. Again, give it time for the truth to reach them. There are many vegans in training, as can be seen in the vegan fitness and bodybuilding forums. Wait until they start to achieve more success and then the timid meat eaters will see that they have nothing to fear in giving up the meat and milk that their mummies told them they had to eat to grow up big and strong. They will realise that real men don't need to eat meat.

What about vegan bodybuilders? Until a very few years ago there weren't any special supplements for vegan bodybuilders. Meat eaters were spoilt for choice but vegans had no choice because there wasn't anything to choose. Very few bodybuilders rely on just normal food. They take supplements in the form of powders and pills. And many (most pro ones?) take dangerous and illegal drugs. Many of them have muscles that are partly the product of the chemistry lab. Anyone who could build huge muscles on a meat-based diet could do so on a vegan diet.

Not everyone can build competition-winning muscles. Again, the vegan who does so must have the right genes. And the time and dedication. He must be that rare individual who just happens to have all the right attributes. Not much chance that there are many vegans who are like that. More likely that someone from the huge majority of meat eaters will have what is required. You are more likely to find a top athlete or a Nobel Prize Winner in Scotland than on the Isle of Man. Not because the Scots are inherently superior to the Manx people. But because there are more of them.

Don't believe the lies of the vested interests of the meat and milk industries. They have invested heavily in cruelty and they need to keep the people convinced that the slaughter and abuse of their victims is necessary for the continued health of humans.

Believe instead the many healthy, strong and fit vegans who daily prove how healthy the vegan diet is. There is nothing humans need that cannot be obtained from a well balanced vegan diet. A vegan diet is suitable for humans of every age, as the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada acknowledge.

For more information about veganism and all its benefits, please visit http://www.thesaucyvegan.com where you'll find friendly and informed people who will be happy to share their knowledge with you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Martin_Fuzzington

 

Happiness – absolute and relative

Happiness is when you are in the flow. You feel alive. At peace with yourself and others. Emotionally connected and in harmony with others. Being in your creative element. Savouring the delightful, sensual flavours of life. Discovering your potential. Seeing the positive side of problems. Laughing things off….

I believe that, deep down, everyone is searching for happiness but it eludes so many and so often because of the clouded mind of illusions. Most people still look for it in things far more than in themselves, only to find that it doesn't materialise at all or is that most short-lived. That is because of a cycle of dissatisfaction through wanting more all the time, or lack of gratitude, and generally not realising that we are the deciders in the matter of happiness. Happiness is a decision.

When you feel happy, you attract many good things: people, situations, success… You have a higher state of energy and this obviously can improve your health and motivational level. On the other hand, when you are “down" or “low" that is by definition a less energetic state except perhaps during short-lived bursts of anger. But even after a bout of anger we often feel sapped of energy because we were fighting against something with frustration. Low energy levels mean a tendency for health to deteriorate, and may result in attracting undesirable events and situations. It certainly doesn't equate with feeling alive being of a generally negative mindset. Surely we want to feel alive and well?

The negative emotions have a positive role to play when we learn to understand them and their causes, and are able to create value as a result of them. But if they get the upper hand generally, we become imprisoned through tunnel-vision, a vicious cycle of seeing only bad meaning in events, which fuels further fatalism and victimisation-perceptions when such events repeat themselves. Phases of positivity and negativity together in life are not only unavoidable, they are necessary to make for dynamic, interesting and enriching experiences as long as we don't allow ourselves to remain in negativity.

Much of happiness that is experienced is relative. It requires desirable events, situations, people and material things. It needs life to go well. In contrast, absolute happiness is a state that can exist despite things “going badly". In reality it may seem like an impossible task to be happy during hard times and it would be foolish to expect a plateau of joy to continue unabated come what may. It is normal and healthy to fall into despair, anger, hatred and frustration from time to time. But the human potential is huge for learning to see the positive side of undesirable events as they arise, for developing the skills of resilience, for being imaginative and creative in transforming problems, for focusing on thoughts that recreate positive energy, or even for completely letting go if necessary, so that one can achieve an inner stillness. There are many methods available to us to create absolute happiness if we are only willing to look and try hard enough.

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