The Mindfulness Blog

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Walk On

Reba McIntyre is another female vocalist I've taken a liking to over the years, and the song featured in this post is one of my favorites. The lyrics are positive in their outlook, and the melody is definitely upbeat. In pretty much every way, it's the complete opposite of a destructive quality that is way too common for many of us-- rumination.

Rumination is a close cousin of another negative tendency that most of us have-- negativity bias, or the tendency to see the worst in things, and be attracted to bad news, as opposed to good news. Sure, being careful and conscious of threatening sounds, sights or feelings is something we all need to be mindful of, but pessimism and (in extreme cases) paranoia, is not.

The healthy middle ground is simple awareness, which is a state that can be cultivated through meditation. If that seems like more than some of us want, then maybe try thinking about meditation in terms of curiosity-- both awareness and curiosity can lead to a heightened sensitivity, in a positive (not negative) way.

Encountering negative people, places or things is part of life, but responding to those things-- understanding and making sense of them, in a way that's positive (something we can influence or control) and looking at them as lessons that we can learn from-- that's turning something that might be a negative, into a positive.

One of my favorite lines in the song is, "Nothing ever stays wrong that long", and if we train ourselves to respond (rather than react), we can begin to understand the truth expressed in those few simple words.

Walking on-- turning the other cheek or keeping things in perspective-- is a quality that can serve us well, and it's a lesson worth learning!


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