Choosing empowerment and positivity, or negativity and unhappiness, is a decision that you're making every day, whether you realize it or not.
Native American culture tells the story of a man who explains his own constant struggle between positive, empowering, creative impulses and negative and self-destructive ones by telling his son that he has two wolves fighting in his heart -- a good wolf and a bad one. The boy asks him which of the two will win the battle. The father replies, "Whichever one I feed."
It's very true. The feelings that we nurture and return to, time after time, are the ones which come to dominate our thoughts and actions, while the ones we turn away from fade away.
The exciting thing is, we have a choice. Although the two wolves both exist, we can choose which one of them we want to feed. That means, we choose which one will win.
You probably know people who feel sorry for themselves, who belittle others, who seem to get some kind of pleasure out of feeling miserable, who portray themselves as victims and reject the affections of anyone who doesn't offer constant sympathy. Often it seems to everybody but themselves that they actually have a whole lot going for them, but they're apt to be defensive if anyone should ever dare to point that out!
That's a classic example of what happens when you feed the bad wolf. You don't satisfy an appetite for any kind of feeling when you feed it - you only make it stronger. If you indulge negative feelings about yourself or other people, you strengthen them until they're very hard indeed to break away from.
The other side of the coin's what happens when you feed the GOOD wolf. If you know people who always seem to get a real kick out of life, who laugh a lot, have lots of friends and interests, and light up the room with energy and sparkle, who succeed in everything they turn their hand to and who always seem to have a lot of fun, you don't need ask which wolf they're feeding.
So, how do you feed the good wolf, then?
You give it what it most enjoys.
It has the most enormous appetite for feeling good, for having a positive self-image and strong self-esteem, for kindness, understanding, positive attitudes and healthy laughter. It feeds on self-respect, and tolerance for other people. It thrives on learning skills for the achievement of a purpose, and it loves the satisfaction of attaining worthwhile goals. It laps up happiness.
Above all, it relishes enjoying life and sharing joy with others.
When was the last time you wanted to laugh aloud, or sing, or dance, or turn a somersault, just from the sheer delight of being alive? That state of mind's the one that feeds the good wolf best of all.
If your good wolf's been going hungry, here's how you can provide it with an instant banquet.
Sit back and relax, and clear your mind of everything. Just let your thoughts all drift away, and feel yourself becoming warm and comfortable. Let your mouth relax into a smile.
Now, think of something that makes you feel exhilarated. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's something that makes you light up as though somebody had pressed a switch. This isn't the moment for something comforting and soothing - this is about the sort of joy that makes you want to shout out from the rooftops that life's wonderful.
If that's not the way you feel right now, then think of of anything that's ever made you feel delight and wonder. If you can't immediately remember anything that's made you feel that way, imagine what it would feel like to be totally spontaneous and carefree.
Now, focus on that feeling, and experience it as strongly as you can. Revel in it... relish every detail. Your subconscious mind can't tell the difference between what's really happening and what you only feel is happening, so concentrate on that great feeling till it becomes completely real for you.
Do this for at least 10-15 minutes, and make yourself a promise that you'll do it regularly. That way you'll give yourself a surge of energy that will benefit yourself, your work and all you come in contact with.
Remember that you will get what you focus on, whether it's positive or negative. What's more, you won't just get it, you'll become it... an upbeat, enthusiastic, sparkling and happy person, or a miserable and self-destructive loser.
The choice is yours. Your mind will give you everything you ask of it -- and it will give you it in quantities you haven't dreamed of yet.
Make sure you feed the GOOD wolf... because the wolf that wins the battle is the one you feed.
Aislinn O'Connor is a motivational writer, and producer of personal empowerment audio tracks. To download a complimentary copy of her book, Your Daily Inspiration, visit http://www.Supreme-Success.com.