How to right your thinking and improve your mood

October 19, 2021


Sometimes, all it takes is an understanding of the simple source of our thoughts. And for that, I turn to the wisdom of  fake Lao Tzu.

That’s right, fake. Because this quote has been attributed to him. Not accurate, though. Also attributed to a Brazilian motivational speaker. Maybe.

Well,  regardless of the source, it is such a simple observation of the source of our moods…. but so very helpful:

If you are depressed, you are living in the past.

If you are anxious, you are living in the future.

If you are at peace you are living in the present.

Right on point with the first two. But had to think about the third, I concluded it’s true. We can only be at peace if we live in the right now. This moment.

Even in this uncertain age. Live in the moment we’re in. No looking ahead or back.

It’s easy to get depressed about what we used to do (or what we had) but can’t do or don’t have right now for whatever reason: age, funds, infirmity, pandemic. That is the past.

Also true of grief and depression. We miss our loved one and the role they played in our daily life. When their absence is our focus, depression results. And don’t I know it. No stranger to this.

Then: How many of us spin out on worry about the future? Yes, the future IS the source of most anxiety. Our concern about something that hasn’t happened yet and might not ever happen. And yet, we worry about it.

Also true of grief. What will the future be like without our loved one? How unfair that our loved one will not have a future on earth. I know this, too. A few months before she died, my mother saw her own life drawing to a close and said “Now I’ll miss everything.” It cut right to the heart of the matter. I’ll never forget it.

But if we are living in the moment, just this moment, we can find peace. Because, really, all we have is right now. And right now. And right now.

In this moment my two dogs are sleeping on top of each other right next to me. My husband is doing the dishes. I have a fully belly from a yummy potato/onion/eggs lunch I just made. I am not thinking about what I have lost. I am not worrying about what might happen. This moment is perfect.

And perfectly peaceful.

It’s not always possible to be in this state. But it IS possible. We just have to remember to be here now. (Thanks, Baba Ram Dass!)

What do you think? And thanks, Angela Cullen, for the inspiration and the quote!
A Healing Spirit’s supportive grief and healing tools can be found at our Etsy shop: here

5 comments on “How to right your thinking and improve your mood
  1. Diane says:

    I absolutely agree with this, Carol. When I am in the moment, I am peaceful. But I miss the past and worry, worry, WORRY about the future. I’ve decided my new word is ‘savour’. I’m going to savour more. Be more in the moment. Perhaps it’ll lengthen my life! 😉

  2. Shari says:

    Absolutely agree. Being mindful and present has been my work for decades, and it still can be challenging, but it gets easier. So many people are misquoted, no doubt because of the internet!

  3. Laurie Stone says:

    Wow. “Now I’ll miss everything.” What a poignant statement. I hope those who have passed are still around in some form and don’t miss anything.

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