Practicing High-Mindedness

Practicing High-Mindedness

A girl blowing a dandelion

“When your thoughts are geared in a positive direction, your feelings are peaceful.” – Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

When our thoughts are positive, we will tend to see possibilities from the difficult situations we are facing. However, when our thoughts are negative, we can be easily irritated or agitated. The good news is, we always have a choice. We cannot always control of what goes on outside. But we can always control what goes on inside.

High-Mindedness is a concept which I read from the book, Calm and Compassionate Children, by Susan Usha Dermond. It is the practice of focusing our thoughts in a positive direction. Although the book explores the usage of this concept in parenting, I believe we can adapt this concept in our everyday life.

Practicing high-mindedness is to focus on uplifting moments in everyday life by paying attention to the positive energy surrounding us. The book shares, “Paying attention to the beauty and kindness surrounding us develops sensitivity and gives a calmer outlook on life because it brings our focus to the moment, away from anxiety about the future or past,”

What we can do, as shares by the book, to practice high-mindedness is noticing, which is an activity to share simple joy of uplifting moments with others; for example, the freshness of the morning breeze, the wind rustling the leaves, the smell of a freshly baked loaf of bread or the cloudless blue sky. When we noticed these simple joys, we shared them with others by bringing it to their attention.

Noticing not only helps us to focus our attention to uplifting moments, but also helps us to count our blessings and be grateful for them. Inevitably, we will also be happier when we are finding more time to notice and rejoice in life’s little blessings.

Noticing is one activity which we can carry out with our family and friends. What is being proposed in the book is for family to share gratitude moments at dinner every evening, where everyone shares something from the day that they are grateful for. It will be challenging and may seem unnatural at first, but practice makes better; eventually everyone will find it easy to share moments from the day they are grateful for.

Practicing high-mindedness through noticing will allow us to focus in the positive direction, to appreciate the simple joys in life and to be grateful for the daily blessings that are coming to us. Through that feeling of peacefulness in gratitude, comes happiness.

A question from the book, “What was your most inspiring moment of the day?

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20 thoughts on “Practicing High-Mindedness

  1. meleah rebeccah

    I think most of the time I practice positive thinking. However, “once a month” [if you know what I mean] I tend to get into a funk, and I can’t seem to control my negative thoughts, or my emotions for that matter! During “that time” for me – I sure could use some HELP shutting down the anxiety and finding a calmer outlook on life!
    .-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..Everyone Needs A Little Evelyn! =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Eco Mama, Calm and Compassionate Children is actually a handbook with practical steps which you can follow to work out with your children.

      @ Meleah, ya, probably that is the time where most women will find it a challenge to stay positive. I hope you’ll be able to find strength in noticing the uplifting moments during that time and at all time.

      @ Belinda, you are right, the point for many people is whether they even pay attention; if we are just hurrying through everyday, we may not even pay attention to the simple joys that flash by while we are moving hastily from point to point. We do need to slow down and notice deliberately.

  2. One of The Guys

    This is an uplifting post. We try to share happy moments of each day during dinner. It’s nice. But it takes practice just like anything else.

    Life is about enjoying the little things too. But you’re right, we have to notice and be aware.
    “Being Present”
    .-= One of The Guys´s last blog ..The Balancing Act of an Artist =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ One of The Guys, it is good to be able to practice the sharing of happy moments during dinner. I believe it’ll make the dinner even more enjoyable. And life indeed is about enjoying the little things. 🙂

  3. Tracy

    Noticing… it is an art to practice everyday…it’s the small things that happen everyday that really light the fire of our days, I feel. At the moment I’m trying to make more conscious efforts to slow down during the course of the day and really see what’s happening, see what I’m doing (inside and out)… Being Present… Those a great words to live by. Thank you for this inspirational post, BK! Happy Weekend :o) ((HUGS))

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Tracy, thank you. You are right that noticing is an art to practice everyday and one important art. This is similar to focusing on our blessings everyday and being grateful for them. When we find time to be grateful for simple joys in life, we will also feel peaceful and happier. I love what you are doing; slowing down to see what’s happening. Happy weekend to you too.

  4. Brooke

    This is so important to remember. I try to practice it, but I know I’m not always successful. Sounds like a book I should check out 🙂

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Meleah, good luck to you. I believe you can do it with conscious and deliberate paying attention. 🙂

      @ Brooke, indeed, there is no guarantee that we will be successful. But with practicing, we will get better and better. 🙂

  5. Jen

    One of the easiest ways to practice this is to stay in the moment. If we are focused on now rather than the past of the future we can stay calm and have more confidence in our own abilities. It’s not easy but it is possible if we are mindful of what we are thinking.
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Who Did That? =-.

  6. autre

    Just ..wonderful …thanks to Yanny’s Reflections of passion ,which brought me here….listening to which I used to practice my painting lessons [ the whole album ]
    Just had to post this comment.Would love to know more about the people behind this effort.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Jen, I agree with you that one of the easiest ways to practice noticing is staying in moment where we are not bothered by the past or worrying about the future. It can be a challenge indeed but as long as we are mindful of our thoughts.

      @ Autre, glad that we are ‘connected’ through Yanni’s Reflections of Passion. I am sure his album gave you inspiration when you were practicing your painting.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Fatima, well said; what we focus, we manifest. This is a challenging concept for most people and I know that I fail on this terribly sometimes. Thus I have much practice to do. 🙂