Just Rollin' Down the Self-Expressway

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.

·         Brian Tracy

Loosen up your mind with gratitude.

Boston Bovines Hold The Answer For You.

Did you know that our brains are full of cow paths? Robert Fritz begins his book The Path of Least Resistance by explaining how the streets of Boston were laid out; they do not seem to be the result of any planning. Long, long ago in Boston, grazing and wandering cows walked the easiest paths they could find and, with each passing cow, these paths became more clearly defined and easier to follow. These cow paths became the “plan” for Boston’s streets. Fritz says, “As a result, city planning in Boston gravitates around the mentality of the seventeenth century cow.”

The thoughts that we have over and over form cow paths in our brains. Each repeated thought makes the path more defined and easier. We think about not enough money frequently and the not-enough-money path becomes the easiest one to follow -- our thoughts just follow the same old cow path. Same with thoughts of sickness and irritability and judgment and all breeds and brands of scarcity. Perhaps your thought planning gravitates around the mentality of the old twentieth century you. Once those cow paths get formed, they call to our thoughts, and lead them to places where our dreams can’t be seen. Our brains are riddled with deep furrows meandering through hard, caked, crusted dirt. How do we loosen up the dirt into pliable, rich, fertile mud? We need to rain on our brain.

Mud, Marvelous Mud

Gratitude is the rain that smoothes the way for new paths. When the storms of gratitude fall upon our brains, the dry, stuck paths dissolve leaving the mighty, moldable mud of potential. We can form new paths where our thoughts can dance on down the new grooves of health, wealth, love, and creativity. Gratitude and rigidity cannot coexist. Gratitude makes new freeways of thinking gently possible. Have you ever found yourself thinking over and over about something you do not want in your life? That’s a sure way to get more and more of that something. You probably know that, but all of a sudden you catch yourself having those thoughts - again - of what you most definitely do not want.

Why? Your thoughts are following those old, well-worn, rigid cow paths in your brain. They follow those cow trails while you are not looking. And it does not work to put roadblocks in the paths, to resist those thoughts. You have to build new roads, create new paths. Feeling gratitude will smooth out the landscape so you can create the new paths. Replace the thoughts of sickness with thoughts of health, poverty thoughts with wealth thoughts, dread thoughts with dream thoughts. You can then build with your thoughts the health highways and wealth byways and love lanes and self-express-ways.

Singing In The Rain

And we know that once your thoughts are following the new paths, the health and wealth and love and self-expression will manifest openly and freely in your life. Let the feeling of gratitude rain - and reign - in your life. It will shower you with pleasures and treasures. It will let you see how you are a mighty, shining raindrop in the great rainfall of the good universe. Let “thank you” be your prayer that you sing in the rain.

Gratitude Push-up

Before you go to bed, think of an incident that happened to you during the day. Any incident. It can be as simple as eating breakfast or walking the dog or talking to a coworker. Write the incident as if you were putting it in your memoirs or journal or autobiography. And do it this way . . .

When you write about the incident, revise it so it includes your having a LARGE amount of gratitude during the incident. How? As you think about the incident before you write, feel the gratitude flowing into the memory. Feel yourself full of thanks. See a smile. Maybe feel a bounce in your step, peace in your shoulders, joy in your posture. Then write the incident in this revised version. Don’t worry about good style or grammar or punctuation. Simply write it.

Do this exercise for a week with a new incident from each day. I think you will be surprised at what happens to your level of gratitude during those seven days.

Stephanie West Allen, JD - from 24/7 This! The Merry Method To Accelerate Success - ©2000

About the Author

Stephanie coaches people in using the two Merry Maxims, WYTUG (What You Think Upon Grows) and LULU (Loosen Up, Lighten Up), to achieve health, wealth, creativity, and harmonized relationships.



I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.

·         Dr. Seuss

Everyday Mantras

People love to make fun of mantras. Just the thought of saying something positive to ourselves conjures up images of Stuart Smalley's (a.k.a. Al Franken) "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it, people like me." Whether we realize it or not, or, should we say admit to it or not, almost all of us have mantras. But while some of them are encouraging, others are down right depressing.

In both actual and literary life, we hear or read stories about those rare individuals who, while enjoying nature, experienced enlightenment, or oneness with God. The proverbial and literal image of the mountaintop has inspired many a seeker to great depths of spiritual feeling. And while enlightenment may occur in any locale, be it urban, suburban, or rural, nature seems to be the environment of choice for many spiritual seekers. For although it is possible, most of us cannot imagine enlightenment striking us at the grocery store - or on a subway or bus. And while you may think the divine in nature merely a romantic notion, we who have been there know that its reputation for transformation is more than just an illusion.

We did a little informal research and came up with our list of the top ten negative mantras in everyday use. Once you realize how much these little sayings influence your life, Stuart Smalley might not look so bad after all.

10. WHATEVER.-C'mon we really do care what happens-don't we?

9. PEOPLE ARE NO DAMN GOOD!-It may be true, but do we want to keep reinforcing it?

8. NOT AGAIN! - Aren't we tired of being victims?

7. BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY. - Better said than lived - unless we plan to never leave the house.

6. WHY DOES THIS ALWAYS HAPPEN WHEN I'M RUNNING LATE?-Do we really want to be doing what we're doing-a lot seems to be getting in our way?

5. THAT'S WHY THEY CALL IT WORK!-And we wonder why we hate our jobs.

4. I CAN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE.-Are things really that bad, or are we just resisting what's happening at the moment?

3. IF IT WEREN'T FOR BAD LUCK, I'D HAVE NO LUCK AT ALL-Don't head to Vegas with this attitude.

2. I WANT THIS SO BADLY.-How come no one ever says "I want this so goodly?"

1. SH*T! - this mantra just stinks!

The Spiritual Chicks

Copyright ©2002, K. Weissman & T. Coyne. Excerpted from "THE SPIRITUAL CHICKS QUESTION EVERYTHING: Learn to Risk, Release and Soar," by Tami Coyne and Karen Weissman, in bookstores October 2002, Red Wheel/Weiser, Publishers. For orders call 800-432-7087 or email orders@redwheelweiser.com.

Tami, Karen, Stephanie. What I wouldn't give to have them all in the same room, and just listen to them go 'round about Cow Paths to gratitude and questioning EVERYTHING! For more information about The Spiritual Chicks, and some of that not-your-average-sort-of-enlightenment from the spiritual left, visit www.SpiritualChicks.com.


email: Michael@N-Spire.com

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