Image - tubes of paint and brushes; we can use the metaphor of an artist choosing colors to address our thoughts.

Paint A New Picture

The power of our thoughts during the COVID-19 crisis.

The world has changed so much since we we last talked. 
Emotions are running high during COVID-19, like the messiness of this abstract painting.
Raise your hand if emotions are high right now? COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the planet and in the lives of billions of people. At some point, we will have figured out how to beat the virus because that’s what we do as human beings. But long after the virus is contained, there is still a bigger, more dangerous disease that is likely to continue to infect millions of people on this planet—hopelessness. Despair is expected to end the lives of more people than the coronavirus.
The feelings that we are experiencing during the COVID-19 crisis can be as detrimental as the illness itself.
How do we inoculate ourselves from hopelessness? In the Bhagavad Gita, it is said, “For those who have conquered the mind, it is their friend. For those who have failed to do so, the mind works like an enemy.” Gaining control of the mind is key if we wish to ever make that transition from surviving our lives to thriving within our lives. As a matter of fact, gaining control of our mind not only protects us from hopelessness, it also manages fear, reduces anxiety, heals relationships, enhances creativity and can completely change our lives.
We can choose which thoughts we pay attention to, just as an artist chooses colors on their palette.
There are many techniques we can use to learn to regulate our mind. It’s most important, however, to know that it is the job of our conscious mind to filter thought. Imagine if we figuratively had a thought bubble engulfing us like a cloud of ideas at all times. It would be the job of our conscious mind to sift through those thoughts floating in and out of that cloud and decide which ones to accept and which ones to reject. The thoughts we accept are the ones we submit to the subconscious, whose job is to make everything we give to it reality. Our thoughts, the chosen or accepted thoughts, literally paint the picture of our reality. The power is in the choosing. We can paint a new image on the canvas of our lives simply by choosing a different set of thoughts. Thoughts color our reality.
Like these colors chosen on paint rollers, we can choose the thoughts that color our reality.
The global quarantine has provided us with the gift of time and space that we likely did not have prior to this experience. In this space and time, we can take a few steps back to look at our life’s work. There is no better time than now to take inventory of the images we have painted that bring us joy, reevaluate the brush strokes that detract from the beauty, value and purpose of our painting and then intentionally set brush to canvas as we begin to paint new images with carefully chosen colors that depict a vibrant, thriving and hopeful self-portrait.
Image of a blank notebook and watercolor palette.