Recently I was recollecting a conversation which I had with a friend of mine from Nigeria a few years ago. The Brexit vote had just come down, and I was reeling in shock and anger and dismayed at the overt racism across the country. I recall asking my friend if she had ever felt racism while she was living in London. Her response was ‘No, because I don’t even allow that possibility to be in my life.’ She continued ‘I am sure that there have been times when people have acted differently or racist towards me, but I haven’t been aware of it because I do not allow that to enter my being – my consciousness’.
As I listened to her response, I remember thinking that her mindset was a tremendously evolved and powerful way of thinking. And, because of this, I have worked on emulating her mentality ever since - I now do not allow the possibility of the things that I don’t want to even enter the realm of my being. (Side note: this mindset takes daily awareness, practice and disciple, which eventually leads to it becoming a personality trait.)
I was thinking about this conversation which I had had with my friend, because her words echoed from the book I had just finished reading. I had just finished reading my favourite book as a kid – ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I absolutely loved that book as a child, and so I decided to buy it and re-read it again as an adult.
And I am so happy that I did.
I don’t recall if as a child, I had appreciated that it was such a compelling story of transformation and personal empowerment. Still, as an adult, the messaging came across loud and clear.
For those of you unfamiliar with the book, the story is about an unloved, orphaned girl and an unwanted boy who, from birth, is told that he will grow up to be an invalid. Believing this, he becomes a frightful hypochondriac. The story converges with the two becoming friends who grow to help one another to transform their lives. I will leave it there as I don’t want to ruin the story for you, however I do want to share this passage from the book with you:
In each century since the beginning of the world wonderful things have been discovered. In the last century more amazing things were found out than in any century before. In this new century hundreds of things still more astounding will be brought to light. At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done – then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago. One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts – mere thoughts – are as powerful as electric batteries – as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after is has got in you may never get over it as long as you live.
-Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden)
I love this passage because like my friend whom I mentioned above, I truly believe our thoughts create our reality.
We see what we want to see, be it good or bad. And so we need to choose our thoughts wisely.
This book was written over 110 years ago, with a target audience of children, yet the message is still apt in the present day and is appropriate to children and adults alike.
I read a lot of psychology books, many which require heavy lifting – loaded with 10 dollar words, and science on top of science which can take the magic out of understanding how powerful the mind is. For an easier read with just an impactful message, I highly recommend reading ‘The Secret Garden’. It is a truly inspiring story about personal transformation.
Hi! Welcome to the Bootcamp for the Mind & Soul Blog, where I will be sharing with you how to develop healthy habits and empowering beliefs.