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A Positive Outlook: Stepping Out of Fear Amidst Economic Challenges

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One of my favorite sayings is from Martha Washington, who said, 
I've learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances.

In times of feeling powerless due to circumstances “beyond our control”, it can be a relief to refocus thoughts on empowering possibilities.

Rev. Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, CA, and well known as one of the voices of wisdom from the movie, The Secret, was interviewed by anchor Tony Harris on the Oct. 10th, 2008, CNN Newscast, about this type of refocusing:

TONY HARRIS:  Let's take a look now at the New York Stock Exchange, in just a moment you can see it right there in the lower right-hand corner of your screen. The Dow down 468 points and you can see sort of the cloud hanging over traders right now.

Investors and everyday people from around the world here reacting to what's going on. Now, the negative financial news has almost everyone in some kind of a slump. Again, the market down 460 points, better than 460 points right now.

But you know what our next guest says--you need to actually figure out a way to turn that negative into a positive to get the best out of life. Michael Bernard Beckwith is the author of the new book, Life Visioning, and joins us from Los Angeles.

Michael, boy, we need a positive message from you today. But I have to ask you, you know, what is it that you're hearing from the people that you're working with right now? How stressed out are people over what is going on now in the financial markets?

MICHAEL BERNARD BECKWITH: Thank you, Tony. There are many people that come to my congregation and my services that are you know, engaged in a lot of fear and doubt and worry, anxiety. Projecting the fear into the unknown.

And so the idea is to begin to understand that fear is misdirected interest. It's placing all of your attention and all the things that have gone wrong and all the things that could possibly go wrong … and when you're in that kind of fear, you block your own creativity and your ingenuity and your own inner guidance that would move you into positive directions …

HARRIS: Boy, that's so interesting. But it's hard -- it's hard to do what you suggest. It's hard not to be bottled up. It's hard not to jump on the fear train. Give us some ideas of what we might think about to turn so much of the negative energy that's out there into something that's positive.

BECKWITH: Absolutely, it is a little difficult … and we're not talking about magical thinking here.


BECKWITH: Most people are placing their attention on what they have lost or what they could possibly lose. And the idea they have the ability to put your attention on what you have right now, to move into a feeling of gratitude about what you have and how things are working for you in some area of your life. And if you begin to do that, your whole neurological system begins to change, you become available to insight, you become available to guidance …


BECKWITH: …that you're not going to get if you're addicted to the bad news. So most people are glued to the bad news.

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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