“OK Fusaro, try not to join the 180 degree club during your first time at the helm,” said the Captain.
“What’s the 180 degree club, Sir?” I asked.
We were aboard a 378-foot Coast Guard cutter patrolling the Bering Sea. It was 1985 and we were navigating by stars, a compass, charts and math. Since we were so close to the North Pole the compass was unpredictable and on this night the fog hid the stars. These were the days before GPS.
“On a night like tonight, if not vigilant, you can end up taking us 180 degrees off course and in the opposite direction without realizing it. So trust your gauges,” he said.
Trusting the gauges was the key to reaching our destination. A little off to the left or right and the gauges would alarm me to steer the ship back into alignment and safely on course. In order to stay on course I had to constantly make adjustments. It worked, I trusted the gauges, made the indicated adjustments and we made port.
Successfully navigating through life is much the same. Trust the gauges; make the indicated adjustments and a healthy, happy, prosperous life is yours. The gauges to trust are your feelings. The saying, “feelings aren’t facts” is true. Feelings aren’t facts, they’re indicators. They indicate which direction your thoughts are taking you. Since it’s always thought first, feeling second, your feelings will always indicate the general tone of your thinking.
Thoughts move so rapidly that most of the time we aren’t aware of them. That’s when feelings are the most helpful. Even though we may not be aware of what we’re consciously thinking at times, we are always aware of how we feel.
Simply put, when you feel good it indicates that your thinking is on course and moving in the direction of your authentic self. You’re in alignment with your heart’s desire, or God’s will if you prefer. These are thoughts of love, gratitude, joy, passion, enthusiasm, happiness, joyful expectation, and hope. You’re in harmony with the positive stream of live.
Likewise, when you feel bad it’s an indication that your thoughts are out of harmony with your heart’s desire. Thoughts of annoyance, worry, criticism, blame, anger, envy, revenge, resentment, guilt, and doubt are simply an indication that you’ve drifted off course into rough seas. Fear is at the helm. That’s why it feels bad. It is time to steer your thinking back toward the light.
Just as on the ship, it would be insane to proceed traveling off course once you’ve become aware that you are heading in a dangerous direction. Quickly as possible you’d make the course correction and once again feel at peace. However getting our thinking to come around isn’t as easy as turning a ship’s wheel. Our thoughts need a little coaxing. The most effective method is the use of affirmative prayer. This is the desire to let go of these ill feeling thoughts and to have them replaced with something better.
Simply repeating an affirmative word as you walk will snap you back on course. I will often say “Yes!”, every time my left foot touches the ground as I walk.
At other times, a prayer I often use is, “God remove this fear, worry, doubt, or resentment, etc… and direct my attention to what you would have me be.” Another form of positive prayer that works is to begin thinking about what I’m grateful for. It can even begin with being grateful for the ability to choose to make a positive change in my way of thinking. Sometimes just affirming, “I am grateful God is renewing my mind and improving my circumstances!”, does the trick. Gratitude is not just a nice feeling, it is a magnetic force that attracts more things to be grateful for.
One more example of a positive prayer method is to “move a muscle, change an emotion.” In other words take some small simple positive action that has nothing to do with your concerns and your mood is sure to improve. Something as ordinary as doing the dishes or washing the floor tends to transform everything for the better. If this all sounds too simple to be true, be grateful that it is. God does not make the way hard for those who seek him.
If you are presently complaining about something that is happening in your life, then you are focusing on what you do not want. Instead, adjust your sails and steer toward what makes you happy. Have faith (joyful expectancy) in God (good) and miracle will follow miracle and wonders will never cease.
You are always invited to join me for an uplifting guided meditation on any Friday from 12:00pm-12:30pm, at Unity of the Westside, 10724 Barman Ave, Culver City, CA, 90230. Drop by, connect with God and leave feeling renewed, healthy and happy. No previous meditation experience necessary. It’s free and all are welcome.
Artist Darrell Fusaro is a decorated U.S. Coast Guard veteran and author of “What if Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug?”. To learn more about Darrell visit wwwThisWillMakeYouHappy.com