EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL POLLUTION
On March 13, 2018, I attended a skincare talk given by Irena James, the Vice President of YG Lab. She talked about what pollution does to the skin and what’s available on the market to prevent skin damage, like wrinkles and unwanted pigmentation. She recommended mixing several antioxidants to create potent anti-aging products that help fight against pollution.
Irena also added that we’re not limited to the DNA we’re born with. This is a very interesting fact — and yes, we are born with certain genes. However, our choices in life affect our DNA and our results. I’m sure some of you have noticed this. For instance, look at twins. Let’s say one smokes and the other one doesn’t. You can see how smoking affects their skin differently.
As I was listening to Irena, I thought of something. We are concerned with outside pollution, but what about internal pollution — the unhealthy thoughts we put into our mind? This is a subject that is really close to my heart because I’ve noticed that my face looks much better now compared to when I was in my early 40s. I attribute this to a change of environment.
Stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts affect your skin. The internal pollution that we allow into our brain has a very strong impact on our genes. It influences the features of our physical self. It even makes us age faster. What I mean by internal pollution is “the story you put into your mind and believe to be true.” It’s how you chose to label yourself.
Someone might have told you how you should be, and maybe you followed his advice. You acted according to how he suggested you should act. But when you let others label you, you let go of your own personality. You settle for being a certain way based on someone else’s judgment.
As an example, I’ll share what my mom experienced. She struggled at school when she was a young child. During that time, her school was run by nuns. One of the nuns said that she did better work cleaning the bathroom than studying. My mom believed this to be true. And to this day, she focuses on dirt more than anything else in life. She made a choice to accept what she was told. She stopped going to school by age 12. It’s sad. To this day, she’ll bring up her lack of education as one of her deepest regrets.
I told her, “Mom, look who you chose to become. How you’ve managed your life. You’ve learned to invest.” Choosing to educate yourself through life experiences outweighs any formal education you might have missed out on. But, you see, she still dwells on what she didn’t get instead of looking at what she has. In fact, she actually managed very well with creating some rental property income. She’s a successful business woman now. I gave her credit for what she’s done. But the thing is, what really matters at the end is what she thinks about herself when she goes to bed at night. That’s where the pollution comes in. The sad truth is that I cannot change what she thinks of herself.
HOW OUTSIDE FACTORS AFFECT US
I would also like to bring up what I call, “double standards.” We all have them! Life has a way of favoring one side over the other. For example, left-handed versus right-handed people. Not long ago, people who were left-handed were inflicted with all sorts of things. For some reason, right-handed people thought that there was something wrong with left-handed people. It’s all about how you see it.
Let’s also touch briefly on how genders are treated differently. There are many accounts written throughout history showing this sad fact. In certain countries, women are not given the same treatment as men. For instance, they’re denied education. The family will choose to invest in their sons rather than their daughters.
I once heard a story from Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of priceline.com. He was traveling around the world, being of service to anyone who needed help. He came across an area in Peru where most people were trying to make ends meet. He met a girl who had been told by her parents that she couldn’t go to school, even though her brother could. The girl said, “I’m not having this. I am smarter than him.” So she took matters into her own hands. She went to the library every day and studied programming.
After she became educated, she opened her own school and taught other girls how to program. Now this girl and her students are working on Upwork, helping people with programming issues. And yet she had been labeled as “not worthy.” She chose to say “no” to this false belief. She took charge of her own mind, her own self, and had the courage to do what she believed she could achieve. We can all achieve something!
WAYS OF COPING WITH NEGATIVITY
Let’s return to the pollution in our mind. We need to be careful of the pollution that comes into our mind. This goes both ways, meaning we have to be mindful of the pollution we put into somebody else’s mind, too. It’s important to understand that I’m talking about both sides. If you expect to receive positive thoughts, it starts with you sending kind and positive messages.
There are many ways to cope with negative comments that come your way. The first way is to not take it personally. Shrug and move on! I think that because we are naturally pleasing beings, when we hear a comment, we take it personally. We think that we need to fix something. Bear in mind that whoever is talking to you is often sharing a reflection of themselves. It’s not necessarily about you. For instance, going back to the story about my mom and the nun. God knows where that nun’s mind was when she said that to my mother. And my mom didn’t dare defy the authority.
Another way to cope with negative comments is to simply say, “Thank you for sharing.” I love this one. Depending on how you say it, it has a lot of power. What can the other person come back with when you say that to them? Think about it for a moment. Just because someone tells you something, that doesn’t mean you have to act on it. You are allowed to just say, “No, this is not for me. I don’t want to hear your pollution. This is not my language.” You have to have the courage to stand your ground.
Shrinking back or playing small to accommodate someone else’s shortcomings goes against the law of nature. Let’s look at trees. The tree will always do its thing. It will grow. It will expand. It’s funny, because roots will not say, “Oh, I wonder if I can just grow a little bit further this way.” The tree just grows. If we were trees, we wouldn’t be growing taller than 10 feet because we would limit ourselves. But trees don’t do that. So, why are we stopping ourselves? Why are we tolerating other people’s pollution?
A few years back, I came across the book The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. In one chapter, he talks about the “Magical Kitchen.” I love when he mentioned that. To me, it was so precious when I read that particular chapter. It made life much simpler. He said, what if you have a magical kitchen? You can cook anything you want with any kind of food in the world. You have all the ingredients. You have the best equipment. Everything you want, you have it all in that magical kitchen. So when someone comes to you and offers a “cheap pizza” if you’ll do whatever he wants, you will say, “No thank you. I can cook better pizza.” Now, let’s replace the pizza with unkind words. When your heart is full of love for yourself and others, you will not accept being fed by their unkind words.
The problem comes when you’re starving and you do not feel that you have a magical kitchen inside you. Somebody comes to you and says, “Oh, I have pizza for you.” And you start drooling. You say, “Oh my God, yeah, I do want some of your pizza. I’m starving.” After a while, that person says, “Well, you know what, I can give you pizza, but then you have to do this or that for me.” Then it’s no longer just sharing a pizza. It becomes a trade-off of some kind.
This results in codependence issues and all sorts of insecurities. You wonder, “What if he leaves me and I no longer have pizza?” You start clinging on, or you cause other drama. It can be the other way around, too. As soon as you refuse to pursue the relationship, you are suddenly reminded: “Well, if you don’t do that, you will not get pizza tonight.”
If you have your own magical kitchen, you will not need to go through all these things in your mind or have them in your surroundings. You can just be happy.
Happiness comes when you focus on your gifts. And we are all gifted. What if you have a gift and you are invited to a birthday party? You go around and you keep your gift in your hand. You don’t want to give away your gift. You never go to that person’s birthday and say, “Happy Birthday. Here’s a present for you.” You just simply go around and you keep carrying that gift in your hand. And you leave at night with the gift still in your hand. Well, how does that feel?
That’s what it means when we say “givers gain.” When you give your gift away, it’s like, “Wow, this is magic.” Oftentimes, we don’t want to give our gift away because we’re afraid. We think, “What if that person doesn’t like my gift?” You’ll know when you step into your real true gift when you’re willing to put your discomfort away in order to serve.
WORKING TOGETHER AND BEING UNIQUE
This brings me to talk about the power of collaboration. The power of success resides with collaboration. There is no need for competition because we are unique. Most people will focus on competition and feel that they have to hurry to make sure they beat others. This is a scarcity mentality. The universe is abundant and will create space for anything you desire. All you need to do is to share your gift and create your space. The power of collaboration is something that people of wealth have figured out. They focus on what they’re good at. They work with a network of friends or colleagues that will collaborate with one another. Focus on your uniqueness. Nobody can be like you. The key is to differentiate yourself.
In the end, we are all aiming for one thing: to love and be loved. It all starts with your own mind. Create your space and protect your “Magical Mind”. Surround yourself with like-minded people. Keep thinking positive thoughts. And if you have to, change your story. If someone hurts your feelings and you take it personally, change your story. And lastly – this is advice from wealthy people – when you get stuck, ask for help. Build a network of people that you know you can trust, that you know will have your back. Go and talk to them. And sometimes – this one is probably even more powerful – take some quiet time for yourself to think. If you can go into nature, do so.
You can go for a walk in the park. Do something that will bring you closer to nature. Or just walk with kind and loving words. Shut down that little voice that pollutes your mind. Just be in your heart and let your love flow in and out. This is the best way to tap into your magical mind.
Listen to the Podcast: https://nadiafleury.com/008-your-magical-mind/
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