Rob Brezny's book Pronia is the Paranoia: How the Whole World is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings "an extensive array of experiments, games, rituals, and meditations you can use to boost your levels of ingenious happiness." His work is fun, outrageous, provocative, earthy, and will up your serotonin levels in mere seconds. He is one of my very favorite thought leaders because a) he calls like it sees it; b) his imagination is unbounded; c) his associations and juxtapositions are unique; and d) he frequently makes me think.
We are quick to assume the worst in ourselves and in each other, regardless of the positive experiences of solidarity and compassion we have had along the way. Is it surprising that so many of us have problems with anxiety, depression and self esteem? How could you possibly be comfortable with yourself or others, if we are constantly reminded to hate and fear.
I have another option for you. Tell society and its paranoid programming to go f#$@ itself. There is a different path you can take. Opt, instead to embrace pronia - the idea that, in fact, the universe and your fellow humans, love you and want you to do well. This is a much better narrative to take part in - and just as real - than the one offered to you by the mainstream communication channels.
Pronia is the opposite of paranoia, and just like extended periods of paranoia can have effects on your life - extended periods of pronia can do the same. Symptoms ... include sudden attacks of optimism and outbreaks of goodwill. Additionally, individuals also experience extreme bouts of laughter and enjoyment, the habitual discovery of opportunities for both yourself and others, and the sense of acceptance and love.
The first step is to change the negative "cassette" you have playing in your head and replace it with a positive one. In the beginning this is hard - you've had years of negative crap thrown your way. Don't be too hard on yourself if you can't "clean" it out of your mind in a day. With practice and dedication, a pronia attitude will become common sense. Remember, this is your natural state - the negativity is not part of you and it lives outside of you.
1) Take Negativity Out of your Life:
Stop watching, listening to, and being around anything that is "negative". Listen to your emotions. As a wise techie guru once told me, we have emotions for a reason. If it makes you feel bad or anxious, don't do it. This could be anything from the evening news to a gossipy friend. This doesn't mean that you can't ever be around "negative" things, but in the beginning its like giving up smoking - don't tempt yourself until you are strong enough to resist your habits/urges.
2) Consume Good
Replace what you are taking out with something positive. This can be literature with a positive message or indulging in your passion. My positivity diet consists of Pablo Coelho's blog and books, TONS of comedy, good music, and hiking. Make a list of those things that make you smile, and make it a point to incorporate it into your daily routine. Soon enough, you'll find it a bit repulsive to watch those things that are spiritually toxic.
3) Pay it Forward
Try to do small, nice things for those around you. Trust your instinct – it’s our nature to be warm and loving. Do whatever you feel will make someone smile or feel good. These things have a habit of coming back to you.
4) Meditate and Daydream
Try to spend some quiet time during the day, even if when you first begin you find you can only stay silent for 5 minutes at a time. Use this time to communicate with the universe and daydream. The act of daydreaming allows you to see what you are truly passionate about, what makes you happy, and what goals align you with your life's mission. The more you daydream, the more your life will go in a positive direction.
5) Be Grateful
Being grateful is probably the most important thing you can do to stay positive. It keeps you humble, and lets you realize what you already have. Most importantly, it changes your perspective because it reminds you that there is no way you can fail. You are exactly where you are suppose to be, and have achieved exactly what you were suppose to achieve in this moment in time. Focusing one minute a day on what are grateful for makes a world of a difference. Try it for a month, and watch what happens.
We all have our demons or complexes that are road blocks to our spiritual development. Make affirmations that you repeat on a daily basis that negate those demons. Words are powerful, and your thoughts manifest themselves into the material world. For example, if you are someone that hates their bodies (very common now a days), your affirmation could be "I have a healthy, beautiful body that I love because it is the temple to my soul." OKAY, you don't have to be that cheesy. The point is to start replacing those negative thoughts about particular things about yourself with positive. I like to add humor, so I usually sing the Jack Black, Tenacious D song..."I f*****g rock, I f*****g roll”..and in fact, constantly remind other people that they rock as well (because we all do!!!)
Rob Brezny is a musician, poet, writer, and American astrologer. His first-person, intelligent readings have inspired other astrologers. You might want to sign up for his newsletter on Free Will Astrology. It appears weekly in your email inbox and includes short, pithy astrological readings that are are fun, smart, wild, and open-hearted. You will definitely smile -- and maybe, even, laugh out loud. And each week, you will also receive more evocative passages from Rob's Pronia is the Antidote for Paranoia.
See, you are showered with blessings already.
Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D., is the author of Balancing Act: Reflections, Meditations, and Coping Strategies for Today’s Fast-Paced Whirl and a contributing author to the best-selling anthology, 2012: Creating Your Own Shift. You can learn more about Adele and her thinking http://theheraldedpenguin.com.