The Power of Thought

mindFinding two minutes of mental alone time doesn’t exist in my everyday life.  I’m sure many people with busy jobs or a few kids, especially in the summer, find finishing a thought a challenge.   So, I’ve made a commitment to myself to walk each day—alone—even if only for thirty minutes to be sure I have time to think.

Today’s main mental preoccupation, along with a few other things, was on an upcoming interview I’ve been asked to do with Avery Haines on the “Inside Story”.    At work I’m part of a unit whose mission it is to enhance the capacity of the Toronto Police Service to respond effectively to the needs of victims and witnesses of crime.

It’s almost as if the position was created especially for me.  It wasn’t, but I’m so grateful to have been asked to be part of it.

But it brings with it a balancing act between my personal life and professional life and this interview is a perfect example of that.

Ms. Haines wants to tell the story of the unit and needless to say, my daughter’s homicide brings an extra “twist” to the story.

But it’s not about our family. It’s about our (the Service’s) deep commitment to improving the lives of victims and witnesses of crime.  My challenge is to do it in a way in which everyone can relate—regardless personal circumstances or socio-economic status.  It matters to me that I get it right. Hence, my pensiveness.

This morning as I worried about how to do that, I walked past an elderly gentleman.  His pace was slow and he shuffled with a distinct hunch.  His pants were too short, his shoes well worn and he used a wooden cane with a rubber tip on the end for balance.

But there was mischief in his eyes as he played with a rock that he was pushing along the sidewalk with his cane.  He was quite enjoying himself.  At first I think he was a little embarrassed but then shrugged it off and we laughed together at his fun.

I smiled to myself because it reminded me of our boys a few days earlier running down the street doing the exactly same thing.

But in that moment I had a choice.  I was going to go back to my concern about the upcoming interview, but it suddenly felt so weighty compared to the levity of the interaction I had moments before.

It was my choice and I chose to think only of him for the rest of my walk and I realized that he had improved my mood immensely.  Maybe he and I ran into each other for a reason, not the least of which was to stop me from obsessing.

Our thoughts are really all we have any control over.  Today I choose to think about fun things and leave the rest to work itself out.  How about you?

The mind is everything.  What you think you become. –Buddha

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3 Responses to The Power of Thought

  1. Sharon says:

    I struggle with this everyday Patricia. But thanks to you, I’ll think of your little encounter today. You write beautifully.
    Thanks. Again.

  2. Sandra Evan-Jones says:

    What an amazing piece of writing. Thank you so much for reminding me of how important it is to make the choice to frame or re-frame our daily experiences and make the most of them. In your work and life, you are an inspiration to everyone who knows you, Patti.

  3. Debra says:

    How wonderful that you not only met the man, yet that you noticed every detail. I feel like I was right there with you both, chuckling at the focus on a pebble or two. Having some fun that both of you carried throughout the day, and into my day now having read your masterful relaying of it. Thanks for paying it forward, once again!

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