A few days ago, Monica Potts, who recently moved back to her hometown to research a book on rural America, wrote in the NY Times how the residents of Van Buren County, Arkansas live with a “prevailing sense of scarcity,” and “believe there just isn’t enough money to go around.” They exist in their own scarcity bubble, opposing for example the salary raise from $19hr to $25hr for their county head librarian with a master’s degree, because they truly believe that “We are not here to pay your excessive salaries through taxation or in any other way,” based on the fact that most private sector jobs in the area pay only $10-$13hr. Yet, elsewhere in the country there is plenty of money to go around. The author describes a merry-go-round belief system that creates a self-fulfilling prophesy and can seem hard to escape.
When we are unaware that we are engulfed in a thought or energy system that is detrimental to our mental health and wellbeing, we can become depressed and even physically ill, and see no way out. We externalize this emotional mindset and see the world through gray colored glasses – life is difficult, I’m jinxed, I’m just unlucky.
However, through pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, sudden awakening, the way Eckhard Tolle describes his own unexpected shift from deep depression to deep joy in The Power of Now, or through active visualization techniques as described in so many popular books by Mike Dooley, Jennifer Grace, Rhonda Byrne, or Esther and Jerry Hicks among others, you can get out from under this blanket of heaviness and recreate your outlook and your life.
What seems illogical and nonsensical to many people is that your belief system shapes your reality, not vice versa. So, YOU need to shift, not everyone and everything around you. Pott’s point in her Arkansas context is that people with a different outlook move away from Clinton County to more affluent areas, associating with people who share their beliefs and energies.
What do your surroundings and the people you associate with tell you about yourself?