Opening Doors with Kim

Kim Ades of Opening Doors lets you in on her frame of mind.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Baritone

With my son Louis in grade 6, and my daughter Ferne in grade 3, the start of a new school year brings new school subjects our way including those with cool new musical instruments. Louis was tasked with playing the baritone. I wasn’t even convinced that a baritone was an instrument until he proved it to me by googling it on line.

He spent two days spitting into his mouth piece as an attempt to ‘practice’ playing Yankee Doodle (yes, even Canadians know that one) when he proclaimed that he needed a protective pouch for his mouth piece and that we absolutely had to go to the dollar store to buy one. In the spirit of encouraging his enthusiasm for music, off we went to the dollar store, just the two of us. We headed straight for the protective mouth piece aisle and retrieved the pouch we came for when Louis said, “Mom, let’s go down the aisles one by one just for fun.” I knew it was his way of finagling the purchase of a few extra treats and gizmos and in order to extend our cherished one-on-one time together, I willingly obliged. We picked out some stuff that we really didn’t need like extra plastic containers for leftovers, double A batteries for our milk frother, a picture frame that says “family” and some bobby socks for Ferne, his sister, with little cat pom poms on the ankles.

As we were leaving the store, Louis said, “Shopping is good sometimes, it cleans you out.” Thinking of the $35 I just spent on one dollar items, I had to agree, but knew he was referring to a different kind of cleaning.

“What do you mean, Louis?”

“It cleans you out. If you are angry or pissed off or frustrated and you go shopping, you leave just feeling better and it’s all ‘hakuna matata.’ (A term he learned from the movie The Lion King meaning “no difficulties": no troubles, problems, worries or cares.)

What amazed me was his insight. This was not a conversation about shopping. It was a conversation about Frame of Mind. It was about how when you change your focus away from the things that frustrate you to things that calm you or excite you, your entire mood can change. Therein lies a secret: what you focus on is what becomes your life. But the bigger secret is this – you can deliberately change your mind if you want to by continuously focusing on the things that you want in your life. It’s called building the mind muscle and making it the single biggest priority in your life and understanding how crucial your thinking is to the quality of your life and your overall success.

Of course shopping isn’t for everyone – although it certainly works for some as a short term way to redirect one’s focus. Other things can work too… listening to music, exercising, watching a sitcom, talking with a friend, pretty much anything that makes you feel better. Here’s what I do… I write in a journal daily and focus my thoughts on the things I want to see, do, and experience throughout my life. The minute I write it down, it’s real and it’s permanent and I begin to create all the things I want. My Frame of Mind is the foundation of that creation and I work on it every day.

How about you? What do you do to focus your thoughts and shift your mind?


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