In Native American Legend there is a Cherokee story about a Grandfather who uses the metaphor of two wolves to help his grandson learn to deal with anger and frustration. He describes a wolf living in his mind that is "anger, envy... greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt.... and ego" who is in battle with another internal wolf that " is love.... serenity, humility, kindness..... truth, and compassion". When the boy asks which wolf wins in this fight, Grandfather smiles at him and says, "The one you feed."
If you were to take an inventory of how you feed the wolves in your head on a daily basis, what would you observe? How you spend your day is one of the arenas where you constantly face choices, even when you think you don't have any. It is easy to get caught up with being busy and neglect to make the time for those activities that truly nourish us. Pay particular attention to what happens when you feel stressed or overworked. Too often people use the excuse of being tired to choose to watch mindless TV or randomly surf the internet instead of interacting with loved ones, exercising, or seeking inspiration through creative outlets.
When we continually take in negative information it skews our interpretations and ultimately leads to decisions that may not be in our best interest. So rather than absorbing by osmosis whatever comes your way, make more conscious choices about how you spend your time. Five minutes a day can make a difference. There are books and email programs that offer brief thought provoking readings on a daily basis (do an internet search on 'daily inspiration' ). I often ask clients to do "Affirmational Rewrites" and review them for a few minutes first thing in the morning and a few minutes at night before sleep to create a fertile mindset for positive change. "Affirmations in Motion" is another approach to generate desired change. It is a two minute personalized daily exercise that combines positive thoughts with energizing motion, linking conscious intention with unconscious process. (Please contact me if you want more information on "Affirmation Rewrites" or "Affirmations in Motion".)
As Eric Franklin writes in Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery, "The mind is a large screen filled with the images you have absorbed throughout the day.... fertilize with constructive information and weed out destructive thoughts." After all, we are the gardeners / caretakers of our bodies and minds.