This land of mine remains safe and tranquil. Always filled with human and heavenly beings.~The Lotus Sutra

There is a saying that goes when the student is ready; the teacher appears. Over the past few months, I have found this astoundingly accurate as COVID-19 continues to ravage the country. I often meditate on the above quote from The Lotus Sutra and honestly believe this quote came into my life at the right moment. These exquisite words have quieted and calmed me through the past few turbulent. 

There are many books and articles about the power of positive thinking and its ability to change lives. I often think of myself as an optimistic person, so it helps to read books and articles about the power of positive thinking. Yet, it was only recently that I realized how the application of positive thinking could boost your life. My life was severely tested when a spate of challenging obstacles unfolded unexpectedly, even before the onset of COVID-19. They ran the gamut from lost friendships, personal health, and family illness to financial and career challenges. It seemed like everything was spinning out of control with no end in sight. Sadly, it felt like my world was unraveling before my eyes, and I had no power to stop it from careening off the edge into nothingness.

 Enter COVID-19.

Fortunately, I came across this beautiful quote in my Buddhist readings again, reminding me of the power within to persevere. After uttering the words to myself, I immediately felt a sense of peace and calm wash over me. I did not know it at the time, but my teacher had appeared within six small words. Externally, my environment rattled and shook, but bit by tiny bit, I felt my inner self beginning to stabilize. I muttered positive affirmations, which helped me to regain my focus and calm. In a few months, day by day, I began to collect the scattered pieces of myself to put them back together, minute by minute. It was arduous and challenging work, but as I felt more positive from the inside, my environment began responding. As I continued making efforts to heal from the inside out, I noticed even the smallest changes. Everything has significance and meaning, even COVID-19. I suddenly understood from deep within that this time in crisis will also pass. 

 Consequently, I learned that I had to become positive from inside out for my life to change. It is tough for negativity to dwell in a place where there is always positivity and light. Over the past eight months, my perspective has shifted. I am ever watchful of my thoughts, making sure that they stay positive and bright. It is hard work to monitor my mind continually and continuously clear the negative clutter, but I now know I must if I want to win in my life. Day by day, the light is getting brighter even as COVID-19 continues to surge, but I am finally regaining control amid this unexpected blight. There are still challenges and obstacles to face and overcome, but there is a new me in the room. Finding the courage to revamp your inner debilitating thought patterns, throw them out, reassess and reorganize in positive is a lot of work, but believe me, it is worth it. 

Today, my life is full, and the days no longer languish in nothingness. I go to bed at the same time each night: I wake up, meditate, and pray at the same time daily. Having order and consistency helps make life more manageable. There are still days when life throws me a curveball, but I take those as they come and pat myself on the back every once in a while. 

 In times of duress, it helps to anchor yourself to something more substantial. These last few months have tested my faith in many ways, but I am a much stronger person than before. It is best to practice gratitude because only appreciating what you have can you grow into who you truly are meant to be.