Think back, back to when you were in school…grammar school, early grammar school. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. I especially remember the Arithmetic. Learning that 2 + 2 = 4 and 3 x 3 = 9 was somewhat fun for me. (What do you expect from a nerd/geek) One tool that helped me through was flashcards. I remember practicing my multiplication & subtraction alone and with my great grandmother. I remember them being quite effective in helping me learn and remember. 10 – 4 = 6 and 7 x 9 = 63.
As time went on flashcards evolved. There were flashcards for:
- Reading (See Spot Run! Run Spot! Run)
- Spelling (ch – air chair!)
- Colors (red, green, blue, yellow)
- Shapes (triangle, circle, square, rectangle)
Pretty much any list of items one might need to remember could and can be found on flashcards. Thinking erroneously, I figured my flashcard days were over. At the age of 54 enter my Master Key course and flashcards.
Simply put, we use index cards…LOTS of index cards. On the cards we write personal characteristics, accomplishments and daily points of gratitude. While the task of writing who you are, what you’ve done and what you are thankful for in life is more challenging than you might think, the benefit of reviewing those events is equal parts overwhelming and rewarding. There is power in accomplishment.
There are mornings when I awaken and my first conscious thought is ” I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy” or something equally uplifting. Then there are the other mornings. Thankfully infrequent mornings. The mornings where my mind goes down a dark rabbit hole. In that hole I might find thoughts of failure, despair or worse illness or death of myself or a loved one. (Please remember I said infrequent!) Climbing out of that hole takes time and persistence. If I choose to stay in the hole – realize that your mood IS a choice – my day isn’t too productive. I’m grumpy, snarky or just plain “out of sorts” (kinda like a “temporal displacement” or “phase variance” for my fellow trekkies (remember nerd reference above)).
Recently during one of those infrequent dark mornings, I discovered a new ladder out of that hole. While packing my bag for work one grumpy morning, I dropped my cards and they scattered. Aggravated, I picked them up and inadvertently started reading. I read about things I was grateful for…
- Family members
- Memories of deceased loved family & friends
- Walking in the rain on a warm day
- Loving and being loved.
I read about things I’ve accomplished:
- I flew a kite
- Got a tattoo (ok 16 tattoos)
- Built a snowman (so it only had one ball of snow! I never liked winter!)
- Viewed the world from the top of Aspen Mountain
- Given a sermon at church
- Hugged someone until they felt better
- Witnessed the birth of both grandchildren
- Married an amazing woman
I read about characteristics I hope I exemplify
These are just a few of the cards I read. Each card represented a rung on the ladder, a step I took out of the rabbit hole. When the rubber band was placed on the last stack, I looked up. I looked around and discovered that outside the rabbit hole, the day was bright and welcoming. The foreboding thoughts that threatened to dictate my day had been masterfully defeated by
simple 3 x 5 flashcards.
Next time you run your weekly errands pick up a few hundred index cards & a good marker. Create your own flashcards and use them next time you doubt your worth, your ability, or your blessings. Write until you can’t think of anything else to write. Then ask someone that knows you well “What else have I done?” Create a card for everything they remind you of. Then each day write on at least 3 cards things you are grateful for. When you accomplish something, create a card for it. If someone compliments you, create a card for it. Before you know it, you too will have a ladder leading you out of your own personal rabbit hole!