A few days ago I listed a bunch of negative things I noticed that I said to myself. Well, since then I added about 15 more! And each one I reframed. One of them was this:
If I don't eat at restaurants when I'm on vacation, how will I get to know other people? I'm always interested to meet new people in different places.
My reframing was: since when do I make new friends in restaurants? Maybe that could happen occasionally but not most of the time. My mountain biking and kayaking hobbies take me off the beaten path and usually involve conversations with other people from the local area.
I've had a few experiences on my current vacation that demonstrate there are other ways to meet new people in different places than in restaurants. First, yesterday in Whole Foods I had a lovely conversation with the college student who checked my groceries. She told me all about her interest in how the indigenous Chinese are reacting to domestic tourism. Boy did I learn a lot! Today was an awesome experience though. I was riding my mountain bike on a trail and realized I was going in the wrong direction when I met up with a guy at an intersection. We got into one of the most enjoyable conversations of my life. He was like a sage to me. Okay, this is just one of those right place in the right times kind of things, but he is wiser than me in things I'm very interested in, and I got some of the best advice I've ever gotten. One thing he said was, he tries not to define who he is because it limits who he can be. An example he gave is some recent songs he wrote that are completely out of character for him---because he had defined a character for himself. And when he writes songs, he doesn't know where it will take him--I find that with my writing too. And he had lots of wise meditation advice. He sang me a song inspired by meditation. Then we said goodbye and headed off in our respective directions. Then later on I came to another intersection where a difficult trail went off from. I asked the two guys there how hard it is, and got into another very fun conversation. I just really liked these guys--I'm kind of sad I'll probably never see them again. I saw them two times later (they checked up on me after I did the difficult loop and then later on at the parking lot). We had a hard time stopping our conversation each time. They also gave me lots of tips on mountain biking and kayaking. It was so fun. That reminds me of another time I was riding near Amarillo, TX in a cool canyon and ended up riding with these three guys and had lots of fun. These were guys I probably wouldn't have normally interacted with in daily life. We probably have different politics, religion, all that labeling stuff.
Well, this is probably a bit off-topic, healthwise, but it shows that my negativity was uncalled for---why it's good to monitor your thoughts!