Sunday, October 9, 2011

Conspiracy Theories & Trusting the Process

Five years ago, I took a writing class at the local night school. Upon completion, instructor Jamie Cat Callan presented each of us with a diploma: a scroll, tied with ribbon, containing the following quote: “Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you.” – Mahatma Gandhi

At the time, it felt like a personal confirmation. I had decided to take up writing again and by putting myself out there, taking that class, I was putting forth my clear request. And indeed, good things did come to me. I was invited into a wonderful writing group. I began writing regularly, submitting my work, and the acceptances started rolling in.

This summer, children's author Anna Branford blogged about what she called positive paranoia: a belief that the world around us is constantly plotting and conspiring to make us content, successful, and surrounded by beauty.

Which is something like one of my favorite Bible verses. “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28

Sometimes we bask in all the good that surrounds us. And other times we lose sight of it and need to be reminded. Currently, between nursing a case of carpal tunnel and trying to dig myself out of the "hate stage" with my current WIP, I realized it might be a good time to remind myself of all of the positive points along my writing journey, as well as the good that I trust will ultimately come of all of it.

I have a lovely leather journal full of handmade paper that I've been saving for "something special." Aside from flipping through the pages to rub my fingertips over the delicate yellow petals and tiny green stems within the paper, the journal has remained untouched for years. 

This weekend I finally began putting down in ink reminders of the good that surrounds me, on my writing journey and otherwise. Call it positive paranoia, trusting the process, or simply counting my blessings. But I have a feeling these pages are going to fill up fast.

In what ways do you remind yourself of the good things in your life?

Photos courtesy of Free Artistic Photos


  1. Romans 8:28 is a great reminder!
    It's easiest to see the hard things, isn't it? Particularly when we're writing and trying to infuse our words with tension and meaning. One thing I've started doing is asking my kids to tell me the favorite part of their day when they go to bed at night. It helps all of us remember the good things and it's helpful to me to hear what stood out to them. It's often not what I would have guessed. :)

  2. This post is just in time for me. I have been so far down in a hole that couldn't see any light. I really need to be reminded about the good and the blessings in life. I think it is time to unplug and take a walk in the woods and appreciate the natural beauty.
    Thanks again for the reminder of the good in life.

    Pamela Jo

  3. What a great post! Really enjoyed it : )

  4. Got to remember this ‘positive paranoia’ thing. What a neat concept! We might as well choose our delusions. We are the authors, right?

    Thank you for passing it on, Ruth.

  5. Whenever I need a reminder of the good things in my life, I just hug my daughter. She is everything good in my life and my inspiration.

  6. I agree, I need to try to adopt the Positive Paranoia attitude. Something to think about.

  7. ...truly inspiring! Well said ;)

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and your interest in my recent release, "South of Charm." From reading your post, I believe our subject content is quite similar.


  8. Great post. I really love how you aren't afraid to share your faith in your blog posts. Admirable!

    By the way, I've awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award, so if you want to claim it just head over to my blog at :)

  9. I'm becoming more and more conscious of being grateful for the good in my life. I must say, it feels excellent. I love the idea of positive paranoia! Thanks for the earlier follow and comment.

  10. What a great idea. I need to count my blessings more often. Thanks for the reminder! And enjoy your own process and that lovely notebook!

  11. Beautiful post. That sounds like the morning pages. Bring on the positive paranoia!

  12. I agree that it sounds like morning pages. I freewrite everyday but I need to write down more of the good stuff. Thanks for this reminder, Ruth!

  13. Robin - I love the idea of the ritual of asking your kids their favorite part of the day. What a great way to get to know each other more fully.

    Jo - I hope that walk in the woods helped! It's no fun being down in that hole. I hope you've found your way out now.

    Katie - Thanks!

    Mirka - Exactly. Choose our delusions. Well said. ;)

    Kelly - Awww. Lucky girl!

    Julie - There's going to be a lot of us out there wearing our rose colored glasses ;)

    Elliot - Thanks for stopping by.

    Nick - Thanks so much for the award. You rock!

    MG - Thanks for stopping by. I agree, being grateful does feel good. It's one of those things that feeds on itself, the more grateful you are the more you find you have to be grateful for.

    Brooke - Thanks, I'm glad to have finally put the journal to good use.

    Catherine & Claudine - I had forgotten about morning pages. I got so much out of them when I wrote them faithfully each day. Don't know when they fell away.

  14. This is one of my favorite posts. I love it. It is completely true. Whether we think it is God or the universe, the world is constantly working in our favor if we will allow it to. I love the quote at the beginning. I am going to add it to my list of favorites! Thanks for sharing this.

  15. This is a beautiful post. I love the phrase " positive paranoi" and the explanation of it. I have the same belief. It doesn't matter if we arrive at this belief through our individual faith in religion or through a positive belief that the universe is plotting to make us happy and content. I try hard to live my life in a positive and grateful way, but I am human and I often forget to be thankful for my many blessings. you post was a wonderful reminder to me that I need to greet each day with thanks for all that i have and all that I can achieve.

    Thank you. Sending good thoughts your way.

  16. Positive paranoia. OMG. I hope it is something I can catch! Love it! Watch those allergies!

  17. Wonderful post! Thanks so much for the insight. :)

  18. Lovely post and a great Ghandi quote. I like that you share your vulnerability with others. I believe we are our thoughts -- and those thoughts create our reality. I know we all can relate to your comments -- and grow. And, I benefited from everyone's comments. Nice post.


  19. What a great post! I am loving your blog, very inspirational and thanks for sharing. I like to write down the many good things in my life in my journal. That way in later years my great-great grandchildren will know me. P.S. Thank you for finding my blog, it helped me to find yours all the sooner. Hugs, Maeve

  20. 'Pronoia', isn't it? -- believing that the world is conspiring to make you happy. I like that a lot better than paranoia.

    I don't know where my gratitude has come from, but the older I get, the more of it I seem to have. I am grateful for fresh, drinkable water from the tap, flowers in my garden, a warm cat to sit on my lap in the winter. I'm grateful for chocolate and coffee and onions and books and children who are generally biddable. Most of all I'm genuinely grateful for having the capacity to be grateful. And I remind myself that even if I never manage to get publish, I've had more than my fair share of riches in this life.

  21. Great post, Ruth! I love the positive paranoia concept and Romans 8:28 is one of my favs. And I like Mary's 'pronoia.' God is good! All the time. Whether we recognize it or not. Here's to lots more recognition.

  22. Abby - I've had that quote on my mind for a while. I'm glad I was finally able to put my hands on it. And glad you liked it =)

    Melissa - Thanks for stopping by. It's nice to meet you! Thanks so much for the good thoughts!

    Eve - These allergies are kicking my butt. But I'm not complaining ;)

    F.E. - Thanks! I'm glad it spoke to you.

    Patricia - Thank you for your comments. In the past I was never a "share your vulnerability" type of person. But writing has really helped me to grow and connect with others. And part of that process, for me anyway, is learning to share my true self with others. I know I benefit when others do the same.

    Maeve - That's a wonderful idea, that our future generations will be able to get to know us through our journals. I always think of them as just being between me and God. Never considered who might read them someday.

    Mary - Thanks for putting a word to it! It does sound better than paranoia. It's so true, being grateful has a way of putting things into perspective for us. And sometimes we can find that the things we spend so much time dwelling on are not really all that "important" in the scheme of things. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    Ev - Amen! God is good, all the time!

  23. Oh, what a fantastic reminder, and so timely. I think I might find my own journal and get to work on a list. I've never heard the phrase 'positive paranoia' before, but I think it's healthy to cultivate a little!

  24. First, I hope your carpal tunnel gets better. It's never fun when you can't do much. Second, I totally understand the "Hate Stage"...been there many times and am very familiar with its process. Don't worry, you'll get through it and I'm sure there'll be a ray of sunshine at the end!
    Positive Paranoia... Hmm, that almost sounds like a bad thing. Usually when "paranoia" is added at the end of a word, it means something bad - but, from the description of this type of paranoia, it's sounds a lot better than what the name leads you to believe. I also think it's true - no matter how bad your situation, there will always be a shining happiness to lead you home. We all have something or someone that makes our day and that something or someone is always beautiful in our eyes.