I was feeling sorry for myself this morning, and I opened my email, dreading what I might find. At the top of the Sisyphean list was the Wisdom of the Week. These little nuggets are sent out to people on a distribution list who have indicated that they are interested in getting a bit of wisdom from Master Miao Tsan in their in-box. The thoughts are certainly not hand-selected for the individual recipients. “Our habitual mental tendency is the direction our thoughts take when we don’t consciously overcome this inertia to free them from the path of least resistance.” From “Just Use This Mind” by Miao Tsan Wow. This was just the kick in the pants I needed. Habitual mental tendency is such an elegant way of saying stuck in a rut. We all have our mental ruts: nobody loves me; I’m a terrible person; I’ll never be good at anything; people are always taking advantage of me; I’ll never catch up; I’ll never have a good relationship½the list goes on. What rut we find ourselves in doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that we acknowledge that we have chosen that rut. In fact, not only have we chosen it, but we have also created it, and chances are–unless we happen to be enlightened–we are carefully digging it deeper and deeper everyday. Thinking the same negative thoughts; looking for clues in our lives to validate these thoughts; and proving that we have no control over our lives. Guess what? I have learned from the Master that we have a choice here. We can think those self-fulfilling thoughts and stay in our old rut, or we can let them go. So many of the things we hold as true are just illusions created by our habitual thoughts. Reality is reality and feelings are feelings. Feelings are where things get complicated, and feelings–and projections from those feelings–are what I’m usually talking about when I talk about my situation, how my day went, my “reality.” It takes a little–some times a lot of–effort to think a new thought. It can be frightening. Who says we have permission to think these thoughts that might deviate from our old negative litany? Well, who needs to? The Wisdom of the Week got me out of my negative rut this morning. It wasn’t a particularly deep rut, just a little blue, what’s-the-point feeling. But that one little reminder was all I needed to realize that my morning was blue because I was choosing to think blue thoughts. I decided to think differently about my day. The blue feeling didn’t go away, but I was able to separate myself from it and say, “I see you, little blue feeling; but you are not who I am.” And after I made that one tiny bit of effort to stop living in the rut, I smiled. I’ll get after that email now. Much more effectively, thanks to that little gift in my inbox.