Let negative thoughs slip through your fingers

Ever feel like you just have too many things to get done? And each task seems really important, vitally necessarily, a top priority?

I can relate. That’s how I’ve felt recently.

I’m working on a new project. It’s very exciting and I can’t wait to get it rolling, but it’s also very time consuming. It seems like there are  so many pieces and parts that need to come together, I’m not sure what to work on first. The last couple of days it had gotten to a point where all those different tasks swirling around felt like a thought-storm in my head.

I knew I needed to take a break. Time for a mental vacation!

I closed my eyes and imagined standing on one of my favorite white-sand beaches. The soft squish around my toes reminded me of the island principle of Sand and how it relates to our thinking.

To the islanders, each grain of sand represents an individual thought. As countless thoughts pile up, they create a sort of inner beach – an internal landscape forming the basis of how we think and feel.

I remembered the island saying . . .

“Like grains of sand, our many thoughts and emotions are also shifting. Learn to arrange your own internal beach in a beautiful way.”

And then I remembered who creates all those grains of thought.

We do.

Sometimes it seems like we are at the mercy of what the “winds of life” blow our way. A life event or circumstance can appear to be in control of what we think and how we feel. But are we really that powerless?


Things happen. Life presents itself to us. We then generate thoughts about what’s happening – and that’s where we take control. We can assign any meaning we want to whatever happens in our world. Like, say, a big new project. I can decide it’s overwhelming and get stressed about getting everything done. Or, I can decide it’s exhilarating and I’ll just take it one step at a time and enjoy the process. It’s all up to how I choose to manage my thoughts.

Simple? Yes. Easy? Well, not always.

It’s hard to remember that we are in charge of how we think, especially when a particularly challenging life wind blows. It takes practice. That’s why I make it a point to visit the island often!

When you are experiencing a thought-storm, try the following:

  1. Imagine scooping a handful of sand from the beach.
  2. Look at the individual grains and imagine each one is a thought.
  3. Choose particular grains/thoughts to hold on to as you open your fingers, letting the rest slip through and fall back to the beach.

Remember that a thought is just a thought – no more than a tiny grain of sand. And we can always arrange our inner beach any way we want.


Join the island tribe at facebook.com/IslandPerspective.