Positive Interactions: Multi-Dimensional Thinking

Positive interactions require us to be fluid with our thoughts

If we understand and make use of this simple awareness technique, we can increase our likelihood of having positive interactions. Our feelings are indicators for the quality of our thoughts. When we are feeling good, our thoughts are like a fluid body of water sloshing around, folding over on themselves, and mixing in other new ideas and information. This is multi-dimensional thinking.

When we are feeling bad, our thoughts harden into a solid spear with one forward thrusting direction. The ego forms a metaphorical shell around the thoughts, gripping them tightly, and making everything about ourselves; allowing in no new information. This is one dimensional, linear thinking.

Qualifying the Qualifiers

Feeling good vs bad is not the same as good and evil. Imagine a scale with 10 feeling ecstasy and 1 feeling extreme pain or depression. We are always somewhere on this scale. Feeling pain is not bad in a good and evil sense. It is an indicator that something is wrong and needs attention. The thoughts we have, however, when feeling pain are very different from the types of thoughts we feel when we are feeling happy.

In Practice

Consider personal relationships through this lens and you can see how we can improve our positive interactions. Ever notice that when we feel bad (e.g. angry, sick, envious) we can suddenly lose all perspective on the people we interact with? When conflict of some form arises it becomes very easy to see everything that person does through the lens of that anger. Their motivations become suspicious (“why would they do that to ME?” “what are they really after?”) and we focus on distinctions between us (“they just can’t understand” “I need to look out for me”). We cannot easily hear the things that do not jive with our current collection thoughts.

And the opposite holds for people when we feel love; we look past their shortcomings and assume the best of their intentions. When we are mad at someone else, suspicion creeps into our thoughts about their motivations and actions. When we are in love, we see their decision making in the best light possible. We see past the faults of the people on our “team” but bring hyper focus to those of our “opposition”.

Genres Shape Understanding

A film’s genre shapes the context through which we understand movies. The same line can illicit very different meanings when we are watching a comedy vs a thriller. Our emotions are like the genre of a film. Our thoughts are like the scenes of the movie. By knowing the genre of our “this moment life-movie” we can better understand our thoughts.

Always = Never

When we are using words like “she always…” and “he never…”, we can usually find that we are thinking about things in one dimension. And thinking in one dimension means that we are operating under the control of the ego! It is makes any advancement in understanding, compromise, or consensus very difficult.

No one is all good or all bad. No one is intelligent about everything or nothing. And everyone has areas where they are incredibly intelligent and the opposite. Even with fields we are very familiar there is ALWAYS more to learn. If we can contain our ego and recognize we have more to learn then we will increase the likelihood of having positive interactions with others even in charged situations.

Awareness Technique for Positive Interactions

Relationships of life come in many shapes and sizes. Some or brief and small like holding the door for a stranger. Some relationships are big and endure decades like family. But this same system connecting our thoughts and emotions holds true through all our interactions. So here is a simple awareness technique to make use of whenever we feel like we are not having a positive interaction: Take a breathe. Recognize how you are feeling right now. Start witnessing your thoughts through that lens. Simply by increasing our awareness about our own motivations and workings we can take more control over them… or, rather, let go of them more…

Flip it and Reverse it

This awareness technique can be applied in reverse too! If we can recognize we are thinking in a solid state rather than fluid, then we can back that up into seeing our emotional state. Being aware of how we are feeling is a muscle that can always be strengthened.

Multi-Dimensional Time Traveler

Interestingly, when we are in ego/solid thought mode, time slows down. Think of how slowly time moves when our thoughts are bouncing around in a solid state. Five minutes of arguing with someone can feel like hours and physically drain us as if it was! Whereas when we are feeling good, time starts flying by and hours feel like minutes. Five hours of playing a fun game with friends can feel like minutes!

In Conclusion

With continuously increasing awareness I will work towards seeing everyone I interact with as multi-dimensional beings full of complexity. My feelings are indicators for my thought patterns. The more liquid and fluid my thoughts, the more dimensions I can see in.

If this subject matter intrigues you check out Jack Pransky’s book, “Somebody Should Have Told Us”!

How about you? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think? How do our thoughts relate to our feelings? How does multi-dimensional thinking relate to having positive interactions?

Street Interviews: Tips for Positive Communication

Much like the inhale and exhale of the breath, communicating has two major components: both listening and expressing. Communication is a skill that is endlessly improvable.

Watch this video of street interviewer magnifique Ron Cecchetti asking some positive thinkers at the Hillcrest Farmers Market in San Diego, California: What are some tips for bettering our positive communication?

Here is the full text transcript from the video:

What are some tips for bettering our positive communication?

[Intro Music]

RON CECCHETTI: What are your ideas for bettering positive communication?

RESPONDER 1: To speak from the heart, to speak truth, and look at the bigger picture where you are trying to go. So, as a community you want to create a world around you that has creativity, imagination, positivity, growth, sustainability, and you do that through your words. Your words create a harmonious connection to reality. So you keep it positive, you keep it alert, and you keep it awake, and you keep people inspired through positivity.

RESPONDER 2: I am a big supporter of the think positive evolution. I think communicating positivity all the time is the key for good communication.

RESPONDER 3: For positive communication? Good eye contact is always vital in communication. Just being really open with everybody, I think that’s a really good… that’s my best tip for positive communication.

RESPONDER 4: So I think positive communication you need to assume positive intent and be honest in your communication. So if both people are assuming that the person they are communicating with is being honest and knows that they are being truthful, then I think it leads to good, healthy communication.

RON CECCHETTI: Alright, so, what are your tips for better communication?

RESPONDER 5: More education on other people and other people’s lifestyles, or religions, or anything like that.

RESPONDER 6: Positive communication… always compliment someone. Find the positives in someone and, even if it’s just one small thing, notice it and make a comment about it to that person.

RESPONDER 7: Listening, understanding, and, once again, compassion.

RESPONDER 8: To respect other people and be positive mindset.

RESPONDER 9: What are my ideas on bettering positive communication? I think you need to be gentle with yourself and have like a clear mind of what it is you are trying to communicate to people.

RON CECCHETTI:Yeah.

RESPONDER 9: Yeah.

RON CECCHETTI:Ok.

RESPONDER 9: That’s what i can come up with right now.


What are your tips for bettering Positive Communication? Leave a comment bellow and let us know! What have you learned about positively listening and expressing yourself?

Four Sided Breathing Exercise Animation

If you want to change your state of consciousness instantly, then take a deep, slow breath. Repeat this and notice the differences you feel in your mind and body. This technique is available to you any time you want. You can use it before making decisions, or getting a task done, or before an important conversation or any time you have air to breathe. As you play with your breath more and more you will eventually come across a variety of breathing techniques and exercises. Here is one of my favorites!

Four Sided Breathing

It’s called “Four Sided Breathing”, “Square Breathing”, or “Box Breathing”. In this exercise you inhale fully (through your nose) for X seconds. Hold that inhale for another X seconds. Exhale that breath evenly for X seconds. And. finally, hold that empty exhale for X seconds. Then repeat.

Visualization for Four Sided Breathing

Here is a visualization video to illustrate and follow along with.

gif explaining the four sided breathing exercise

In this video X = 4 seconds. So inhale for four seconds. Hold full for four seconds. Exhale for four seconds. And hold empty for four seconds. Repeat for 4-8 breaths or whatever you want! You can change the length of the sides (change the number of seconds X equals) but keep all four sides even to do this specific exercise.

Further Tips

We inhale through our nose to prevent a sore throat since the nose acts as a filter. Your breath will flow easier with a straight spine and your shoulders back, expanding your chest wide. Picture a J curve with your spine where your spine is totally straight and then curves back at the bottom section towards your tailbone. Be gentle with yourself and, most importantly, feel comfortable.

For extra fun, when breathing in a full inhale, fill your diaphragm first so your belly rises and then fill your chest. On the exhale work backwards from this. Exhale the air from your upper lungs/chest area. Then squeeze your belly towards your spine as you push out all the air from your diaphragm. And repeat!

I like to do four sided breathing sitting before meditating and laying down on my mat before yoga class. It’s also a great technique to help fall asleep at the end of your day. There are many tools on the utility belt of life; four sided breathing is one of my favorites.

When do you practice breathing exercises? What are your favorites? What do you think of this Four Sided Breathing exercise? Go ahead and leave a comment below to let us know!

Lion Design made from Quotations on Courage

lion head made from quotations on courage Our Lion of Courage is made out of quotations on courage and we screen print it on great shirts like this men’s crew neck in green.

This Think Positive Apparel Lion design is made entirely out of quotations on courage from various leaders, heroes, and artists. You can purchase this design on a men’s or women’s shirt only at our local San Diego Farmers’ Markets this weekend. (Coming soon to our online store).

Here are all of the quotations we used to make this ‘Lion of Courage’ design:

“I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.” ~Frida Kahlo

“Optimism is true moral courage.” ~Ernest Shackleton

“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles… Courage breeds creativity.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“And yet it moves.” Galileo Galilei

“Courage is a love affair with the unknown.” ~Osho

“Courage is grace under pressure.” ~Ernest Hemingway

“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” ~Maya Angelou

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ~ Lao Tzu

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ~Winston Churchill

“[Y]ou must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.” ~Malala Yousafzai

“A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.” ~Vernon Howard

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” ~Marie Curie

“Life is mostly froth and bubble, / Two things stand like stone. / Kindness in another’s trouble, / Courage in your own.” ~Adam Lindsay Gordon

“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” ― Frederick Douglass

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~Nelson Mandela

Share your favorite quotes on courage or any positive thoughts you have on the subject by leaving a comment below.

Street Interviews: What are your favorite things about humanity?

Watch this video of street interviewer extraordinaire Ron Cecchetti asking some positive thinkers at the Hillcrest Farmers Market in San Diego, California: What are your favorite things about humanity?

Here is the full text transcript from the video:

What are your favorite things about humanity?

[Think Positive Apparel Theme Riff]

>>RON CECCHETTI: What are your favorite things about humanity?

>>RESPONDER 1: My favorite thing about humanity, coming to places like this. Experiencing different parts of life. Just getting to know… getting to know people. Yeah, my favorite part about humanity.

>>RESPONDER 2: I think our potential. Yeah and i think like the little things. I think constantly I’ll be like, “Ugh, I’m in a crappy day.” and then you see something really, really awesome.

>>RON CECCHETTI: Yeah

>>RESPONDER 2: Whether it’s someone like, I don’t know, helping someone across the street or something really, really small. Someone just like, smiling at you or, like, giving you like a goofy wave even if you don’t know them. I think like those small, little things are awesome. And then the potential… If we… if we have those small, positive, awesome things… I don’t know, I just think like, what are the potentials on a grander scale?

>>RESPONDER 3: Oooh… that we are always there for each other. I think that we… yeah, it’s like the collective part that we are always there for each other and we’ll never let one another… I don’t know… let one another just like perish like that. I think that we are always taken care of.

>>RESPONDER 4: Things about humanity? I think there is so much of us. And crowded buses because when you get to be with everybody. And when everybody is hanging on to the rails, you see that everybody has thumbs. And you look across and you go, “Oh my gosh! Everybody is the same!”. That’s just one of the little ways.

>>RON CECCHETTI: That’s funny.

>> RESPONDER 4: Yeah, that’s one thing I did once.

>>RESPONDER 5: That we are all creation of God. We… you know, God loves us.

>>RESPONDER 6: All of the children born on this planet. Mankind is a very strange and surreal thing. And in its essence it’s beautiful, it’s light, it’s love, it’s wonder, and somehow Think Positive puts that all on into tiny words on my big chest.

>>RESPONDER 7: My favorite things about humanity are our willingness and ability to change.

[Outro Music]

[Think Positive Apparel Theme Riff]

When we consider our favorite qualities of being a human being, we are really narrowing down what separates us from all of the other animals. Even though we are all connected and part of the same whole; recognizing the patterns with in the oneness furthers our understanding of where we fit within the ever unfolding causes and effects that make up our universe.

What are your favorite things about humanity? Leave a comment below and let us know!