10 Expansive Thoughts that are Good for the Soul

leaping man

 Lori Lothian has discovered some thoughts are more powerful than others. 


When I was ten years old my grade five teacher, Mr. Pratt, was a man with deep faith in God. He had all the earmarks of a preacher and I wouldn’t be surprised if later in life he became one. But back then he was an enthusiastic and fresh faced 20-something in his first year teaching and I was lucky enough to find myself in his class.

These stories sparked my imagination and fueled a Zen-like beginner’s-mind—after all, if my teacher tells me miracles can happen, they must.

While he taught me math and grammar as well as about cows and barns (on field trips to his grandparent’s farm) what I have carried with me these forty years later is one teaching that changed the trajectory of my life. He taught me miracles are possible and in so doing awakened the mystic in me.

He did this by sharing biblical stories of the magical nature of God, from the Old Testament parting of Red Sea to New Testament tales of walking on water and raising the dead. His story telling was sprinkled with his own conviction miracles were readily available with a measure of faith. Perhaps because I was raised in a religious void, these stories sparked my imagination and fueled a Zen-like beginner’s-mind—after all, if my teacher tells me miracles can happen, they must.

It was the end of my year with Mr. Pratt, the last month of school, when I experienced my first miracle (which I now label from a Jungian angle, synchronicity, or from a quantum framework, entanglement.). Mr. Pratt had planned a field trip to a nearby wildlife zoo. I’d been looking forward to it for weeks, and yet the day of the trip I woke up to torrential June rains. That morning in class, he said, “If this rain doesn’t let up, I’m afraid I’ll have to cancel our outing.”

At lunch hour, I walked home in the downpour thinking to myself, why don’t I just ask God for a favor? So while my mother made me a sandwich in the kitchen, I self-consciously snuck off to the living room, got down on my knees, pressed my palms into a prayer and closed my eyes. “Dear God,” I whispered. “Please stop the rain and make it a sunny day.”

When I walked into the kitchen afterward, my mother was at the sink, looking out the window. “I think it’s going to clear up,” she said. “I just saw a flash of blue sky through the clouds.”

You know the punch line already. It turned into into a 90 degree day and the sun was out in full bloom. I remember my ice cream cone dripping in the heat as I walked from one animal pen to the next. And from then on, I had no doubt that miracles can happen when we ask earnestly for them with a measure of faith. Of course over the years, that level of childlike belief has not always been present. Yet, I have discovered there are a handful of thoughts that bring the possibility of magic and miracles to the forefront. (Because it’s my experience that every thought creates either an emotional contraction or an expansion, and yes, it’s the expansive thoughts that are good for the soul).

So, try on these ten expansive thoughts, really get down with them, and see if they don’t bring you a bit closer to wonderment and joy.

1. I am lucky. (I can’t count the times I’ve tapped this one to win door prizes).

2. Nothing is ever wrong. (Only my perception of it.)

3. Something good is always trying to happen. (Even if it looks like a mess right now).

4. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. (Or I wouldn’t be here).

5. Every upset is really a set up. (For me to remember the love that I am).

6. I am grateful for… (Even in the darkest times, I try to let the light of gratitude shine in).

7. When I believe it, I will see it. (Imagination is a power tool in reality engineering.)

8. I am not my feelings—positive or negative. (I am the being having them and ideally, witnessing them).

9. Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. (Source: A Course in Miracles).

10. I don’t always get what I want, but I trust I get what I need. (Hats off to the Rolling Stones).

This list of positive thoughts is only powerful if upon thinking them, there’s little resistance. For instance, if the thought “I am lucky” is followed by “Yeah right, I never win anything” then all you have done really, is affirm something you powerfully disbelieve. A belief will trump a thought, every time (and most of our habitual thoughts are the tip of the iceberg of unexamined beliefs).

For this reason, it’s best to try out the thoughts that don’t immediately make you feel angry or irritated. The ones that generate a negative charge are often then ones that grate against a deeply held conscious or unconscious belief.

And yes, you can argue that any of the thoughts on this list are new age platitudes or simply untrue. Yet I encourage you to pick a thought and try it on for size. Watch with curiosity what begins to shift in your inner perspective and in your outer reality. Watch with the inherent innocence and wonderment of a child at what is possible when when we let go of negative thinking and limiting beliefs and instead choose thoughts that are good for the soul.


Image: Flickr/Sudachi

About Lori Ann Lothian

Lori Ann Lothian is a sexy daring writer who challenges assumptions about love, sex and relationships in her columns at Huffington Post and elephant Journal and in feature articles at the Good Men Project, Origin Magazine, Yoganonymous, Better After 50 and more. Former editor of the relationship section of elephant Journal, she is now a senior editor at the Good Men Project. Follow her on Twitter andGoogle. Stay informed, sign up for Lori’s mailing list here.


  1. a miracle for ACIM would be a shift in perception to right seeing – it would not be exchanging one illusion for another … and it would be as much an illusion to be raining as it is to be sunny – it would be as much an illusion to win the lottery as to not – luck is an illusion, not a miracle. ACIM would call these ideas of miracles magic.

    Point 7 – it is not up to us to engineer reality – what you believe you engineer is your illusion and that is what you see… you can see the cup as half full or half empty and believe this is meaningful but there is no cup – and without a cup its parts do not exist. If you see a cup you are not seeing reality. This leads to point 2: “Nothing is ever wrong. (Only my perception of it.)” You are right, nothing is ever wrong except your perception of it and since all you see is your perception then what you see is all wrong and what is wrong is the illusion – regardless if you believe it is real or not.

    From ACIM

    T21:V:1 Perception selects, and makes the world you see. It literally picks it out as the mind directs. The laws of size and shape and brightness would hold, perhaps, if other things were equal. They are not equal. For what you look for you are far more likely to discover than what you would prefer to overlook, The still, small Voice for God is not drowned out by all the ego’s raucous screams and senseless ravings to those who want to hear It. Perception is a choice and not a fact. But on this choice depends far more than you may realize as yet. For on the voice you choose to hear, and on the sights you choose to see, depends entirely your whole belief in what you are. Perception is a witness but to this, and never to reality.

    2 Reality needs no cooperation from you to be itself. But your awareness of it needs your help, because it is your choice.

    T3:V:5 Knowing is not open to interpretation. You may try to “interpret” meaning, but this is always open to error because it refers to the perception of meaning. Such incongruities are the result of attempts to regard yourself as separated and unseparated at the same time. It is impossible to make so fundamental a confusion without increasing your overall confusion still further. Your mind may have become very ingenious, but as always happens when method and content are separated, it is utilized in a futile attempt to escape from an inescapable impasse. Ingenuity is totally divorced from knowledge, because knowledge does not require ingenuity. Ingenious thinking is not the truth that shall set you free, but you are free of the need to engage in it when you are willing to let it go.

    ACIM is not another “new age” think yourself rich like system, where you are the master of your destiny. On the contrary, it teaches quite the opposite and is the undoing of all ego thought systems. To quote a line “out of context” is a total misrepresentation of the course and its meaning of miracles. It is true nothing real can be threatened…and nothing perceived exists.

  2. This list of positive thoughts is only powerful if upon thinking them, there’s little resistance. For instance, if the thought “I am lucky” is followed by “Yeah right, I never win anything” then all you have done really, is affirm something you powerfully disbelieve. A belief will trump a thought, every time (and most of our habitual thoughts are the tip of the iceberg of unexamined beliefs).

    I actually think this is more valuable than the list. Affirmations don’t often come with fine print, and this is a pretty useful piece of information to remember when handling them.

  3. Tamara Star says:

    You know Lori, they say opinions are like A**holes. I disagree entirely with the comment by @birric
    I think this is a beautiful piece. Both in the writing and the sentiment. Just tweeted it too. Please keep writing this type of stuff..it’s inspiring, regardless of what someone who lives under a cloud of negativity might write.

  4. Birric Forcella says:

    I think in your 10 points a general thrust is trying to come out (more below). I very much agree with it, though I also strongly disagree with practically every one of the points. I think the points are limiting and misguiding.

    1. Yes, you’re lucky – and you are unlucky . . . but you don’t have a clue about that, at least not at the time. Door prizes? Really? How many times did you drop dishes or ripped a skirt? The real luck you may or may not have is often not visible for long times. So is your misfortune. You missed the lottery numbers? If you had picked someone else’s birthday you might have won. Count that as bad luck! You may never know the real luck you had in your life, or your real misfortunes. Maybe that one drink from a dirty water fountain tipped the balance in your body to develop cancer down the road? Maybe wearing the right dress unknowingly got you that life changing job opportunity – or your spouse.

    2. That idea is just toxic, no matter how ‘A Course in Miracles’ plays it. If there were no standards for right or wrong we would be paralyzed.

    3. Equally, something BAD is always trying to happen, especially if everything looks rosy right now.

    4. This is just a variation on point 2, and it’s dead wrong. If you are always where you are supposed to be, you destroy any motivation for action. It’s all just Kismet. And wherever you go from here, that’s also where you are supposed to be, no matter what happens or what you do or where you end up.

    5. This is even more toxic. It’s just lazy to love who you are. Love needs to be earned. To become a person who is truly worthy of the love for yourself requires hard work. To love a lazy, unprincipled blob, just because you are you is reprehensible. Most upsets happen because you are NOT good enough to deal with them maturely – they tell you to get off your self-indulgent butt.

    6. Yes, you can be grateful for the lint in your belly-button or the grime between your toes. If you are really grateful, you find the people who deserve your gratefulness and you show it. That’s the real and only measure of things to be grateful about. If you are not willing to give in return, there was no gratefulness to begin with – only selfish self-indulgence. And there’s no point in being grateful to the universe for the things being as they are. The universe doesn’t care about you. Neither does the ‘A Course for Miracles’ god/Jesus. Remember your own words above. “Nothing is ever wrong.” So, no reason to be surprised about good things that just are.

    7. No, just no. Believing doesn’t make it so, and if you see it it’s a delusion.

    8. No. You ARE your feelings. You can’t change your motivations. You can’t will yourself to have different feelings. You can’t will yourself to love what you hate. You can’t will yourself to hate ‘A Course in Miracles’ just as you didn’t will yourself into liking it. Only insight can change your feelings. You cannot will yourself to have different motivations/feelings. You ARE your motivations. Without motivation you would be dead.

    If you are really deluding yourself into thinking you are witnessing your feelings from the outside you need professional help. It’s called depersonalization.

    Just tell me one thing: How do you FEEL about your feelings?

    9. This statement is either trivial or absurd. If it merely means that matter and energy can’t be destroyed it’s trivial in this context. If ‘real’ means something else, then it’s very unlikely it can’t be destroyed. Things like faith, happiness, love, or life get destroyed every day.

    10. That’s just another recipe for inaction. What exactly do you need? Do you really need more than an untouchable in India? Does anybody need cancer or a car accident or a dying child? And what do you need it for? Who decides what you need or don’t need?


    These statements are mindless and hardly positive. At best they promote a toxic status quo.

    Here is what I think is underlying them in your mind – the good insight trying to break out:

    Marines get drilled into their head that even in the direst of situations they need to look for a “door” to open to get out. Yes, experience shows that that door is often there, unexpectedly, almost miraculously.

    In my life I have always lived by the maxim that in every situation there is always more possible than you think – and there always was.

    But that insight should not be surprising. It points neither to a “spiritual” reality nor to any “good” inherent in this world. It’s merely a consequence of the fact that we never have full insight into any situation and that within the potentials there are likely to be good things we don’t see. That’s not a miracle, it’s the lay of the universe.

    It’s not guaranteed by any good fairy. If you touch the third rail, you go. It happens to huge numbers of people all the time – and nothing within reality cares.

    Indeed, every situation has probably just as many bad potentials as good. For self-preservation (and self-indulgence), of course we only grab for the good ones and ignore the bad.

    This is were your 10 points go dead wrong. You deny the bad and the good potentials in a situation. That is a disastrous recipe for inaction. In your mind things either are as they are and they are good so, or they change by forces beyond influence like luck. Worse even, when you play a role in change it is by sitting down and wishing. No wonder you settle for door prizes. There is no personal agency in your points. Everything is mannah from heaven – and if it rains lemons it’s just what you deserve. At best you WISH the lemons turn into lemonade.

    Your 10 points are a recipe for immobility. And since you are ignoring the dark correlates of your points 2 and 3 (something bad is always trying to happen, too), following your signposts would lead us to a terrible future.

    Birric Forcella – birricforcella@gmail.com
    Proudly using both heads.

    • It is as much down to framing and interpretation. The best one can say about them is that they are occasionally ambiguous. All you seem to be doing is insisting on framing the points from the negative pole rather than the positive one.

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