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Home / Articles / Columnists / On the Bright Side /  It’s What’s Inside That Counts
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Thursday, September 2,2021

It’s What’s Inside That Counts

By Jonna Shutowick. M.S. Ed.  
Six years ago the world lost a spiritual legend. Wayne Dyer’s wisdom was often highlighted in this very paper for years. I gained inspiration every time I read anything he had to say. He wrote over 40 books – I’m having trouble writing the one that has been gnawing at my soul for the better part of 15 years… but I digress.

It’s difficult to choose one nugget from his library of wisdom – probably impossible. But this morning I was reminded of one of my favorites as I squeezed a fresh lemon into my water bottle. He describes it this way:

I opened a conversation with a bright young fellow of about 12 who was sitting in the front row.

“If I were to squeeze this orange as hard as I could, what would come out?” I asked him.

He looked at me like I was a little crazy and said, “Juice, of course.”

“Do you think apple juice could come out of it?” “No!” he laughed.”

“What about grapefruit juice?” “No!” “What would come out of it?” “Orange juice, of course.” “Why? Why when you squeeze an orange does orange juice come out?” He may have been getting a little exasperated with me at this point. “Well, it’s an orange and that’s what’s inside.”

I nodded. “Let’s assume that this orange isn’t an orange, but it’s you. And someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, says something you don’t like, offends you. And out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, fear. Why? The answer, as our young friend has told us, is because that’s what’s inside.”

That’s what’s inside. So profound, but really so simple. We exude what we have inside of us. And, I would argue, also attract that which we focus on. Thus, if we are full of negativity we give that off and attract it back. But if we are filled with love and positivity, that is what we give and we get what we give. Mindfulness can help us manufacture the good stuff inside by simply concentrating on love. It sounds easy on paper, but our subconscious is hard at work dealing with things we don’t even know enough to think about… until we do.

Wayne Dyer has many books on this subject – it’s basically a close your eyes, spin yourself around in a room full of his books, and open to any random page to gain his insights about how to focus on love and the here and now. But I also would like to give props to another author I’ve discovered over the past year that I’ve been “sober curious” (see article mid-COVID-19 from last year). Annie Grace’s book “This Naked Mind” takes a deep dive into the science behind our unconscious thoughts, behaviors and ultimately habits, from what we ingest to how we behave in all areas of our life. Adding the scientific angle that she offers to your meditation practice throughout the day has incredible power. I have changed what comes out of me when squeezed – when I’m tempted by old habits, when I’m triggered by old patterns of interaction, and even when I encounter new situations… I have become what I hope is a honeycomb. Natural, genuine sweetness comes oozing out, because that is what I focus on, and what I look for in others. Love is the best elixir on the planet.

 

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