Saltwater TaffyMIDDLE GRADE FICTION: Mine Your Mind!

Middle Grade Fiction is a term I use for the inability for a child’s mind to trick them into believing they are anything but AMAZING.  In Saltwater Taffy, we remind them they are indeed amazing.

There’s no other way to put it, so I will just come out and say it.  When you’re inside your middle grade fiction mind, everything begins and ends with your thoughts.  Thoughts can be like treasure maps, or thoughts by way of nightmares, fully realized.  It is up to you.  This is why it is so important to mine your mind for thoughts that make you happy.

This is the greatest discovery anyone can make, and if you can do it while you’re in middle school, the sky is the limit.  I mean, seriously, imagine that a single thought has the capacity to change your life.  Doesn’t that sound cool?

When you mine your mind for thoughts that make you happy, you are given a power that is beyond measure.  And check this out, the more you practice this mind expedition, the more it becomes second nature.  Before you know it, you are happy for no reason at all other than you like who you are.  Or, as a cool kid once said, “It’s just how I roll.” Wouldn’t you like to roll through life with a smile on your face….ALL THE TIME?  Trust me, it is possible.

I say all of this because I have seen the other side of thoughts and how they can make you feel sick.  As a child, my stomach was ‘upset’ more than it was ‘set’ because I worried for the sake of worrying.  One day I finally realized that I didn’t like the way I was feeling, so I did something about it.  Simply put, I was tired of the anxiousness of being me.

What did I do to change the way I was living?  It was like panning for gold or searching for hidden treasure.  Sifting through my thoughts, I would find those thoughts that made me feel uneasy and make a decision on them.  If it was an upcoming exam I was worried about, I would study more.  The more I studied, the less anxious I felt about the thought of failing the exam.  If it was an uneasy feeling because kids teased me for being ‘weird’, I change my mind about being weird and looked at it like it was a good thing.  It was.  Being different enabled me to be more of ME than try to fit the mold of what was ‘popular’ in school.

To help me organize these thoughts, I began writing.  It is no mistake that this practice evolved into my daily profession of a writer. Writing down your thoughts is an awesome tool when you try to make sense of being in middle school.  Before long, I noticed how things were changing around me.  My life changed because I changed my MIND.  When you change your mind with thoughts that make you happy, NOTHING CAN HURT YOU.

Since you now understand that nothing can hurt you, you will then have more time to concentrate on your abilities, not your disabilities.  A single thought can ‘flip  your switch’ for greener pastures.  The question is, how do you expect to find greener pastures if you aren’t looking?  By mining your mind for good thoughts, the more good thoughts you will have.  It is the very nature of thinking.  What you focus on expands.

What do I mean by ‘flip your switch?’ It is like finding the ON button for your iPhone.  When the phone is on, you can do just about a million thing these days (because the iPhone is saweet), but when your phone is off, it is nothing more than a really expensive paperweight.

If you are interested in living each moment from a place that makes you happy, you have to watch how you think.  Each thought is a tidal wave of energy, so grab hold of thoughts that make you happy and let the ones that make you feel uneasy go.

Check this out: when you’re happy, you’re much cooler to be around.  You’re going to spend the rest of your life with yourself, so don’t you want to hang out with someone cool?  We need more cool people in this world, so get on it and mine your mind so you can UNLEASH those thoughts that propel you into the celebration known as YOU.

Eric DelaBarre is an award-winning filmmaker and the author of Saltwater Taffy, a Middle Grade Fiction novel on sale January 11, 2011. Copyright December 12, 2010. All Rights Reserved.

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