What If

It gives me great pleasure to bring you our first post by our first guest author. I first met Corinna Borden on Twitter in 2010.  Something about her drew me in, even before I knew her story; then when I was exposed to her story, everything became clear.  But I’m going to let you discover her for yourself, through her writing, and the links to her site in this blog (see “Our Authors” tab).  Corinna has consented to be a recurring author on Intensely Positive, and as you learn more about her, you’ll know unequivocally why Intensely Positive fits her so well.  In the not too distant future, look for an audio interview with Corinna, but for now… enjoy her here.



by Shel Silverstein

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I’m dumb in school?
Whatif they’ve closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don’t grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won’t bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!

I grew up loving Shel Silverstein and I was so happy to find this poem of his. I am familiar with Whatif – you might be too!

For me, in my current reality of monitoring and vanquishing a diagnosis of cancer by following a completely holistic regime, this is what I hear for my Whatifs: What if the test comes back positive? What if this twinge I am feeling is not indigestion but a tumor growing? What if I am never able to conceive? What if my regime is not working? The first question leading inevitably to the: What if this twinge means I am going to DIE?!

And boy, that is a fun place to live, with my brain yelling at me.

So I am training myself against the Whatifs, knowing it is not an internal dialogue I want to continue.

Training myself how? As Eckhart Tolle would say, “by returning to the only place of power, the present moment.” I now know that if I hear Whatifs I should look out the window, or bite my thumb, or say my mantra, or call someone on the phone, or write an email, or exercise, or volunteer. Anything that will pull my monkey mind away from gnawing on that particular bone and get it focused on something else – hopefully something useful and productive.

What do you do with your Whatifs?

Web Site:  http://www.corinnaborden.com
On Twitter: @corinnaborden

Kelvin Ringold

Born to John and Lora Ringold on October 24, 1953, grew up, went to school, graduated high school and joined the Air Force -- turned 18 in basic training. Got married at 18, then again at... well, no need to go into all of that. Did 20 years in the Air Force and retired in 1991. Moved to Syracuse, worked at University Hospital and retired from there at 55. During that 55 years... I learned some lessons, one of which is that LIFE is what we make it. I spend a major portion of my waking hours helping other people figure out the same thing. Life is what we make of it, and... "when you master your mind set, you master your life." That's my mission: living it, and teaching it.


  • Thank you Sarah! I really like the notion of “and when” it is cheerful and round like a bouncing ball of potential!
    wishing YOU the most fun place in your head imaginable!

  • Thank you Sarah for commenting and I’ve passed it on to Corinna — who promptly notified me that I’d omitted two whole paragraphs off her post (embarrassed am I.) At any rate, I’ve corrected that error and the whole post is now in place. Check the last two paragraphs and things may be clearer (gulp). Most humble apologies to Corinna.

  • Hi Corrina,
    I was so inspired by your beautiful post and your wonderful bravery in writing it that I tried to find out what the positive opposite of ‘what if’ would be. Not an easy question it seems!
    The demons torture us with the what ifs when we are particularly vulnerable and it’s not easy to turn it all around.
    The best I could come up with is ‘ and when’ …. and when I have a good day I feel… and when I wake up tomorrow I’m going to…. and when I cry I’m going to think of….. and when I’m better I’m going to…..and when green hair grows on my chest I’ll get a tattoo to say please keep off the grass ( OK, Maybe not, but that what if made me laugh in the poem!!)
    I’d be interested to know how you and other readers counteract the ‘what if demon!
    Wishing you the most fun place in your head imaginable…

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