Tag Archives: Positivity

A Path Diverged

Every day we wake up, we are faced with a choice… whether to wake up on the right side or the wrong side of the bed. It may not be a conscious decision, but as our day goes along we come to forks in the road where we are challenged with circumstances that are less than ideal. It is at these crossroads where we have to choose how we are going to deal with the coming day.

Path diverged

When we choose to take the negative path, our day starts to spiral downward. What was once one problem, turns into another, making it easier and easier to continue taking the negative path. After walking down this road for awhile, we tend to group our problems together. So instead of having the one original problem, we have added everything else in our life that isn’t going quite right to our list of problems, creating a snowball effect. That bad hour or day, has turned into a bad week or month.

stop digging

Yet, when we choose to take the positive path, our day goes a lot smoother. We still encounter the same problems, but we are able to take a step back and think of how it could be worse. And that ultimately, in the scheme of life, the problem really isn’t as big as we are making it out to be.

Focus on good

We may not have a choice what circumstances we are faced with, but we do have a choice in how we view the situation and deal with our problems. Being positive is a choice we have to make and the more we make it, the easier it becomes and the happier we are.

To help you wake up on the right side of the bed, here are just a few tips you can incorporate into your life to be more positive.

  • Write it Out – Every night write down 5 positive things that happened that day. Focusing on the good takes the emphasis off of the bad.

5 positives

  • Retrain your Brain – If you notice your thoughts going down a negative path, learn to recognize it and take a detour. Try to think about something else that is more positive.

Begins in the mind

  • Challenge Yourself – There is a silver lining in every situation. Learn how to find it.

Silver lining

  • Outward Focus – Get outside of your head and focus on helping someone else.

Love others

  • Get Active – Being active contributes to your overall happiness, which in turn helps you to be more positive 🙂

Excercise

  • Positive People – Surround yourself with positive people. People that will uplift you, encourage you, and inspire you.

Surround yourself

  • Forgive Yourself – A lot of negativity is directed at ourselves. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes and you can do better next time.

Believe in yourself

  • Read – Inspire yourself with positive quotes and Bible verses to encourage you throughout your day.

Good thoughts_Roald Dahl

  • Sing – Sing along to a positive song. It’s an instant mode lifter. Even if you aren’t feeling positive, a few fun and uplifting songs can shift your mode for the better.

Sings my soul

Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.

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Live in the Moment

As I sit on a bench looking out at Lake Washington, my thoughts are scattered. I think about my past. The relationships I’ve had and the things I could have done to change the outcome, but I also think about my future. Starting a new job and finding ways to push myself to become who I want to be.

It’s interesting though, that even when we are physically present, we can be living in a different time in our mind. Whether in the past, replaying memories; or in the future, planning our next steps to success. Yet living in the past or the future, can prevent us from truly experiencing the present moment we are in.

It is true that reflecting on the past can be beneficial, helping us learn from both our mistakes and success’. But reflection is merely a visit to the past. It is when we are living in the past that it can become dangerous. Maybe we are living in the past because we believe we have already had our best moments and that the future can’t compare. Or we have regrets. Things we wish we could change. So we replay the situation over and over trying to change the unchangeable.

Looking at the past

Yet we mustn’t get stuck living in the past. Memories, often times, are distorted. The further we go back into our memory the hazier our memories become, making it difficult for us to see those moments, whether good or bad, without bias. As they truly were. We tend to either remove all the negative and see only the positive, or remove all the positive and see only the negative. Neither interpretation which is accurate. We need to learn to leave the past in the past, where it belongs. What is done is done. By living in the past, we are preventing ourselves from moving forward, holding us at a standstill. Just like a train stuck at the platform, we aren’t reaching our full potential.

Past calls

However, living in the future is no better. Where we are always concerned about the next step. Our next career goal, who we want to marry, what age we want to have kids, where we want to live. These are all good things to think about and aspire to, yet sometimes we get carried away. We think once we reach a certain point in the future we will be happy. Once we have this job, we’ll be happy. Once we’re married, we’ll be happy. But once again this kind of thinking just steals away from our present sense of peace and contentment. Because we are always looking ahead; to what is just beyond our grasp. This anxious, goal driven mentality creates a cycle where we are never satisfied with the present and are always looking to the future to make us happy.

Past and future

So I’m going to stop letting the past have power over my present and stop borrowing troubles from tomorrow. Because in this very moment I have so much to be grateful for. The liquid movement of my pen, the sound of the waves lapping the shore, the seagulls flying around calling to their friends, the fresh air tickling my lungs, and the sunlight warming my face.

I would encourage you to start letting go of your past and stop trying so hard to control your future. Live in the moment. Right here. Right now. Be present where you are. Because this very moment is where you are. Embrace it. 🙂

To be alive

The past is the past and the future is the future. But I am going to be present. I’m going to live in the moment.


What I Learned in 2014

Different person

With a New Year approaching, I always like to take time to reflect on what I’ve learned over the past year. And this year is no different. Looking back on the year reminds me of how far I’ve come, but also inspires me on towards my next adventure. In some areas of my life I grew only a little, but in others I grew exponentially. The next few paragraphs are just a few of the things I’ve learned this year.

 

It’s harder to meet people after college.

 

“And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

I shake it off, I shake it off” –Taylor Swift

 

Music has the profound ability to express our emotions even when we feel like we can’t.

Music

In a relationship, you should love and be loved exactly as you are. Not based on who you expect them to be or who they think you should be.

 

It’s okay to cry. It means you cared enough for it to hurt you.

 

There is nothing like a good friend to comfort you and distract you from a broken heart.

Inability to see worth

Your self-worth is not based upon your accomplishments, so even when you fail, you are still worth more than ever.

 

Certainty is sexy.

 

Never stop trying new things and building up your life.

 

Some of the best moments in life are totally unscripted.

Memories

Even when God feels distant, He is always right there in your greatest times of need.

Crushed in spirit

If your gut is telling you that something isn’t right, you really should listen to it.

 

The ultimate battle is fought in your mind.

 

Although credit cards have a negative connotation, as long as you pay them on time you can gain all kinds of great rewards just from buying what you usually do.

 

There is nothing like a good workout to boost your mood and send you off ready to conquer a new day.

 

Live in the moment. Live with passion.

Stop waiting

I’ve learned so much this year! Every experience I’ve had, both good and bad, have shaped me into who I am today, and it’s crazy to think that I’m not the same person I was at the beginning of the year. With all that I’ve leanred, I’m excited for a new year. A year of adventure and intrigue. A year of no boundaries or limitations. A year of joy and excitement.

So as the sun sets today, it not only signifies the end of another day, but the end of another year. A year of joy and sorrow; beauty and pain; triumphs and failures; things I wish I could forget and things I never want to forget. What a beautiful year! Even so, I’m ready for the next one ❤


“Give it a Try,” Whispered the Heart

She stepped tentatively onto the board, testing her balance. She’d never been on a longboard before. The board beneath her feet felt unsteady; even so, she pressed off feeling the board pick up speed and send a jolt of anxiety fluttering through her stomach. Panicking, she jumped off the board letting it roll into the grass. With adrenaline pumping through her veins and determination flashing in her eyes, she stepped back onto the board. A little more cautious this time, her body moving gently to the left and to the right directing the board where to go. The breeze flipping her hair softly as a giant smile lite up her face. She did it. She tried something new.

Longboarding

When was the last time you tried something new? I mean, really tried something you’ve never done before. It can be absolutely terrifying, but it can also be quite exhilarating. Pushing ourselves and accomplishing something we were once hesitant about can really give us a sense of pride in who we are and help us grow. It breaks down the walls of limitation we’ve created for ourselves. The walls that hold us back, preventing us from truly experiencing life as it’s meant to be lived. It pushes us outside of our comfort zone and depending on the activity, can challenge us both mentally and physically.

Go Ahead

Nonetheless, fear comes to the surface and we start overanalyzing. “What if I fail? What if I look silly in front of my friends? What if…” The list goes on, crippling us from following through with our idea to try something new. We need to stop asking the negative “What ifs” and stop letting fear hold us back. Think optimistic. “What if you succeed? What if you surprise yourself with a new skill you didn’t even know you had?” All you need is 5 seconds of insane boldness and you can do anything. Because within that 5 seconds you’ve already started; there is no going back.

So although trying new things can be scary at times, I would encourage you to be brave. Start incorporating new things into your life, no matter how little. The reward of putting yourself out there and trying something new far outweighs the risk. For even if we are to fail, we’ll have great stories to tell. 😉

Whispered the heart

 


Valentine’s Day

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or Single Awareness Day, February 14th means something different to everyone. Some people celebrate with their loved one, whether it’s a candle lite dinner at home or a night on the town. Some people refuse to acknowledge it as a holiday or write it off as a way for stores to sell more chocolate and flowers. But it strikes a cord in everyone’s heart, whether it produces bitterness or love.

Fear not my friend! Valentine’s Day is one day a year, and if you think about it, you will most likely spend more Valentine’s Day’s with someone than without, theoretically speaking. Yet with its focus on love, or lack thereof, our self-esteem is targeted, creating an awareness of our singleness in a couple dominated culture. But don’t let it get to you.

The key to “surviving” this holiday, but also a good rule of thumb for life in general, is to have an outward focus. Instead of looking at your life and moping about not having someone to share that one day with, focus on how you can better love others. What can you do to brighten someone else’s day? If you wish that someone would buy you flowers for Valentine’s Day, then buy someone else flowers and make their day. In doing so, you will not only make them feel special, but will also get that warm fuzzy feeling that you made some kind of difference, even if it was small.

Act of Kindness

Despite my single status, I’ve always enjoyed Valentine’s Day because it gives me a reason to do something different. To me it means celebrating by wearing as much red and pink as possible, maybe even wearing my crazy heart socks my mom got me. Dancing around my kitchen listening to R&B love songs in my pink apron making sugar cookies with…you guessed it, pink frosting! Watching sappy romances with a friend all cuddled up in a warm blanket thinking “Someday…”

Someday...

Of course sometimes I wish my life could look like that romance movie, where they randomly meet in a coffee shop and live happily ever after. But life isn’t like that and I know that although waiting is hard, it will be worth the wait.

Willingness to Wait

In the meantime, don’t let Valentine’s Day discourage you or your past disappointments cloud your vision of what your future will look like. Focus outward and look to find ways to be a blessing to others. And when the evening of February  14th comes around and you’re all alone, grab a friend. Curl up on the couch and watch your favorite romantic comedy, eat heart shaped pizza, and enjoy all the chocolate you want. You deserve it 😉


Wonder of a Child

I often miss this little girl...

Remember when you were a child and the world was your playground. Everything around you was magical, from the stuffed koala bear you carried around, to the doors that magically opened when you stepped in front of them. Every day was a new adventure, filled with excitement and new discoveries. You ran for the joy of it, you truly believed you could fly, and your favorite nights were movie nights.

Yet as you’ve grown older, somehow the magic dwindled off. You’ve become cynical. Life didn’t turn out the way you expected; trust was broken, dreams seemed out of reach, and you had to take on more responsibility. Essentially you were told to grow up and make something of yourself. With your inner child pushed aside, you had to get a job, pay bills, and become an active member of society.

But who told us that we couldn’t be both serious and silly, both responsible and playful. At what point did we change?

Everything to nothing

I encourage you to go for a walk by yourself. Leave your phone at home; eliminate distraction. Breathe in the fresh air. Watch the butterfly as it dances in the wind. Soak up the sunlight. Dance in the rain. Enjoy the simplicity of the world around you.

In a world full of things to do and places to go, maintaining a sense of wonder and curiosity is imperative. Don’t let the disappointments of the world take away your sense of wonder. Never give up your childlike awe…

Girl at the beach


A Picture of Confidence

When you think of someone who is confident, what do you picture? I picture someone who knows how to dress and walks into the room like they own it. Their posture is great, their smile infectious, and they are unafraid to make eye contact. In no way are they flawless, but there’s something about them that makes you want to get to know them. And that something is confidence; they believe in themselves.

1. It is possible to be confident and still be afraid. Being confident doesn’t mean you have no fear, but that you are able to acknowledge your fear and constructively channel it.

                                1_Confidence_fear

2. “Fake it till you make it.” If you don’t feel confident, fake it. By faking it you will start to believe it and gradually you won’t be faking it anymore. You will be confident.

2_20 seconds of courage

3. You are your own worst enemy, but you are also your biggest fan. Build yourself up by being positive. Think of all your skills and talents. Positivity goes a long way when it comes to being confident. Love yourself!

3_Believe in yourself

4. Don’t let others opinion of you determine how you view yourself. It takes too much time and energy to care what people think of you. Live in such a way that you are happy with yourself.

4_Don't worry

5. Confidence doesn’t have to be loud. There is a quiet confidence held fast in those who know what they believe and chose not to be swayed by others.

5_Confidence is silent

6. Expect success. If you don’t think you will ever be confident, then you probably won’t be. Your expectations of yourself, whether positive or negative, creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. So expect greatness and you will achieve it.

6_Believe in yourself

7. Stop comparing yourself to others. We are all at different places in life and by comparing yourself to others you will only feel worse. As Jon Acuff says, “Don’t compare you’re beginning to someone else’s middle.” You were made unique and wonderful in every way.

7_Fish

8. Confidence is sexy. It attracts others to you. So be confident; you are sexy!

8_Confidence is sexy