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Daily Positive Thought

True Friends

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow. – Alice Walker

Do you remember when you were a kid, some adult in your life telling you that you are judged by the company you keep?  Well, that was true, and it is also true that people tend to take on the characteristics of the people with whom they spend the most time.

I am blessed to have a plethora of wonderful people in my life, and these people all have different characteristics.  Some are incredibly happy-go-lucky, others are extremely driven, some are very athletic and physical, and some are more relaxed.  I have friends who are focused on money, and friends who barely get by, friends that are very analytical and friends who are more creative.  I also have friends who are incredibly happy and enjoy life, and friends who are angry at the world.

I’m sure when you look at your friends, you’ll find that the characteristics that make up your friends are equally as varied as the character traits that make up the wonderful person that is you!  It’s funny, when I spend time with my outdoorsy athletic friends, we usually do something outdoors, go figure.  And when I spend time with my more creative friends, we focus on more creative activities.

This is where it gets interesting.  When I spend time with my friends who are angry at the world, or who are chronically unhappy, I find myself being angry and unhappy too.  Those are not moods I wish to explore frequently, nor are they moods anybody should explore frequently. But do you want to avoid those friends and not hang out with them?  If you say yes, that is your choice, but I love all my friends and want to spend time with them.

Years ago, when I started Think Positive 30, I spent a lot of time on the platform LiveJournal.  It was a great platform for blogging, as well as bitching and complaining.  I swear nobody every posted cheerful thoughts, it was always what was going wrong in their life.  That’s not a bad thing.  It’s always good to get things out and not keep them bottled up inside.  However, when you spend all your free time reading how bummed, or angry or upset people are, it starts to wear on you.

My wonderful friend Patty decided she was going to post one positive thing each day in her LJ and I followed suit and that’s how Think Positive 30 was born.  You can do the same.  When you are spending time with people you know are kind of mopey or always complaining pregame some positivity.  Listen to some cheerful music or read or watch something that makes you feel good inside.

Recognize that it is not your job to change your friends or to fix them. You are responsible for yourself.  When you are hanging out and they are complaining because the rain ruined your beach day, agree, but point out that maybe the rain was needed, and come up with something different to do.  Just deflect their negative thinking and you’ll be better off. And make sure to schedule time with the happy, feel good friends too!

Excellence Takes Time

If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. – Colin Powell

 

I was thinking about excellence today.  When you set out to do something, you want to do it to the best of your ability.  But when you start doing something, your ability level is usually nowhere near excellence.  I decided to start knitting last year while we were out on remote learning.  I figured it would be nice to have something to do with my hands while I sat in endless zoom meetings and the kids had their cameras off.  Yeah remote teaching is SOOO fun.

Now I had some experience with knitting.  My Grams had taught me how to cast on, and do the knit stitch, and years later a friend showed me how to do the purl stitch.  So there I was, primed with “all my experience,” ready to go.  Pretty much I was going to go nowhere fast, so I did what everybody else does when they don’t know how to do something.  I googled it.  I found a very use friendly site called Sheep and Stitch and I watched a couple of YouTube tutorials they had posted and I was ready to go.  Bam, instant excellence, right?  WRONG!

I made a scarf for my daughter.  I was so proud of that scarf.  However, it wasn’t very good because I hadn’t developed good knitting habits yet.  My daughter uses the scarf to cover her eyes when she is snoozing in our big giant recliner in the living room.  It’s okay, I’m not offended, because it really wasn’t very good.  I then knit the same scarf for a friend and it was better, but it still wasn’t good.  I was still working on those little habits.

Then, I decided to get crazy and knit an infinity scarf for my daughter – a new pattern ladies and gentlemen, and a different style of knitting because I was knitting in the round.  So while parts of it were a little better because I was starting to develop those habits in the little matters, it was still pretty much a cluster.  And the one I made for my sister was even worse because I deviated from the pattern.  Pro tip, when you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t do that!

So it’s been almost a year since I started knitting.  Am I excellent?  Nope, not even close, and that’s okay.  I’m getting better.   I’m practicing, and I’m learning.  One huge thing I’m learning is that I should probably take an in person class at some point if this pandemic ever goes away.  YouTube is helpful, Sheep and Stitch is great, but I learn better in person.  But until I can take that class, I’m going to keep practicing the little things, like tension and reading patterns.  I will start to master these things and as I do, I will be one more step closer to excellence.  It’s not going to happen today, and it’s not going to happen tomorrow, and that’s okay.  And if I never become a master knitter, that’s okay too, because in the end, what matters is that I am having fun.  Excellence is great, but it means nothing if you aren’t enjoying what you do!

Once Upon a Time, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Well not Once Upon a Time, but Once Before Covid, and not in a Galaxy Far, Far Away, but in my own personal galaxy, I came up with an idea.  I had been working, kind of sort of, on a young adult novel, when I was struck by an idea.  I wanted to write a companion book to my book Thinking Positive: Take the Journey into Positivity.  Then covid struck and my life was turned upside down.  I foolishly thought, as a teacher who was now working from home, that I would have PLENTY of time to write.  I was wrong, so, so wrong.   I worked more hours than I could ever imagine recreating curriculum, and reaching out to kids trying to help, begging them to do work and just making sure they were okay.  Summer brought more of the same.  Things changed a little bit in the fall.  We were still remote, but it was more structured, and I found that I did have more time, but something had happened.  It was a not good something.  I started listening to the voices in my head.  You know those voices, the ones that tell you your too fat, or stupid, or ugly, or what you just said or did was foolish.  THOSE voices.  Gotta say, I’m not a fan of those guys.  Anyhow, those voices were telling me I was wasting my time, that nobody wanted to read anything I was writing, and that I couldn’t write.  Well, I’m actually not going to disagree with those statements.  But you know what?  I didn’t write my book for anybody else I wrote it for ME!  If people liked it, that was great, but I never once in a million years thought I  was going to sell a million copies.  But I started listening to the voices and they convinced me that I couldn’t do it.  That I couldn’t write.  Logically, I know that is not true.  I can write, I may not write well, but I can write, and I have 39 short stories, and novel length works to my pseudonym – and what’s more, people actually like them.

My new companion to my Thinking Positive book was going so well when I started.  I was literally flying through it – and then I got to the chapter on re-framing your thoughts, and I could not write that chapter.  At all.  It wasn’t writers block, it was worse.  It was that pesky voice in my head, it kept droning on, louder and louder, and it talked over any writing related thoughts I was having.  And it was ironic because I should have been re-framing those very loud thoughts and used it to my advantage.  And honestly, that realization just came to me this weekend, along with a few others which may be blog topics for another day.  My point in all this rambling is those negative voices in our heads only have power if we listen to them.  As hard as it is, and I KNOW it’s hard, you have to be louder than them.  When they start, tell them to stop.  Seriously, say stop in a loud firm voice, or clear, or let go.  I’m going to try and work on my book tomorrow, and when those voices start telling me  I can’t, I’m going to tell them I can, because I can, and so can you.

Gratitude Rocks – Help Spread the Message

Have you ever seen the cute, hand painted rocks with inspirational messages outside?  People are encouraged to pick up a rock that speaks to them.  Well those rocks have to come from somewhere, right?  They do, people make them and leave them in places for other people to find. I’m here to ask a favor if you are a crafty individual who paints rocks like this.  On the ones I make, I add the url to Think Positive 30 – www.thinkpositive30.com.  Why?  My goal is to spread positivity wherever I can – to share the message that I deliver here daily.  If you do decorate rocks like this and leave them out and about for others to find, would you consider adding the url to Think Positive 30 every once in a while.  With your help, we can spread the message of positivity and positive thinking farther than ever!

I Manifested one of my Biggest Dreams

A few years ago, I manifested something.  I am a huge believer in the Law of Attraction, I have vision boards, and I truly believe in the concept of Ask, Believe, Receive.  One of my huge dreams/goals/vision board items was to be a published author.  Now here’s the thing, the law of attraction wasn’t going to write a book for me, edit it, design a cover and submit it for publication.  And I think that’s an important thing to remember.   If you want to manifest a healthy body – you are still the one that is going to have to eat better and exercise.  The Law of Attraction will maybe be bringing you the will power to do it.

So as I said, one of my biggest life dreams was to write a book and I did it.  The Law of Attraction helped me to find my muse.  Led me to and editor, helped me find someone to do the kindle formatting and helped me upload it to Amazon Direct Publishing and voila – book on kindle.

In the interim, I took a couple of writing classes and that brought me other options.  I learned about an amazing resource called Draft 2 Digital.   By using Draft 2 Digital, I was able to upload my book to sites other than Amazon, including Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Kobo.  Am I raking in the bucks?  No of course not, and that’s okay.  Fulfilling a dream isn’t necessarily about getting rich.

I will be honest, I have since started two other books, one was a companion to my original book, Thinking Positive:  Take the Journey into Positivity . That book is almost a third of the way done on the first draft. The other is a work of fiction, and several chapters are written. I was making steady progress on both, when covid happened.

Now most people would think that being forced to stay home would mean plenty of time to write.  Oh how I wish that were true.  I’m a teacher so last spring was spent trying to figure out how to teach online and worse, trying to figure out how to make kids want to learn online.   That was hard and literally sucked the life out of me and every other teacher I know!  I spent my summer participating in trainings to learn how to be a better teacher both online and off and then boom, we were back in school.  First we were remote, then teachers were in school and kids were home, then we were remote.  Then we were back and some kids were back.  Then we were remote, then we were back and slowly phasing kids in for hybrid learning.   Now we are back in hybrid model, a group of kids in  on Monday/Tuesday, Wednesday is remote for all, and a different group of kids in Thursday/Friday.  It is EXHAUSTING and leaves very little time for anything else, least of all, writing.

A friend of mine who is not a fan of the Law of Attraction  felt that this lack of writing for me was proof that the Law of Attraction was nothing but bull.  But to me, it’s the exact opposite because my ideas are still there, and the desire is still there, and best of all, the time will be there, when the time is right.

Hold fast to your dreams.  Ask the universe for what you want, and believe it will happen – and most important, be open to the different ways it CAN happen.

Social Distancing Does NOT Mean Social Isolation

Hi Everyone,

This has been a trying time for everybody.  We are social distancing and for some, it’s turning into social isolation.  It’s a lesson we all need to learn.  social distancing does not mean social isolation.  But as I said, this is a very trying time, and we are all trying to navigate the uncharted waters of Covid-19.

As I have mentioned before, I’m a teacher, and with schools closed, we’ve shifted to an online model and it hasn’t been easy.  I literally find myself working and interacting with kids all hours of the day – and night.  Yes, I get text messages and emails whenever the kids decide to work.  I’ve received messages as late (or as early depending on your perspective) as 2:42 in the morning!  Working from home is a time management and time balancing act I am ill-prepared to manage.  It’s killing me because if ever there was a time for thinking positive, it’s now!

There are four people in my house, so I am not socially isolated, but in a way I am.  Looking at the same faces day in and day out can be a struggle, I am learning, and no amount of positive thinking can take away the irritation that can build when you are in that situation.  I think the best option any of us have right now is to go outside and get moving.  Go for a short walk, even if it’s to the end of your driveway.  If you can manage to set it up, go work out on your back deck for a while.  Go for a walk in the rain (that’s my plan today).  Wave to your neighbors from your porch.  Skype or Facetime your friends and family.

Social distancing does not mean social isolation – we are not in solitary confinement, and seeing a new/different face, even if it is from six feet apart, can make a huge difference. I went up to one of our local trails to walk and I saw my hair stylist in the parking lot!  It was so nice to see someone that wasn’t a family member and talk to somebody that wasn’t affiliated with work  By the way, can I tell you how much I hate zoom meetings!!!!  And this weekend, my kids karate instructors brought their family up to wave to my kids from the car.  Little things like that make all the difference in the world.

If you’re struggling seeing the same faces and the same four walls, you have the power to do something about that. Social distancing does not mean social isolation.  Go for a drive, pull up to a friend’s house and wave.  Go for a walk around your neighborhood and wave and say hi to your neighbors.  Check on your elderly neighbors and those you know have underlying health conditions.  Reach out to them and make sure they’re okay and see if they need anything.

This is a trying time for all of us but as they keep reminding us, we’re all in this together, and together we’ll get through it, and I think we’re going to come out stronger on the other side.

Now is the Time to Think Positive – Free Book

Hi Everyone,

I know our world is in a huge kerfluffle right now.  This virus – Covid 19 is serious.  People all over the world are getting sick, and people are dying.  We’re social distancing, quarantining as needed, and in some cases going into shelter in place.  It’s scary, it’s depressing, it’s overwhelming and it’s very negative.  My school will start remote teaching/learning on Monday and everybody’s stress level is through the roof.  I can only imagine that it’s like that pretty much everywhere for all sorts of different reasons.

During this time, it’s so easy to fall into negative, defeatist thinking, but that’s the last thing we want to do!  The goal is to remain as upbeat and positive as possible.  I want to do my part to help you.  I’m making the ebook version of Thinking Positive: Take the Journey into Positivity free on Amazon.  It’s free, starting tomorrow, for the next 5 days, so if you don’t have a copy yet, now is your chance to download it for free.  I’m hoping to get the companion Book The Thinking Positive Toolbox ready for publication in the next week to help people remain positive in this very trying time.

We all need to work together – at an appropriate social distance of course.  Check with your older neighbors and see if you can do their grocery shopping.   Don’t hoard the toilet paper people, we all have to go, and really, we’re not going to run out of food, so you don’t need to buy all the cans of chili in the grocery store.  Be kind to one another and help each other out.  Stay healthy and Think Positive

Looking on the Bright Side

Most of you know, I’m a HUGE proponent of looking on the bright side of things.  I am always looking for the good in the bad.  I may not always find it, but I do look.  That being said, I had a very interesting conversation in the writing class I am taking.  The instructor had asked to see a copy of my book Thinking Positive: Take the Journey into Positivity, so with much fear and quivering hands, I gave her a copy last week. At the end of class last night, we talked about it and one of the women in the class asked if it was all touchy feely, looking on the bright side.

Now, I don’t think it really is, and I told her as much, and she was relieved.  She then went on to relate a story.  Her mom was terminally ill, and she called a friend to talk about it, and that friend responded with, well look on the bright side, you’ll get to see your brothers.  I was appalled.  There are times when you can be looking on the bright side, and there are times when you just need to grieve, vent and rail against the universe.  For that woman, it was one of those times.

Don’t get me wrong, while there is nothing good about this woman losing her mom, I probably could find some positive things going on in life.  I would never, in a million years ever tell her that! Sometimes, you just need to let it be.  In my mind, that is one of those times.  So while I am a huge fan of looking on the bright side, and I always encourage people to do so, I try to read my audience so to speak, and I advise you to do the same.  In the case of the woman in my writing class, I may have said – think about the joy you can bring to your mom when you and your brothers are together reliving the good memories.  That will bring her so much happiness.  That puts the emphasis on her mom (where it should have been all along) and given her something positive to focus on but without the “oh look on the bright side” comment.

I am, and always will be looking on the bright side, and I will always encourage everybody to do the same.  I just hope that I will be cognizant of the emotional state of other people at the same time.  While I always want to spread the positivity bug, I also want to be a good and supportive friend.  So I guess while I’m looking on the bright side, I’ll look out for my friends as well.

I know my blog posts usually deal with the Daily Positive Thought, so I’ll add that in here!

The whole universe is change and life itself is but what you deem it. – Marcus Aurelius

I really like this quote because it’s not just me that’s changing, or you, but the entire universe!  Change is pretty much a given thing, and we can make of it what we want.  We can accept it and roll with it and make the changes positive. Conversely, we can hold on to the status quo and have a knock down drag out with change and be dragged into it kicking and screaming.

To me, this is where looking on the bright side can come into play. Change happens and you and your attitude will determine whether that change is positive or negative.  If you fight the change and resent it, it’s probably going to be negative, but if you embrace it, and work with it, it will be what you want it to be.  Something good and positive.

I try very hard to accept change.  Do I always?  No, of course not.  Sometimes I do fight it, kicking and screaming all the way and I’ve noticed, the times that I do, well they never turn out just the way I want them to.  When I embrace change wholeheartedly, and view it in a positive light, it tends to go much better for me.  Hopefully I’ll get to a place in my life where I do it more consistently.  Hopefully, you will as well and we can cruise on into the future together.

 

Become Remarkable

People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success. – Norman Vincent Peale

I love this quote!  To me it’s saying that in order for you to become remarkable, you have to believe you are remarkable.  You need to believe in yourself!  I’m taking a little writing course on Monday nights, and last night, the instructor had us rate ourselves as writers on a scale of 1 – 10 and hold up our numbers.  They ranged from 4 to 7, and let me tell you, the instructor was very disappointed in our opinions of ourselves.

Some of it was a cultural thing, I think.  We are not encouraged to think that we are all that and a slice of cake.  But guess what, you are, I am, we all are.  The instructor asked us how could we expect people to believe in our writing if we don’t believe in our own ability to write?  She is right.  I want to become a remarkable writer, and in order to become remarkable, I have to first believe that I am remarkable.

Believe in yourself.  That is the first step in accomplishing anything else.  Believe you are remarkable and you will become remarkable – or maybe, you’ll become even MORE remarkable!

The Reason

Everything happens for a reason, you only need to keep on editing your attitude and gratitude so as to sail through. – Unknown

I haven’t felt like writing for a while. I could give you chapter and verse as to why, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter. I just haven’t felt like writing, so I haven’t been writing. I don’t have a concrete reason, I just haven’t felt like writing.  And yet, tonight, here I am writing and the reason for that is I am grateful.  I had something happened to me this weekend which totally sent me over the deep end into the gratitude pool.  That’s not to say I had a bad attitude before or wasn’t grateful for things that had happened, because I was. But right now, I am splashing around in that deep end of the gratitude pool and it feels good, and what do you know, I’m sitting here writing!

Is there a correlation?  Maybe, maybe not.  I don’t know, and you know what?  I don’t care either.   I’m not going to dig through my psyche and try and figure out the why and why not of my not writing.  I don’t need to know the reason why I didn’t, and I don’t need to know the reason why I am tonight.  I only know I’m writing and it feels good.  It’s got be bobbing along in that gratitude pool.  It’s a super nice pool by the way.  Not too hot, not too cold – certainly not crowded!  So if you want to join me come on in.  The reason isn’t important, just try and find it!

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