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Thinking Positive Toolbox

Well it took a long time, but I’m happy to announce that the Thinking Positive Toolbox is now available!  If you click on this link, you will be brought to a list of different online vendors that have it available.   It is also available in paperback form only at Amazon!

The Thinking Positive Toolbox was written as a companion piece to my last book Thinking Positive: Taking the Journey to Positivity.  What I love about the Toolbox is while it gives you some strategies to improve your mood and outlook, it also gives you the opportunity to develop your own strategies.

I hope you’ll all check it out


I is an IDIOT

Once upon a time, there was an idiot (that’s me) who was doing something with the mailing list and deleted it ALL.

Yes, I is an idiot!  If you wish to continue to receive the Daily Positive Thought via email, please sign up again please click on this link and resubscribe!

Just a Little Message

I just wanted to share a little message with you. Last week and this week, the Daily Positive Thought emails have been positive thoughts that I sent out before.  Next week’s probably will too because I’m recovering from surgery.  Here is what I said:

I just want to update you.  I had my surgery this past Tuesday.  I came through with flying colors, and short two breasts, so technically I know longer have breast cancer I guess.  I hurt…. a lot, and this summer when I have the reconstructive surgery, I’ll hurt more.  But that’s okay because I am going to win this war.

I want to tell you something that every single nurse I have dealt with has said to me.  “You really have a positive attitude!”  In fact, I’ve had visits from two different visiting nurses here at the house and they both said they have never laughed or had so much fun at a visit before.  Thinking positive does help.  Is it making the hurt go away?  No, but I have to wonder, would I be feeling more pain if I had a negative outlook?  I don’t intend to find out.

Positive thinking does so much.  But right now it’s hard to come up with the positive thoughts…hence the repeats of posts on the mailing list.  Mostly all I do is sleep (I hope I lose some weight from this).  I’m totally going to win this battle because I say I am! I believe I am, and I know I am.  I’m going to keep thinking positive.

Thanks for being with me during this battle – and get your mammograms!

Positive Thinking in Action

Where you been?

Hi everybody – long time no post.  Here’s the deal.  My life has been not great.  Last year I settled into a huge deep giant funk so I did what all smart people in a funk should do, and I went to my doctor.

I was diagnosed with depression and provided with an antidepressant. Life got a little bit better, but not spectacular. I was plugging along, living my life, but I was not living my best life, and worse, I wasn’t doing anything about that.

Talk About a Kick in the Pants

Amazingly, something happened that kicked me in the proverbial buttocks and got me thinking in a more positive manner, and you will never believe what it was. I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I know, how could that make someone think more positively?  It’s a honest question, and as you know, I’ve never been one to pull my punches, so I’m going to give you an honest answer.  If you want the full breast cancer story, you can read about it in The Breast Cancer Diaries.

So I was due for my mammogram in August, 2022, but the building that houses the place were I go burned down.  So I put it off, and put it off, then I kind of got to feeling bad about not getting it done, so I scheduled it.  Then I got my 4th covid shot – fun fact, you should not get a mammogram if you have had a vaccination within six weeks.  So I had to reschedule.

Reschedule I did and I got it done.  Long story short, they found something.  There was an ultrasound, and a biopsy and bad news. But they said it was caught early and all that.  I know, I know.  You’re all probably wondering where the positive thinking comes in.  I promise, I’m getting there.

Positive Thinking in Action

According to my surgeon, the mass they found is around 1 centimeter in size.  Do you know how small that is?  It’s freaking tiny! So tiny in fact that if I had gotten my mammogram done when I was supposed to, they probably wouldn’t have seen anything!  There will be surgery, and there will be treatments, but I am lucky.  I am so lucky, and that is what snapped me out of my funk.  For me, thinking positively involves a lot of finding the good in the bad, and in this little story, there was a lot of good in my bad.  That is my positive thinking in action.

What Came of it?

Lots of doctors appointments came of it, and lots of writing.  I had put my writing away in my funk, but I’m back to writing and almost finished with my sequel to Think Positive 30: A Journey into Positive Thinking, and I’m super excited about this.  I think it’s going to be finished in the next couple of weeks – then comes the editing and all that fun stuff, but it’s progress, and any progress is good progress!

The Future

I can’t say how often I’ll be updating here in the next several months, and I can’t promise that the Daily Positive Thought will come out Daily – I’ll have to see how I deal with the stuff that’s coming up.  I’m going to try my best but first things first, I have to take care of me.

Hang tight people and get those mammograms – and above all, think positive!

Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off: What to Do After a Relapse

Photo by geralt via Pixabay


You feel like you’ve failed, let everybody—including yourself—down. You were doing so well, attending meetings, staying away from your trigger areas, and exercising and eating well. Then, you suddenly, for whatever reason, take that one drink or drug and everything you’ve worked so hard for has vanished in an instant.


Relapse can happen during recovery. It’s a risk you take for choosing to be sober, but it is not a sign of failure. According to Dr. David Sack in Psychology Today, “Studies suggest that nearly half of all individuals who try to get sober return to heavy use,” with “70 to 90 percent experiencing at least one mild to moderate slip.”


If you’ve had that moderate slip, or if you returned to heavy usage, Think Positive 30 encourages you to do these three things.


Try to Avoid Additional Stressful Situations


As if relapsing from sobriety isn’t stressful enough, additional stressors in your life can trigger you. If you’re returning to work after some time in rehabilitation, or for any other reason, consider how you will handle any sudden increase in stress levels. There is a strong connection between workplace stress and alcohol and drug abuse, so you should have a plan in place to deal with the stress by using your coping skills along with the normal, healthy ways to handle stress: eating well, exercising, and learning how to relax, which are all important aspects of good self-care.


You can also adopt some helpful stress management techniques like these from ZenBusiness to ward off anxiety or impulsive reactions. Try deep breathing, then acknowledge your worries and try to let them go. Take some time to also understand your stressors so you’re better prepared the next time you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.


Get Help Immediately


Perhaps most importantly, contact your sponsor immediately. If you have returned to heavy usage, go to an emergency room. A small slip-up might not be too harmful, and you can probably recover from it. Discuss the situation with your family members, close friends, and others in your support group. Tell them what happened and why you think it did.


Don’t Shame Yourself


Relapses happen. No one in recovery is immune from them, and shaming yourself—or even allowing others to shame you—for doing it contributes nothing toward your goal to stay sober. Instead, focus on what triggered the relapse. Were you feeling anxious after a day at work? Were you at a bar or restaurant that served alcohol? Were you feeling anything else that reminded you of when you used to drink or take drugs?


Being aware of your triggers—regardless of whether they’re feelings or situations—can help prevent a relapse. If that means staying away from any place that serves alcohol, then do it. If that means you should go to more meetings to be around people getting their lives back in order, then attend more of them. Adjust your strategy to focus more on positive things.


Focus on the Positive


You took a huge step when you first entered recovery. Returning to recovery after a relapse is simply the next step. It is easy to feel like you have let yourself and others down, but you are still alive and able to continue recovery. That you recognize your behavior needs to change is a profound realization. Use that recognition to spurn you on to greater well-being.


When you relapse, it’s important to get back on the path to sobriety. When it happens, get professional help, be aware of stress triggers, and don’t shame yourself. Your health and your life depend on it.


This article was brought to you by Think Positive 30, where positive thoughts are all around us. Even if you are having the WORST DAY EVER, I bet, if you look hard enough, you can find one positive thing that has happened. For more information, visit us today!

Garfield,Thinking Positive and Toxic Positivity



(Davis, Jim “Garfield” 10/19/21 ArcaMax


First off full disclosure, I actually started this on October 19th of this week but I was running late for school.  My plan was to finish it that night but it has just been a crazy week year and I am kind of drowning.  That being said, when I read this comic that morning, I LOVED it, because I am all about finding the bright side, but sometimes in the moment, there is no bright side.  Garfield, my furry feline friend, when the damn bursts, that’s the time to evacuate!  There are no ifs, ands or buts about that.  You get out and you get out now.

As an educator, I am no stranger to toxic positivity.  It abounds in educational settings, and it is slowly sucking the life out of every teacher I know.  We’re supposed to look on the bright side and push through in untenable circumstances. Toxic positivity is an obsession with positive thinking.  The belief that we should deny or invalidate any negativity or negative thoughts.

Well that is NOT what I, or Think Positive 30 is about.  If you lose your job, that sucks.  You get to be mad, angry afraid and resentful.  You get to have those feeling and own those feelings.  The problem for me is when you continue to let those feelings overtake your life and that is all you can focus on.  That’s when you need to start looking on the bright side.  It will probably be hard, and feel so fake at first, but in my opinion this is where you need to push through and look for good things.  You have skills you learned on the job, etc.

So I caution people to think that there is good in everything. It is important to have an open, healthy and realistic outlook on what is going on in your life.  If crap happens, acknowledge it – take some time to process what is going on, but do not let it consume your every waking thought.  That is just as unhealthy as toxic positivity.  So we can laugh at Garfield because hey, he’s just a cartoon, but if your dam breaks, don’t assume that the onslaught of water is going to clean your kitchen. Gather your loved ones, your important documents and get out of Dodge.

Who Are You?

You are only destined to become one person – the person you decide to be. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to be when I grow up, which is odd, considering the fact that I’m older than dirt.  But it’s something that actually requires a lot of thought.  See, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher.  I absolutely love being a teacher.  I don’t love all the crap I have to deal with, but I love being a teacher.  But the other day I was thinking about growing up and wanting to be a teacher.

I was born in the mid sixties, and did a lot of my growing up in the 70’s.  The era of woman’s lib, and hearing that a woman could do anything she wanted.  But in school, they didn’t push girls to do anything other than what girls had been doing in school for years.  Sure I could have taken a shop class if I wanted, but I didn’t want.  I just played barbies, and rode bikes like all the other kids that I knew, and in high school, I just took all the classes everybody else was taking.  Sure I could do whatever I wanted, but nobody ever helped me figure out what that was, or what my options were.

My parents didn’t push me to attend college, and in fact encouraged my to take things like typing and shorthand in school.  They weren’t discouraging my from trying other things, they just encouraged me to do what they already knew.  My senior year of high school, I tried a computer class, but everything was programming and basic, and I do NOT think that way, so that was an epic fail.  I literally had no idea who the person was I was going to be.

I’d always worked with kids growing up (read babysitting) and I was good at it, so going to school to get a job to work with kids seemed like a good fit.  I did it, and I loved it – I still do, but I kind of just fell into it.  So now, I’m wondering who I’m going to decide to be.  I may stay a teacher forever, but I will also continue to write.  But you know what, I can do anything.  You can do anything  – we just have to decide who we are.

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!

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.

How to Make Your Wellness a Priority 


After a grueling year finding our way through the pandemic, things are slowly but surely returning to some sense of normalcy. But with all the stress that we experienced from COVID-19, you may have found it tough to keep up with your normal healthy habits and routines. If you feel like your wellness has taken a seat on the back burner, you aren’t alone—and it’s never too late to pick up where you left off!


If the thought of returning to your pre-pandemic habits and routines makes you want to crawl into bed and hide, don’t fret. With the help of the right tools and strategies, you can remove the overwhelm and ease your way back into the process.

Assess Your Wellbeing

Before you can make any concrete goals, it’s important to take some time to assess where you are now and what areas of life you’d most like to focus on. Maybe your sleep hygiene flew out the window, or you stopped taking your daily walks. Wherever you currently stand, what matters is you analyze what parts of your life matter most to you.


You might find that your list of goals is miles long and there’s a lot you want to tackle. While there’s nothing wrong with that, an important step to setting achievable goals is narrowing down your priorities to only the most important items, and leaving the rest for another time. If you try to go after too much at once, you could end up stretched beyond capacity and ultimately burn out quickly. To avoid this, try honing in on just three to five goals that are the most important to your wellbeing.

Be Kind to Yourself

Getting back to our goals after taking a long break can be challenging, and this is especially true when it comes to returning to our pre-pandemic lives after so much disruption. A critical part of the process is to remember to give yourself grace and kindness along the way. It can be easy to feel frustrated or discouraged if we aren’t exactly where we want to be. You might feel shame, frustration, or fear of whether or not you can measure up. That’s natural! That said, you don’t want to let these feelings debilitate you from getting back on track.


To combat this, make it a point to speak lovingly to yourself at all times, and to remember that so much of your ability and confidence to achieve your goals is a direct result of how you think about yourself and support yourself along the way. Avoid falling into the trap of speaking negatively to yourself or doubting capability, and instead try to be your own biggest cheerleader. It might feel tough at first, but the more you practice, the more natural it will become!

Track Your Progress

It can be tough to reach our goals if we don’t track them in some way. One tracking method called visualization can do wonders for your motivation and commitment to the process. When you visually track your goals, you’re able to apply structure and clarity to your efforts. This helps you stay on track, see how far you’ve come, and give you a source of encouragement when you’re feeling down.


While the thought of getting back to your own health and wellness after a long period of time can feel overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. If you remember to give yourself grace and keep in mind the fact that you deserve to feel your best, you will be better equipped to show up for yourself day in and day out. And to help you get started with visual goal tracking, these printable habit trackers are the perfect way to get going with your goals.


Remember, it’s never too late to make yourself a priority!

Click on the picture to download your own copy of the Wellness Wheel