Friday, June 28, 2013


this is my attempt to bring something positive into the world.   it started with me just trying to overcome the negativity in my home.   then i decided to create an event on fb for it.   you can find that here-

as soon as i created it, i had a huge response, so i decided to keep it updated with some positive practices.   if response is big enough, or i get the bug to do it, these will start showing up as pictures and a group will be created.   i'll keep you updated.  

positive practice #1

say something positive to everyone in your house, your work place, and your family. a positive word can really change the day. don't forget to say something positive to yourself!

positive practice #2
think about times that you argue with someone you love. do you move farther and farther from each other as the argument continues and the "discussion" grows louder? 
holding a spouse or loved one's hand when discussing something can keep it from becoming a full blown fight.
this is sage advice given to me by a very wise man. i often use it on my kids as well. i enjoy hugging my teenager when he's mad at me. he usually ends up laughing.

this is a video i found on youtube that really illustrates the positive person, how we want to be, how we in our imperfect state really are, and how we can be better.
the civility experiment

positive practice #3 
please, thank you and you're welcome.
sounds simple but those little words have a big impact. use them often and with everyone.

positive practice #4
gratitude attitude! can't say it enough. when you are looking for things to be grateful for instead of things that are going wrong, you are bound to have a better attitude. 
 actually, i first saw this practice on oprah many, many, many years ago.   i didn't catch her show very often, but this was a good one.   they said to think of 3 - 5 things every day that you are grateful for and write it in your journal.   i did that and it really made a difference.   later in life, i renewed the practice again and again. 
recently, i started asking my kids every morning what they were grateful for.   we got to be kind of silly sometimes, (like "i'm grateful for that molecule of air right there"), but it was fun and really made a difference.   i don't drive them to school anymore and the practice has thus waned.   i can really tell the difference and i am making efforts to reinstate it.  

one thing i try to do is keep thursdays set aside for "thankful thursday".   i try to name something new, not the usual stuff and think of all kinds of weird reasons to be thankful for something.   it amuses me and reminds me of how many things there are to be grateful for.   it is really more than a positive practice and more like a positive work out.   

so, what are you grateful for today?

the next few are all related.   they are about permission and forgiveness.

positive practice #5
stuff happens, be aware of it, expect it, and then get over it.
there is a theory that we get upset because things happen that we were not expecting. the surprise angers us more than the thing itself. so, prepare for the worst - hope for the best and you'll usually end up somewhere in between.   

positive practice #6

give others permission to make mistakes.  nobody is perfect.   we all have bad days, make bad decisions and just generally foul things up.   when you let yourself accept that, you can get over the surprise, the initial irritation and just go forward.

positive practice #7

give yourself permission to make mistakes.   strangely, this might be the hardest.   we are harder on ourselves than on others.   you are going to make mistakes.  it's ok.   learn from it, apologize, move on.

quick break in the positive practices.   today, a friends asked me, "why are you so self confident?".   without pause, i told him, "my mother.  she was always telling me how wonderful i was."   he commented about growing up in a positive environment.   this got me to thinking, what environment am i creating?.   

what environment am i creating for my family, for my friends, for the people i come in contact with?   what environment am i creating for myself?   i know there are things i can do better.  
now, what environment are you creating?

positive practice #8

forgive others.   you don't know what kind of day they are having.   you don't know what kind of life they are having.   we are all motivated by the same things it is our perception that is different.     no matter what other do, is it worth it to carry the pain, sadness, the negative?   you do that to you, not them.   let it go, dump it.   it's not hurting them, it's hurting you.   it's not changing them, it's changing you.   do you want to give out that kind of power?

positive practice #9

forgive yourself.   ever have one of those days where your mouth runneth over, your a major social klutz or just totally screw things up and you have no idea why?   we are human.   the longer you hang onto it, the more it causes.   quick story: 
taking my driving test to become a school bus driver.   the very first thing i do is my best event.  i do it perfect every time in practice.   i totally foul it up.  i mean completely fail it!   big fat 0 points!   i am freaked out!   my trainer/tester sees my horror and tells me something that i have used many times.   she said (approximately), "let it go.   it's done.   if you keep thinking about what you did wrong, it will affect what you need to do in the future.   put it behind you.   just move forward and don't look back."   i went on to do the best i had ever done on the next parts of the test and passed.   from then on, i have always thought of that when things go wrong.   let it go.   it's done.   don't let it mess up what you can do from here on out.  

positive practice #10

smile.   i don't mean that fake smile mask.  i mean really smile.   especially when you don't feel like it.   when you smile, do it with the thought that maybe you can brighten someone's day.  smile at strangers to be friendly, smile at family because you love them, smile at friends because you appreciate them, smile in the face of those you're not so fond of and think of something evil to do to them . . .i mean, think back to permission and forgiveness

positive practice #11


Serve. More. Self. Less.
serve more selflessly
serve others more and yourself less
more service and less self 
more selfless service

another quick break in practices. i heard this description of all things light and good today and wanted to share it. think of yourself as a house. the world and negativity is the dark night. when you turn on your lights, your positive light, it shines and lights up the house. when you open the door, the dark does not come in, instead, the light shines out into the dark.

positive practice #12
it's not just what you say but how you say it.   the most popular one in the world is, "i love you but you make me crazy!".   now listen to it this way, "you drive me crazy, but i love you!"   nicer, isn't it?

positive practice #13

it's not just how you say it, sometimes it's just really what you say.   this isn't just, "if you can't say something nice, don't say nuttin' at all".   that's #14.   this is focusing on the good in your statements.   for instance.   we have started tell my little one to "touch nice" instead of "don't hit".   sounds silly, but focus words really make a difference.   another one that a friend told me about is, "slim down", "get healthier", or "tone up" instead of "lose weight".   focus words.  they require some creative thinking sometimes, but really worth it.

positive practice #14

if you can't say nutin' nice, don't say nutin' at all.   thumper's mom is really smart!  the truth doesn't always need to be said.   my mouth goes into over drive on occasion, (you would have never thought that of me, i know).    i try to control it, but i have noticed that as i try to think more positive things, more positive things come out of my mouth even when i'm not in control of it.   might not make sense, might be weird, might be totally insane and make people worry a bit, but it's usually positive.

positive practice #15

tip of the iceberg.   everyone needs somewhere to vent, somewhere to release, that doesn't mean it needs to be vented everywhere.   when talking to people, give them the tip of the iceberg, most people don't need to hear it and you don't need to keep telling it.   say you're working on something, maybe a couple of brief clarifications.   think about how much of the drama you want to put out there.   how much negative to you want to release into the space around you?   so often, we engulf ourselves in our troubles and forget all of the things that we can do, all of the good things we have and all of the options we have.   we spend more time looking for a good story to tell than a good solution.   often, we find solutions in looking to tell someone that it will be ok and playing up the positive in our conversations.   engulf yourself and your conversations in positive options.

positive practice #16
meditate.   seems so hippie, mystical whatever you may want to call it, but give yourself a some time to just listen to your own breath, the birds, the popcorn popping in the microwave, whatever calms and centers you.    ok, so quiet time doesn't happen much at my house, probably a common phenomenon.   sometimes the best meditation i can do is that 2 seconds of not opening my mouth when angry.   just a couple seconds of, "breath in, breath out," a little silent screaming, and i can actually do something constructive instead of just venting and making things bigger.    so, take a little chill time, even if it's only a few seconds.

positive practice #17

you are what you eat.   a good diet is definitely part of a good attitude, but not really what i'm talking about.   think about all the things you take into your attitude all day long.   music, tv, movies, conversation, news, books, magazines . . .yadda etc.   even though you may not be consciously listening or paying attention to it, your brain is taking it all in.   you can change channels, turn it off, leave a conversation, put down what you're reading, and limit the negative bombardment.   remember that all of that stuff has to go somewhere, it has an effect.   so, choose your soul food wisely.

not a practice, just an observation.

l.i.f.e. - L.I.F.E. - l.I.f.E - L.i.F.e - no matter how you write it, it's all in the same basic size.   each letter is in proportion to the others.   you can go through some steps to make one bigger than the others or in a different font, but that is our own doing and not the actual nature of the thing.   life is all small ups and down in the big picture.  yes, somethings seem life ending at the time.  yes, i have had times that i wondered why the world was still turning, why life continued as though no one else knew the great tragedies happening.   it's all part of the big word we call life and really, is just capitals and lowercase letters in our story.  what i'm trying to say is that we make more of things than they are sometimes, sometimes things just hit us harder than others.   given time, it evens out.   we adjust, adapt, and hopefully advance.   when we realize this during those times that seem we can not go on, we can see past the huge things and to the part, where life resumes.   that is how we get past the hard times and learn how to resume.

positive practice #18

charity.   most people think of giving physical things as charity and that's a great part of charity.   i think the part we forget is the charitable attitude.   when that guy cuts you off in traffic, flies by you like mad, or just says something rude to you; you can get upset and yell or whatever your negative response might be or you can take the positive, charitable route; "you must not have seen me", "hope you get where you're going safely", "you must be having a bad day, hope it gets better".     think about how many times you've had a bad day or done something stupid.  did the guy behind you honking help?   did the negative response help?  now, have you ever had someone give you a charitable response?   how did that help your day?   which do you want to pass on?

positive practice #19

this was actually given to me by a friend for the b+ event on fb.   she recommended sitting down and writing to yourself.   not just any letter, but instead, imagine you are able to speak to an older and wiser you.     don't think about it too much, just let it flow.   let your older self give your now self some advice.   what would you tell yourself?   would your future self want you to change some things?
i think this is an awesome practice.   it gives us a chance to get out of the now that tends to swallow us up and think about what is important in the long run.

positive practice #20
this goes with #19.   remove yourself from yourself for a moment.   if your friend, family, child, anyone that you love, was going through what you are going through, what would you tell them?   we are often so much more protective of others than we are ourselves.   we will stand up for someone else when in the same situation we simply accept the situation.   i have begun asking myself what i would do for my child if the same thing happened to them, then i do it for myself.   if i don't stand up for me, how can i expect them to learn to stand up for themselves?   now, don't turn bullies on me, but do stand up for what you believe in.    obviously, use tact,  politeness, and kindness.   of course, pick your battles, (that's another practice).   basically, just be the hero for yourself, that you would be for others.

positive practice # 21 

pick your battles.  my grandmother always says this.   pick your battles.   its a common discussion at our house.   some days there is a skirmish over everything and every action.   it gets a bit much sometimes.   there are going to be days like that in everyone's life unless you just don't have to see or hear or deal with other people at all.   it's just what happens in any and all relationships.   the disagreements are great and small, petty and important but the reminder is always the same, "is this important?   is it worth your time and energy?   is it going to change anything?   is it causing more contention than it is solving problems?   is there a better way to go about this?"   sometimes it helps, and sometimes, not so much.   we are still practicing here as well.
when up against anything, pick your battles.  here's another situation, i like the example of thomas jefferson.   he wanted to do a lot of things for the country.   one was public schools, another was to abolish slavery.   if he tried to abolish slavery, all other causes would be sacrificed because no one would listen to him any more.   so, he chose to let slavery go and work on the things that he had a chance of actually accomplishing, free public education.   do what you can, it will come

positive practice #22

a dear friend of mine was always quoting his father, "you can't call yourselves friends, unless you've really had a good fight and come out friends on the other side."  it reminds me that we are going to disagree, just gonna happen, it really is ok.   refer back to #'s 5 - 9.

positive practice #23
let go - there is a story about monkey traps.   the story goes that hunters put something the monkeys like to eat in a box/coconut with a small hole in it.   the box is then attached to the ground.   when the monkeys put their hand inside to grab the food, it goes in ok.   but when they try to pull out their hand with the food grasped in their fist, it will no longer fit through the hole.  if the monkey would let go of the food, the hand would slip back out, but they won't.   so the hunters can simply pick them up in sacks without a problem.   common positive thinking example because it does a good job illustrating the power of letting go.

so . . . let go . . .let go of control, sadness, anger, baggage, grudges, hurt feelings, negative thinking, hatred, unhealthy attitudes, addictions, revenge  . . . all things that do not help you, that hold you down, that make you feel less that you are. . . let go.

positive practice #24

walk in another's shoes - a.k.a. - empathy.
this is not only useful for understanding someone else's problems.   i use it mostly to remind myself that although someone might really annoy me, i really annoy someone else.   as wonderful as i am, i annoy someone.   just the way it is.   do i want them to be irritable with me?   do i want them to get angry with me?  do i want them to be rude, mean, tell me off?  not especially.   i appreciate patience, kindness, and, i appreciate empathy.   so, i try to have and be what i hope for in others, no matter what i get in return, i'm doing my part, and that's all i can do.

i have been thinking about that first break in practices, when a friend asked me about my confidence.   i answered that i had an awesome mom but as i have thought about it, i realize that is only part of the story.   i have always believed that you can't blame your parents for what is wrong with you.   no matter what, you make your own choices.   example - gavin debecker (author and owner of successful protection agency) wrote about an experience he had speaking in a prison.    he told them about his childhood, mother going from one abusive boyfriend to another until she got fed up and killed one of her abusers unknowingly in front of her son.   one of the prisoners rose and said, "you just told my life story.   why are you up there and i'm in here?"   Gavin responded, "choices".     so, although i have a wonderful mother that gave me an amazing start, the rest is choice.   what has guided those choices though.   that has really been rolling around my brain for the last few weeks.   i come to another story that i will shorten.   two farmers, one with straight rows in his field, the other not so much.   one asks the other about it and is told that he should choose something in the distance and use it as a guide.   the rows are worse than ever.   they talk again and the farmer says he did what he was told but the cow kept moving.   ok, choose your "thing in the distance" wisely.    (see- plowing straight  for the whole story).   

i contemplated all of this and came to these questions for you: who are you?   where are you going?   i don't mean tomorrow  or even next week, month, or year.  i mean long term.   i mean end story.   what are you aiming for?  i f you don't know, it's hard to direct the choices of today.  or, to quote the cheshire cat - 
"would you please tell me, which way i ought to go from here?"
"that depends a good deal on where you want to go"
"i don't much care where-"
"then it doesn't matter which way you go" 

positive practice #25
scream!   wait, not yet, hear me out first.   i don't mean scream at, just scream out.   we all have those days, i'm having one of those days.   i have not actually had the time to scream yet but in my head i have really been letting it loose for several hours now.   
to review- screaming at = negative, non-productive, and just not nice.
screaming out = positive verbal release of frustration that if kept in might lead to jail time

malala day at the un was today.   she had a lot of wonderful things to say that really impressed me.   i will be sharing a few of them as i can.   
"The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in life, except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died.
"Strength, power, and courage was born."
Malala Yousafzai

when you feed the positive, you starve the negative. let the negative die and nourish the positive to take it's place. we don't have to have a major trial to trigger change. don't wait for a trial to trigger change. trigger your own change. take things into your own hands. be your own power.

event finished, we had a lot of great people come and great feedback from it!   so - here is the group site for fb.   come join us in the + fest!
also, i have stopped updating this post and put everything on a page -