The Paradox of Positive Thinking

positive thinking

It’s everywhere, isn’t it? The power of positive thinking.

It will solve all of our problems, it seems to say. We are told to, “Look on the bright side,” “Think positively,” “Cultivate gratitude,”…

While these can be helpful to help us correct gross imbalances of negativity, it isn’t actually the whole answer to a life well-lived.  Continue reading

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Proactive Positivity: Make your 2017 ‘Goodie Jar’

Well, I went ahead and did it: I made a “Goodie Jar” for 2017.

You see all these great ideas floating around the internet around the New Year in order to inspire gratitude and positivity for the next 12 months. Most reshare these ideas on Facebook and they recirculate a few times around your social circle, and then everyone forgets about it. Well, most of them do. I am usually one of them.

Like a jar to store bits of paper you write about happy, good things that happened over the year to dump out and read some New Year’s eve next year.

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Like this one I found floating around Google.

Initially, though it was a cute idea, I scoffed.

“I don’t need a jar to help remind me to be grateful and positive and happy with my life,” I shrugged.

But yet, something about it appealed to me. It’s a project that I can work on and make beautiful throughout the year. Plus, I love glass mason jars and writing. I already have about five mason jars in a variety of sizes full of stuff from seeds, to seashells to dried flower arrangements on my shelves.

Inspired, I rummaged through our pantry for a good sized mason jar to start with. Perhaps eventually I will change to a prettier, more elaborate one. Maybe I might run out of room for happy colored strips of paper and need a bigger jar. Who knows!

For now, it’s as simple as it gets: A plain piece of white paper to label it, and small pieces of paper cut up just large enough to write a brief thought or event.

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Believe it or not, this positivity thing is actually quite addicting.

I only just started today, but I’ve found four somethings that made me happy in the last four days. I could actually come up with more. But let’s give me something to do for the next 360 days!

Want to start your own?

Let’s do it! Remember, this is for you. Your eyes only. It doesn’t have to be pretty or fancy. It doesn’t even have to be a jar. Use whatever receptacle you think will work! Coffee can, colored vase, an old teapot you don’t use.

Google “memory jars” or try Pinterest and get ideas. I still plan on adding some crochet to crown mine, and perhaps some appliques to decorate the jar. Not only will I fill the jar, but I will make this jar my own over the next 12 months.

Also, be sure to place it somewhere you will see everyday to remember to add to it. I have mine next to where I charge my cell phone every night.

Then, cut up small bits of paper, large enough to write on and fold it for the jar. Personally, I write two pieces of paper a day: Something good that happened to me, and one thing that I are grateful for each day. I even write the date, but I am a hardcore chronicler. You may decide you don’t want to. Also, don’t feel like you have to be stingy with adding to the jar, either. If you had several good things happen to you or find more than one thing to express gratitude for that day, go for it! It’s your goodie jar.

You may decide to have different color paper every day, or just one. You may want to write in a different language, use a calligraphy pen or a typewriter, or maybe print out a small picture instead of using words. Use your imagination and follow your heart.

Remember the more we train ourselves to focus on the positive each day, the more joy and abundance we will attract. Because what we truly focus on in life is what we drive toward on this journey.

May you truly have a Happy New Year in 2017.

Do you dread asking for help?

Asking for help for me is like the tongue-in-cheek stereotype of the man refusing to ask for directions.

I actually get why men do it. It is so much more gratifying for me to be able to complete a task or “mission impossible” on my own without outside intervention. To ask for help indicates that I’ve failed in some way.

At least that’s how it feels.

For example, one day my husband and I were waiting around for a sales associate at a hardware superstore to come and help us with an item. After a few minutes, it became painfully apparent that if I didn’t find a bathroom – it would not end well. Continue reading

Two life coaches walk into a bookstore…

book

For my husband and I, the bookstore is our sanctuary. It’s become a joke between us that when we decide to go to a Barnes & Noble, we’ll “close down the store.” Because it never fails – we’ll go in when it’s still daylight and somehow never make it back out before dark.

We have our favorite genres, of course. My husband will wander over to the art and graphic novel section, or peruse shelves populated with ancient literature. For me, I often find myself thumbing through cookbooks or the craft section.

There is one section, though, that my husband and I overlap: Self-Help. Continue reading

Can meditation reverse anxiety and low self-esteem?

meditate blog

Breathing can help prolong your life. Well, especially when you combine it with meditation.

In an age where we are constantly multi-tasking, plugged in, inundated with images, facts and emails and enduring constant over-stimulation, it’s no wonder we’re exhausted and a little frayed at the edges each day.

And when you have added stress, it can affect your body in many ways both physically and mentally. So whether you are going through a difficult time in your life or are struggling with an ongoing mental health issue, adopting mindfulness could be just what the doctor ordered.

Continue reading