Put Down the Crochet Hook and Put on Your Exercise Shoes, Dammit!

Benefit #17: Positivity Can Help Us Change Our Habits (Including Addictions)

Benefit #17: Positivity Can Help Us Change Our Habits (Including Addictions)

Although I have been blessed in that I’ve never had to deal with addiction to alcohol or drugs, I have endeavored to change or correct many bad habits over the years. From little things like making the bed every day to bigger things like developing a regular exercise routine and taking the right actions instead of procrastinating. I’ve had more success with the first two than the last one, although I am making progress on my lifelong procrastination habit.

One thing I know for sure is that Henry Ford (or whoever the author of this quote is) was correct when he said, “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” And belief boils down to our thoughts – which is where we immediately want to employ positivity. “I think I can, I think I can,” has literally worked for me dozens of times. I can only imagine if instead I had said, “I can’t do this, I can’t do this” or “This will never, ever, ever work.”

Exercise outside of regular meetings with my trainer took a bit more effort. At first it was torture. I didn’t like to do it, so I dragged my feet, came up with really important things I had to do instead, got headaches, and found other reasons not to exercise. Once I decided it was important – and I was important enough to make it a priority – I started looking for ways to make it enjoyable. Instead of crocheting while watching TV, I got on the treadmill or the exercise bike. Then I remembered we have a beautiful walking path mere steps outside our back door and started doing the 2.5 mile round trip circuit a few times a week. I can’t speak to anyone else, but for me, it just takes a couple weeks to get into the swing again. Exercise no longer feels like punishment, and I look forward to it. Positivity comes into the picture when I meet resistance and, even though I know I’ll be glad I did it later, I don’t want to do it right now. (Remember the idea of “get to” instead of “have to” from Benefit #14?)

As far as ending my lifelong habit of procrastination, that’s more of a mindset thing that requires active attention and present-moment awareness. The biggest motivator for me is remembering that I am worthy of doing things on time instead of delaying, rushing, missing deadlines, having to make excuses, and/or feeling bad about it later. I find it necessary to try to find the delicate balance between making sure what needs to get done gets done and not beating myself up when it doesn’t. As I said, I’m still working on this one, but vastly improved since I really began paying attention to it a few years ago.

Though addictions were never my issue, they are my husband’s. He’s been sober for 18 months after a long addiction to alcohol, and it took a pretty serious episode to jar him into making the decision to quit drinking. One of the things that has helped him – and me – tremendously is our daily meditation practice. We start every day by taking turns stating our affirmations and gratitudes, followed by 15 minutes of silent meditation. The changes didn’t happen overnight, but day by day we became accustomed to a new way of being together, and now we look forward to this special time we share every day. My husband needed to actively seek positivity in order to start feeling worthy of having a life he enjoys without substances. Last week, he averaged 12,000 steps a day – having shifted his focus to feeling good through movement instead of beer.

I’m not suggesting that breaking bad habits or forming good new ones is easy – or that it’s simple to beat a lifelong addiction. Neither is any of this post meant as medical advice. If you need to seek help from a health professional or counselor, please be sure to do that. I do know from first-hand experience, however, that the likelihood of you achieving your goal of changing your habits will be much greater with a positive outlook than a negative one – even neutral is better than negative.

If you want to employ more positivity in your life so you can start making changes for the better, sign up today for the 30-Day Positivity Challenge. This complimentary 30-day series of exercises gives participants a variety of assignments conducive to feeling better, overall. According to inspirational speaker Abraham Hicks, “Few realize that they can control the way they feel and positively affect the things that come into their life experience by deliberately directing their thoughts.” Abraham Hicks says we accomplish this by simply “reach[ing] for a better feeling thought.”

The decision is yours: Create new habits and give yourself a new outlook – or keep on doing what you’ve always done. Of course, that means you’ll keep on getting the results you’ve always gotten.

JOIN THE 30-DAY POSITIVITY CHALLENGE TODAY!

#fairypositive #blogboost

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Laura Orsini is an author, speaker, consultant, publisher, and creator of Fairy Positive, an antidote to the worries of the world. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Risking It All on Art and Fairies

Benefit #16: Positivity Helps Us Take More Risks

I lived in the library as a kid, reading piles of books every year, particularly over the summer. My sister was the extrovert; I was the bookworm. It must have been junior high when I became fascinated with alphabets. I read less as I checked out book after book with all kinds of decorative fonts. My dad had access to that really wide, lined computer printer paper and brought it home for us to use as scrap paper. I would spend hours copying my name and other words in all of those glorious typefaces. I wish I still had even one of those sheets today, but thankfully, we didn’t save every piece of paper from all those years ago – and there was no way to know I’d like to keep these specific pages.

When it came time to go to college and choose a major, I went with the safe choice and majored in Creative Writing – nonfiction, to be specific. I’m not a big one for regrets, but I sometimes wish I’d have done something a little more interesting, like theatre set design or sociology. The thing is, I’ve used my major, starting with an editing business and then branching out to encompass the whole spectrum of self-publishing and marketing for indie authors. These are areas in which I am still extremely knowledgeable.

However, a little less than a year ago, I made the decision to give up my publishing work and move into something completely different for me: making art and building a community centered around positivity: Fairy Positive. Makes that 30-second networking commercial a bit more challenging, to be sure. It took me way too long to own up to the fact that I wasn’t doing my best work when I was in the self-created job I thought I should be in, based on my college degree and societal expectations. I am an excellent marketer and exceptional teacher. When it came to delivering work for clients, though, I dragged my feet and procrastinated like nobody’s business. It wasn’t fair to them – or to me. So it was actually an enormous relief to decide to let it go.

I’d toyed with this idea of shifting gears in the past, but every time a new prospective client would come along, I agreed to their project instead of passing on it to pursue other interests – and then the same old bad habits repeated themselves. This time around, I’ve said yes to the new work and no to the old. Interestingly, during the thick of my recovery from covid, five queries for editing/publishing work came across my email within a single week. And to each email, I replied, “Thanks, but no thanks. Here’s someone else who might be able to help you.” It was like the Universe was testing me to see if I was really serious this time.

Positivity made this change possible for me. Rather than worry about the money, the reception from others, whether I was actually good enough or had the right experience, I decided to follow my heart. Instead of worrying about what might go wrong, I shifted my perspective to focus on what might go right. I’m a pretty decent writer, but it’s pedestrian for me. I’m more technically proficient than creative, in spite of my degree. I love eloquent prose and poetry that grabs me by the collar and slams me up against a wall – I just don’t write those things.

While there is a need for my writing style and skill in helping authors, new and experienced, I found I wasn’t enjoying that work as much as I enjoy making art. Now, I’m actually putting to use all those hours I spent playing with fonts as a kid. I still write daily, as I blog and post collages with commentary to my various social platforms. I will always love teaching, which is why a part of the new path I am choosing will involve an element of coaching. So I’m keeping the parts of my old work that I enjoyed, and getting rid of the aspects that didn’t serve me or my clients.

Is this a risk for me and my family? You bet it is! Am I certain I’m doing the right thing? I couldn’t be more sure. Do I still have doubts? Of course, because I’m human. But I shut those doubts down with affirmations and the knowledge that I’m following my life’s true calling. Could I have done it if I’d let the doubts and fears and imposter syndrome prevail? Of course not. It is my positive self-perception, positive affirmations, and positive belief in what I’m creating that help override those negative detractors.

PositivityDaily offers the suggestion of “Manage How You Feel” as the third of three tips for improving one’s willingness to take risks. The post goes on to say:

Research in self-esteem shows that people who feel bad about themselves tend to avoid important actions and decisions. Helping them take action isn’t as easy as closing the gap between their perceived ability and the task at hand. Most times they know they are capable. But that’s just not enough. I lost count of the number of times I’ve sat across a client who says “I know I can do the job. But I don’t know what stops me from applying.” What’s stopping them is their emotions — and emotions and reason don’t speak the same language. If that feels true for you, you need to calm your emotions by being with yourself in compassion. No telling yourself what to do, or why it’s important. Just be. Everything else will follow.

If you’re tired of playing it safe and would like to become just a bit more of a risk-take, perhaps it’s time to increase your positivity quotient. If you’re ready to make positivity a priority, sign up today for the 30-Day Positivity Challenge. This complimentary 30-day series of exercises gives participants a variety of assignments conducive to feeling better, overall. According to inspirational speaker Abraham Hicks, “Few realize that they can control the way they feel and positively affect the things that come into their life experience by deliberately directing their thoughts.” Abraham Hicks says we accomplish this by simply “reach[ing] for a better feeling thought.”

The decision is yours: Take a risk on positivity so you can meet life head on, or keep playing small and safe, always wondering what might have been.

JOIN THE 30-DAY POSITIVITY CHALLENGE TODAY!

#fairypositive #blogboost

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Laura Orsini is an author, speaker, consultant, publisher, and creator of Fairy Positive, an antidote to the worries of the world. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

A Bike, a Book, and an MP3 Player

Benefit #15: Positivity Helps Us Bounce Back After Failure or Setback

Benefit #15: Positivity Helps Us Bounce Back After Failure or Setback

Sometimes when I think about the fact that I haven’t held an actual J-O-B since 2003, I am astonished. Granted, I was never raising a child – my dependents were always four legged and furry. But there did come a time in late 2008 when I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to buy gas or dog food. Then the car engine blew up – they do that if you don’t check and change the oil regularly – so the gas question became moot. Though I’ve always taken pride in my intellect, I haven’t always exercised common sense.

I was so thankful to my sister for helping me get through the dog food dilemma, but it was a short-term solution. I was still super low on money to pay basic bills like rent and utilities, and needed to do something to fix it. In the interim, I shuttered my business which was running on fumes anyway. Thankfully I had a bike in decent working shape, so I bicycled my way around town, seeking work from people I knew. It’s an incredibly humbling experience to ask people you know from $40-a-plate networking luncheons if they need any help around the office.

A gal I knew with a successful real estate business happened to find a need for my writing and editing skills and was willing to put me to work on an hourly basis. It was the closest thing to a regular job I’ve had in all these years. I can’t say I was thrilled with the work, but I was really grateful to have it.

During that time, I turned to positivity – in the form of the audio version of the movie The Secret – to get me through the challenges. I had the audio on my MP3 player and listened to it each day as I bicycled to and from the real estate office, a 13-mile round trip. I played it again and again and again. The primary message of The Secret has to do with the Law of Attraction – what you focus on you get more of. I began to see that I had let myself get into a very negative head space and needed to make a dramatic shift.

Right around the same time, I came upon a book at a used book store by Sandra Ann Taylor: Secrets of Attraction – The Universal Laws of Love, Sex, and Romance. Although the title indicates it’s a relationship book, the part I found most useful was about affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements we use to reinforce positive thinking – and, usually, to replace negative thoughts or programming that might intrude throughout the day. I wasn’t entirely new to the concept of affirmations, but the way Taylor explains them brought them down to earth and made them useful for me. One important thing she says is that affirmations won’t work if we don’t believe them. If you try to say “I am beautiful and worthy,” but your self-esteem is quite low and you don’t believe that, your intellectual brain will respond to that affirmation with a snide comment like, “Yeah, right. Sure you are.” So the negative thought cancels out the positive thought. To get around this stalemate, Taylor suggests using a softer affirmation like, “I am ready to believe I am beautiful and worthy” until you can actually claim beauty and self-worth directly.

I made a deck of about 120 affirmation cards and added images to each one. I had a little plastic box that had held crayons or colored pencils that was the perfect size to fit my deck of affirmation cards. I decorated it with all kinds of positive words and stickers. And the most important thing I did was read every last one of those affirmations out loud and recorded them on my MP3 player. I began alternating listening to The Secret and listening to my affirmation recording until I eventually shifted to listening only to the affirmations.

And my life began to turn around. I was able to end my work for my friend and start a new business, similar to the prior one, but more focused on the things I liked to do. I took over a Meetup for authors that grew from 72 people to nearly 2,000 by the time I gave it up last year. And, most importantly, I met my husband.

My setback turned out to be one of the most positive things that ever happened to me, but I couldn’t see it that way when I was in the middle of it. Nevertheless, I managed to pour positive words and images and ideas into my brain when I was in the middle of it – and it was that positivity that lifted me out of the drama and confusion. The same process will work for a person recovering from an injury or illness. I’ve been there, too. And when you’re out of commission due to injury or illness, it’s tempting to get angry or resentful – or to give up altogether. But the Universe always says yes. So if we focus on what we don’t have, we get more of that. If we focus on what we do have – the one thing that is going right, instead of the 99 things that are going wrong – we will get more of what we want.

Positivity will work to help you overcome virtually any challenge – if you let it. Are you ready to make positivity a priority? Then sign up today for the 30-Day Positivity Challenge. This complimentary 30-day series of exercises gives participants a variety of assignments conducive to feeling better, overall. According to inspirational speaker Abraham Hicks, “Few realize that they can control the way they feel and positively affect the things that come into their life experience by deliberately directing their thoughts.” Abraham Hicks says we accomplish this by simply “reach[ing] for a better feeling thought.”

The decision is yours: Finally release the old beliefs so you can overcome life’s challenges … or keep heading down that path to nowhere.

JOIN THE 30-DAY POSITIVITY CHALLENGE TODAY!

#fairypositive #blogboost

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Laura Orsini is an author, speaker, consultant, publisher, and creator of Fairy Positive, an antidote to the worries of the world. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

What if Changing One Word Could Help You Get Fit?

Benefit #14: Positivity Helps Us Embrace Exercise

Benefit #14: Positivity Helps Us Embrace Exercise

The first personal trainer I ever worked with was brilliant at getting results – for a certain type of client. Having been fat as a kid, he learned to exercise, shed the weight, and got his degree in kinesiology (the scientific study of human body movement). He became focused on health and started a personal training business where he worked primarily with elite athletes: Olympians and professionals in a variety of sports. I couldn’t have been further from any of them. But I was fairly young at the time (mid-30s) and willing to do the work. So I got results, too. But not without crying a few times because he pushed me so hard. Life changed, and I stopped working with him. I got married and regained all the weight I’d lost with him, and then some.

My husband and I are good together, but we were not a good influence on each other when it came to our eating and lack of exercise. What’s more, we suffered two huge back-to-back losses when his father passed away in December 2014, and a little more than a year-and-a-half later, my sister died, too. Between our bad eating and grief, we were on a dangerous path to heart disease and worse, and we knew it. Fortunately, I met another personal trainer, Miles Beccia of Mind Muscle Memory, and we began working with him. I was in my late 40s by then, and found out that with age comes a change in metabolism. I worked as hard as I had with my first trainer, but it was much more difficult to get back in shape the second time around.

One thing Miles did was adapt his training regimen to our needs. Thank goodness! I wondered at first why he started us on such light weights and simple routines – and kept us there for longer than I thought was necessary. But he knew what he was doing: helping us train our muscle memory to retain the routines. Hence the name of his company, Mind Muscle Memory. The idea was to train us not just to work with him, but to train us for life. So if we ever had a setback – can anyone say covid? – we could get back to our exercise routines without too much of a derailment. It’s been a little more than two months since I got sick, and I am almost back to full health. More than anything, I am ready to get back to exercising again. It’s not like I jumped out of bed eager to sweat and have my muscles burn, but I always felt better afterward – and I like the results.

There’s a really simple trick when it comes to mindset for the things we really aren’t all that excited to do. It has to do with changing ONE word. How different would it be, if instead of saying, “I have to work out in the morning” you were to say, “I get to work out in the morning”? Have to means viewing it as a chore; get to means viewing it as a privilege.

And it is a privilege to exercise because it means you’re healthy enough to move your body. It means you have prioritized your time to allow for exercise. It means you have the right clothes for working out. It may mean you have the money to join a gym or hire a trainer.

Get to is a positive perspective. Have to is less so. Positivity works in so many areas of our lives, including the will to exercise, nourish our bodies properly, drink enough water, and get enough sleep every day. A positive self-perspective enables us to view ourselves (including our physical bodies) as worth the effort.

Exercise has too many benefits to list here – but it does work reciprocally with positivity. The more positive you are, the more easily you will embrace exercise. And the more you exercise, the more positive you will feel.

If you really want to make positivity a priority, sign up today for the 30-Day Positivity Challenge. This complimentary 30-day series of tasks and exercises gives participants a variety of assignments conducive to feeling better, overall. According to inspirational speaker Abraham Hicks, “Few realize that they can control the way they feel and positively affect the things that come into their life experience by deliberately directing their thoughts.” Abraham Hicks says we accomplish this by simply “reach[ing] for a better feeling thought.”

The decision is yours: Use positivity to start moving your body today … or settle for whatever may come, healthwise.

JOIN THE 30-DAY POSITIVITY CHALLENGE TODAY!

#fairypositive #blogboost

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Laura Orsini is an author, speaker, consultant, publisher, and creator of Fairy Positive, an antidote to the worries of the world. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Laugh Your Way to Feeling Great

Benefit #13: Positivity Increases Our Energy Level

Benefit #13: Positivity Increases Our Energy Level

I’ve been mostly housebound since early December when I was released from the hospital after a serious-but-not-severe bout of covid. The covid and pneumonia are long gone, but it’s taken quite a while to regain my energy and stamina. Friends asked what was the first thing I was looking forward to doing once I was off the supplemental oxygen. “Walk the dog on the greenbelt!” was my answer. And so I did, and it was glorious. Then I made my first solo foray to the grocery store, the craft store, and the thrift shop. Those were also momentous occasions.

During the whole recuperating process, I’ve focused on paying strict attention to what I pay attention to. That is, what I read, what I listen to, and what I watch. I used to watch a lot of British and Australian cop dramas and murder mysteries – particularly late at night while I was working on art collages. While I will always find those fascinating, I’ve cut back on them considerably, as it seems more positive viewing material was in my best interest. So I switched over to more comedic shows, like stand-up comedy concerts and funny movies. If you want to experience side-splitting laughter, watch Wayne Brady on the contemporary version of Whose Line Is It Anyway, hosted by Drew Carey. And definitely look for Ryan George on YouTube. Every time I laugh, I think to myself, This laughter is healing me!

Laughter is also really useful for diffusing stress. And reducing stress is one of the best ways to increase your energy – so it comes full circle. The more I laugh, the more I increase my energy.

Other ways to increase your energy level include:

  • Get out from under the overwhelm, which really comes back to reducing stress. How can you offload some of the many, many things that keep you busy on any given day?
  • Get some [more] exercise. (We’ll talk more about this in the next post.)
  • Avoid addictive things like smoking and alcohol.
  • Eat green leafy veggies every day and avoid refined starches (bread, pasta, cane sugar, etc.).
  • Drink enough water (half your weight in ounces).
  • Get enough sleep, but not too much.

What’s the common denominator among all these suggestions? All are positive behaviors! And the more positive an outlook you have toward them, the easier they will be to implement.

There are myriad ways to use positivity to increase your energy. If you really want to make positivity a priority, sign up today for the 30-Day Positivity Challenge. This complimentary 30-day series of exercises gives participants a variety of assignments conducive to feeling better, overall. According to inspirational speaker Abraham Hicks, “Few realize that they can control the way they feel and positively affect the things that come into their life experience by deliberately directing their thoughts.” Abraham Hicks says we accomplish this by simply “reach[ing] for a better feeling thought.”

The decision is yours: Use positivity to increase your energy or remain a couch slug?

JOIN THE 30-DAY POSITIVITY CHALLENGE TODAY!

#fairypositive #blogboost

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Laura Orsini is an author, speaker, consultant, publisher, and creator of Fairy Positive, an antidote to the worries of the world. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Could You Sleep Through a Tornado?

Benefit #12: Positivity Improves Our Sleep

Benefit #12: Positivity Improves Our Sleep

My sister Corina and I were maybe 10 and 12 when we were with my mom in the Detroit area for a funeral/family reunion. Mom’s wacky family never held one without the other, replete with the requisite fisticuffs and someone leaving in a police car. One particular visit, we were there during tornado season. Having grown up in Phoenix, we were utterly unfamiliar with tornadoes or tornado warnings. Corina, our mom, and I were sleeping in one of our cousin’s rooms – and the window was cracked maybe an inch. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the wind blew so fiercely that everything on the dresser flew off and crashed to the floor. Talk about a way to wake up out of a sound sleep.

This was quickly followed by a shrill siren shrieking across the once-silent night. My cousin Tony ran into the room and ushered all of us downstairs to the basement to wait for the danger to pass. We were all gathered there, my mom and I and all of our cousins, when Tony’s mom asked, “Where’s Corina?” My little sister had slept through all of it – the crashing dresser items, the tornado siren, and Tony yelling at us to get downstairs. He ran back upstairs and carried her down, rubbing her eyes as she attempted to comprehend what was happening. Talk about sleeping soundly!

I always slept well until I moved to the New York Tri-State Area in my mid-20s. Sirens and gunshots became the norm, and sleeping through the night became a thing of the past. Up until very recently, I did not have a lot of respect for my sleep needs. I have always been a night owl, but I would stay up till nearly dawn and often did not get nearly enough sleep. Adults are supposed to get from seven to nine hours, optimally. I was lucky to get between five and six hours of sleep a night.

Then I got covid, and I had no choice but to sleep and sleep and sleep. And now, I get eight or nine hours of sleep most days, even if some of it comes in the form of naps. One of the greatest gifts of that illness – yes, gifts – is that I will never again take my sleep for granted.

Good sleep is crucial to good health. Many sleep issues are tied to stress and worries. If you want to sleep better, one way might just be by increasing your positivity quotient. A positive outlook can transform worry into hope and action, thereby reducing your stress level. The less stressed you are, the more relaxed you become – and the better you are likely to sleep.

Steps to Improve Your Sleep

(1) Make your bedroom your sanctuary. Keep it clean and uncluttered; choose bedding you love.

(2) Get rid of the TV! And avoid devices of any kind for the hour before you go to bed.

(3) As much as possible, go to sleep and get up at the same time every day.

(4) Keep a gratitude journal you write in before bed.

(5) Have an affirmation or two ready to replace any persistent worrisome thoughts.

There are myriad ways to increase your positivity and reduce your stress. If you really want to make positivity a priority, sign up today for the 30-Day Positivity Challenge. This complimentary 30-day series of exercises gives participants a variety of assignments conducive to feeling better, overall. According to inspirational speaker Abraham Hicks, “Few realize that they can control the way they feel and positively affect the things that come into their life experience by deliberately directing their thoughts.” Abraham Hicks says we accomplish this by simply “reach[ing] for a better feeling thought.”

The decision is yours: Sleep through the night or keep tossing and turning?

JOIN THE 30-DAY POSITIVITY CHALLENGE TODAY!

#fairypositive #blogboost

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Laura Orsini is an author, speaker, consultant, publisher, and creator of Fairy Positive, an antidote to the worries of the world. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Isn’t It Time You Liked Yourself More?

Benefit #11: Positivity Increases Our Self-Esteem

Benefit #11: Positivity Increases Our Self-Esteem

A positive outlook naturally leads to positive behaviors – things like problem-solving, good relationship skills, realistic but challenging goal-setting, and good self-care. And with positive actions come positive thoughts, most of which revolve around ourselves. If you subscribe to conventional wisdom, as many as 80 percent of the 5,000 to 12,000 thoughts we have per day are negative for the average person. Meaning most of us could use to incorporate at least a bit more positivity into our lives, wouldn’t you say?

If we could learn to translate the blaming, shaming, and complaining so many of us habitually do into positive thoughts, we would be a great deal happier and more contented, even if our current situation leaves room for improvement. So much of this starts with our self-talk – literally, how we speak to ourselves.

I’ve had a Pinterest account for some years, though I don’t really use it nearly as much as I could. Recently, I posted a “Pinterest story” that got more views than all my other posts combined. It was this:

We have to start treating ourselves at least as well as we treat our dogs!

This little collage (one image divided into two parts) received 12,000 impressions; 117 pin clicks; and 52 saves. My next closest board (a collection of nearly 300 images) received a total of 441 impressions. Why do you think this image resonated so much with people? Because it’s good art? Maybe. Because it’s clever and funny? Perhaps. I’m betting it’s a combination of those things and the fact that so many people can relate to it. We have to start treating ourselves at least as well as we treat our dogs!

If our self-beliefs come from the stories we heard as children or from partners or bosses or pseudo-friends and they’re on the negative side, the time to start changing things is now. And the way we do that is by giving our minds something else to believe. Improve your actions so that you have behaviors to take pride in. Improve your self-talk by creating affirmations to take the place of the lousy things you’ve been repeating to ourselves (the alleged 80 percent of our thoughts). Improve your self-belief by looking yourself in the mirror and saying something positive about yourself again and again until you believe it – or at least entertain the possibility that it’s true.

If you really want to make strides toward liking yourself more by creating more positivity in your life, sign up today for the 30-Day Positivity Challenge. This complimentary 30-day series of exercises gives participants a variety of assignments conducive to feeling better, overall. According to inspirational speaker Abraham Hicks, “Few realize that they can control the way they feel and positively affect the things that come into their life experience by deliberately directing their thoughts.” Abraham Hicks says we accomplish this by simply “reach[ing] for a better feeling thought.”

The decision is yours: Will you choose positivity?

JOIN THE 30-DAY POSITIVITY CHALLENGE TODAY!

#fairypositive #blogboost

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Laura Orsini is an author, speaker, consultant, publisher, and creator of Fairy Positive, an antidote to the worries of the world. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Are You an Open Door?

Benefit #10: Positivity Enhances Our Spiritual/Faith Life

Benefit #10: Positivity Enhances Our Spiritual/Faith Live

A key difference between positivity and negativity is that positivity tends toward expansiveness – relationships to others, wanting more out of life, emotions like joy and happiness. Do an image search for “happiness,” and what picture comes up again and again? People with their arms outstretched – expanding outward. Negativity, on the other hand, lends itself to a more closed perspective. I can’t. I don’t want to. I tried, but… All of those are reasons and ways to narrow opportunities and cut off access to the world.

Are you an open door or have you got a big CLOSED sign bolted across your chest?

Like positivity, the word “spirituality” tends to conjure positive responses and emotions: things like love, hope, joy, forgiveness, compassion, trust, gratitude, and awe. Please note, we are making a distinction here between spirituality and religion. Spirituality encompasses everything from attending services to prayer, meditation, yoga, nature walks, retreats, journaling, and more.

If you are looking to bring more positivity into your life, embracing a spiritual practice may be one way to do so. Likewise, if you are looking to increase your spiritual connection, investing in the pursuit of positivity may open the doors to those possibilities. The two concepts are seemingly interconnected.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any time, now, you may notice an overlap in themes from time to time. That’s hard to avoid when all roads lead to positivity. One theme I will touch on again is the caution that spirituality can lead to what is known as toxic positivity – when it encourages the belief that being a positive (or, in this case spiritual) person means you will never or should never experience anything negative. Or you should feel guilty if you do. That is complete horseshit.

We are humans here on Planet Earth. Have you been out in public lately? Yes, of course you will encounter a negative situation from time to time. The difference is that a positive person will experience the event, perhaps analyze it, maybe learn something from it, release it, and go on with their life. The negative person will feel they did something to deserve it, take it as proof the world is out to get them, pile it on top of all the other things that are going wrong, obsess over it, and/or let it lead to a downward spiral of further negativity.

Embracing more positivity can improve your spiritual journey in a number of ways.

  1. You will be more inclined to embrace the spiritual path and/or to find spiritual teachings and exercises interesting and helpful. If you’re not engaged, there’s really no reason to bother, is there?
  2. A positive outlook tends to increase our self-love and improve the way we view ourselves. Feeling better about ourselves often makes us more willing to reach out to others in an effort to connect. One nice way to make those connections is with people who have a similar spiritual pursuit or perspective.
  3. Seeking positivity may open you to the possibility of deeper self-awareness, often found through spiritual practices.
  4. A great way to become more positive is by giving back – volunteering, pitching in, making yourself useful to another in some way. Spiritual communities may be good places to find such opportunities.
  5. If your quest for positivity comes in conjunction with wanting to make a bigger shift in life, counseling or help from an objective third party may be an option for you. Perhaps a spiritual teacher or guide would be able to help you find answers or the direction you’re seeking.

How open are you to saying yes to more positivity? If you are serious about increasing your positivity threshold, you’ll want to sign up today for the 30-Day Positivity Challenge. This complimentary 30-day series of exercises gives participants a variety of assignments conducive to feeling better, overall. According to inspirational speaker Abraham Hicks, “Few realize that they can control the way they feel and positively affect the things that come into their life experience by deliberately directing their thoughts.” Abraham Hicks says we accomplish this by simply “reach[ing] for a better feeling thought.”

The decision is yours: Will you choose positivity?

JOIN THE 30-DAY POSITIVITY CHALLENGE TODAY!

#FairyPositive #BlogBoost

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Laura Orsini is an author, speaker, consultant, publisher, and creator of Fairy Positive, an antidote to the worries of the world. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

You Can’t Take It with You

Benefit #9: Positivity Reduces Materialism

With the popularity of Maria Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and the tiny house phenomenon that seems to be sweeping every decorating and DIY channel, it would seem we are in the midst of a movement to downsize, declutter, and minimize. As much as I appreciate the reasons and sensibility of doing so, I am not necessarily on board with this movement. Decluttering, yes – but living as a minimalist? No. I like my space. I have a plethora of art supplies – perhaps half of which I could do without, but all of which I use at some point during any three-month period.

My husband and I live with our dog and cat in a nice-sized house for a couple – unless he’s rehearsing with his electric guitar and I am trying to nap. Then, it feels the size of a refrigerator box when I need a box that would hold a 747.

While the collecting of stuff is an aspect of materialism, we more broadly think of materialism as a disinterest in spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values in favor of a preoccupation with physical objects, comforts, and considerations. A materialistic person likes things more than ideas, values stuff more than relationships. Seems a bit shallow, but we’re all different – that’s what makes life interesting.

ScientificAmerica reported in 2014 that the longest study ever conducted on materialism found that becoming less materialistic leads to greater contentment in life. A major disadvantage of materialism is that focusing all your attention on acquiring more things means you lose sight of the everyday pleasures that will actually give you fulfillment and satisfaction. Chasing the things money can buy is a revolving door to ever wanting more.

The reasons materialism is unfulfilling are many. I heard a quote many years ago that went something like “If your goal in life is money, power, or fame, you’ll never be sated and you will forever be seeking more of them.” Materialism is pretty much all those things wrapped up one big ball. The more you chase the ball, the farther you have to run.

Then there’s the matter of the anticipation of acquiring the fancy car or big house being more satisfying than actually having the fancy car or big house. What do you do when you get the thing you’ve always wanted and you still don’t feel very good or like yourself very much?

Seeking material things to fulfill our lives is an empty promise because we can’t create relationships with things, and relationships are ultimately what make us happy and give our lives purpose. The more positive you are in life – and less materialistic – the greater the chances you have strong relationships, and vice-versa. An unfortunate number of people don’t realize this until they’ve lost the relationship, due to death, divorce, or deliberate distancing.

None of this is to say that having nice things is bad, especially if they make you feel good. But authentically good, not keeping up with the Joneses good. I would never encourage anyone to feel guilty for driving an expensive car or taking pride because they have a magazine-cover home. If having those things is your end goal, however, you might have some room to bring more positivity into your life.

If it appeals to you, you can start today to become less materialistic. Begin by emphasizing experiences over possessions. Take a day trip with your partner or a friend that doesn’t involve shopping. Be present and involved in the conversation. Listen, without thinking what you will say next.

Another thing you can do is to limit your TV and social media time. All those ads and beautiful Instagram pics are designed to make you envious and feel like you need to compete or keep up. Take the time you’re away from your screen to explore your passions and interests. What have you always wanted to do or learn? Now is the perfect time to sign up for a class or plan an outing.

Lastly, even if your stuff is in neat piles, you might have clutter. So think about cutting some of your possessions loose. If you don’t use them, they don’t give you authentic pleasure, or you bought them out of spite or envy, perhaps rehoming them and creating breathing space would be a bigger benefit than holding onto them.

If you really want to make strides toward bringing more authentic positivity into your life, sign up today for the 30-Day Positivity Challenge. This complimentary 30-day series of exercises gives participants a variety of assignments conducive to feeling better, overall. According to inspirational speaker Abraham Hicks, “Few realize that they can control the way they feel and positively affect the things that come into their life experience by deliberately directing their thoughts.” Abraham Hicks says we accomplish this by simply “reach[ing] for a better feeling thought.”

The decision is yours: Will you choose positivity?

JOIN THE 30-DAY POSITIVITY CHALLENGE TODAY!

#fairypositive #blogboost

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Laura Orsini is an author, speaker, consultant, publisher, and creator of Fairy Positive, an antidote to the worries of the world. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Don’t Be Like the Douschy Clerk

Benefit #8:
Positivity Makes Us Kinder and More Helpful

Benefit #8 Positivity Makes Us Kinder and More Helpful

One day, out of the blue, an unanswerable question popped into my head. If we could put all of the disposable straws and straw wrappers used throughout the world in a single day into one big pile, how big would it be? I’m not talking cups or plates or utensils – just straws. Several sites I checked claim the U.S. alone uses 500 million straws a day – with a population of 333 million, I find that statistic questionable, but cut it by half and then add the rest of the world, and we’re talking a MOUNTAIN of straws.

That – and seeing a wall of used plastic bags during a friend’s presentation about reducing our reliance on single-use bags at Toastmasters sometime in 2003 or 2004 – led me on a path to care a lot about sustainability. To be sure, my efforts are minimal, compared to what needs doing to be sure our planet is hospitable for the rest of my son’s life, and his children’s and grandchildren’s after him. But I make those efforts every day. I finally got my husband in the habit of grabbing a canvas grocery bag every time he heads out to the store. We recycle everything that’s recyclable. I shop thrift stores regularly less to save money than because there’s a good chance the trash can or dog leash I need are waiting there for me, which means I don’t need to create demand for brand new ones.

So I took my reusable canvas bag to a store recently, and the clerk sneered when he saw it: “Hah – you think your using that is gonna make a bit of difference? It won’t. Why even bother?”

Was he right? Well, yes. By itself, my saving one or two plastic bags from going out into the world isn’t going to make a difference – it’s going to take a global effort. That’s not the point. Was he kind? No, he wasn’t. If I were as sensitive as some people I know, his comment could certainly have ruined my shopping experience, maybe even ruined my day. So why did he do it? I may never see that guy again, but my sense of him the way he said it was that he took pleasure in trying to make me feel uncomfortable.

What kind of person does that? Someone who’s not leaning to the full side of the tank when it comes to positivity, to be sure.

Interestingly, there is an inexplicable link between kindness and positivity – and it works in both directions. The kinder people are, the more positive they tend to be. And the more positive they are, the kinder they are, in general. An article on Happify.com notes that “A happy person is a helpful person. When you’re in a positive emotional state, you’re better able to help others in need—family, friends, and even strangers—and better able to make a difference in the world.”

Though the research is vague (to me), another article from Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine details a study showing that doing kind things for others generally increased participants’ level of happiness.

This isn’t meant to shame anyone who tends toward the negative side. It’s simply to shine some light on the link between kindness and positivity. If you can relate to the clerk at the beginning of this post and think you might want to try a little kindness instead, you can start today. Begin by finding someone to thank – authentically – and do it. Let someone know they brightened your day. Offer a kind word to a person others might not even notice. Simply holding the door open for someone or offering to carry a bag of groceries can be all it takes to make them – and you – smile.

Secondly, try to surround yourself with more positive people. There’s a truism that says we are the composite of the five people with whom we spend the most time. Maybe it’s time to take an inventory of your inner circle.

If you really want to make strides toward bringing more authentic positivity into your life, sign up today for the 30-Day Positivity Challenge. This complimentary 30-day series of exercises gives participants a variety of assignments conducive to feeling better, overall. According to inspirational speaker Abraham Hicks, “Few realize that they can control the way they feel and positively affect the things that come into their life experience by deliberately directing their thoughts.” Abraham Hicks says we accomplish this by simply “reach[ing] for a better feeling thought.”

The decision is yours: Will you choose positivity?

JOIN THE 30-DAY POSITIVITY CHALLENGE TODAY!

#fairypositive #blogboost

_____________
Laura Orsini is an author, speaker, consultant, publisher, and creator of Fairy Positive, an antidote to the worries of the world. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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