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!
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.
2 thoughts on “A Bike, a Book, and an MP3 Player”
I’ve always thought of myself as being a positive person. Overall I think I still am. However, I have recently noticed I’m a bit more grumpy than usual. I appreciate your reminder of the importance of surrounding myself with positive images, words, and thoughts.
I think everyone is a little more on edge these days – but if you’re used to being in a good mood, it’s easier to notice. I think it’s also easier to correct. Thanks for reading and the feedback, Lynn!