People often ask me how I stay so positive all of the time.
My response is this: I am usually positive, but my positivity levels vary, so I work on myself. When I say that I work at it, I don't mean that I try to be positive, I am naturally positive, always have been, even in the most adverse of circumstances. I think I have always intuitively known that being positive is better for my mental health.
This doesn't mean to say that I haven't had lows in life - I have. They hit me hard because I found them so alien. I also struggled to acknowledge that as a positivity coach I could feel anything but positive. And because of this I went into denial and the more I denied how I felt, the worse it became. Not only that but the ego clicked in and the inner critic went on a rampage!
After another morning of waking up with no motivation or enthusiasm, I knew I had to change something. Here are some of the steps I took:
- Acknowledged how I was feeling.
- Allowed myself to feel how I was feeling, instead of ignoring it.
- Let go of the stories (thought processes) that I was running, that weren't helpful and that were creating obstacles and getting in the way of my creativity, flow and motivation.
- Made time for myself - introduce a daily routine that included me time . I chose things that I know make me feel great and got me out of the overthinking tendency.
- Put my attention and focus on the very exciting things that are unfolding around me.
- Learnt to be patient and kind to myself.
- Introduced a gratitude practice.
I pledged to create a daily practice of looking after myself which included and includes meditation, exercise, good diet, plenty of water and no alcohol. I also set the intention to attract more positive, like minded people into my life.
The results have been phenomenal. The teacher listening to and practicing what she preaches!!
Do I have days when I feel out of sorts? Yes, I do. Today I have been slightly off-kilter, but instead of wallowing in it,the difference now is that I tune in and listen to the signs. I check in so that I can fine tune my frequency (the way radios needed to be tweaked when you were out of the reception zone). I allow myself to acknowledge what I'm feeling, so that I can deal with whatever shows up.
If I need to I take time out, meditate, walk the dogs, do yoga, exercise or simply just sit and listen to some music. I give myself a chance to recharge, re-energise and re-connect.
I also make sure I slot times into the diary where I can do a lot of the things I enjoy outside of work, like photography, travel and adventure.
It's simple but not easy - it takes commitment to create new habits. Like most people, I am very busy and used to claim that I couldn't find the time for a meditation practice. There is a Zen proverb that says: You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you are too busy, and then you should sit for an hour. The loose translation for this proverb is: If something is easy for you work on it a little. If it is hard for you, work on it a lot.
For someone who found meditation almost impossible at first, I promise you it is possible and the benefits you will get are worth the initial effort. Start off with 2 mins, work up to 5 mins, then 10 mins and before you know it you'll be doing 20 mins before you get up in the morning and 20 mins before going to sleep at night.
I love the following from the book the 4 Agreements.
ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
Your best is going to change from moment to moment. It will be different when you are tired as opposed to well-rested. Under any circumstances, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.
By the way, I was tired this morning after working all weekend. I shall be addressing the imbalance by taking time out tomorrow.