being okay, with being okay.

gratitude, happiness, higher power, podcasts, Positive Thinking, quotes

girlfield

“The happiest of people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything they have.”

BOOM. This powerful phrase just knocked me on my ass. I was driving home and I saw it on the church marquee near my house. I don’t practice any set religion but I have a higher power, a God of my understanding and he/she/it likes to slap profound messages in my face. And I love it. Considering I just had a major discussion with my significant other on this topic two days ago, I don’t think this marquee message is purely coincidence.

I have really been struggling lately with my happiness. For someone who believes that happiness is a choice, you might think that I would or should be happy all of the time. Or that it might be easy for me to change my feelings around and instantly be happy. I know I think that. Maybe that’s my problem. I beat myself up when I am anything but happy. The truth of the matter is that I need to be okay, with being okay. That’s hard for me. I am such an all or nothing person, so even keel doesn’t make much sense to me. At the end of the day if I’m not happy, I’m sad. But I’m not even really sad. I know deep sadness, and this isn’t it. So what am I? I’m just okay. I’m going through the motions. For some reason that is not okay with me.

Some people say to practice gratitude when you feel the way I’m feeling. It’s not that I am ungrateful. I have gratitude every single day when I open my eyes. I should not be alive. But I am. I’m grateful to have a roof over my head, fur babies that I adore, my sobriety, an amazing relationship that I’ve waited 13 years for, a hot shower every morning, food to eat, a bed to sleep in, a job to provide me with income, a car to get me to that job, best friends from home, best friends from this new city, best friends in different parts of the country and the world, family members that are there for me no matter what, and the list goes on.

If I’m being honest with myself, I haven’t felt much fulfillment lately. I’m happiest when I’m creating and helping others. Every few years my creativity comes bursting out of me, and I let it out briefly, then I stuff it back inside, and resume my daily routine. I’ve recently started listening to podcasts created by these extremely talented and fierce women. They talk about pursuing their dreams, and going after what makes them happy but also making a living out of these dreams. It really is awe inspiring to listen to their stories. However, this yearning for what they have and not being there yet myself, I believe, is the contributing factor to my not being okay with being okay. Truth is, none of these stories start out with instant success. There is typically a struggle. Always some barrier to over come. Without the struggle how can we appreciate success? They all started somewhere. This is my starting point.

New mantra: I embrace the beginning, I’m okay with where I’m at. I also have a new goal towards leading a more positive life: being okay, with being okay. What’s one of your goals that you’re working on?

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guest of the week

gratitude, Guest Blogger, Kindness, Love, Positive Thinking

FB_IMG_1538000857777.jpg

I went to my dear friend Annie with an idea for a blog. This idea. Positive Aggressive. She was 110% on-board and supported and cheered me on. I went to her because I value her opinion and I knew that she would give me honest feedback. Not only did she give me that, but she gave me an amazing idea. Guest bloggers. I am the type of person that is interested in anyone’s story. I love to hear about people’s lives, it fascinates me. Yesterday at work I practically hounded this woman who was born and raised in Fiji to tell me about her experience and her family. It was quite incredible. So naturally I approached Annie to be my first guest writer and I couldn’t have chosen better. She is a talented writer and a passionate human being. I loved reading what she had to share and I know you will too! And no, I did not pay her to say these kind things about me. Annie really is the kind of soul that sees the best in everybody and has a huge, loving heart.

Hi y’all!

I’m Annie, a dreamer/doer/lover of all things broken and beautiful. When my sweet friend Sarah asked me to contribute something to her new (and fabulous, if I do say so myself) blog I was honored. I wasn’t sure what I’d write about, so I thought I’d leave it up to the power of prayer and meditation.

I had a crazy work week, which is a constant and re-occurring theme in my life. So,on this lovely fall Saturday, my plan includes a guilt-free relaxing morning on the couch (with no bra or pants on, mind you) with edible cookie dough and season five of Grey’s Anatomy. And in the middle of a Christina and Meredith dance off moment,my “prayer and meditation” paid off: I had my topic.

I thought I’d write about friends: beautiful, loving, compassionate, soul connecting friends and the gratitude I feel when I speak their names. The friends that give you warm and fuzzy feelings when they cross your mind, even after days, months or years since you’ve seen or spoken to them last. Thoughts of my sweet friend Sarah have those effects on me. I knew from the moment I met her that I’d met a woman who would serve a greater purpose in my life. Sarah and I share a pain that only some young adults feel: the pain of losing a parent too young. It’s the club that no one wants to be in, but once you’re in you feel thankful to be among like-minded company. There is large, gaping hole in my soul that aches when I have thoughts of the sweet father who passed six years ago, this part of my soul understands the part of Sarah’s soul that aches, too. We exchange empathy for one another in such a way that God’s fingerprints can only explain. We have a common bond, a connection that only those who have similar experiences can understand. I wonder if you get it, too? I’m sorry if you, as our reader, are a member of our club. But if you are, please know you are not alone and your pain is our pain, too.

Throughout my life, I have been given the privilege to live and love in many different parts of our country. I can list off hundreds of humans that I’ve crossed paths with that have left footprints on my soul. Let me tell you about a few: There’s Amber, we met in Florida in 2009. She is “my person.” I haven’t actually spoken to her in about six months. But, every time our busy lives allow for us to connect, we re-ignite our flame. She’s a wife, a mom of two and a friend who lives by spiritual principles, connecting to other women around her, changing lives. We are both in the business of passionately serving God’s kids. When we first met, at particularly low spots in our own lives, our internal desperation allowed for us to form a bond that holds tight through the years and the miles between us. She’s also apart of the club, another side that reflects our level connectivity. I am eternally grateful that the powers of our universe brought us together almost ten years ago. Amber and I pick up exactly where we left off. She is one of my soul sisters.

And Brent in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he regularly posts to social media about his father who suffers from the end stages of Alzheimer’s disease. I met Brent at random while attending a philanthropic gathering in August of 2015. When he and I hug, we embrace each other with one of those super tight and meaningful hugs; the good inside of me always has the ability to recognize the good inside of him. We formed an unbreakable bond in our first exchange and I am grateful to the Gods for his presence in my life. Now, when I read his words, I physically feel the love in my heart and the admiration I have for him. I often pray that his pain is softened and I believe that some days he can hear my prayers. I believe that when I speak Brent’s name, God nudges him and he smiles for a reason he may not be able to explain. I wonder sometimes how two people can be so connected internally but yet exist so far apart physically.

And my timeless firecracker, Emma. Emma is my BFF. We met in ninth grade where we fought over a boy in Mr. Langan’s first period history class. Out of all of the people I’ve met in my life, Emma is one that I know I’ll never get rid of. They say if you have a friendship that lasts more than twenty years, it’s likely to remain. I find peace knowing that I get to have Emma until the end of time. Her friendship is like coming home, it’s familiar and comfortable and natural. And, although she lives in Las Vegas and we only see each other once a year, we talk almost every day and she consistently proves to me that she knows me better than I know myself. I suppose that’s what two decades of love and tolerance can do to two people. She’s a mom to two beautiful children, a girlfriend to an amazing man, a daughter, a sister and a Green Bay Packers fan. My confidante. NHFL. Do you have a friend who means so much to you, in such a unique way that there aren’t really words to describe your feelings? That’s how I feel about my Emma.

I hope you find solace in reading about my friends. My people. My loves. And, I hope you find yourself thinking of yours, too. I hope you appreciate the people who bring joy to your life. I hope you feel gratitude in your heart for your people. To shift gears slightly, I want to mention how heavily of a believer I am in the power behind gratitude in action. Gratitude, just like love, should not only be felt but also enacted. Both words, when used correctly, can turn into beautiful actions. When I think of someone I love, or someone who’s presence in my life has meaning, I tell them. There have been many times over the months that I haven’t seen my friend Sarah that I randomly message her to let her know her worth in my life.

My suggestion to you is this: tell people you love them. It is impossible to overuse the words “I love you.” If you feel it, say it! My life has changed with every smile I’ve encountered, every hug I’ve felt and with every exchange of the language of our hearts. Pick up your phone, send the message. Dial the number you’ve been meaning to dial. Meet people, embrace your experiences and exchange love. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Fall in love with people. Find similarities instead of differences. Everything you do, do it with love.

Let Love Rule.

Annie, xo

driving through the weeds.

flowers, gratitude, Love, Positive Thinking

Weeds.PNG

This past weekend did not start out great. I won’t bore you with the major details but my boyfriend and I were heading out of town. Keith was chosen to be the best man at his best friend Brian’s wedding. I’ve grown to love Brian over these few years and his new bride Jess. They are perfect for each other. They were both there at the beginning of my journey with Keith, and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Now, I’ve mentioned before that positivity does not always come naturally to me. In fact, Friday was a day where my positive attitude was nowhere to be found. Nothing went our way early on and it was very upsetting. The morning started out with Keith leaning on me for support and me crying half way through the day leaning on him for support.

Expectations. They do it to me every single time. Just when I think I have the upper hand and I’m finally over expectations, WHAM! Life hands me another lesson. A lesson that teaches me that I am not done having unrealistic expectations. That I am only human and alas I must continue to learn. When you’re “in it” it’s hard to see the big picture, it’s hard to see past the eye of the storm.

It’s when you’ve made it through, that the magic really happens. The self reflection. On our 4 hour road trip, about half way, I blurted out to Keith “Yes today sucked, and nothing went our way, but Brian and Jess are getting married.” He said “You’re right”. In that moment we both understood the bigger picture. We were on our way to witness a sacred ceremony between two people who love each other. Yes, I am a hopeless romantic, and that is how I view a wedding. At the end of the day it really didn’t matter what went wrong.

We had a great night at the rehearsal dinner catching up with old friends, laughing until our sides hurt. The ceremony was stunning, I teared up as soon as I saw Jess walk out, she was breathtaking. The way Brian looked at her as she walked down the aisle was magical. The speeches were perfect, the music was on point and the food was tasty. Conversation was good and the dancing was much needed. It was a night to remember.

The drive home left room for more self reflection, I started to focus on gratitude. I thought about Friday before we left on our trip. I thought about my vulnerability and how grateful I am to be in a relationship where I can show that side of myself. I felt grateful that the shoe can be on the other foot and that Keith can be vulnerable with me. This wasn’t always the case for either of us in our previous relationships.

While thinking, and driving, I began to notice these yellow plants all over the side of the Pennsylvania highway. I couldn’t tell if they were flowers or weeds. I wondered how many people driving by thought the same thing. Did the majority of people think they were weeds and dismiss their beauty? I did, for a brief moment. Then the sun came out.

There’s something majestic about the sun breaking through the clouds. It lit up these beautiful plants and it made me realize just how much of our lives we think are weeds. For instance, when something doesn’t go the way we want it to. However, it’s when you stop and think about a situation or begin to see things differently, once you start to embrace and learn more about yourself, then you can see the flowers.

past & present collide

Love

Past Present And Future Signpost Showing Evolution Destiny Or Aging

I had something very interesting happen over the weekend. An experience that I’m still thinking about days after it happened.

I was at an NFL game, mainly because my boyfriend loves it, and we support what the other loves. Also, we were spending time with his family, whom I adore.

So, I posted a picture on social media and my ex boyfriend from 13 years ago messaged me, he was at the same game. Sitting in the section next to ours if you could believe it.

We grew up in the same small town and dated when we were 16 and 17. He moved away to Pittsburgh to attend college. Flash forward 13 years later and I am now living in Pittsburgh with the love of my life. I haven’t seen my ex in who knows how many years, if I had to guess I would say maybe 8 or 9. So in the messages we decided to meet at halftime. He is married to the love of his life, and I’m with the man I’m going to marry, so I didn’t think it was weird. But I really wasn’t sure how to tell my current love that we were going to see my first love during halftime. I decided to use the term “friend from highschool”, and off we went.

When I saw my ex I was flooded with these nostalgic memories. He wasn’t just my boyfriend but my best friend when we were dating. Things did not end on good terms, young love rarely does. But seeing him now, all these years later, I had nothing but compassion and genuine happiness in my heart for this human. For years after our break up I held on to resentments against him, resentments which I’ve worked through quite a while ago. Working through those resentments allowed me to trust again and to open my heart to the man I am with now.

Half way through the conversation I blurted out the truth, that he was my first boyfriend, and nothing in the conversation changed. My boyfriend now didn’t react negatively, in fact he kept the conversation going. Just another reason I know I will be with this man forever.

I went through a few heartaches before finding Keith, but after each heartache I always remained open to the possibility of love. I never closed the door on it, sure it was hard to learn to trust again but it happened. I had to face things about myself and see the part that I played in each failed relationship. I’m no walk in the park. I could be needy, and insecure and possessive. I’ve learned to scale these traits back nowadays but they still live inside me. They just don’t show up as often anymore because of the time I took to really look at myself and work on my shortcomings. I’m not perfect and that’s okay, because there really is no such thing as perfect. As a matter of fact it’s great because I’m given the opportunity to continuously work on myself and grow to be the best version of myself, and that’s all I could really ask for.

Isn’t life funny though? If I hadn’t posted a picture, I wouldn’t have met up with my ex. I wouldn’t have had the chance to see Keith gracefully handle a situation that might come across as weird to other people. I wouldn’t have had the chance to finally acknowledge the forgiveness I’ve been carrying around in my heart for this other person.

It truly was my past colliding with my present that ended up having an outcome better than I ever could’ve imagined.

 

make stress your friend

Positive Thinking

YourAttitudeThursday, September 13th was Positive Thinking Day. I meant to post that same day but I got caught up in other things. This week also had World Suicide Prevention Day, and it was the 17th year since 9/11. I had many mixed feelings throughout the week. Each day was meaningful in it’s own way, but in this post I want to address Positive Thinking Day, after all the name of my blog is Positive Aggressive.

I’m a total dork when it comes to stuff like this. I was announcing it at work, addressing it in emails, telling whoever I could. I strive to make everyday positive thinking day, but there are times when I fall short, and that’s okay. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was having some really negative days a few weeks ago. I was feeling so overwhelmed at work, I was having panic attacks to the point where I felt like I couldn’t breath. My chest felt like it was caving in and my heart was racing. It was not a good time. I remember texting my boyfriend, telling him that I wanted to quit. He quickly reminded me that any job is going to come with it’s fair share of stressors. It’s no coincidence that the very same day his professor had his class watch a Ted Talk on how to make stress your friend, I will share the link below. I didn’t watch the video right away. I’ve also mentioned before that sometimes I like to sit in my shit.

When I did finally take 15 minutes to watch Dr. Kelly McGonigal explain how she’d been telling people the wrong information for 10 years; Stress is bad for your health. That if we learn to make stress our friend and get excited instead of anxious it can make a huge difference. It took a few more stressful work days and a weekend to decide to put her advice into practice.

Let me tell you how the following 2 weeks have been for me at work. I have felt so much lighter, I haven’t had an anxiety attack, I’ve been happier. The stress still remains, but my attitude has shifted. It’s taken a lot of conscious effort to create this new habit, but after a few days of working on this it feels like it’s slowly starting to feel natural. I’ll catch myself in the same situation that used to make my heart pound and my palms sweaty, but now I feel cool, calm and relaxed.

Dr. McGonigal talks about turning stress into a positive – using it as a motivating factor in tackling your tasks. When we view stress as a negative that is where the problems lie. There’s a study that she speaks about how people who think that stress negatively impacts their health were likely to pass away at a much higher rate than people who believed stress didn’t negatively impact them. It really is fascinating how our brains work and how our mind and bodies believe what we tell them.

I just finished a chapter in the book, You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start living an Awesome Life. The chapter focuses on positive thinking and affirmations, and not in a corny self help way either. These can truly change your life, I wish I could tell you that I use affirmations everyday, I don’t. I am going to start incorporating them into my life again, because I’ve reached another transformative point in my life and affirmations help me ease into the transformation.

I remember when I was first practicing self love and forgiveness. I used the old post it note suggestion. I put messages up like “I love you” “You’re worth it” “I forgive you” “I am happy joyous and free”, etc. I can’t tell you how positive the impact was for me. It really does work when you believe in it.

Think of one affirmation you can start repeating in your life to help make an impact. I’m going with Jen Sincero’s suggestion of “I am one with the Universe. The Universe is awesome and so am I”.

 

Photo credit: http://www.confessionsofateachingjunkie.com/2015/05/positive-thinking-thursday.html

 

give away kindness, it’s free.

Kindness

This is just a short little post about kindness. Day to day life is busy for everyone, I get it and remembering to be kind doesn’t always come naturally. But when we slow down and are just genuinely nice to each other it can really change someone’s life.

I want to tell you about the young gentleman at the Rite Aid counter this morning. I’m beginning to get sick, so I was there stocking up on cough drops and alka seltzer. I was greeted with a huge smile from the man behind the counter. If I had to guess I would say he was anywhere from 19-21 years old. He genuinely asked how I was and was just so friendly it made my heart smile.

Every so often I buy quick pick lottery tickets and never check them,  I had one in my purse that needed checked and I tried to use the self scan machine. It wasn’t working. I asked the man for help and he immediately jumped around the counter to inspect the machine. He unplugged it and plugged it back in, then waited to try and scan it for me. I won a dollar and he was excited for me. I decided to buy another quick pick with that dollar at another machine. Guess what, this machine wasn’t working for me either! I had to ask the man for help, again. He gladly came over and it worked for him. On my way out he told me to have a great day.

I walked out of that place feeling like I was on cloud 9. I walked in there feeling like crap because, like everyone else, I do not like getting or being sick. This guy really made me feel happy. It was such a simple gesture but made a huge impact on me.

This is how I want to impact strangers. I want them to be able to think of the kindness they received at the end of their busy day from a complete stranger. Won’t you help me give away kindness? After all it’s free.

world suicide prevention day

gratitude, suicide prevention

I didn’t realize that today, September 10th, marked World Suicide Prevention Day. I didn’t realize that when I started this blog almost 2 weeks ago this day would be right around the corner.

Everyday I think about suicide, but not in the way that you might think I mean. I think about it in the way that I am grateful every single day that I didn’t follow through with ending my own life.

Spoiler Alert: This post talks about the realities of depression and suicidal thoughts. It’s a part of who I was and a huge part of how I landed on this journey seeking my most positive life.

I first started battling depression in my early teens, I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I think I was around 14. I just remember feeling this deep sadness that I really couldn’t explain. When I think about it at the surface level I used to believe that outside sources would make me happy. From a teenage girls’ perspective I used to think that if I were prettier, skinnier, had straighter teeth, if my parents had more money, if the boy I had a crush on liked me back, if I had all of these things I would be happy.  Nobody ever taught me how to be happy. To love myself no matter what, the value of self worth, the belief that happiness comes from within. When I think back to those days I was really just trying to make sense of why I felt so sad. I thought those outside sources had to be the reasons. I was a pretty shallow teenager, and the thought of digging deeper at that age terrified me.

Enter alcohol. The constant, tumultuous love of my life. Right away alcohol made me forget about all the things I wished I was or had. Until it didn’t. My sadness began to multiply, at which point I began to cut my wrists. I wasn’t completely suicidal at this point, the cutting was used to numb the pain, much like alcohol. This would continue for years. I ended up running away to New York City after having my heart broken for the first time. I went to college there and don’t remember much of that time, but I did meet some very special people while I was there, people I still think about after all these years. After graduating I moved back home and got my first DUI. I was spiraling downward for several years. But you wouldn’t be able to tell from an outside perspective. I did my best to remain positive on the outside. I don’t know why. Part of me believes that I didn’t want people to see how bad I really felt.

A few months after moving back home some events occurred that led me to quit my job and basically hide away from the world. I didn’t leave my house regularly for almost 6 months. It was really bad, I was paranoid and had severe anxiety. Anytime I tried to leave the house I would crumble at the turn of the door knob. I lived with my mom at the time and I can’t even imagine what that must’ve felt like for her. I still have my journals from that time and there are some very dark and twisted entries. The majority of my days were spent wishing I was dead, most days I couldn’t follow through with it. The one day that I came very close to ending it all, the plan was already in motion, but I had a vision of my mom finding me. It was so powerful, I can still feel exactly how I felt in that moment while I’m writing this, and I’m tearing up. I couldn’t let her find me like that. So I stopped what I was doing and waited for her to come home and confessed everything to her. She took me to the hospital and I went through counseling for a while after that. I wish I could say that it helped me but it didn’t. I slowly started piecing my life back together, my best friend got me a job. I started reaching out to the people I shut off from. I still had my fair share of issues for years after that but it never got that dark again. Anytime my mind would start to travel down the path of darkness I would use that experience to pull me out. For a while I believed I got lucky somehow, I really wasn’t sure how I was pulled from the darkness. Something inside of me was telling me to look for the light. To find the positives in the world again. I began to change my thinking, without really knowing what I was doing.

It wasn’t until I got sober and began my spiritual journey with my Higher Power that I truly believe I was meant to stay on this Earth. And I believe you are too. If you’re reading this now and you can relate to anything I wrote about in this post, please reach out to me. I’ve been there, I know that darkness, I know that pain. It’s been 9 years since I went through that and it’s still vivid in my mind, and it will always be there. It’s part of me. You don’t have to end your precious life. There’s another way, it won’t be easy but it will be worth it. You are not alone.

goat yoga and gratitude

gratitude, Yoga

GoatYogaEver since I heard the term “goat yoga” I was sold. The thought of hanging out with goats while practicing yoga was enticing. At a fitness class earlier this week someone mentioned they were going to attend a goat yoga class over the weekend. I immediately asked for the details.

Saturday came around and I almost didn’t go. It was chilly and rainy out and part of me just wanted to sit on the couch watching Fixer Upper while drinking coffee. Then my inner voice said “Sarah you’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, get your butt up and go!”. Sometimes I have to be my own cheerleader. I love being lazy! But that’s what Sundays are for right?? So I got ready, then my boyfriend and I headed out the door to Returning Home Farm in Verona, PA.

Since it was raining out the class was inside a barn, added plus. Space was tight but we didn’t mind. I knew right off the bat that I wouldn’t be doing much yoga in this class. I’m pretty sure I have A.D.D and I love animals, so my concentration went out the window as soon as the goats came in. I even asked the teacher before class if it was okay to just hang with the goats and not focus so much on the yoga.

I loved the teacher, she was easy going and fun and offered different options of class participation. She made suggestions on how to concentrate while the goats pranced around, she also mentioned that she wouldn’t be offended if you just spent time with the goats. This was my kind of teacher. I’m not the kind of student who enjoys being told what to do. I like my freedom and respect suggestion. So her approach was appreciated.

The teacher also introduced a theme to the class, since we are entering fall the theme was: Light to Dark. She talked a lot about dealing with dark emotions. Embracing the darkness but also trying to find the light. I was so excited for this topic because to me that is what this blog embodies. Positive Aggressive is about my journey to living my best positive life. Yes I have negative emotions, no I am not ashamed of that. I embrace my negative emotions, I acknowledge that they are a part of me. This allows me to work on turning them around.

She also shared a quote during shavasna about a woman who lost everything and had the ability to find gratitude. I haven’t been able to find the quote online but when I do, I’ll share it. I just remember the way the quote made me feel. It reinforced the power of gratitude. I need always be reminded to be grateful. When I focus on what I don’t have my gratitude falls by the wayside. Something as simple as being grateful to be alive is a game changer. On days when I say that out loud to the universe my attitude seems to change drastically. The simple truth is that we’re all fortunate to be here, to be given this life. So I am on this journey to make the most of it, won’t you join me?

first time’s a charm

first post, Uncategorized

Some of you might be expecting this first post to be obnoxiously positive. I can’t say I blame you, given the title of the blog. I promise there will be a lot of positive content to come, but first I wanted to be real with you all. I am not positive every second of every day. In fact, last week and the middle of this week contained some of the most negative days I’ve encountered in a while.

Over the past 6 years I’ve been training myself to believe in the notion that happiness is a choice. I’m not the only one, I didn’t coin that phrase, and I certainly didn’t believe that for the majority of my life. Growing up I believed that the world was against me and that most of my external circumstances were the reason for my unhappiness. I spent a lot of time being upset with the world for not giving me what I wanted. I battled depression and had suicidal thoughts and tendencies. There was a point in time where I didn’t leave my house for 6 months and the only thing I wished for was to be dead (I’ll share that story in depth someday). But for now, just know that somehow I was able to snap out of that dark abyss and today I can thank the universe for that experience.

I didn’t recognize until years after that point in my life that I was choosing to live that way. I was choosing to blame the world and choosing to sit in my shit. In fact part of me believes that I actually enjoyed it. Something significant did happen that shook me to my core, removing me from that darkness, but I wasn’t instantly living a [mostly] positive life. Slowly but surely I started incorporating small doses of positivity into my daily routine. I started sharing dozens of positive memes on Facebook, not for others but for myself. I started to work on consciously recognizing the negative thoughts I was having (still working on this).

Small example: I have bad road rage some days and if a person cuts me off, instead of screaming from behind the wheel I will reason with myself, explaining that maybe they have to rush to the hospital or something along those lines.

Monumental example: On days when I don’t feel worthy of anything in this life, or days that I feel sorry for everything I’ve been through (yes, I have those days) I must remind myself that I am worthy, and that I matter. That everything I’ve experienced in this life was meant for a greater purpose.

I started cultivating several other practices that I will continue to share on this platform, along with the days that I struggle. I won’t lie, it’s a lot of work and some days I wish I could magically be able to think positively all of the time, but most days I’m appreciative of the effort it takes to consciously choose a positive life. The latter allows me to keep growing and moving forward on this journey one day at a time.