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.

Advertisements

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