1. The two chatty children on the bus ride home from work. I was unavoidably listening to their conversation with their mother and I couldn’t help but smile. Their imagination and energy were inspiring and although I can appreciate that to have that 24/7 would be exhausting I could also see how the mother responded so positively to them both. The girl, in particular, rabbited on about good foods versus bad foods, saying, “tick” to her mother if she listed a healthy drink and “wrong” when she said she liked Coke or coffee! She then talked with vivid descriptions and humorous anecdotes about various animals, including the two cats who “cuddled” and the next day had babies! The girl was desperate to talk to me; she had caught me smiling and was really playing for laughs. I thanked them for making my journey so enjoyable and told the mother that I thought she had two wonderful children. Some days I might think, “oh God, shut up!” but today I was glad that my response was positive because what came back to me was a lovely connection with 3 people who really brought some joy to the day.
2. The elderly, breathless man, who struggled to walk, and stopping beside me said, “Try to stop that, if you can mate.” He was talking about the cigarette I was smoking and I chose to hear what he wanted to say. “This is why I’m like this”, he struggled to say between deep, laboured breaths. I thanked him, I agreed, I acknowledged the kindness and concern in his words. He didn’t have to stop and talk to me. Something prompted him to give a slightly younger man a bit of advice. I respect that. I can’t say that I didn’t then buy a packet of cigarettes but I hope that in writing this down I will remember the kindness and see this man as an angel who wanted to help me. I want to stop smoking and I will. Maybe that will be my next challenge…
3. I am humbled when I can facilitate honest communication. I have one of those faces, or so I’m told, and one of those approachable personalities, or so I’m told, and people open up to me, often sharing deeply personal things. I have been judged and criticised a great deal but I quickly learned how destructive that could be, so my goal, and it comes easily, through years of practice, is to find the light and watch as students, friends, even complete strangers find a way to switch it on and become more authentically unique and unafraid of external judgement. Lighting another candle only makes the world brighter.
WILL YOU JOIN ME IN THE 21 DAY CHALLENGE?
On the surface I seem fine but I am just like you, dealing with the challenges that come my way.
Life can be one struggle after another and you can begin to wonder why you bother.
Do you ever feel that you invest too much time and energy in people and activities where your efforts are unrecognised and, perhaps worse, taken for granted?
I don’t seek praise or validation but I do need to learn where best to focus my efforts.
In a bid to maximise my time and bring more positivity, I have been searching for inspiration online.
TED talks are consistently life affirming and there’s nothing better than pouring a glass of wine and settling down to catch a few of these talks on Netflix or YouTube.
One of the talks recently was about changing your perspective and refocusing by finding and acknowledging the positives, whilst letting go and not dwelling on the negatives.
So, in a bid to reprogram my mind, I will take the 21 Day Challenge. Apparantly, after 21 Days, this thinking will become automatic.
This is not to say that I’m a negative person, far from it, but I am like anyone else; when faced with a solid, constant barrage of challenges, I get exhausted and feel my motivation begin to drop.
So, here is what I will do:
Acknowledge and write down 3 reasons to be grateful – 21 Days
1 email or message of gratitude – 21Days
In addition, I will continue to watch TED Talks, spend time with people who Uplift me, focus on what is needed to move forward by assessing what it is I really need and prioritise positive thought over negative contemplation.
The great thing about this initiative is that even before writing down my first reason to be grateful, I am buzzing as I mentally begin to consider all the many wonderful people in my life.
Damn it, I have so much to be grateful for!
WILL YOU JOIN ME?
HERE’S THE FACEBOOK PAGE: