Mindful Positivity

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photo credit: symphony of love via photopin cc

Have you ever paid attention to the things you think? Have you noticed any patterns? I don’t know about your mind, but mine is hardwired into thinking negatively. I’m not sure when this started to happen or why, but I have recently become more mindful of this fact.

I’ve noticed that not only do I think negatively about other people, but that I am extremely negative to myself. “I’m not that smart”. “I can’t think creatively”. “I suck at math”. “I’m never going to find a job”. What is the point to that? Why put yourself down so often? The answer: excuses. We create these excuses to make us believe that we are not able to reach our goals. That way, if we don’t reach our goals, we don’t feel bad.

It’s embarrassing the amount of times that I’ve caught myself thinking things like “life is out to get me” or “of course this is happening, I can’t do anything right”. It seriously disgusts me that I’ve fallen into a habit of thinking about myself so negatively. But imagine I stopped? Imagine if I turned those thoughts into positive ones? I believe that our brains are a lot more powerful than we think. Just think of the possibilities when we convince ourselves that we can do something. “I am smart”. “I feel so happy”. “I am a successful person”. Happiness ensues.

I found a really interesting TED Talk on changing the way you think and rewiring the brain to think more positively. It’s definitely worth a watch:

Are you mindful of your thoughts? How have you started to change the neural pathways in your brain?

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6 Questions That Will Change Your Life

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I came across a website. I know, big surprise right? Well, this website is awesome. It’s called Tiny Buddha.

An entry that I found to be very inspiring is called “6 Powerful Questions That Will Change Your Life Forever”. Of course this intrigued me.

Here are the questions and I thought I would share my answers. Go check out that post… it may just change your life forever.

What do I absolutely love in life?

  • Music
  • Cooking
  • Nutrition
  • Learning
  • Documentaries
  • Being outside
  • Writing
  • Photography

What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

  • Overcoming an eating disorder
  • Overcoming depression/anxiety
  • Meeting the love of my life
  • Keeping a strong connection with my family

What would I stand for if I knew no one would judge me?

  •  Freedom
  • Anti-money
  • A brand new society

If my life had absolutely no limits and I could have it all and do whatever I wanted, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

  • Travel the world
  • Take pictures of the world
  • Constant learning
  • Be around people I love
  • Never feel pressured to go to work

What would I do if I had one billion dollars?

  • Travel the world
  • Learn
  • Help others around the world
  • Wake up when I wanted to
  • Do whatever I wanted that day
  • Create: make things with my hands: paintings, art, sculptures
  • Write a book
  • Change peoples’ lives

Who do I admire most in the world?

People who are genuinely happy with their lives – not one specific person

 

Photo credit: compfight.com

Waking Up

As I’m attempting to adopt a more simplistic way of life, I try to wake up each day with a positive attitude. Try to. Easier said than done, that’s for sure. I find myself in the same mind-frame every weekday morning; “I don’t want to go to work”. Every day, it seems that my brain automatically jumps to this thought. I can’t help it.

Weekends are totally different. I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on boring chores around the house. Why is it that I dread going to a job that I actually sort of enjoy, but I look forward to doing mundane house-work? I somehow need to channel that weekend excitement into my weekday mornings. Isn’t that what we all want?

I wish I could write about how I look forward to my day, how I feel happy when I wake up, how I take my time in the morning; read a book, go for a walk, make some coffee… I don’t. I wake up, get dressed and go to work. I have tried to wake up earlier to give myself some time to relax before work, but I end up staying in bed hitting the snooze button over and over again.

I’ve read tips, I’ve researched strategies, but I just can’t seem to get my mind to do what I want. It’s so easy to convince myself that tomorrow morning will be different, but as soon as I hear my alarm, the anger boils. “What’s the point in getting up. I could just stay in bed. Maybe I should call in sick?”. Everyday.

So how do I change it? I don’t know. At least I am aware of the problem. Maybe yoga? A better diet? A new job? I don’t have the answer. For now, I need to continue with my self-discovery and see if something surfaces. I need to get to know myself (and my brain) a little better.

This is part of my journey, and it’s not going to be easy.

Simplicity

Simplicity. There are so many meanings to that word. Some people think of simplicity in a positive way; modest, natural, clean. Some think of it in a different way; stupid, naive, boring. I’ve been taking a simpler approach to life. Or at least trying to. Although, I wonder just how simple we can become.

In order to live a simple life, do we need to sell everything, move to the mountains, build a log cabin and hunt for food? I wouldn’t be opposed to that. But is that really an option? At this time, no. How can I make my life more simplistic right now? I find myself lying awake at night contemplating this very question.

My mind immediately goes to things I need to buy to make my life more simple. This thought immediately gets shut down: “that’s the opposite of what I’m trying to do!”. I do find myself being pulled back into the consumerism that is today’s society. There’s a gadget for this, a pill for that, someone who can do it for you. I don’t want that anymore! I want to be genuinely happy. I want to know my purpose. I want to feel like I’m not missing anything, that I’m not just getting lost in the hum-drum of everyday being. I want to branch out in my consciousness, my intellect and my physical being. This is starting to sound very spiritual, which is not where I want to go with this. All I’m saying is that there has to be more to life than what I’m currently experiencing. Do other people think like this? Do they just decide “oh well, life is what it is… don’t mess with what you’ve got”?

Not me. Not anymore. I’m doing a job that sort of interests me, but I still feel very unfulfilled. I’m not going to tell you that I’ll quit my job and move to Africa to take care of orphaned children. I have a life here. I have a boyfriend whom I absolutely love and can’t live without. I have a very loving & supportive family – I can’t leave these people behind. I have friends that I get excited to see. “Your life sounds amazing” some may think. It is, to a certain extent. But just because I have amazing people surrounding me doesn’t mean that I feel amazing on the inside. Something has always been missing. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but as the years have gone by, I have identified a part of it to be happiness. Ultimate, irrefutable happiness. Not the happiness that comes and goes with physical things. The eternal, constant happiness that you read about in books.

I used to think that if I was extremely wealthy, I would be happy.  I don’t believe this anymore. I had way more physical belongings than someone ever needs, and I still wasn’t happy. Again, this is not going to end with me moving to the mountains alone… or at least I don’t think it will end that way.

So what is it? What’s the answer? I don’t know. I’m sorry if you thought I was going to give you some magical key to happiness and eternal peace. But you can join me on my journey to achieve inner happiness. The more the merrier. I just need something to change. That change begins with my decisions and my actions. It doesn’t begin with winning the lottery or getting a raise. It’s all me. No pressure, right?