Choosing a Narrative of Kindness
What is the story in Your Heart?
I’m a happy ending kind of girl…
I want the girl and the guy to fall in love; the woman to follow her gut and create a beautiful cottage industry; the guy to open up the business of his dreams; the people in the entire story to treat each other with common courtesy and kindness…
Unfortunately many of us have been deeply affected by the negativity that is swirling around in the bigger world, profoundly depressed by events out of our immediate control and have internalized the negativity and hatefulness that has been tossed around. Sadder still, is when we find negativity poisoning the interactions of people close to us.
Life is full of twists and turns, of weights tossed onto our shoulders, of events out of our control affecting us sometimes in profound ways. So when it comes to writing our own stories, you better believe I’m going to consciously, mindfully, purposely tack on a happy ending!
The good news is that we get to write the story of our lives every single day. We get to choose what we let in and how we react. We get to choose kindness and common courtesy over rudeness and insensitivity. We often forget about this power we have, and become weighed down, hunched over, with worries and lists and toxic interactions. We forget that we have the power to step aside and let the toxicity roll off our shoulders, or at the very least, prevent it from knocking us to the ground.
We can choose what words we use to fill our narrative.
And the beauty is that we can choose words and actions that uplift and fill us with hope and love and joy!
For those of you who are friends on facebook, you may recall my new years resolution to turn off the news – it was affecting me on a profound level and pushing me into depression. Taking a news holiday has helped me find my equilibrium. I have also given myself permission to delete toxic emails without reading them – you know the ones where someone lashes out without filters or common courtesy. And I have given myself permission to walk away from people who are spewing toxicity. On strong days, I offer up a smile and some kind words before I leave.
I am now determined to focus on Positivity, Joyfulness, Courtesy, Mindfulness and to absorb books, art, articles, podcasts, movies that echo these values.
I want to be mindful of what I read, what I allow in my inbox, what I watch, how I spend my time and who I choose to spend it with, and most importantly the way I talk to myself. As a friend wisely pointed out, we are what we read, hear and watch. If we want the output to be positive, we need to filter the input – only accept into our heart the words that echo the story we want to write.
Can we stick our heads in the sand and avoid negativity altogether? Of course not, but we can choose to filter what we let in, not take it personally, and most importantly we are in complete control of how we react.
Because, of course, it is only when we feel uplifted, positive, joyful that we can really truly give the same to others. The only way that we can choose to react in a positive way even when people, or situations, are throwing negativity, is when our own narrative is kind, gentle and positive.
I want to share with you some simple, yet powerful, every-day actions that help me. Many of you already do these things, and more. But if you are like me, it is easy to forget their power:
1. Breathe deep and slow, consciously flood your lungs with air, hold, then blow it out (you know to do this, right? But do you remember to do so every day?)
2. Assume a Wonder Woman pose (scientific studies show the positive physiological and psychological effects of holding your body in a position of strength!)
3. Spend at least 20 minutes a day outside and absorbing nature (great time to practice Wonder Woman pose and deep breathing, or to take photos)
4. Write down 1 – 3 thing(s) you are grateful for each day in a journal, on a post it note, on your calendar or on a torn up paper bag – doesn’t matter where you write it, just that you do (I like to write on a post -it and tack up on my bathroom mirror). Don’t edit yourself on this, it can be big, or little, or the same thing every day!
5. Stand tall and smile at everyone you meet – the guy on the street, the woman in the store, and especially your loved ones.
6. Smile when you talk on the phone
7. Give yourself permission to walk away from negativity
8. Be creative! A day, an hour, a minute spent in creativity is like taking a Magic Positive Pill! Whether it is arranging a wildflower bouquet on your table, playing around with a new recipe you have been wanting to try out, throwing some paint on a canvas, writing some lines in your journal, or diving into a new hobby (Oh boy can I help you out on this one!), carve out at least 15 minutes every day for creativity.
9. Speak kindly to yourself and to others – using only words that uplift you, that echo the story in your heart.
Here is to writing your own day-to-day stories and tacking on joy-full beginnings, middles and endings!
Here is to saying YES to activities that make you happy! YES to songs, movies, artwork, creative outlets that make you feel uplifted and joyful!
I raise a toast to your Beautiful Story,