Well, am I just Polly Positive or what?

Alright, I’m kidding about that I’m not Polly Positive. However, I realized something strange about myself as I was trying to fall asleep (unsuccessfully, I might add). My view on living positively has changed a lot over the years. Let me explain how I even went down this rabbit hole of thought.

I follow someone on Facebook who is a product designer. She posted that she’s been terminated from her independent consultant position due to a conversation she had that she thought was private. At first that struck me as horrible since she was really quite successful at what she did. Apparently someone in the group conversation snitched on her.

That got me thinking about where I could end up myself if people linked my worlds together. If someone found my little corner of the internet here or some of my other projects – could I end up in trouble?

So I thought about it. I panicked, wondering whether I should quit everything except the job that brings me the most income. I didn’t like that idea since it is like the death of creativity and I need, and I mean NEED, a creative outlet.

I have long held the belief that you shouldn’t talk about someone behind their back unless you’re willing to say it to their face. For some reason, that never translated beyond the context of people and interpersonal relationships. It never occurred to me that it would have any applicability anywhere else in my life.

That, my friends, was completely incorrect.

When I started this blog back in 2006 (OH MY GOD IT’S BEEN 10 YEARS!) it was a place for me to be angry and to vent about things. I was in a completely different place in my life then – I spent the majority of my day around people who were stressed past any point they’d been stressed before. The pressure on everyone to perform was enormous. After a while that wears you down. You don’t have the energy to filter through the emotions and we just sort of fell on the easiest one to find at the time – anger, frustration, and irritation.

What I didn’t realize at the time is that staying mired in the muck of bad feelings just made it harder to get away from them. We fed on each other’s stress and negativity. It seemed like it validated our existence.

Since then I have learned that positivity, looking for joy in all of life, and finding meaning in what you’re handed (even if it seems like a heaping pile of cow dung) actually bring longer-lasting and healthier results. I can probably only see this way now that I am taking medications to help me stave off severe depression.

I don’t want to post or produce content that only serves to bring us down. I want to be a force for happiness and good. I don’t want to rant about problems without first having tried to come up with a solution, even part of one. There are so many serious issues that we need to talk about. That we need to come together and work on. I don’t have time to waste on negativity, griping, and bringing other people down.

There’s more than enough success out there that we can all enjoy it. Why focus on anything but trying to find a way for all of us to succeed? Anything we can do for one of us enhances life for all of us. THAT is my focus now. THAT is what I want for all of us.

I’ve been wondering why posting here hasn’t been like it used to be. It makes sense though since I am not who I used to be and this blog is just an extension of me. I may not always be a ray of sunshine, and I still love my clouds, but now I focus on the fact that the rain clouds bring water which brings growth.

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Interconnectedness changes who we are

I had this bizarre dream last night that involved someone who created a new bee technology – bees that seemed real, but weren’t. The point was that we could supplement the bee population without risking that they would somehow be killed by pollution or pesticides.

The bees came in contact with humans though and changed. They no longer responded to commands. Even if the interactions were brief, the bee was changed with no going back to the old ways. But as this was happening, the people in the dream were connecting too, and most of the time the connections were brief.

But when I woke up, the idea stuck with me that no matter how small the connection, we are forever changed. Interconnectedness changes who we are.

When we interact with someone else, we’re sending energy to them. The simple act of focusing on them sends energy. Much more is exchanged when we’re having intentional conversations. The more intimate or heated the exchange, the more energy is sent.

 

Most of us only think in terms of the effect that our energy had on someone else or the effect of someone else’s energy on us. We rarely stop to think about what we’re doing to ourselves by interacting with other people in the ways we do.

When we seek to “beat” someone else in an exchange, we are actually diminishing ourselves. When our goal is to make someone else feel bad, we hurt ourselves. When we express superiority over someone else, we are actually just showing our fears that we are inferior.

In order to make someone else feel low, we have to generate that sensation in our own bodies first. There isn’t any way to pass along that feeling without first creating it. Before the other person feels bad, we do. We may not notice it in our rage, desperation, etc. But once the exchange is over, that energy will still be in our system.

The irony is that the person to whom we send the negative energy is able to recover before we do. At some point they will be able to recognize that the negative energy and feelings were not their own, but rather ours. While there may be a temporary setback in their energy, they can shake it off. We, however, are stuck with it, especially if we don’t take ownership for it.

This leads to a downward spiral. Because we’re walking around with negative energy still, more and more of our interactions are clouded in it. Eventually, we will be both giving and receiving negative energy. People don’t enjoy being on the receiving end of negativity and will repel our advances in order to ward off the junk coming their way. Before you know it, we’re nothing but piles of bad feelings, without understanding how it happened.

I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to be a mass of unhappiness, rage, or sadness. The only way I can stop that from happening is to take ownership of my energy and control how it emerges from me when I interact with others.

It’s easier said than done in this day and age. There is negativity all around us. We cannot escape it.

We can, however, change it.

To do that, we have to consciously interact with everyone we encounter in a positive way. It is not always easy. We have to first learn to address our fears, because fear is often the motivator for being unkind to another. Fears that we are inferior (no one is inferior to anyone else), fears that can’t be ourselves (no one has the right to judge who you are), fear that we can’t have enough (there’s plenty of everyone), fear of the different (we’re all more alike than we are different), etc.

Once we have control over our fears, being more positive is much easier. Positive interactions are synergistic. We walk away from those interactions feeling happier and healthier than we could if we were generating positive energy independently.

It takes work at first. It’s easy to get trapped in the fear and negativity because they’re familiar and we’ve spent years listening to others put us down and make us believe it’s true. Understand that those people were speaking from their chairs of fear.

Reject that. Whether we believe it or not, the world is basically a pool we’re all swimming in. You may think we have separate pools for different people or want that to be the case, but that’s just not accurate. When someone is being nasty, hateful, or acting on fear, it’s basically like taking a dump in the pool. It may have felt good to take that shit, but after the fact, there is shit in the pool. And that person is probably not the only person taking a dump. Eventually we’re all swimming in shit. I don’t know about you, but I would rather not be surrounded by feces 24/7.

Instead, we need to focus on dealing with our own fears away from everyone else (get out of the pool to take that dump) and then return to the pool when we can be a more positive influence.

Once we start giving off positive energy (because we’ve reduced our fears), more will be returned to us. Then the happy interactions are easier to create and we sustain the positivity for longer amounts of time. At some point, that becomes our usual state of being. When that is everyone’s resting state, the world will be a better place.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” ~Gandhi

30-Day Project: July Wrap-Up and August Project

30-day Project

It’s that time again! July was mostly a success, especially because I learned something very important. I need to make sure that I have some way to keep myself accountable. I did okay with the haiku – was late a few times. Traveling and preparing to travel sort of threw me off. I wasn’t as awesome about the positivity part of the project. I should have made myself write things down. Then I would have had spaces in a calendar missing names and that would have made me remember “I need to do this.”

The good thing is that I know what I need to do in August!

I have recently started on a new spiritual path into shamanism. A big part of shamanism is journeying – entering an altered state of consciousness to meet with helping spirits. Because it’s such an integral part, I want to do it every day. Most of the journeys will be 10-15 minutes which I should easily be able to add to my daily routine. The accountability comes in that I will be journaling after each journey while it’s still fresh in my mind and so I can look back and see how things worked out.

I’m really excited about making shamanism a bigger part of my life. It’s a path I should have taken a long time ago. But, better late than never. Particularly with this.

I’ll probably blog more about what shamanism is and how it’s applying in my life. Some of you won’t appreciate the practice, and you should most definitely feel free to skip those posts (obviously).

Here’s to August!

Care Bear Stare

30-day Project

This month is a two-fer in terms of projects. I wanted to do something spiritual in addition to butchering haiku. What I learned today is that I’m basically doing a Care Bear Stare.

I’m sure some of you have no idea what  Care Bear Stare is. The Care Bears were a TV show in the 1980s about a  group of bears who live in the clouds and help people out. Each bear has a different positive symbol on its tummy (except Grumpy Bear who has a raincloud) that characterizes his/her personality.

My favorite was always Cheer Bear. For my 5th birthday my dad gave me a stuffed Cheer Bear and I *still* have him. He used to be pink, but years of travel have made him slightly more gray than pink.

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The Cheer Bears overcome whatever evil is plaguing them by doing a Care Bear Stare. They all line up and project their happy and positive symbols into a rainbow. BAM! Evil defeated.

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So today, while I was sitting in bed, legs sort of crossed (damn cast), I was projecting love, light, and positivity to my friend. She’s been going through some rough shit lately and I wanted to see if I could help in some way. I was basically visualizing a rainbow of those emotions going to her. It hit me that I was doing a Care Bear Stare. I also visualized weights being lifted off her shoulders and her walking on clouds now that so much has been taken off her.

Before actually doing this today, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get through five minutes of this. When I try to meditate, my mind wanders and try as I might, I cannot reel it back in when I’m counting breaths or trying to focus on a word.

But when I actually started doing it and visualizing my friend being lifted the time flew by. I was shocked when my timer went off.

Even more than that, *I* felt lighter and lifted. Prior to this exercise I was feeling a bit down and sort of dumpy. Not after I was done. I do love giving and I very much believe that in order to receive you must give, but I had no idea it would have the impact on me that it did.

I even drew a picture of my visualization that I will share with my friend. I’m not much of an artist, so it looks nothing like her, but I think it’ll get the point across.

The only thing that sort of sucks about this is that I have no idea if it’s really doing anything. I’ve read a lot about the power of thought and the power of prayer. I *hope* that all of it’s true and that I am making a difference.

30-Day Project: July – Positively Filled with Haiku

30-day Project

I can’t believe it’s almost July already! That means it’s time for another 30-day project! When I came up with the idea to do this, I wasn’t sure I would really keep up with it. I am not always great about finishing things I start, but I figured if it was just 30 days, I could probably handle it.

Tracking my food and water in May was great – I learned that I really do not ever drink enough water. We usually have plenty of water around, so I don’t have an excuse not to do it. Water isn’t my favorite beverage, but it is the one that never upsets my stomachs and always makes me feel better. My lips are in such bad shape right now that they’re cracked and painful. I really do have to track it on my app to make sure I’m getting enough.

I have really loved blogging this month. I don’t know if that’s what’s made me feel so much better lately or if it’s finally having the tendon transfer so I can start making progress (or maybe a combo of the two), but I’m happier than I have been in a while. So, excellent.

In July I’m going for a two-fer and I hope it doesn’t sink me. Someone suggested a haiku a day and I thought it sounded like fun. I looked up a calendar of fun/unusual days in July and I’m using it as the basis for the poetry. I don’t want to drown the blog in haiku, so those will all be posted on the Facebook page. I have started to write some of it, but none will be posted until July.

I wanted to add in something a little more meaningful that would also make me feel good, so the other half of the July 30-day project is that I will spend at least 5 minutes per day sending positive energy to someone who seems to need it. I think this will have an effect similar to me meditating but I will also get the satisfaction that comes from when I give. I’m hoping to design little ecards to go with it so people know I’ve been thinking about them.

I’m really looking forward to July!