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are you being true to you? (+ stay positive giveaway)

Who-i-am

This article is part of a series of articles to promote Stay Positive: Daily Reminders from Positively Present. For more information on the book, visit StayPositive365.com. For details on how to win this week’s giveaway, scroll down to the bottom of this article.  

 

When it comes to living a positive life, loving oneself is critical. If you don't love who you are, it becomes increasingly difficult to love your life. But self love isn't always easy. In fact, for most people it's one of the most difficult aspects of living a positive life. Why? Because one of the trickiest things about loving yourself is actually being yourself. 

We're all up against a lot of pressure to be different from what we are. Advertising, media, and those we interact with often encourage us (directly or indirectly) to be something we're not, to strive for ideals that we might not even want to strive for. Many of us look at others and wonder how we can be more like them. While it's perfectly fine to be inspired by others and to have role models, one of the best ways to love who you are is to be who you are. 

Being yourself sounds simple enough -- almost as if it's something you couldn't help but do -- but often it's harder to be you than you might think. For some, staying true to who they are comes easily and effortlessly. For others, it's more of a struggle. Either way, it's important to check in with yourself every now and then to see if you're staying true to you. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to assess whether or not you're really being you. 

 

  • Do you say what you want to say when you want to say it? 
  • Do you wear the items that make you happy and comfortable?
  • Do you stick up for what you believe in (even if others don't agree)? 
  • Do you take part in activities that make you happy and fulfilled? 
  • Do you spend time with those with whom you can be 100% yourself?
  • Do you know what's important to you--and make time for those things? 
  • Do you state your opinions even if they oppose someone else's? 

 

Being true to who you are means saying what you think, doing what you love to do, and being with the people who inspire and uplift you. Of course, that doesn't mean you should always do what you want and say what you want. Sometimes being true to who you are means putting other people first. Sometimes it means keeping your mouth shut when you have something to say. But most of the time it means not being afraid to do what you want and say what you have to say. Most of the time it means knowing what you think -- and not being afraid to show it or say it. 

Kurt Cobain once said, "I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not." While that statement might be a bit strong for some, the underlying message should ring true for all of us: it's better to be true to who you are than to be true to who someone else wants you to be.  

 

STAY POSITIVE GIVEAWAYS!  


To promote the launch of Stay Positive : Daily Reminders from Positively Present, PositivelyPresent.com is offering six weeks of giveaways based on the twelve sections in Stay Positive. Each week, readers will have the chance to win one of two awesome giveways. 

 

Giveaways-Week-3

 

HOW TO ENTER

1. Link to StayPositive365.com on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr,
    Instagram, Google+,etc. and / or tell your friends about the book
2. Mention which giveaway you want to win (Self Love or Motivation) 
3. Let me know how you spread the word in the comments section below 
4. Leave your email address (or another way I can contact you) 


IMPORTANT DETAILS

* Every mention you post / tweet / like, etc. counts as one entry. 
  Enter as many times as you want! 

* 2 winners (one for each giveaway) will be chosen + notified via email on
  Friday, November 2, 2012.  

 


positively present picks: week of october 26, 2012

love life

 

Untitled
Jenn for the Inspiration giveaway
 Stephanie for the Acceptance giveaway

Don't feel down if you didn't win. 
More exciting giveaways are coming next week! 

 

positively-present-quote

 "If you have good thoughts
they will shine out of your face like sunbeams
and you will always look lovely." 

Roald Dahl

 

positively-present-links

99 Life Hacks : brilliant (and often funny) ways to make life easier

Halloween Hounds 2012 : love these lil pups in costume!

How I Followed My Passion : check out my guest article for Greatist

Target Holiday Ad : Dogs + Christmas + Target = Amazing

Train Yourself to Be Positive in 5 Steps : my feature on Tiny Buddha

Julie Ann Art Holiday Cards : love these fun designs + sayings

See the Glass Half Full : how to make the most of change

Meagan's Movie Alphabet : loving these clever alphabet movie posters

The Science of Dogs : Doghouse is always cracking me up

Emergency Compliment : perfect when you need a lil pick-me-up! 

Why Positive Thinking is a Bold Choice : my article for The Bold Life

 


Check out this week's Positively Present playlist on YouTube

"Holy Ground" –  Taylor Swift
"Condition" –  Duke Special
"State of Grace" –  Taylor Swift
"Chemicals" –  Bessie
"Starlight" –  Taylor Swift
"Queen of the City" –  Joshua James
"The Last Time" –  Taylor Swift
"I'm Just Me" –  Diamond Rings
"I Almost Do" –  Taylor Swift
"All Your Gold" –  Bat for Lashes
"Treacherous" –  Taylor Swift
"Fools" –  Lauren Aquilina

(can you guess what album came out this week? ha!)

 

The Blue Diary
Alice Hoffman

 


book review : the positive dog

positive-dog
Positive pup Bella begs for a treat.


 

Guess what? There's still time to enter to win one of two awesome giveways featured on Positively Present this week! See below for details. 


I was thrilled when I discovered The Positive Dog: A Story about the Power of Positivity by Jon Gordon. Dogs and positivity? Yes, please! In the book, readers learn that we have two dogs inside of us -- one is positive, the other negative. The dogs often fight within us, but the one that wins the fight is the one we feed the most, the one we give the most energy and attention to. (This idea is based on the Cherokee's Legend of the Two Wolves.) I'd heard of -- and loved -- this concept before, but the way Gordon incorporated it into the story of Matt (the negative dog) and Bubba (his positive mentor) is inspiring.

Not only does this simple yet profound tale convey the importance of being positive, it provides action items for creating a positive life. Being positive is much more than just thinking positively and Gordon covers all the major points -- things like finding opportunities, coping with stress, and learning to be grateful (just to name a few!) -- that make up a positive life. Each chapter of the book includes a new lesson -- and each lesson is crucial for being positive. 

In addition to showing readers how to be positive, Gordon uses the tale of Matt and Bubba to illustrate the benefits of being positive. In particular, the book hightlights these 11 benefits: 

 

11 Benefits of Being Positive

  1. Positive people live longer. In a study of nuns, those that regularly expressed positive emotions lived an average of 10 years longer than those who didn't (Snowdon, 2001).
  2. Positive work environments outperform negative work environments (Goleman, 2011).
  3. Positive, optimistic salespeople sell more than pessimistic salespeople (Seligman, 2006).
  4. Positive leaders are able to make better decisions under pressure (Institute of HeartMath, 2012).
  5. Marriages are much more likely to succeed when the couple experiences a 5-to-1 ratio of positive to negative interactions, whereas when the ratio approaches 1-to-1, marriages are more likely to end in divorce (Gottman, 1999).
  6. Positive people who regularly express positive emotions are more resilient when facing stress, challenges, and adversity.
  7. Positive people are able to maintain a broader perspective and see the big picture, which helps them identify solutions, whereas negative people maintain a narrower perspective and tend to focus on problems (Fredrickson, 2009).
  8. Positive thoughts and emotions counter the negative effects of stress. You can't be thankful and stressed at the same time.
  9. Positive emotions such as gratitude and appreciation help athletes perform at a higher level (Institute of HeartMath, 2012).
  10. Positive people have more friends, which is a key factor of happiness and longevity (Putnam, 2000).
  11. Positive and popular leaders are more likely to garner the support of others and receive pay raises and promotions and achieve greater success in the workplace.

 

the-positive-dogAfter reading the book (and loving it!), I saw how these 11 benefits become part of a positive life. Bubba teaches Matt the joys of being positive, and it's clear to see how Matt reaps the benefits of his new positive attitude. Though the book is written about dogs, it clearly applies to humans as well. The more you choose a positive attitude (and make positive choices), the more positive experiences you'll have. If you're looking for a book highlighting the important benefits of being positive (and showing you how to achieve them), The Positive Dog is a must-read!

 

STAY POSITIVE GIVEAWAYS!  


To promote the launch of Stay Positive : Daily Reminders from Positively Present, PositivelyPresent.com is offering six weeks of giveaways based on the twelve sections in Stay Positive. Each week, readers will have the chance to win one of two awesome giveways. 

 

Giveaways-Week-2 

HOW TO ENTER

1. Link to StayPositive365.com on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr,
    Instagram, Google+,etc. and / or tell your friends about the Stay Positive book
2. Mention which giveaway you want to win (Inspiration or Acceptance) 
3. Let me know how you spread the word in the comments section below 
4. Leave your email address (or another way I can contact you) 


IMPORTANT DETAILS

* Every mention you post / tweet / like, etc. counts as one entry. 
  Enter as many times as you want! 

* 2 winners (one for each giveaway) will be chosen + notified via email on
  Friday, October 26, 2012.  

 


accepting sadness + stay positive giveaway

 


 

This article is part of a series of articles to promote Stay Positive: Daily Reminders from Positively Present. For more information on the book, visit StayPositive365.com. For details on how to win this week’s giveaway, scroll down to the bottom of this article.  

 

Accepting what is is a huge part of living a positively present life, but lately I've been struggling a great deal with acceptance. When my little dog Bella was diagnosed with a terminal disease in May, the vet said she would live for a minimum of a month or a maximum (in a very rare case) of two years. She's been hanging in there, and though there have been some ups and downs, she's mostly been doing pretty well. Until recently. She's almost completely stopped eating (everything but treats of course) and is down to 5.5lbs (from her original 8lbs). I've tried everything I can think of to get her to eat (from canned pumpkin to cat food to freshly cooked chicken and almost everything in between), but she's just not interested. 

Though I try to remind myself that I'm doing the best I can, I've been struggling to accept the fact that I don't have control over her disease -- or how quickly it seems to be progressing. I'm sad. I know that at some point (hopefully later rather than sooner) she will die. I know I have to accept that fact, but lately it's been hard. I don't want her to be sick. I don't want her to die. And it's hard to know that as much care and love as I'm giving her, there's no undoing her terminal illness. 

Since I've been struggling with acceptance lately, I've decided to focus on the ways I can start accepting what is (instead of dwelling on what I wish it could be). I know it's not going to be easy -- this whole situation has been one of the biggest challengers of living a positive and present life -- but I have a feeling that if I at least try to accept what is, I'll be able to enjoy the time I have left with her a little bit more. 

 

4 Ways to Accept What Is (Even When It's Sad)


1. Let the sadness happen. For months, I've been trying to push of my sadness, telling myself, "Don't cry now. Wait until she's gone." or "There's not point in being sad when she's still here." While I know those things are true, I also know that there are benefits to accepting sadness and letting it happen. The other day I got off the phone with the vet and just let myself have a good, long cry. After that, I actually felt better. It's okay to be sad, I've realized. I certainly don't want to dwell on it and spend all my time crying, but I've realized that it's okay to accept the fact that I'm sad -- and to acknowledge that sadness (often in the form of tears) from time to time. 

 

2. Focus on positive coping. There are lots of ways to cope with sadness, but not all of them are positive. I used to do a lot of negative coping -- drinking, drugs, etc. -- but I've realized that those coping mechanisms usually make things worse (even if they seem effective in the short term). Instead of engaging in negative activities to combat my sadness, I'm choosing to focus on positive coping mechanisms, like writing down how I feel or telling someone what I'm experiencing. Instead of shutting down the negative, sad feelings, I'm doing what I can to get them out of my system positively.

 

3. Embrace the happy moments. Amidst the struggles to get Bella to eat and the deep sadness I feel when I pet her skin-and-bones frame, there are actually a great many happy moments with her on any given day. She still lights up at the sight of a new toy, wagging that flag of a tail and dancing on her hind legs in anticipation. She still gobbles up her morning treat like it's the best thing she's ever been given, sniffing around anxiously afterward to make sure she didn't miss a morsel. She still greets me like I'm a rock start every time I come home. Every day there are happy moments and it's up to me to embrace these moments -- and accept them just as much as I do the sad moments. Sometimes the happy moments can get lost among all the sad ones and I'm determined not to let that happen. 

 

4. Find little distractions. Now I know that distracting myself seems like the opposite of accepting what is (and maybe it is), but I do know that it works. After my big little cry fest the other day, I decided to turn on my favorite movie (Elf) to cheer myself up -- and within minutes I was cracking up with laughter. When I'm super sad, I watch funny movies or TV shows. I let myself have these moments of side-splitting laughter because I know that these distractions, these little breaks from feeling sad, give me a positive boost. And it's this boost of happiness that makes it easier to copy with the sad moments. To know I can still laugh, can still be happy, makes accepting sadness much easier to do. 

 

The truth is, as much as I want to be positive and present, it's not possible all the time. Sometimes I'm going to be negative. Sometimes I'm going to dwell on the past or panic about the future. And that's okay. Be positively present doesn't mean being perfect. It means trying. It means doing the best you can. It means making the most of what is. Acceptance of the tough things in life is never easy, but I'm discovering that there are ways to make it easier. And I'm also realizing that accepting my sadness (instead of trying to push it a way) actually makes those happy moments shine even brighter.  

 

STAY POSITIVE GIVEAWAYS!  


To promote the launch of Stay Positive : Daily Reminders from Positively Present, PositivelyPresent.com is offering six weeks of giveaways based on the twelve sections in Stay Positive. Each week, readers will have the chance to win one of two awesome giveways. 

 

Giveaways-Week-2 

HOW TO ENTER

1. Link to StayPositive365.com on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr,
    Instagram, Google+,etc. and / or tell your friends about the book
2. Mention which giveaway you want to win (Inspiration or Acceptance) 
3. Let me know how you spread the word in the comments section below 
4. Leave your email address (or another way I can contact you) 


IMPORTANT DETAILS

* Every mention you post / tweet / like, etc. counts as one entry. 
  Enter as many times as you want! 

* 2 winners (one for each giveaway) will be chosen + notified via email on
  Friday, October 26, 2012.  

 


positively present picks: week of october 15, 2012

  positive-today-is-the-day

 

Untitled
Melinda T. for the Positivity giveaway
Brandie Leigh for the Relationships giveaway

Don't feel down if you didn't win. 
More exciting giveaways are coming next week! 

 

positively-present-quote

 "Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction.
Break the habit. Talk about your joys." 

Rita Schiano

 

positively-present-links

My interview on The Happiness Project : so excited to be featured!

Suprise Me : this Halloween t-shirt design made me laugh

Poppin' : these are the best office supplies. I need them all. 

The Saguaro in Palm Springs : someday I will go to this colorful place.  

Coolest playing cards ever : 14 artists featured in one deck. wow! 

Making Me Happy : thanks, Rachel, for featuring Stay Positive

Calm.com : the perfect place to go when you need to stay calm

Halloween Happiness : it's almost here! get excited!  

Goodreads Giveaway : win a copy of Stay Positive


Check out this week's Positively Present playlist on YouTube

"State of Grace"  –  Taylor Swift
"Ride"  –  Lana Del Ray
"I Always Knew"  –  The Vaccines
"Catch My Breath"  –  Kelly Clarkson
"Proceed to Memory"  –  Pinback
"Born 2 Run"  –  7Lions
"Good Day"  –  Jewel
"Wild Hope"  –  Mandy Moore
"Nowhere and Everywhere"  –  Michelle Lewis
"Home"  –  Gabrille Aplin
"Steal His Hear"  –  Emily & the Woods 


The Wife
Meg Wolitzer

The Positive Dog
John Gordon