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March 2013

my bella pup


To watch the video on YouTube, click here


Today I face one my greatest challenges: staying positive and present when I've lost my best friend, my loyal pup, my sweet little Bella. Though I cannot imagine life without her -- and I how I will cope with this overwhelming feeling of grief -- I know life will go on. I know every day will get a little bit easier. But for now, I'll take comfort in the memories I have of Bella (some of which you can see in the video above) and in the words of Ellen Bass, who reminds us that, even in the midst of the darkest grief, we can choose to love life... 


“To love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.” 

Ellen Bass


I have much to say on the topic of Bella and losing a loved one, today I have to embrace the silence that comes with the pain of loss. Though it's incredibly difficult to stay present when I am so filled with sadness, I am, in a way, grateful for such a deep and profound pain. The pain is a reminder of the love, of the true and lasting way that little furry pup impacted my life. She is -- and always will be -- one of the great loves of my life, and I will be forever changed for the better because I knew and loved her.  

5 ways to stop a bad day from bringing you down


No matter how much you strive to be positive and present, you're bound to have a bad day every now and then. A bad day is unpleasant enough, but when you start allowing a bad day to influence the way you feel about yourself, it turns into a much more serious matter. Unfortunately, some days are so rotten that it's hard not to let them impact your self-worth. If you make a terrible mistake or have a massive error in judgment, it can be nearly impossible not to start thinking of yourself as a bad person. But you can't let a bad day (or week or month...) get in the way of loving who you are. 

Preventing a bad day from spiraling out of control in your mind can be difficult. When things are bad, everything starts to seem bad. But here are five ways you can stop a bad day from impacting the love you have for yourself.


1. Remember your good qualities. 

When you're battling a bad day, it can be hard to remember all the things you're really good at and all of the wonderful qualities you possess. When things are going bad, take a time out from whatever you're doing and list out the things you're good at. Remind yourself of all the ways you're completely and utterly awesome. 


2. Talk it out with someone you trust.

 An outside perspective is always helpful on a bad day. When you talk with someone you trust (and preferably someone who knows just how awesome you are), you'll see the day in a new light. Just talking about what's troubling you can help you feel better -- and you never know what kinds of insights someone else might have. 


3. Keep it in perspective.

 Easier said than done when you're in the midst of a terrible day, but it's important to keep the bad day in perspective. One bad day (or even a lot of bad days!) doesn't mean everything is bad -- or will continue to be bad. Things will get better and it's important not to lose sight of that very essential truth. 

4. Make a (or review your) gratitude list.

 If you have a gratitude list, pull it out on a bad day and review all of the things you have to be grateful for. If you don't have a list, make one. Write down everything you're thankful for. Once you do this, you'll start to realize that, even though some things are bad, there are a lot of things to be grateful for. 

5. Ask others to help you out.

 Sometimes we're so overwhelmed by what's going wrong that we forget we can ask for help. When you're having a tough time, ask for help. Doing so doesn't mean you're any less strong or capable. It means you're smart. You're smart enough to know you can't do it all. Just asking someone else to lend a hand can be a great act of self-love.  


Bad days are unavoidable. They happen to us all, and they're bound to make us feel not-so-great. It's okay to get down when you have a bad day, but it's not okay to let that one day impact how you feel about yourself. No matter how bad the day gets, keep your head up -- and keep these five tips in mind. And if you need an additional self-love boost, download the free self-love reminder below. You can print it out and put it up wherever you need an reminder to love yourself!


Click Here to Download

Self-Love Printable

positively present picks: february 22, 2013




"If you only think what you've already thought,
you'll only get what you've already got." 

 Marty Neumeier





Tips for Staying Upbeat in Winter : perfect for beating those chilly season blues

Quotes! : I love a good quote round-up and this one is excellent

Urbanic Paper Boutique : so many cute things in this little shop; love it!

Which Type of Lipsmacker Are You? : for all those who still long for the '90s

Desktop Wallpaper : love this simple, clean design + inspiring quote

New Gratitude Research : giving to others makes you happier!

Maddie on Tour : I've seen her pics around but had no idea she had a book!

Google Glass : so cool... definitely want one of these someday 

The Art of Courage : courage is something we could all use a little of

Make It Happen Print : so cute + proceeds go to a good cause
(I'm adding the iPhone case to my wish list for sure!) 


Check out this week's Positively Present playlist on YouTube

"Dreamers" – Savoir Adore
"I Have Made Mistakes" – The Oh Hellos
"Feel It All Around" – Washed Out
"Happy with You" – Blackbird Blackbird
"Into the Wild" – LP
"Facing the Sun" – Treefight for Sunlight
"We Can't Stay Here" – The Grand Nationals
"Shoelaces" – The Submarines
"Shine" – Benjamin Francis Leftwich
"Wings" – Little Mix
"Good Light" – Drew Holcomb + the Neighbors
"Sail into the Sun" – Gentleman Hall
"Head to Stars" – Jack River
"Overdose" – Little Daylight
"Falling" – Haim


The Other Life 
Ellen Meister

Sweet Valley High Books
Francine Pascal  

Dangerous Love 

Dear Sister