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positively present picks: may 30, 2014

Stay curiousSource


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"The two most important days in your life are
the day you were born and the day you find out why."

Mark Twain


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Epic Blend : these premium lip balms are amazing

Devotion to Self : check out Wild Sister's new self-love e-course

Oh Joy Summer Collection : now at Target! hooray!

Popsicle Necklace : so absolutely perfect for summer

Dog Raised By Cats : might be the cutest thing ever

Dealing with Anxiety : this is for kids, but it's great adult advice too

5 Ways to Supercharge At-Home Productivity : love number one!

LOVE : loving this new app from

Cherish Your Self : a nurturing e-course from The Calm Space

7 Things Grateful People Have : lovin' #3 and #6

Blogcademy Homeschool : if you're a blogger, check this out!


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Check out this week's
   Positively Present playlist on YouTube

"Buzzcut Season" — Lorde
"Dare (La La La)" — Shakira
"How Long" — New City Kings
"River" — Sofie Winterson
"Love Someone" — Jazon Mraz
"Shot at the Night" — The Killers
"Let's Go" — Matt and Kim
"Don't Lose Yourself" — Laura Veirs
"March Into the Sun" — Echosmith
"We're Coming Up" — For the Foxes
"In the Waves" — Bess Rogers
"Love Love Love" — Tristan Prettyman

The Bonesetter's Daughter
Amy Tan

This Year I Will...:
How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution,
or Make a Dream Come True
M.J. Ryan

4 tips for embracing positive change


For my upcoming book, The Positively Present Guide to Life: How to Make the Most of Every Moment, I've been writing a lot about how to cope with unexpected change. As I've been crafting and editing my thoughts on how to make the most of what craziness life throws at you, I've been contemplating unexpected change from a negative point of view because often it's the negative unexpected changes that make it difficult to stay positive and present. 

When I think of the phrase "unexpected change," I almost always think of it in negative terms, with circumstances like illness, job loss, or death coming to mind. I almost always identify "unexpected" it with something bad (perhaps because I'm such a creature of habit and unexpected things often impact me negatively). But recently something unexpectedly good happened to me—and exciting career opportunity I'll share more about later—and I was surprised by how positive unexpected change impacted me. 

If you imagine something good happening to you completely out of the blue, you probably envision it being a completely positive, worry-free experience, right? That's what I would have thought too. But unexpected changes—even the really great ones—can still shake up your world, causing you to question (in a good way) and making you reassess some aspects of your life. 

As much as I shy away from change, I really do enjoy when positive change sneaks up on me, reminding me that life is filled with surprises, and just when you think things are going to stay the same for a good long while, something amazing and new can happen. Even when change is a good thing, sometimes it's hard to stay positive and present in the face of it. Here are some ways to cope with positive change: 



Even when change is awesome, it can throw you for a loop. Don't resist that fearfulness. Instead, embrace it, allowing yourself to feel a bit out of sorts and shaken up. That's one of the best things about positive change—it changes things. Even when change is good, it's tempting to resist it, but try to go with it, let it shake you up, and see how it feels to push out of your comfort zone. It's okay to be afraid of change— most people are—and sometimes that fear is actually a sign that you're moving in the right direction. 



One of the reasons change—no matter how positive—is challenging is because it often causes us to remove ourselves from the present moment. Instead of going about our day-to-day lives, not giving too much thought to what's next because we've grown comfortable with our routines, big changes urge us to think (perhaps too much) about the future, filling the mind with worries and concerns, like Should I take this opportunity? What will come next? What if it doesn't go as planned? Don't allow these questions to override the joy of the opportunity appearing before you right now. 



If you must think to the future (and, we all must, from time to time), try not to focus on what could go wrong, but instead what could go right. Push yourself in a positive direction by envisioning how this positive change can be a good thing. Spend time daydreaming about all of the ways things could work out well—and don't be afraid to dream big. You never know what one big change can do, and if you allow yourself to explore the future from a positive perspective, the possibilities are endless. 



When something good happens to you, it's sometimes tempting to hedge the good news with phrases like, "But I'm not sure if it will work out..." or "I still don't know how it's going to work, but..." or "I'm not sure I deserve this, but..." Chuck those phrases out the window and speak confidently about the positive opportunity you've been given. It might be true that you're uncertain or feel undeserving (even if you shouldn't!), but everything we do is uncertain. You don't know what's going to happen (none of us do with 100% certainty!) so you might as well focus on the potential of a positive change.  


LHEAN Cover Image copyWant to discover how to make the most of the moment? Check out Live Happily Ever After Now, a guide and workbook for living in the moment. It's a practical, thought-provoking resource for anyone looking to live a more positive, more present life (available in paperback or PDF). Get your copy while you can because on June 30, 2014 Live Happily Ever After Now is coming off the Positively Present bookshelf for good! 

positively present picks: may 23, 2014



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"Everything good proceeds from enthusiasm."

Brian Eno


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Cute Aggression : totally suffer from this!

80s / 90s Kid : a new Pinterest board filled with childhood memories

3 Paths to Squash Your Negative Attitude : take one of them today

Lessons from the Mental Hospital : such a brilliant, inspiring video
(Thanks, Katie, for sharing it with me!)

72 Lines to Jump-Start Your Brain : some interesting proverbs

Sitting at Work is the New Smoking : I need a standing desk ASAP!

Flat Venacular Wallpaper : made entirely of stickers. amazing.

How to Exercise with a Dog : this cartoon made me laugh. so true.

Custom Nail Decals : yes, I do have my dog's face on my nails

Give Yourself a Mid-Year Review : some really helpful worksheets here

How to Redefine Yourself By Letting Go of the Past

Chasers of the Light : cannot wait for this book to come out

Live Happily Ever After Now : only on sale until the end of June!


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Check out this week's
   Positively Present playlist on YouTube

"Under the Pressure" — War on Drugs
"1979" — RAC (feat. Liz Anjos)
"No One Ever Loved" — Lykke Li
"Busy Earnin'" — Jungle
"Seasons" — Future Islands
"Kick" — Colour Coding
"Record Collector" — Lissie
"Upside Down" — Paloma Faith
"Broken Promise Land" — Claire
"The Lion's Roar" — First Aid Kit
"Ghost" — Ella Henderson
"Kids Again" — Example

Sisterland: A Novel
Curtis Sittenfeld

This Year I Will...:
How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution,
or Make a Dream Come True
M.J. Ryan