Positively Present Picks : January 13, 2017

 
Understand


Quote-of-the-week

"Everything that irritates us about others
can lead us to an understanding of ourselves." 

C.G. Jung

 

Links-I-Love    
Eternal Optimist Talking Points for 2017 : love these!!

The Danger of Silence : speaking up creates safety

Chasing Slow : Pop and Banter's interview with Erin

Judging Others : the truth behind it + why we do it

5 Barriers to Success : essential thing to avoid for success

All of My Failures Can be Traced to Silence : again, speak up!

Be Optimistic : this enamel sign is simple + inspiring (this too)

Color Wheel Blanket : any designer would love this

6 Questions to Help You Love Yourself : even when it's so hard

Building a Healthier You : Free People's 10 step list is A+

Powerful Ways to Work Through Fear : you can do it!!

Small Room : a simple -- but so powerful -- quote

Rethinking the Winter Blues : winter has a silver lining

10 Ways to Return to Peacefulness : we all need more peace

Body Positivity x Social Media : very important to consider

 

Listening

Listen to this playlist on YouTube.
Finally on Spotify! Follow me!


"Castle on the Hill" — Ed Sheeran
"I Want It All" — Natalie Taylor
"Crash" — Trella
"Next Life" — Souls
"Trouble" — Cage the Elephant
"Break"— North Elements
"Shape of You" —Ed Sheeran
"Mania" — Keenan O'Meara
"Me Myself & I" — G-Eazy
"Leave Your Lover" — Echos

 

Reading

Check out my reading list on GoodReads.
 

The Animators
Kayla Rae Whitaker

The 50 States: Explore the USA
Gabrielle Balkan
 

I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life*

Effortless Inspiration Series:
Gratitude, Living in the Moment, 
Compassion, and Forgiveness*

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present*
 

Some links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and purchase something, I receive a commission. There is no additional cost to you if you use these links, and I will never share links for products I haven't or wouldn't purchase myself. For more information on affiliate links, please visit the Terms of Use page. 


What Do You Really Want? (+ Worksheet!)

 

What Do You Really Want Positively Present
 

After declaring this the Year of Self-Love, I've been doing a lot of thinking about it -- like, way more than I've ever done about any topic before. When you start looking for something (or, in some cases, the lack of something), you see it everywhere. That's what's been happening to me over the past few weeks. Self-love (or lack of it) is in everywhere, connected to everything. It impacts every single aspect of life in every single person, which is pretty crazy, as far as writing topics go.

At times it can feel overwhelming, the idea of transforming (or trying to transform...) every aspect of the self. But it's also kind of liberating as well. There's a freedom that comes with knowing that, though you don't have control over so many aspects of your life, there are still things you can positively influence. 

That being said, it's still a ton of things to work on, and the only way to take on a huge project, in my opinion, is to break it down into manageable bits. So that's what I'm planning to do -- to pay attention to the parts of self-love that jump out at me each week and share them in some way here (while, of course, bringing positivity and awareness into the mix!). What's been coming to the forefront this week is wanting

The word "want" has two main definitions: (1) have a desire to possess or do something; and (2) lack or be short of something desirable or essential. 

That feeling of desire -- and of lack -- is one of the things that stands in the way of self-love. And the more I started paying attention to the idea of wanting, the more I realized how much I was doing of it all the time. I started keeping a list, writing down all of the things I thought or said I wanted over the course of a few days, and it was kind of astounding how lengthy it got. Here's a sample of some of the things I wrote:

 

  • I want a the newest iPhone.
  • I want to see wolves in the wild.
  • I wish I had this cute sweatshirt.
  • I want to declutter my apartment.
  • I want a German Shepherd.
  • I wish I had better filming equipment.
  • I want the new Ban.do products.
  • I wish I had a new book contract.
  • I want to read the book Chasing Slow
  • I want to make more money. 
  • I wish I had some Tate's cookies.  
  • I want this shirt in my size. 
  • I wish I could afford this class.  
  • I want to create a newsletter.
  • I wish I had these silver sandals.
  • I want to donate more money. 
  • I want all Adam J. Kurtz's stuff. 

 

Most of these desires were "someday" types of things -- "I want a German Shepherd one day" or "I could really use a new phone so I don't keep getting that damn 'Storage Almost Full' message" or "I'm trying to keep only healthy food in the house but I could really go for a cookie right now" -- and some aren't even inherently bad. But, even if it didn't feel as if my life was majorly lacking without those things (i.e., I wasn't really bemoaning the fact that I couldn't get a new dog at that moment), I had to wonder:

 

What is all this wanting doing to how I feel about my life and about myself? Do these thoughts -- even if they don't make me feel as if I'm lacking as a person -- have a negative impact on my sense of self? And, more importantly, would I have wanted these things had I not seen them online, by complete and utter chance? 

 

We all see so many images all day, every day, and many of them make us want something other than what we have -- whether that be a physical product (like this cute notebook!) or an abstract concept (like love, success, etc.). I know not everyone might be exposed at the level I am -- I'm a bit obsessive with social media and follow tons of brands and people who create cool things so I see a lot of stuff and ideas every day -- but I still think most of us have those "I want..." or "I wish I had..." thoughts at least once a day. 

All wanting isn't bad, but the idea that I'm wanting so much, all the time, even in subtle little ways, seems very at odds with the notion of loving one's self. Instead of celebrating all that I have, I find myself looking for new things to desire, and, while the desire itself isn't negative, it's often misdirected (and often does so in a way that negates self-love, positivity, and mindful acceptance). Desiring things absent-mindedly or by default isn't the best way to create a life you love. 

So, what do we do about this? We're obviously going to want things (and by "things" I also mean people, ideas, jobs, achievements, feelings, etc.), and I don't think there's anything wrong with that at all -- so long as we're wanting them for the right reasons and so long as they will, in fact, provide us with what it is that we desire. And that's where the solution comes in. We have to examine what we're wanting and we have to determine if it's real

 

Wanting

Click here to download the free PDF!

 

Actually figuring out what we want (and whether we'll get it from the thing we desire) isn't always the easiest, but it doesn't have to be too tricky. I made the worksheet above to help me sort through my own wants this coming week, and I'm sharing it with you so you, too, can track what you want. 

My challenge to you (and myself!) this week is to do the following, using the worksheet:

  1. Pay attention to every time you find yourself thinking or saying, "I want" (or some version of it, like "I wish I had..."). Write what you want in the first column. (If possible, try to keep the list private so that you feel free to write whatever you've been wanting without any fear of judgment.)

  2. Reflect what you wrote in column 1. What makes you want that thing? What do you think will happen if you get it? If you don't? Is it something that will have a positive impact on your life? 

  3. Dig deeper. Consider whether this is something you do, in fact, really want or if it might be a reflex or habit. (For example, if a beloved brand comes out with a new line of something, do you actually want it or do you just think you do because you always get the newest items.). Also, assess whether the desire yours or if it's based on what you think you should want or what someone else wants. And, of course, consider whether this item is, in fact, a symptom of something bigger that you want. (For example, you want a new lipstick because you want to feel pretty because you want to be confident. Could it be possible to desire -- and pursue -- confidence directly?)

  4. Contemplate whether this item is a solution to a problem. For example, let's say you want a new notebook because you think it'll be a great inspiration for keeping organized this year. The last column is where you can determine if that specific notebook is, in fact, necessary to get the result you want. Do you already have a notebook you could use? Is there a notebook that might fit your needs even better? Is this really about a notebook or is it about motivation or organization or something even deeper? 

 

Reflecting on -- and, in many cases, adjusting -- our wants is an essential aspect of self-love. What we want (even if we don't end up getting it) influences how we feel and think and act. For me, it's often a default setting. I see something cool and my first thought is, I want that! I don't always (or often...) purchase something simply because I want it (as I used to, when I was younger and hitting up the mall on an almost daily basis), but that reflex is still in place, and I honestly don't think it has a very positive impact on me. 

I thought learning to control my spending impulses was a great act of self-love and I feel proud of myself every time I don't spend frivolously. But I think I can -- and should -- take it further, to break not just the habit of mindless spending, but also the habit of mindless wanting. Hopefully this worksheet is a start of a new way of seeing my desires -- and, if you're like me and struggle with the conflict between wanting and self-loving, I hope it'll help you, too! 

  

PPGTL-Footer Love-Self-Footer Find-Self-Footer Stickers-Footer


 

 


Positively Present Picks : January 6, 2017

 
Peace


Quote-of-the-week

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."

Maya Angelou

 

Links-I-Love    
How to Detox Your Mind & Body from 2016 : as featured on Snapchat ;)

Trying Hard to Grow : this tweet pretty much sums up 2017 so far

Celebrate New Year's Every Month : I love this idea of a monthly "new year"

The Desire Map : this book was life-changing; re-reading it now

8 Ways to be a Spiritual Activist in 2017 : such great ideas for the year

Another Sunday : discovered this DC blogger recently. she's amazing. 

Books on Being Better : a site featuring non-boring books to make you better

Goals with Soul 2017 : this sounds like an amazing way to achieve this year

99 Reasons 2016 Was a Good Year : it was a tough one, but now all bad

Why 2017 is the Year to Be Organized : thanks, House Beautiful, for the feature!

Inspiring Stationery : I'm (no surprise!) obsessed with Adam's new work

Love and Compassion : a great write-up on the secret of self-control

20 Powerful Affirmations for the New Year : wise words for a brand new start

Prioritize Pleasure : it's important to take your pleasure seriously

Will You Do as Much as It Takes, as Long as It Takes? : a motivating read!

Daily Ritual Worksheet : loving this freebie from Danielle LaPorte

 

Listening

Listen to this playlist on YouTube.
Finally on Spotify! Follow me!


"Alaska" — Maggie Rogers
"Deep Breaths" — Cold Weather Company
"Tattoo" — Calmani & Grey
"Not Me" — Melvv
"Codes" — Perish
"Found"— Trenton
"Flawless" — Beyonce
"Deep Water" — Jewel
"Lighthouse" — Hearts & Colors
"It's Gotta Be You" — Isaiah

 

Reading

Check out my reading list on GoodReads.
 

The Animators
Kayla Rae Whitaker

The 50 States: Explore the USA
Gabrielle Balkan
 

I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life*

Effortless Inspiration Series:
Gratitude, Living in the Moment, 
Compassion, and Forgiveness*

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present*
 

Some links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and purchase something, I receive a commission. There is no additional cost to you if you use these links, and I will never share links for products I haven't or wouldn't purchase myself. For more information on affiliate links, please visit the Terms of Use page. 


2017: The Year of Self-Love

 

Positively-Present-Self-Love

 

Happy 2017!

Over the past (almost) eight years of running this site, one thing has become glaringly obvious to me: it's very difficult to stay positive and present if you don't love who you are

This truth has become so vital to who I am and what this brand, Positively Present, stands for, and that's why I'm making it a priority in 2017. Though I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, the start of a new year is a pretty great time to reflect on the past year, re-evaluate where you are now, and redirect your energy to where you'd like go in the next twelve months.

It was as I was doing my personal reflection and re-evaluation toward the end of the year that I realized just how absolutely essential self-love has been to me in 2016 — and how much more I actually need of it in my life. I talk the talk, but I don't always walk the walk. 

And I know I'm not alone in this. Almost every one I know struggles with self-love in some form. We all want to love ourselves, most us claim to, but we all struggle to actually do it fully. Maybe we love our work, but hate our bodies. Or we love the way we look, but hate how we act in relationships. Self-love is hard because it's all-encompassing. To truly experience it, you can't just love parts of yourself; you have to love it all. I believe we all struggle so much with this because we don't think about it enough. Over the past couple of days, I've been putting this "Year of Self-Love" into practice by asking myself this every time I have a thought or take an action: 

 

Is this a loving thing to do for myself? 

 

Sometimes asking this question changes how I act. (For example, maybe eating the entire large bag of M&M's isn't the most self-loving act. I pour a handful and put the bag back.) Sometimes asking it doesn't. (For example, maybe I'd be loving myself a bit more if I limited the amount of negative political commentary I'm reading on Twitter. I still scroll and scroll.) But even when asking that question doesn't change my behavior, it makes me stop and think — and that pause before acting is an important first step for making better, more positive choices. Maybe if I ask myself that enough every time I open Twitter, I'll start to limit the amount of time I spend on there. Or maybe I'll unfollow some of the more negative accounts. (In fact, I'm going to go do that right now!)

The important thing about this question is that it causes you to be more conscious of what you're doing, what you're saying, and how you're thinking and feeling. So many of us (myself included!) spend so much of our time operating on autopilot, doing what we've always done because it's been okay so far. But, I don't know about you, but "okay" isn't really what I'm going for in my life. And I believe self-love is the very best way to avoid the default path, to create a life that is way better than just okay. 

I've got some really exciting things coming up in 2017, and I can't wait to dedicate this year to loving myself more —and help you do the same! To start, let's keep asking ourselves that question — "Is this a loving thing to do for myself?" — as often as we can. It might not change every action we take, but awareness is the first step to making this the best, most loving year yet! 

  

PPGTL-Footer Love-Self-Footer Find-Self-Footer Stickers-Footer


 

 


Positively Present Picks : December 30, 2016


Positively-Present-New-Year

Quote-of-the-week

"The new year stands before us,
like a chapter in a book,
waiting to be written."

Melody Beattie

 

Links-I-Love    
New Year, Same Me : an old post I seem to re-read every new year

21 Innovations that Improved the World in 2016 : hooray for innovators!

End-of-Year Prompts : listen to this podcast for great inspiration

3 Quick Questions for a Happier 2017 : simple, but powerful queries

Forgiveness Is a Great Act of Kindness : more on forgiveness in my book

10 Signs Your Soul Wants You to Unplug : I have way too many of these. yikes.

Purpose is the New Medicine : what if we focused more on purpose? 

5 Key Lifestyle Changes for Staying Sober : lifestyle changes are vital for sobriety

New Year, No Procrastination : some tips for ending procrastination for good

Yoga for Everyone : want to try, but feel unsure? read this NYT article

Mindfully Free of Wanting People to Be a Certain Way : wow, this is powerful

10 Questions to Ask Yourself to End 2016 Feeling Powerful + Positive

Continual Letting Go When You're Overwhelmed : stop romanticizing busy

What Are You Telling Yourself? : pay close attention to the stories you tell

5 Questions for a Deeper Year-in-Review : dig deeper, learn more

Self-Control Is Just Empathy for Your Future Self : wow. that's so true.

Journaling Your Way to Success : journaling is more powerful than you think

 

Listening

Listen to this playlist on YouTube.
Finally on Spotify! Follow me!


"I Was Born a Dreamer" — SHEL
"A Long December" — Counting Crows
"Friends" — Majik
"Green Trees Red Hearts" — Nat Jay
"The New Year" — Death Cab for Cutie
"New Year's Eve"— The Head & the Heart
"Luxuries" — Folded Like Fabric
"I Don't Wanna Live Forever" — Sonna Rele
"Frames" — Luke Thompson
"We Will Run" — Jens Kuross

 

Reading

Check out my reading list on GoodReads.
 

Life Word: Discovering Your One
Word to Leave a Legacy
Jon Gordon

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea
Ben Clanton

The 50 States: Explore the USA
Gabrielle Balkan
 

I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life*

Effortless Inspiration Series:
Gratitude, Living in the Moment, 
Compassion, and Forgiveness*

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present*
 

Some links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and purchase something, I receive a commission. There is no additional cost to you if you use these links, and I will never share links for products I haven't or wouldn't purchase myself. For more information on affiliate links, please visit the Terms of Use page.