positively present picks: may 8, 2015

Dog-MomDani + Barkley / DaniDiPirro.com


image from www.positivelypresent.com

"A mother is she who can take the place of all,
but whose place no one else can take."

Cardinal Merillod


image from www.positivelypresent.com

 So excited about my exclusive interview with 
Whole Food Love on Women’s Health & Wellness.
Listen in to this free event starting on May 11, 2015!


Did you know my book's been out for almost two months?
Come get a signed copy in Rockville, Arlington, and Towson

Mother's Day Coupons : print out these freebies for a last minute gift

Shower Yourself in Positivity : I love this idea so much I might try it

How 5 Every Day People's Actions Change Lives of Hundreds

The Gift of Attitude : listen in to my Express Yourself radio interview!

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Saying Yes : and read this

40 Quotes to Help Quiet Your Mind : take some time for inspiration

ABCs of Epic Friendship : 26 ways to be a really great friend

Soul Truth Declarations : lovin' this inspiration from Danielle LaPorte

6 Ways to Create More Zen in Your Day : we all need more calm

New Emily McDowell Cards : love 'em all (especially this one!)

Helpful Charts Every Creative Person Needs : excellent motivation here

You Don't Have to Be Beyonce : defining your own kind of success

Do You Procrastinate? : check out the Joy Reminder planner's video

Storyfy.me : absolutely love this idea for a custom biography!

5 Pieces of Advice : a great resource for inspiration + motivation

A Miner Detail : listen into my interview on this great podcast

image from www.positivelypresent.com

Check out this week's
Positively Present playlist on YouTube

"I of the Storm" — Of Monsters and Men
"Mountain Song" — Little Chief
"Be Yourself" — Harrison Storm
"Golden" — The Brahms
"How Did I Get Here" — Odessa
"Make Your Own Way" — Little Brutes
"I Can Change" — Brandon Flowers
"Drift" — Alina Baraz + Galimatias
"Show Me Love" — Sam Feldt
"Young Heart" — Vanessa Carlton
"There's a Ghost" — Fleurie
"Pretty Girls" — Britney Spears + Iggy Azalea


The Casual Vacancy
J.K. Rowling

(Get your copy my book, out now!)

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro


harnessing the positive power of no



This post is inspired by my exclusive interview with Whole Food Love, which will debut during a free event on Women’s Health & Wellness, featuring expert interviews from 25+ of the top sources in lifestyle advice. Listen in to this FREE event starting on May 11, 2015! 


No is a very powerful word when it comes to your relationships with others — and with yourself. When you first think about it, the word "no" might trigger thoughts of negativity, but harnessing the power of no can be a very positive thing. In particular, mastering the art of saying no is essential to distancing yourself from negative people or situations. Many people have a “yes” default setting when asked to attend an event or help with a project, which would seem like a positive thing, right? For the most part, saying yes to others — offering to help or showing support — is a good thing, but if yes is a default response for you, you might not be pausing to consider whether or not saying yes will have a positive impact on your life. When it comes to determining whether or not a yes is a positive or a negative consider these questions: 



Before immediately responding to a question or a request, take a moment (or a day to think about it) and ask yourself, "What do I really want?" This isn't to say you should just do what you want all the time and not go out of your way for others, but if you find yourself always saying yes (even when you don't want to), it's time to step back and think about your own needs. And keep in mind that putting yourself first isn't always selfish. Sometimes choosing to say no can cut out resentment in a relationship and that will positively impact you and others. 



"No" has such a negative connotation that sometimes we’re afraid to actually say it without hedging or following it with an explanation. Instead, we say things like, “I’ll have to think about it…” or “I’m not sure, maybe…” These phrases not only confuse others (is that a yes or a no?), but also dilute our own thoughts. Don’t be afraid to say no when you’re 100% certain you don’t want to engage in a particular activity. Imagine if every time you said "yes" you offered some sort of explanation as to why you wanted to partake! Just like saying yes, saying no doesn't require an explanation.



Whenever you say no to something, keep in mind that you're saying yes to something else. You're freeing up your time (and, in some cases, your emotional bandwidth) to engage in another (perhaps more positive) activity. If you feel bad turning someone down, try thinking about what you're saying yes to instead. Reframing the no in a more positive way might make it easier to commit to. The more you focus on how you will be spending your time, the more effortless it becomes to turn down invitations or requests that aren't adding value to your life. 



The more you value yourself, your thoughts, and your emotions, the easier it is to say no when necessary. When you remind yourself of how valuable your time is — and that it shouldn't be wasted on certain people or situations — you’re likely to feel less guilt or hesitation when it comes to saying no. Valuing your time and your emotional wellbeing helps you to create a strong sense of self, a trait that reminds you to preserve your positive moments by saying no when you need to. Remember: loving yourself isn't selfish.



One of the toughest things about harnessing the power of no is encountering people who just won’t take no for an answer. You know the type — the ones that pepper you with questions or try to come up with creative solutions that will make it possible for you to say yes. When you encounter these types of people, stand your ground and simply repeat your initial response. (If you find yourself wanting to waver, consider reminding yourself of the reasons you chose to say no in the first place or what you're saying yes to when you're saying no.) 


It can be tough to say no sometimes, but learning how to do it without feeling guilty or unsettled is an essential aspect of living a positive, present life. The more you master the art of saying no when you need to, the easier it becomes to fill your life with activities and people who positively influence you. Saying no is also a vital skill for staying true to yourself, which is one of the most important ways to live positively in the present. 




Want more inspiration for staying true to yourself? You can start by doing some soul-searching with the Finding Yourself workbook. Get to know yourself better, discover more about what you value, and uncover what you want most by downloading a copy of the e-book Finding Yourself: A Soul-Searching Workbook for Surprising Self Discovery. Filled with inspiration, questions, and activities to get you thinking about what it means to be you, Finding Yourself is a must for learning more about who you are and about what matters most to you. Learn more about the workbook here and purchase your very own soul-searching copy here.

positively present picks: may 1, 2015


image from www.positivelypresent.com

“A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves
and very much not ourselves – a special kind of double.”

Toni Morrison



image from www.positivelypresent.com

 So excited about my exclusive interview with 
Whole Food Love on Women’s Health & Wellness.
Listen in to this free event starting on May 11, 2015!

How Dogs "See" with Their Noses : this video fascinated me

24 of the Most Beautiful Quotes about Naturelove #4

You Don't Have to Be Friends with Everyone : such a great read

12 Toxic Beliefs You Need to Get Out of Your Mind : just let 'em go!

Bruce Jenner's Interview : I was so inspired by his bravery

Dress Your Tech : loving these beautiful, nature-inspired backgrounds

Tomorrow : this app lets you record inspiring messages for yourself

23 Perfect Words for Unique Emotions : I love learning new words

How Positive Writing Will Help You Have a Happier Life

DIY Emoji Clutch : adding this adorable DIY to my to-do list!

Seth Godin on Self-Talk : and how to deal with criticism

Read This If Everything Feels Awful : an article to bookmark for sure

Top 20 Inspirational Blogs to Follow : so honored to be included :)

15 Ways to Spread Kindness Today : kill 'em with kindness!


image from www.positivelypresent.com

Check out this week's
Positively Present playlist on YouTube

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm
"Emoticons" — The Wombats
"Take My Love" — The Lone Bellow
"Forgiveness" — Made in Heights
"Happiness Man on Earth" — Broken Back
"Islander" — Robyn Sherwell
"State of Low" — Cajsa Siik
"Lifted Up" — Passion Pit
"Geronimo" — Sheppard
"Foolish Games" — Jewel
"Summer" — Imagine Dragons
"Always Love" — Nada Surf


Susan Minot

Better Each Day:
365 Expert Tips for a Healthier, Happier You

Jessica Cassity

Francine Prose

(Get your copy my book, out now!)

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro


put your heart to paper: celebrating moms!

Put-Your-Heart-To-Paperflower illustration via freepik

In our digital-dominated world, the art of putting words on paper isn't as common as it once was, but I think it needs to have a comeback. The act of writing something down — sending a letter or mailing a handwritten card — is so meaningful. It's not only an incredibly positive act (and something the card-receiver greatly appreciates), but it's also a wonderful way to stay present. When you sit down to write something by hand, you bring yourself into the moment, putting your full attention on the words coming from your heart. 

With Mother's Day just around the corner (May 10, in case you need a reminder!), it's a perfect time to think about putting pen to paper and jotting down something meaningful for the mom (or mom-like figure) in your life. I've teamed up with Hallmark and the Put Your Heart To Paper campaign to explore some of the beautiful ways you can put your heart on paper this Mother's Day using some of the beautiful cards designed for Hallmark. 




I've been fortunate to have strong, inspiring, and empowering women in my life, and Mother's Day is a wonderful day to take time to celebrate these women and to reflect on how they've made my life better. In particular, I'm going to share the positive influences of four women who have, whether they realize it or not, inspired me with their maternal guidance and wisdom. Only one of these is my biological mother (the best mother in the world, I might add!). The others are women who have shared love and wisdom just like a mother would. I'm so incredibly lucky to have had them in my life, improving me and my view of the world. Below are the cards I'm going to give them (or wish I could give them, in some cases...): 





First and foremost is my best-ever biological mom. I can't even tell you how lucky I am to have her for a mom. She's the kind of mom that all the other kids wished was their mom, the kind of mom that grown adults say, "I wish were your daughter." She's awesome. And this first card (one of my favorites of all the cards this year!) is perfect for her. On the outside, it reads, "Good moms let their kids lick the beaters" (my mom always did) and inside it says, "Great moms turn the mixer off first." That little bit of sass is perfect for my mom who definitely has a little wildness in her. ;) In the card, I plan to tell her just how thankful I am for her — for both all of the fun times and all the times she did her best to protect me from harm. She's such a wonderful mom that it's not hard to think of wonderful things to say about her, but I always try to make an effort to put it in writing (especially on Mother's Day!). 



The next card goes out to my best friend / cousin who is celebrating her first Mother's Day this May. Being a new mom is tough and she's had some extra challenges to cope with, but she's been such a strong and inspiring mother through it all. Not only that, but she's been a bit like an older sister to me all my life, sharing her wisdom with me and teaching me the ways of the world. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a family member they consider a best friend and I'm so thankful for her. That's why this card, with the beautiful words "You are so very loved and admired" is perfect for her. Not only do I love her like crazy, but I also really admire her, particularly for how strong she's been over the past year. She's truly and inspiring woman and I'm so lucky that I have her in my life. 



Though she's no longer a part of my life in a tangible way (she passed away after a long battle with cancer), this next card would certainly be perfect to send to the mother-like figure I spent so much time with as a child. The mother of my best friend, I was always over at her house and so she became sort of like a second mom to me growing up. What was so great about this was that she was so different from my mom in so many ways, which gave me the experience of having insight from a completely different perspective. This card reads: "A mom's heart is always there — ready to comfort, ready to give, ready to love." From this woman, I learned so much, especially about how a mother's love isn't biological and, instead, comes from something deeper than that. I was so lucky to have her in my life as a child and though she's no longer here, she'll always be a part of me. 



An online mom sounds a bit silly, but what I mean by this is a woman I don't know in real life, but who inspires and motivates me constantly with her words and her wisdom. For me, this is Danielle LaPorte, a woman whose wisdom I return to again and again online, in her books, and via the Truthbomb deck sitting on my desk. This superwoman card is perfect for her because she helps so many women around the world. Inside, the card reads: "Thanks for always using your powers for good," and that's just what Danielle does. She has a lot of online influence, but she uses it to raise people up, not bring them down. She's focused on positive inspiration and, in many ways, her words have positively impacted my life. She might not be someone I know in the real world, but her maternal guidance has far-reaching powers. 


Who do you plan to give cards to this Mother's Day?  Regardless of your relationship with your own mother (I know some aren't as lucky as I've been in the mom lottery of life!), Mother's Day is a wonderful time to reflect on the women in your life who have contributed to making your world a better place. And, more importantly, it's a wonderful time to share those reflections with them. I know sometimes it can feel awkward and cheesy to tell someone how you feel, but you never know just what it might mean to someone to read your words on paper. This Mother's Day, pick up a card, write your own personal message, and send it to a woman who's transformed your life in some way. Putting your heart to paper is a simple act, but it can mean so much. 


HallmarkThis post was sponsored by Hallmark. All content and opinions are entirely my own. To learn more about Hallmark's Put Your Heart To Paper campaign, visit PutYourHeartToPaper.com. Keep on top of all the Hallmark goodness by checking out Hallmark's Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts. And this Mother's Day, stop by your local Hallmark store, pick up a card for someone you love, and put your heart to paper. 

positively present picks: april 24, 2015

Forever-Is-NowImage Source


image from www.positivelypresent.com

Forever — is composed of Nows—
'Tis not a different time...
Let Months dissolve in further Months—
And Years — exhale in Years...

Emily Dickinson


image from www.positivelypresent.com

Barnes & Noble Book Signing (Rockville, MD) : come see me May 9!

The Time When We'll Be Present & Content : hint: it should be right now

3 Simple Habits to Improve Your Mood : don't wait to get a mood boost

If Anna Kendrick Tweets Were Motivational Posters : made me laugh :)

Breathe : I'm lovin' this new metallic gold Tattly temporary tattoo

Financial Planner : in love with this planner I just got from Ninj & Ninj

Are You Scared Out of Your Mind? : good, you're on the right track

8 Sure Ways to Block Positivity : add these eight to your to-don't list

DIY Glitter Sunglasses : yes, these are probably a mess, but I love them

5 Ways to Pummel Procrastination : 'cause we all do it sometimes...

Stop Resisting the Present and You Destroy Fear : this really is so true


image from www.positivelypresent.com

Check out this week's
Positively Present playlist on YouTube

"American Oxygen" — Rihanna
"The Follower" — Sun City
"Tear You Down" — RAC feat. Alex Ebert
"Somewhere" — Colleagues
"Feel Real" — Deptford Goth
"Smile" — Mikky Ekko
"Still Want You" — Brandon Flowers
"Impossible" — Shout Out Louds
"What's Real" — WATERS
"Clementine" — Sarah Jaffe
"While Dress" — Set Mo feat. Deutsch Duke
"Cheap Sunglasses" — RAC feat. Matthew Koma


Paper Towns
John Green

Ani DiFranco: Verses
Ani DiFranco

(Get your copy my book, out now!)

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro