Saturday, July 20, 2013

on positive thinking...

Something came up on my Facebook news feed once, a link to 22 things happy people do differently, I read it and fell in love. I now have it bookmarked and whenever I'm feeling particularly low, I look at this list and it instantly reminds me of the many things I have to be grateful for. It's funny how simple little reminders can change your mood completely. I can read through the list and think to myself, "you know what, you are holding a grudge.. Why? Just stop!" and it usually works! I'm worried the link will disappear one day and I'll be totally miserable and lost without it so I'm going to copy the list here and add my own insight.

1. Don't hold grudges.

I'm not the type to hold grudges. I mean, I'm a scorpio so I definitely can hold a grudge when I want to, but it doesn't happen terribly often. When I'm able to "forgive and forget" my spirits are lifted so much higher and it's well worth the inner battle.

2. Treat everyone with kindness.

This one is totally true. How often do you compliment someone? When you do, doesn't it make you feel UH-mazing? I remember in college if I was having a rough morning, I would make it a goal to say something nice about at least five people that I passed. Not only did it make my day a million times better but you could see the looks on the passerby's faces. I changed their day too. Maybe no one had said anything particularly kind to them that week and for me to be the one- that made me feel SO good. I have to remind myself to do this more often.

3. See problems as challenges.

I have a hard time with this. I's very easy to become quickly stressed when a problem arises. If I can manage to see the light at the end of the tunnel, my mind can quickly change but sometimes it's hard to see that little glimmer.

4. Express gratitude for what you already have.

Every day I notice something new and beautiful in the world. I am constantly reminded to be grateful. I have my days, like everyone else does, but for a majority of the time I am SO ridiculously grateful to everyone and everything in my life right now. I am so lucky (probably the luckiest)!

5. Dream big.

This one has NEVER been hard for me. I love to dream big! I love to dream small too. If I can envision short term goals that are easily met and I meet them- being happy just falls right into place. Those smaller goals are usually relevant to my bigger dreams and when I eventually get to that point, I am absolutely thrilled. I listed custom portrait slots on my Etsy last night for the month of August and within minutes, they were sold! I think this is insane but makes me so giddy! That big dream where I actually am able to pay my student loans from art college with money I make from my art- that's happening now.

6. Don't sweat the small stuff.

I have a hard time seeing past the small stuff sometimes. Sometimes, I'm awesome at it. This is why Zak and I work so well together. When I'm upset about something that really does not matter, he's there to remind me that it isn't a big deal. I'm forever grateful to him for that!

7. Speak well of others.

I don't think I'm a huge gossiper. I gossip, sure, but it never leaves me feeling very good. I usually always wish I could go back in time and just keep my mouth shut. Sometimes when someone tries to gossip to me, I respond with a "yeah... maybe that's true... but just last week they did the nicest thing!" I should work harder at being the nicer bigger person.

8. Never make excuses.

When I'm able to admit fault when something is indeed my fault, It's so much easier to overcome a difficulty. If I place the blame on others, it takes much longer to cope and work through said difficulty.

9. Get absorbed into the present.

Stop and smell the roses! I don't think I have any problems with this one. Sometimes I have a wave of remorse for past events, but one look at my smiling child or my gorgeous partner and the past seems trivial. It's so much more fun to jump in the ocean or fantasize about the future.

10. Wake up at the same time every morning.

I used to sleep in, and then I had a baby. Now I'm up at 6:30 every morning, even on weekends! Even when Zak and Odin sleep in. I'm not sure I'd be great at keeping up with this if I was alone, but I definitely feel more accomplished when I wake up with the sun and am able to spend as much time outside as possible before nightfall!

11. Avoid Social Comparison.

I have a very hard time with this one and always have. There are still people that are more beautiful than me or dress nicer or have better hair and I think about it often. When I'm on a good mood wave though, I tend to be the person that compliments people for the things I admire about them and then work on my own feats.

12. Choose friends wisely.

Surrounding yourself with positive people enhances life ENORMOUSLY. From experience, negative people are no fun to be around and before becoming friends with someone like that, you should probably forward them this list.

13. Never seek approval from others.

It's impossible to please everyone. I'm still accepting this, but it really is impossible. Please yourself and you will be a happier person than if you attempt to please everyone else first.

14. Take the time to listen.

I've always been a listener. This can be a good or bad thing in my opinion. I've been stuck in friendships where I was always the listener and never listened to but I've also been in friendships where the other person has so much wisdom and insight into the world that all I want to do is listen. This is directly affected by the "choose friends wisely" rule.

15. Nurture social relationships.

I'm afraid of loneliness so this has never been an issue for me, unless it's possible to over-nurture. Always make time to see family, friends, and loved ones. Even if it's a 15 minute coffee meet up or a half hour skype date. Just do it!

16. Meditate.

I do this when I'm able to focus on my artwork. When I can sit in the studio alone for an hour while Zak takes Odin on a walk or after Odin falls asleep at night, I'm really able to take in the day and calmly meditate on the things I've seen and learned. I'm also able to dream about the future, so art is my meditation.

17. Eat well.

I am proud to say that this one has become big in our lives. Since moving into our own place (even though the kitchen is SO tiny), we've been cooking more. Our garden is huge and being able to eat locally makes me feel great. Making our own bread and trading food for art or work creates such a great community!

18. Exercise.

Babywear your 27 pound baby once a day, haha. Being a mumma, I don't think it's possible to NOT exercise!!

19. Live minimally.

Other than a few recent purchase, we haven't spent a dime since Odin was born! Cloth diapering and wearing gifted or hand me down clothes has helped us to live very minimally. Also, Zak and I are so eager to save up money to buy land in the future, it's easy for us to do without.

20. Tell the truth.

Lying stresses most people out! Me being one of them. Being honest definitely improves your mental health and your self esteem! Lying makes me feel like I'm being smothered under a blanket.

21. Establish personal control.

Stay in control of your own life! Don't let others tell you how to live it or what to do with your life. I went to art school even though everyone told me I was throwing my life away! Now, I can't seem to keep up with demand for my art. It's an exciting path and I'm really glad I'm the one who chose it.

22. Accept what cannot be changed.

I sometimes think about how unfair life is, but I really shouldn't dwell and I should accept life for what it is. Some days are better than others, like with everything else on this list.

I have made it a goal to work towards being a more positive person and I really think it's working. People like happy people too! If you radiate happiness, you'll make more friends. Promise! <3

What do you do to keep some love and light in your life? What are some of your rules for positive thinking? Share the wealth of knowledge, I'm forever on this journey to be a grateful happy person and would love for you to join in with me!


  1. Printed & tacked to my bulletin board!! Such a beautiful post Michelle --thanks for sharing. Your blog is my ultimate favorite --You're such an inspirational Mama! And you (along w/miss fareisle) have really inspired me to (finally) start my own blog! Keep up the beautiful work...I'm so looking forward to having my own baby-wearing portrait someday too! You're onto something great here xoxo

    1. Yes! Thank you so much! Let me know when your blog is started. I'd love to link you!

  2. yay for scorpio! I need to work on #9, I feel like Im forever rushing around with a million things to do :-(

    1. You're a scorpio too?! I do feel that same way.. It's definitely a lot of work to maintain happiness!