How To Stay Positive
I get a lot of questions via social media and email and I truly attempt to answer
them all. The other day I got asked two questions that I absolutely couldn't answer in a
couple of sentences in a message. So I started writing...and writing and writing, and here we have it.
Leea wanted to know how I am able to remain positive, and if I have any tips on reacquainting
oneself with optimism. I spent the last two days attempting to answer and thought
I'd throw it up on here in case you were wondering the same thing.
How are you able to remain positive?
...and do you have any tips on reacquainting oneself with optimism and...the path.
First of all, reacquainting is the right word. No one is perfect, we all fucking know that. A lot of us that have found a path have gotten onto it via experience—the good, the bad and the ugly. And if we've found an optimistic light, it's not always there. Temptation is a bitch. Memory is a bitch. Addiction is a bitch. Loneliness is a bitch. Weakness is a bitch. You're not alone if you feel like you sometimes wander off of your path. Trust me, it happens to the best of us. But honestly guys, everything in moderation, including moderation. Wandering is good and getting lost is even better sometimes. There are certainly valuable lessons to be learned in the extremes.
How am I able to remain positive? Simply put: I believe in a higher power, a universal energy that wants the best for me. What I've learned is that this energy or entity, whatever you believe, creates for me very literally what it is I believe about myself—what sort of vibes and beliefs I put out into the universe. So at this point in my life it's a no-brainer to think positive because I have seen and reaped the benefits.
It hasn't always been this way though. Don't feel bad about not knowing what to do or where to turn because if you've never been in a situation you probably don't know the best way to handle it. That's how it works. We gotta go through the laundry to come out clean. I don't know how to say this without just getting to the punch line so in a nutshell, I've dealt with drugs, a physically abusive relationship and alcohol issues. I have an amazingly supportive family and community of friends, but I needed the rawness of life with my own fuck-ups to truly understand and come to terms with myself and why I'm here. Shit's not easy guys...I know the majority of you know that. That's why you come here...for the truth. This is my truth. I don't want my life to be easy. Okay, yes I enjoy when life is easy, but then you don't learn anything and you're soft and full of fear of the unknown. Throw yourself out there. Get lost. Get tossed around a little bit. Be uncomfortable. Get laughed at and laugh at yourself. One of the secrets to life is being okay with whatever happens; when things are good, be grateful and when things are not so good, look for the lesson and take something away from the experience that betters you as a human.
Wisdom, understanding, compassion, self-love...none of these things would exist in my life without experience. So how am I able to remain positive? Because I've tried all the ways...I've tried saying, "fuck it" to everything. I've tried not caring. I've tried half-assing life. I've tried giving it my all. I've tried loving everything and everyone. I've tried a positive and faithful outlook regardless of the bullshit and pain that life can present because I've realized that all we've got is right now. Seriously, I know it's a cliché to say but it's fucking true. You could die in fifty minutes, or in fifty years. What do you have to lose by remaining positive? What are you scared of?
Also, since we're on the cliché train, YOU CAN'T BE ANYTHING UNLESS YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU ALREADY ARE. I know it's really hard sometimes when what you want to be or what you aspire to be seems so far away from the moment, but hear me out...you can become that person! You already are...everything you need to be that person is inside of you. All you have to do is believe. Get all goofy on it like the Lost Boys in 'Hook' and start throwing imaginary food while you dance like a fool and sing to the song you're embarrassed to say you love. Swear to god that combo will ignite a little fire. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE SOMETHING IN ORDER TO BECOME IT. Believe that you are worthy of it and that you possess everything to become it, whatever it is. Your heart wants you to be the very best version of yourself. Start using phrases that begin with "I am..." and you fill in the blank for what you want to be and start watching shit get real in your life. Keep it in the present. I am...not I will.
Tips to help stay on the path:
• You have to make time for the things that make you happy. This is absolutely essential. How do you stay positive and happy? By doing more of the things that make you feel good. Write that shit down on your calendar and create time slots for your passions. Work hard so you can play hard doing what you love to do. I had a conversation with an older gentleman the other day and he said that although his body ached and he couldn't ski anymore, he wouldn't take a moment of his crazy, wild life back because he felt he had used his body for what it was made for when he was young, flexible and full of energy. He told me not to wait to do things when I'm older because I might not be able to do them when I get to that point. Or I won't live to that point, so I should probably get to it now. Like right now.
• Always go with your gut instinct. This is what I believe: There is a higher energy that is in us all and guides us all to live the life that's best for us, that brings us to our highest potential. Gut instincts, part of that is this energy communicating with us. The more we listen to it, the louder and more easier it gets to hear. It can also be called your Heart Voice. Listen to that always. It is important to weigh logical and reasonable options (my dad definitely taught me that), but ultimately the heart knows best and is pretty good at telling us what the most beneficial decisions are. You just have to learn to listen and to trust it.
• Don't make assumptions. No one knows exactly what's going on with you in your life, and vice versa.
• Don't feel like you have to go at it alone. In fact, I highly suggest finding some help. There is incredible support out there for whatever you are looking to improve in your life. I prefer books and reading material. One book that changed my life and continues to help me get back on my path when I wander away is 'You Can Heal Your Life' by Louise Hay. I've been reading chapters of that book consistently for almost six years. I also have two daily reads that I get into each morning. One is 'Awakening' by Shakti Gawain and the other is '365 Tao' by Deng Ming-Dao. In addition to daily inspiration and centering, these books help create a bit of routine and structure in my morning. Moral of the story is that it's 100% okay to reach out and find support for anything in life, big or small.
• Do not feel guilty about spoiling yourself sometimes! This is part of how I keep my sanity. I call them Jane Days. Every now and then when I have a day to myself I do everything that I want to do all day. I don't care about how much money I spend at the thrift store, I take myself out to eat, I might go to the hot springs or vapor caves; maybe I'll do nothing for three hours or binge watch The Office and eat greasy food. Or I'll spend $100 on groceries and cook up a gourmet meal for some friends. I'm a super frugal person, but here and there I let loose on the reigns a bit and let myself do whatever I want for a day. It's good for ya and you are fucking worth it!
• BE GRATEFUL. Express gratitude all the time. You can never express too much gratitude. Say thank you to everyone. Say thank you to the sun for shining and to someone special in your life just for being there. Expressing gratitude is how we can bring more abundance into our lives. I totally believe this because I've put it to the test! Life fucking sucked for me at one point and the person and life that I wanted for myself seemed so far away it gave me anxiety. But I began to change the way I thought about things and started focusing and being grateful for what I had, instead of putting my energy into the things that I felt I lacked. I started saying affirmations in present tense about what I wanted out of myself and out of life and I stayed persistent in it, and you know what? It was fucking wild when things started happening, things started shifting. It took a little while, not gonna lie—you gotta stick to it, but it was like dominoes when shit started to work out. Express gratitude and stay persistent in your beliefs and life goes on super power mode.
• Create a comfortable, inspiring, supportive space and circle of friends. This is pretty key to staying on track and holding a positive mindset. Space: keep things simple; choose colors that make you feel relaxed and artwork and knick-knacks that give you good memories and feelings. Create a space that you look forward to spending time in and want to be in so that when you need alone time you're comfortable and at ease. Friends: hang around with people who make you feel good about yourself and that you look up to. We absorb the energies of everything and everyone around us, so don't spend too much time with toxic people.
• Remember, habits are formed in what, three weeks or something. So start now (right now, not tomorrow) creating some healthy habits and rituals. If you stick to it every day it will become routine and you will start to see positive change. I PROMISE. Be patient with yourself; you don't have to do it all in one day. And also remember that everything you think and say, that's what you become; it's what you create for yourself. Change your thoughts, and you change everything. Own that power! You're a badass!
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