How To Negate Negativity

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for a newer and richer experience. Eleanor Roosevelt

Did you know that your brain is built to be more sensitive to unpleasant news than it is to pleasant? You’ll probably remember the rebuke longer than you’ll remember the praise. Sometimes, the sadness of death will impact a person more than the feelings of joy and warmth they received from their loved one.

This bias for negativity generally causes us to worry more than necessary, fear the worst, and focus on bad narratives for too long. When we allow this to happen, we rob ourselves of experiencing the joys around us.

Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author, writes, “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”

Affirmation: I feel the joy.

Coaching questions/requests: Are you experiencing an abundance of anxiety, stress, or worry? What about sadness, bitterness, regret? This week, take time to be aware of your negativity. As you do so, refocus your thoughts by meditating, having an attitude of gratitude, establishing a “worry time” or writing down your negative thoughts to get them out of your head. Some negativity will hang around for a while and that’s ok. What counts is your continued effort to redirect and reprogram. You will see the effects of it over time, just stick with it.

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Photo by Bruno Aguirre on Unsplash

Embracing Imperfect Beauty

Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. Richard Powell, author of Wabi Sabi Simple 

Fortunately, next week I get to celebrate another birthday. I’m not a woman who hides her age or laments lost youth. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature but beautiful old people are works of art.” I’m embracing her words. 

I also make an effort to embrace the Japanese notion of wabi-sabi, or “imperfect beauty.”. Wabi-sabi prizes authenticity. It’s the true acceptance of finding beauty in things as they are. Jessie Shool, in her magazine article, The Wabi-Sabi Self, writes, “By perceiving ourselves through this generous lens, we can stop endlessly striving for the ideal body and focus instead on real physical health. All it takes is a shift in perception.”

Affirmation: I am a work of art.

Coaching questions: How do you perceive your aging? What shift in perspective do you need to make to embrace wabi-sabi?

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Photo by Pablo Rebolledo on Unsplash

Celebrating Women

A woman is like a tea bag—you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water. Eleanor Roosevelt

March is National Women’s History Month. The 2019 theme is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” This year women will be honored who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society.

For generations, women have resolved conflicts in their homes, schools, and communities. They have rejected violence as counterproductive while stressing the need to restore respect and justice. In addition, they have given voice to the unrepresented and hope to victims of violence and those who dream of a peaceful world. Let’s celebrate these visionary women and strive to become one.

Affirmation: I am a woman with vision and the ability to make a difference in the world

Coaching question: What’s one thing you will do this month to be a champion of peace and nonviolence? Let me know how it goes. 

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Stop Being So Nice!

Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one. Eleanor Roosevelt

Being an individual, being yourself, means learning to say “no.” It means being less “nice.” Not being as nice isn’t showing a lack of love or respect. It is learning to say no to the demands of others that take away from your rights. It’s saying no to someone’s whim about what you need to do. It’s safeguarding your time and energy by saying no even to things that sound interesting but push you outside your boundaries. 

Overlooking bad behavior, saying yes when you want to say no, taking on more than you can reasonably do may make you the “nice” neighbor or friend but it will chip away at who you are, your right to be an individual.

Affirmation: It is okay to say no.

Coaching questions: If you’re considered the “go to” person who is always “nice” and says yes to every request, what is this behavior costing you? What would your life look like if you weren’t so “nice?”

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