A fun project my students and I worked on was to create a soundtrack of songs that immediately put you in a positive mood. Students have a host of struggles which spill over in their academics, and since they enjoy listening to music I challenged them to create a list they can turn to or should I say, turn up (ha…see the puns there) if they feel a bad mood creeping in.
Ohhh…one more rule was that the artist had to be African American (or write lyrics touching on African American issues) because I currently teach African American Literature and this was a way I could incorporate additional learning.
I have found starting class off with a positive song improves the environment of the classroom…this is not always an easy task as I teach in an inner city school. (Students are ages 16-21).
Have you heard? What we put in our bodies affects us—we have the power to decide if that is for the positive or the negative. We discussed that when we are in a bad mood we tend to gravitate to and listen to music that makes us even more angry and upset. Being mindful about what you are listening to can change that.
We all tremble inside at the thought of something…what is it that you fear? Is it beginning something new? Starting over? A career choice? Going back to school? Traveling? Trying a new workout at the gym (who is possibly afraid of this right…yup…yours truly)? Public speaking? Initiating a conversation? Starting a blog? Change?
Whatever it is…step outside of your comfort zone and fly! It will build a stronger you, a sharper you, and a more confident you! You will grow in more ways than you can imagine. Picture your life after overcoming the fear? What will your life look like then?
What Makes YOU Shine? What do you do to make life more enjoyable for others?
If you can’t think of what you do to uplift people then here are five simple suggestions.
Greet People: Throughout the day make it a point to greet people…not only the people you perceive as important, but the people who may be unnoticed as well…even if they do not greet you back! A smile along with a “good morning” is simple enough. If you’re walking in the store hold the door for the next person—whoever they happen to be.
Listen: Many people want to be heard, but it is also important to stop and listen (really listen) to others. I don’t mean listen to people ramble on and on, but to remember what they say. For example, remember what they will be doing over the weekend and ask them on Monday how their activity/plans went. As a teacher I also make it a point to do this with my students. As a parent, with my children. I even practice this when I’m interacting with cashiers at the store.
Notice and Acknowledgement: When someone is doing something positive notice it and offer acknowledgement. This can mean noticing that your child completed a chore without needing to be asked and complimenting them, writing a note to a co-worker to say what a great job they are doing, or even sending an email to let a person know that you appreciate the extra effort they have been investing in a certain task.
Share: Whatever your talent is or something you are good at…share it with others. This can be as simple as you make the best banana bread ever…then bring some to work to share or pass a loaf on to a neighbor. Do you have the skill to knit? Make a blanket and pass it on to someone…just start knitting and in the process you will realize who it is meant for.
Thank: When is the last time you wrote a thank you note/card? Show appreciation even in the small things and make it a part of your routine to spend time writing a note to someone to thank them. It could be for something in the past that they did for you, a mentor, friend, relative, child, or even to a store to thank them for the great customer service!Comment: What makes YOU shine? Share with us something you do to make life more enjoyable for others.
Over the past few months I have taken steps to refocus my mind and create a vision that is a bit clearer on what I want for my future. I thought of myself as a victim to circumstances in my past and I needed to stop that thought process to grow and move forward. Using the Law of Attraction I implemented strategies to bring about positive change…if you are looking to improve your life try one, some, or all of my top ten. Adjust them to your life, style, and needs.
Here are my top strategies I recommend…stay along for the ride and see what comes from it. I’ve already had amazing success!
1. Vision Board
I created a vision board to display my goals using magazine clippings, google images, photos, and scrapbook supplies
I created goals for: career, home, love, family, fun
When I started the vision board I was not sure what each of my goals would be, but they became clearer through the process
The vision board is hung in our kitchen and I also took a photo of it using my phone to look at throughout the day
2. Vision Story
To make my vision even stronger I wrote a vision story in addition to the vision board
The goal is to read it every day and make edits and additions to include more vivid descriptions
I have been listening to several different videos on youtube on affirmations/incantations, so decided it was time to join the club and begin
I spend time each day reading a list of affirmations I have created for my life
I use a free app on my phone called “Positive Thinking” (this isn’t the best, but it does send me notifications throughout the day that keep me focused)
4. Family Gratitude/Memory Journal
Using a sketchbook from the craft store and some colored pens: once a week we break it out at dinner to go around the table and write what we are thankful for in it and/or a memory from the week
This gives us all time to make sure we are thinking about the good experiences we have had
I have also done this on Thanksgiving in the past and had everyone sign a scrapbook page and add their favorite part of the meal and what they are thankful for
A hand written thank you note to someone (I do this weekly)
Perform a random act of kindness (pay for the person behind you in a drive through, bring in baked goods to a co-worker, put a note in your child’s backpack, use your talent to help someone else in need…
6. Be Mindful of your Thoughts
When negative thoughts begin tell yourself to switch the topic to something positive (for example: when you begin to think negatively about a co-worker, think of what they do well or when you begin to tell yourself that you look terrible, tell yourself how beautiful you are, when you are driving think what a smooth commute it is rather than how much traffic there is)
I have always believed that what we put in our bodies influences us and that includes music
I have been trying to make sure that the music I listen to is positive and makes me feel good…this is a challenge sometimes because I have a wide range of music I enjoy which sometimes have an angry vibe to it
8. Body Language
After watching a TED Talk about body language I’ve been making changes in this department as well
Plan the menu of meals for the week and shop ahead of time rather than trying to throw together a quick meal
Plan and prep meals to take to work the night before (fruits, veggies, chicken, brown rice, overnight oats, granola bars…)
Vitamins: talk to your doctor about vitamins that may benefit you (huge difference for me with taking them)
10. Treat Yourself
If you have never had a facial…treat yourself! Oh my! You must!
Treat yourself to a subscription box…I love them and am excited when the mail comes now! I subscribe to a Walmart Beauty Box, Sephora Play, and Fabfitfun.
I highly recommend Fabfitfun!! You receive box in the mail with a variety of surprises in it. I may do a blog just on one of these because they are phenomenal! I even recycled the box to make one for my boyfriend as a surprise. Click here for a 20%discount
The Law of Attraction must have brought you here for a reason…
I have been stumbling on more and more of these lately…every time I see one it puts a smile on my face. This one is in the city of Rochester in my grandfather’s neighborhood. A Little Free Library is at the top of my Christmas list!! They are filled with books, and you and give/take a book for free…love love love!
My Aunt sparked my love of Stony Brook State Park when she brought me when I was a child, and I have cherished the memories with me for years. When I became a mother I knew I wanted my children to see the beauty and create their own memories of this hidden gem. We visit almost every year and each time discover another reason why it is one of our favorites!
Stony Brook is also where my boyfriend and I went on our first date. He collected rocks while on our walk and used them to make a purdy amazing surprise for me (pictured below).
Crystal (post inspired by the word of the day…”Natural”)