Once again, it’s that time of year when a lot of people are reflecting on how great the past year was, and setting their intentions and making plans for a great year to come. After the challenges of 2013, I’m thrilled beyond belief with the way 2014 has turned out.
In just a few days, we’ll be opening our fourth spa (this one in the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel), our Boulder spa (one of the primary challenges of 2013) is thriving, our apothecary business is growing, and by far the best news is that we welcomed our new daughter, Sailor, into our family this November!
That’s not to say there weren’t challenges—there always are, and some of them were major—but I’m grateful that I have the tools in my life to be able to work through challenges and grow from them, and that I have a generally positive outlook on life, even when it’s filled with disappointments.
You don’t always get to control your circumstances. Families grow, loved ones die, business challenges present themselves in ways you never have expected. But you always get to choose your point of view. This is where the real magic is – allowing life to happen and constantly doing your best to frame it in a way that feels good, or useful, or even joyful.
Life is messy and brilliant and surprising. Allow it to be. Stop resisting life. – Tweet it
I love setting goals, work toward them, and achieve them. It’s part of my basic constitutional makeup. So, yes, I set my goals for 2015 back in October. I’ve planned out my year to achieve them, and I’ve got my team on board. It’s not easy, especially with a new baby to disrupt my best laid plans, but I’m a crazy manifestor and love to make things happen, and teach others to do the same.
The gifts of this year have helped me to realize that there is something more important to me than achieving goals and making things happen, and that’s using the tools and skills that I’ve gathered to maintain my positive attitude, stay present, and be grateful for both the gifts and the challenges that shaped my life as it today. Because, if I gave in to the challenges, this year would never have had the chance to become as amazing as it was.
I know, I know it can be frustrating to hear people say, “Be positive,” especially when you’re feeling particularly crappy. But, don’t write it off. If you have no practice choosing positivity, it can be challenging. It’s like having a masters degree in sitcom watching and then expecting yourself to get up and run a marathon. Not. Going. To . Happen. Especially if you happen to have a terrible cold that day.
This is often the space we’re in when we get the “crappy” advice of being positive. We’re already down in the dumps, stressed out, and likely crying. And if we haven’t worked the muscles of positivity, it’s difficult to flex them hard when we need to. You have to practice when it’s easy, pay attention, and consciously choose a positive state.
Here are five ways to cultivate positivity:
• Practice gratitude. There are things in your life that are good, things that are working, people that love you. Focus on these at least two times a day. I like to say it out loud, “I’m so glad that….” and then fill in the blank. Writing it down in a journal every day is also a great way to remind yourself of what is already awesome.
• Bring amplified awareness to even the smallest bits of joy, happiness, and warmth. Feel it in your body, and imagine absorbing it into your lower belly or “dan tien.” (This is a region in the center of the belly, about two inches below your navel, which is considered to be a sort of “cauldron” where energy is stored and anchored in the art of Qi Gong.) For example, if you notice the sun warming your face in a way that feels good, capture that moment, close your eyes and dive deeper into your appreciation of that experience.
• Make your what ifs good. Often we “what if…” in a negative way: What if I fail? What if I never get better? What if she hates me? What if this doesn’t work out?
Instead, practice whatiffing (new word!) in a positive way: What if this turns out even better than I expected? What if I lose 5 pounds without trying? What if I find the perfect mate tonight? What if I wake up tomorrow feeling awesome?
• Hang out with other positive people. When you hang out with people who are happy and looking on the bright side of things, they’re not into Negative Nancies, so you’ll likely play positive by peer pressure. Who you surround yourself with makes a huge difference. A few great friends that stay on the sunny side are better than a gaggle of grouches.
• Clear blockages that stop you from experiencing your full delight in life. I find Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT – and other tapping techniques) to be super effective in moving through emotional baggage that is holding me down.
For 2015, my focus is going to be to do more of this, get stronger positivity muscles, allow the year to flow, and practice acceptance.
What is your focus for 2015 going to be?