When life get difficult and is filled with constant negativity, at some point you feel as if you were hit by a Mack truck. This is especially true for those dealing with chronic illness, difficult life changing events, or caregiving responsibilities. I would venture to say, everyone has experienced this from time to time.
I experienced this recently. This past weekend I visited my mom and new great nephew in NY. AT 95, my mother watches all of the debates and reads the NY Times daily. She is amazing (and no, I do not have her great genes- I’m adopted!). I spent a lot of time keeping her company as she watched the debates. I also read more of the paper than I am used to.
I noticed that my reactions to small frustrations escalated. The political climate is oozing with negativity and I was above my quotient. I was allowing myself to be “slimed” by negativity- if you watched the movie Ghostbusters, I wanted their de-sliming solution! I needed to find creative ways to cultivate a positive attitude, especially since I was not in the comfort of my home.
The question is: How do we balance life when there is negativity looming around us? Escaping to a desert island sound compelling, but not practical. I am not advocating avioding or numbing – it is more about learning how to fill up while dealing with negativity. No matter how hard we try, constant negativity will get to us. The truth is, negativity breads negativity.
Here is what I did:
- I realized I was feeling negative-naming it is a big key
- I took a walk, even in the cold NY weather (yes mom, I wore a hat!)
- I upped my meditation time
- I added more Loving Kindness meditation to my practices and repeated the phrases from time to time during the day
- I ate warm fresh NY bagels and nova lox – yum
- I held my adorable baby great nephew-very effective for a quick joy boost
- I made a phone call to someone I trusted and talked about it. This kept me out of isolating- it is very important not to isolate
- I read an uplifting book by my favorite author of wholehearted living- Brene Brown
- I laughed and joked- humor goes a long way
- I helped my mother and went grocery shopping
- One big area that helps me on a daily basis is doing or focusing on what I love.
I focused on my upcoming presentations:
- Lupus Health & Wellness Seminar March 5
- The Ataxia Conference in Orlando March 31- April 2.
- Most of all, the launch of my virtual No B.S. Calm Living Book Club
When the focus is on what makes my heart sing, negativity quickly transforms to joy and gratitude.
Creating my newest program is my way of helping others to live in the solution and I have a blast teaching that.
Remember this – no matter what is happening in your life or the world, bring your focus back to small steps to embrace what fills you up.