This summer, we will happily celebrate the 95th birthday of my husband's grandmother; we call her Oma. We took our kids to see her not long ago, when she moved into a beautiful assisted living facility and wanted our family to see her new apartment. When I say this woman is remarkable, it's only because I actually cannot find enough words to describe how admirable she is. At 4'11", Oma is a mighty combination of strength, courage, love, wisdom and, most importantly, a sincere desire to strive for positive thinking. I'm not going to pretend she's always 100% positive, she has some bad days; but she sincerely and consciously tries to focus on the positive aspects in her life on a consistent, daily basis.
As she sat with us that afternoon, she told us about her experiences during and after World War 2 in Europe. How she and her husband, baby daughter and toddler son had to live in a barn. How they travelled by foot at night to avoid air raids and bullets. How she witnessed many horrific things and sometimes felt very badly about her life. But mostly, she shared that despite all the terrifying and terrible things going on around her at times, she really strived to remain positive. She told us she didn't like to complain and focus on negative things. Instead,she remembered the nice farmer family who gave her family shelter and the cow they offered them that gave her baby milk. She told us how funny it was when they finally got a table in the barn and her young son had no idea how to sit in a chair because he'd never had one before. She shared that when they finally came to America in the 1950's, it was so amazing to have a home, and steady work, and be able to thrive in a way they never were before. She told us that her life now was something she appreciated because of all her family went through. She also told us that lots of her elderly friends sit around and complain about being old and that it does no good; she said it's a choice and choosing to focus on the good parts of life is just better because it makes her feel happier.
If there were a secret to her strength, courage and longevity; I truly believe it would be her desire for positive thinking along with her faith (which feeds her positivity). Consciously choosing to look at the bright side, when she was almost completely surrounded by darkness during most of her young life (things even before the war were very difficult) not only helped her cope, it led her to building her dreams for the future in a new homeland. The key to her wisdom for me was the deep realization that the way we think truly is a matter of choice. Not circumstances, educational influences, tragedy or anything else can force you into thinking positively or negatively. Oma created a mindset and practice of "purposeful positivity"; not ignoring negativity, by simply choosing to find and focus on the positive aspects of any situation.
Even though Oma definitely influences me to be a positive person, there are times I struggle to seeing the positive side in life. For those instances, I find it truly helpful to lean on certain tools that will help me re-focus my thinking; purposeful,positivity requires a practice. Years ago I decided to literally retrain my thinking to a much more positive focus; the stress of living with numerous negative thinking patterns and beliefs was impacting all areas of my life in not so pleasant ways. It was definitely a bit of a struggle, because I was not naturally someone who easily sees the bright side and was never taught to do so (even today I still often have to consciously choose purposeful positivity). I found using the following tips and techniques incredibly helpful and incorporated them into my Purposeful Positivity Practice:
- Create a vision or Pinterest board filled with positive words and quotes
- Create a playlist with positive and uplifting songs
- Use mantras or chants that breed positivity (Ram Ma Da Sa is my favorite)
- Find a positive word or create a positive slogan and surround yourself with it
- Eat clean; food determines your mood
- Read books about positive words
- Flip negative thoughts and beliefs; there's always a positive side
- Use a positive guided meditation
- Expose yourself to more positively focused forms of entertainment
- Avoid/limit exposure to graphic violence in movies and entertainment
- Avoid/limit exposure to negative outlets like the news and politics
- Surround yourself with other positive thinkers
- Get Energy Healing to release negative energy & raise your vibration
- Do yoga
I knew pursuing these changes in my thinking years ago would help me attract what I wanted to create in my life, but I wasn't fully prepared for the massive impact that a more positive focus would bring in many, many unexpected ways. From better health and relationships to heightened intuition and spiritually, I am amazed daily by the improvements I have seen, and continue to see, from my conscious efforts for purposeful positivity. I could probably list hundreds, but, in the interest of time, here are my favorite 5 unexpected benefits to a positive mindset.
1. Improved health and well-being
Flash back about 15 years and my days would have started with a list of complaints, a Diet Coke and a headache. I daily took Ibuprofen, was very irritable, and always tired. My spiritual journey was really born out of a health scare; I had a huge ovarian fibroid cyst. I started seeing an acupuncturist, no easy task for someone afraid of needles, and I knew I'd have to make many changes in my diet; but I never expected him to comment on my rather negative outlook. I was completely resistant to all of his recommendations at first, after all it is difficult to love yourself and make positive changes when you are accustomed to making excuses and assigning blame. I began with dietary changes and once I kicked the unhealthy soda habit, I started to go inward and examine this negative thinking habit of mine. I read a book about the Law of Attraction and knew I had to change immediately. Within a few months, the headaches were gone; most of my adult life had been spent with daily head pain and they were completely gone. I was also using positive affirmations along with the acupuncture to dissipate my ovarian fibroid and it DISAPPEARED! Today, I enjoy mostly excellent health and energy and a sincere desire to continually strive for cleaner eating; positive thinking supports all of this tremendously. I do this because I want to be the best example for my children, but also because I love myself enough to put the best nutrition into my body. That kind of self-love is only a result of purposeful positivity (see number 2).
2. Unshakable self-love and confidence
You cannot have a positive life with a negative mind; it just does't happen. The absolute most important place to start with purposeful positivity is the relationship you have with yourself; self-love sets tone for everything in your life. When you strive to only speak to and about yourself in positive ways, you plant a seed that will create a garden of abundance in all areas of your life. Because everything starts within, the practice of purposeful self-positivity expands outward naturally; you can only give what you have for yourself. In other words, giving yourself a more positive inner dialogue means that you can much more easily translate that positivity to your thinking and beliefs about everything. For me, it quickly meant that I no longer went immediately to a negative state when the unexpected happened; which was simply amazing. I also began to not care so much about what other people said or thought of me; I was able to understand that the opinions of others have nothing to do with me. I had never experienced that level of self-confidence and the stress that left my life as a result (constanly caring about what others think is exhausting) led to the happiest years I have ever had and a level a joy I did not really know was possible. This kind of thinking is a result of a higher vibration that comes from purposeful positivity. A higher vibration is a match to other high vibration energy like love, joy and abundance. Purposeful positivity ultimately leads to magnetic manifestation (see number 3).
3. Manifesting Magnetism
Again, you cannot have a positive life with a negative mind. This is mainly because when your inner state creates your outer world; your life is a result of what you think, say, believe and do. When all of those things authentically align in positive ways, you become a manifesting magnet for creating your dreams and desires. We are always manifesting and we attract that which is a vibrational match to our own energy. Positive energy is super high vibrating, so by focusing on positive thinking you raise your vibration. A higher vibration puts you in the flow with all that you want to create in your life; the universe just needs you to give instructions. Purposeful positivity will lead you to much more creativity and inspiration; setting goals you never knew you could and intentions you never knew you wanted before, but now are a better match to attract. Purposefully Positive thinkIng inspires us (see number 4).
4. Ignited inspiration and intuition
With purposeful positivity comes a flood of unexpected ideas and knowledge. I actually have to keep a note in my phone to keep track of the inspiration I receive as a result of the vibrational flow that positive thinking offers to me. These ideas often end up on my vision board as intentions I want to create in my life; to be honest, I have dozens of different vision boards on Pinterest. It's almost hard to put into words the level of prosperity that a practice of positive thinking brings into your life, especially with inspired ideas and creative energy. Intuitive inspiration is the birthplace of your dreams, but a negative mindset keeps it hidden away by blocked energy. You cannot attract the ideas, resources and people you need in your life when your energy is blocked by negative thinking patterns. A positive outlook opens you up to more possibilities and more people; people that resonate with positive energy (see number 5).
5. More meaningful relationships
You cannot have a positive mind if you spend your precious time with negative people. The relationships in your life are a result of the energy you resonate with; like energy attract like energy (this is the Law of Attraction). The higher vibration of positive thinking and intention results in you attracting more positive people into your life. You will also find positive changes in current relationships due to this vibration. That unshakable self-confidence means you do not see relationships the same way any longer; your self-worth is no longer tied to the opinions of others. Relationships now become a joyful extension of the positive energy within you. When you love yourself, you can fully share that love with others. You are also vibrationally not a match to the lower vibrating energy that creates stress in relationships; like gossip, complaining, pettiness and competition. Sometimes, people who cannot embrace a positive outlook simply distance themselves from that energy; and that is perfectly ok. It is almost shocking, in the best possible way, how much my relationships have changed since my journey with purposeful positivity began. It started with self-love and eventually led me to examining every close relationship in my life. I no longer give my time to anything or anyone that does not bring me joy, which, in turn, frees me to spend time on that which does bring me joy. It is not judgment, but rather discernment that guides my choices. That is really what it all boils down to after all, our choices.
Like Oma told my family the day of our visit, the way you think is a choice. Not circumstances, educational influences, tragedy or anything else can force you into thinking positively or negatively. Purposeful Positivity, for me, is a conscious spiritual practice to choose the light over the dark, even when I have to force myself. In truth, our world needs much, much more of us to realize the impact we make with our thoughts and beliefs. A more peaceful individual state contributes greatly to the energy of this planet; purposeful positivity can help us create world peace, one person at a time.