Sharing Tricks of the Trade – How I Change Perspective

There are days… amiright?

Someone asked me how I stay so positive all the time. I shrugged it off and just said,

“I don’t think it’s being positive. For me, it’s about being realistic. There truly is nothing I can do staying in a bad space, but if I find the silver lining, the light, the positive part, I just have an easier way of dealing with whatever is happening that day.”

There are days though when I wake in the morning and I’m just in a bad mood. It happens. Sometimes I have a long day and need a way to change my spirit. Just like everyone else, sometimes my world falls apart too. That’s how life works. Ups and downs, webs and flows, stops and starts… 

So, that’s the first part:  Always reminding myself that the measure of who we really are isn’t when things are easy or good, but when things are hard – so when something is really tough, I remember that. I remind myself of that. I write it on my refrigerator. I put a post-it on my bathroom mirror. I’ll write it on my hand. Something as simple as “You got this!”  Honestly, I’ve become my own best cheerleader when things are tough nowadays…

One of the best things I do is something I didn’t realize was so helpful, but when that person asked me the question recently, I started really noticing some things I take for granted that is just part of my regular life process. I thought I’d share this one in case others might find it helpful.

You’ll need:

2 pieces of Paper, or in my case, I use a basic Sketchbook on a regular basis, so I just flip to a clean page.

A Pen. It’s best to use a pen and paper because there’s a different connection between the computer keyboard and monitor versus the tactile feel of using a pen and paper. Trust me on this, it matters.

Now, write the numbers, 1 through 10 down the page. You don’t have to leave that much room between the numbers, you’re about to write a list of one-word answers.

Take your cell phone or use a clock or timer and give yourself 2 minutes. No more, No less.

Now answer the following question, without thinking too much, without worry or order or what people think – remember, this is on paper, you can shred it and throw it out. This is only for you, in this moment, and no one else will ever see it.

Hit the timer.

Here’s the question:  What are your favorite top ten anything today?  Go!

Here are mine from this morning:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Sunrise by the beach
  3. Steven Spielberg movies
  4. Music
  5. Dancing
  6. Office of Angela Scott Shoes
  7. The color maroon
  8. Coffee in the morning
  9. Sex in the morning
  10. Butterflies

Make no judgement of what you wrote. Here’s the next part of the exercise:

Pick one item and write a few sentences as to why it was in today’s top ten.

Here’s mine from today:

The whole butterfly thing has less to do with the actual butterfly and more to do with this quote by the great Maya Angelou:

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

And I think that’s amazingly true in every part of society. Even in my own life. Even today. It takes hard work to eventually be that beautiful and be able to fly…

Well, I started laughing a bit at how dorky that sounded above. Dorky, cheesy, but not untrue!  I’m reminded that it takes a lot of work to have this beautiful brilliant life. Not unlike the magnificent process of how the Monarch Butterfly happens… life is a lot of work, but so worth it! (This 3 minute video is so worth it if you need a reminder of…well, the beauty of the butterfly.).

So, that’s one of the many things I do to stay in a good space. It’s being able to change what you’re thinking about, obsessing about, and giving yourself a break from it. At minimum I laughed for a moment. I wasn’t laughing earlier when I was in that bad mood. And watching this lovely video of the Monarch Butterfly… well, that was just icing to change my spirit.

That’s how I do it. Well, one way I stay in a positive space. I probably do that exact exercise at least twice a month or whenever necessary. It’s a reflex at this point. If I’m feeling down, having a bad day, I do my list of 10 favorite things. 

Of course, I have other “tricks of the trade” that I practice regularly that I’ll share along the way. Happy too. Let me be clear, I’m not a doctor or therapist, nor do I guarantee any of this might work for you. However, if you’re reading this far and find it at all interesting, then, maybe you too are searching for a way to move through something and maybe this can help, even if for a moment.

Either way, remember, we’re all moving through life. We all have ups and downs, and the pathway is never that easy, no matter whom we’re talking about. As Robin Williams once said,

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

Be kind to yourself too. Always.

You got this today. I know you do!

Love, Carmen

3 thoughts on “Sharing Tricks of the Trade – How I Change Perspective

  1. That’s a really good idea, I think it’s the process of putting your mind in that good place and timing it in 2 minutes.
    I might have a go at something similar to this. I hope you’re keeping good 🙂

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