The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character.
When I think of my parents, I think of Yin and Yang. My mother is a very positive person. My dad, on the other hand, is incredibly negative.
My parents are in their mid-90’s. I’ve found that as my parents age, certain parts of their personalities have become more dominate. In the case of my mother, her upbeat and positivity has become more prominent.
Sadly, in the case of my dad, negativity and fear have come to the forefront.
A while back, I tried to help my dad by suggesting that he write five things he was grateful for at the end of each day. I told him I would do it too, and then I would call each night and we could share.
But even on the first night, he admitted he could not even think of five things to be grateful for.
The gratitude list idea dropped off the radar and a few years have passed. Now my dad is so intrenched in his negative and fearful pattern that it has become increasingly difficult to spend time with him.
I’ve realized that I’m a mixture of my mom and my dad and I’ve always strived to be more like my mom. In fact, my secret mantra for years has been “Please don’t let me be like Dad.”
I’ve observed that my father’s negativity is a deeply entrenched habit. I often see it in other people too. We seem to focus on what is not going right for us. Once something gets resolved, we often don’t acknowledge it has been resolved and simply move on to the next “problem.”
We are all overwhelmed by all the things we “should” be doing every day. Exercise. Drink Water. Meditate. Eat well. The list goes on and on. So, I know that it is no small task to add yet another.
I decided to make a shift to bring positivity in my life by playing a game I named “Calling Out The Good.”
As I move through my day, I notice what is going well or what is beautiful no matter how small. I started out in the car just thinking thoughts like, “The clouds are pretty.” or “I got here on time.”
I built on it by actually saying these things out loud to myself. “I feel rested today.” “My headache is gone!” Extra points are given for remarks about other people in a positive way out loud. (“That dress looks fabulous on that woman!”)
Then, start saying these things out loud in front of others: “I love the landscaping they have done!”
The final stage is saying something positive to another person. I like to compliment someone who is helping me, like a server or a grocery checker. I think it’s especially powerful to give a compliment to a stranger. I once complimented a server on how nice her eyeliner looks.
By making this a game that I play with myself, I look at it as something fun to do instead of another task that needs to be completed.
I hope you try it!
It’s made my life much more enjoyable. And it’s fun!
*artwork by me.