Today was a real test of my positivity, patience, and public composure. Or maybe I’m exaggerating. I actually don’t feel like it’s anything now, but at the time it was happening, I was struggling to contain myself. It completely shattered the zen-zone I was in after yoga this morning. So what happened? I went to the apple store to get my phone fixed, did I mention I got a new phone? I was late to my appointment so they told me to come back in an hour, so I did. Everyone was nice and tried to be helpful, but they couldn’t fix it. I also had to bug them to use their landline about 3-4 times. I tried buying a completely new phone twice, with no luck, so I left the store after 3 hours trying not to burst into tears. Sounds dramatic right? But I was a little more than flustered at the time. I ended up walking into at&t and being helped right away by this gentleman named Marty. He was completely helpful and tried doing his best to help me. I left a very happy customer. So coincidence that my credit card didn’t work at the apple store but it did at at&t? I think not ;)
Before the gratitudes, I’m making some amendments to my contract:
- No facebook!
- Take stairs whenever possible.
- Eliminate negative words from my vocabulary. Use positive words only to foster positive thoughts and vibes, woot woot!
Back to today:
- Today I am grateful for people like Marty. He reminded me of a gentle and amiable Dwight. But he made an effort to really help me, not only because his job depended on it, but because he seemed like a genuinely nice person. In fact everyone inside the store seemed especially gentle, genuine, and helpful. I joked with them and even talked quite a bit. It was actually a lovely experience.
- I am also grateful for dreams. In this particular case I am talking about goals and aspirations, although if you know me well you know how crazy my sleep dreams are and how consumed I can become. My other half, Jessica (and when I say other half I do not mean that metaphorically or to emphasize that she’s my best friend, though she is, but we literally are each other’s halves; I will inevitably have to expand in a different post), but so Jess and I have this dream to create this Wellness Community, a sort of cross section of a medical business with commune qualities, while being sustainable and as self-sufficient as possible with all kinds of farming; it will be a resource for education, encouraging autonomy but cooperation and collaboration. And that’s not even scratching the surface! But basically we have this dream to promote wellness for people and the earth and it is going to happen and there is no doubt in my mind. It is definitely going to be hard, but our friends and family support us and it is even becoming some of their dream and they’ll become our partners and one day we’ll build it together. So dream on everyone! I mean that not in the usual dismissive condescending way it is used nowadays, but dream and aspire to be and do something!
- I am grateful for having a voice. I wasn’t particularly vocal about anything today, I just wanted to put this down on paper… on screen? on blog? (funny how expressions change depending on the medium, ha!); basically I didn’t want to ever forget that I have a voice, that everyone does, it just depends on whether we choose to use it. Again, this should be a right for all, but it seems to be a privilege. More importantly it is a duty precisely because many people, it’s not even limited to people: animals and any other organism, even the earth, all don’t have a voice. My professor for Health & Human Rights reminds us all of the time that we shouldn’t assume that if we don’t speak up about something, somebody will. So I am grateful for the duty to speak up!
My positive experience today was probably the short and seemingly insignificant interaction I had with Marty and Alec (I think that was his name?). Even if they were just doing it because it was their job, they made me feel so much better and calm. I won’t elaborate too much since my intro and gratitude mention it already.
Today was not the heroic beginning to my 21 day challenge that I had expected. I mostly occupied myself with cleaning my room, of which I didn’t do a thorough job. However! I did manage to shrink my wardrobe considerably as I put my winter clothes and clothes I want to send home in some suitcases I had under my bed. I realized that when I get home I need to do a complete reconstruction of my room and belongings, keeping only the essentials! Can’t wait for that mess, but getting back to today… Quite appropriately, my Religion, Health, and Medicine class was the perfect kick off to my challenge. We are currently reading The Cure Within by Anne Harrington, and one of the chapters we discussed today was about the power of positive thinking. BAM! Coincidence? I think not. I think I am becoming more in sync with the flow of the universe and what could be more awesome? I also should attribute the theme of the TED talks I watched today to my dear friend Corbin who sent me a talk on biomimicry! Before I digress, I’ll get to the challenge:
- Do you appreciate the subtleties of taste buds? I do. Today I am grateful for the incredible phenomenon that is the sense of TASTE. This isn’t particularly because I had something unfathomably delicious, but because this morning as I sipped my latte (why does that read pretentiously?) on my way to class I had the very subtle misfortune of burning my tongue. Sometimes it’s in the absence of things that we appreciate them. Or in my case I could still taste, it was just accompanied by discomfort. Cheers to taste buds!
- I am grateful for the fact that it is actually difficult to pick only three things to be grateful for each day. I, unlike the majority of the world, live a life of abundance, whether that means family, friends, food, education, and material things. Though, the life I’m working towards will involve more direct labor towards the things I need and want, right now I can take advantage of all of the resources I have access to and learn and live as much as I can.
- I am grateful for photography for it’s unique ability to capture a moment and/or person(s); particularly people who are important to me. The walls of my dorm are graced by several arrangements of photographs from as recent as this summer spanning all the way back to seemingly ancient pictures of my great, great grandfather.
A positive thing that happened to me in the past 24hrs was reconnecting with my brother via a lunch date and with my dear friend Alma via skype (this actually happened yesterday but I’ll count it since it’s my first day te he). I haven’t been in contact with most people because my phone is broken at the moment. I shared a lot of my future plans with Richi (aforementioned brother). These plans are incredibly ambitious and aspirational and it would take many many posts to explain it, which I will leave for another day. I shared my plans to become as sustainable, creative, autonomous, healthy, and beneficial to what will be my local community- as possible, and he was on board. Yay Rick! There’s a certain way of living and looking at the world that we share, a sort of more innocent, understanding, contemplative, yet hopeful view. Our views of success aren’t based on economics, but on doing what we love, respecting and loving others, and seeing the world through the eyes of a child, with awe and wonder! He probably would never put it that way… but I have now, so that’s that. Alma also shares this view. She is an exceptionally contemplative and caring being, full of love, acceptance, and excitement! I’ve learned a lot from her throughout our years of friendship. We basically played some catch-up, she told me about being in Florida with the Foody’s and how wonderful that was. I don’t remember all of the details, but I remember laughing and gasping in astonishment at the stories and comments. In general, connecting with friends and family, especially being so far from home, gives me mental stability and allows me to be more positive! Also, talking to Aly reminded me that summer is so close! Sigh. I wish it were summer already; I think I’ll begin a countdown?
The 21 Day Positivity Challenge
The 21 Day Challenge Contract
I need a jump start to get my life back on track, not that I’m out running amok, but I recognize the need to get on the right track in terms of positivity and productivity. I was inspired to do this by Shawn Achor after I watched his TED talk:http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html
Rules of the challenge:
- 3 gratitudes. Daily acknowledgement of three things for which I am grateful.
- Journal about about one positive experience that happened in the past 24hrs.
- Random act(s) of kindness.
- Pescetarianism: That’s basically vegetarianism, with the inclusion of seafood. Let’s face it, I can’t not eat sushi… Can we agree that’s a given for me? I will be guided by seafood watch:http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/download.aspx
- Yoga and Meditation. Good for mind and body. Yoga fixes (almost) everything.
- No smoking. I admit I don’t smoke very much, but continuing is not the most intelligent thing I could do…
- No TV. I am dearly going to miss The Office and Parks and Recreation.
- Play guitar. Will I post some videos on here? We’ll see.
- Watch TED talks. I will definitely post TEDs.
Also, motivation is key! I have picked a few of my favorite quotes to get me up in the morning:
“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”
“Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.”
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”
“None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm”
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.This is to have succeeded.”
“I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
“Ignore the story and see the soul. And remember to love—you will never regret it.” -Billy
And a couple to read before bed:
“All men are children, and of one family. The same tale sends them all to bed, and wakes them in the morning.”
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
(RWE: Ralph Waldo Emerson, HDT: Henry David Thoreau)
Accountability and Organization. It will be a great deal more difficult to break a public contract between my family and friends (and the greater internet population) than it would be to break a contract I kept to myself. Plus it’s an organized why of keeping track of my progress.
Start Date: March 26, 2012
Projected End Date: April 15, 2012