At this time last year, I was carrying my 5-month-old in the snow from some errands. The intense cold was blowing on her face and through her little mittens. I almost fell with her on a big sheet of ice that was disguised underneath the snow.
My little one was crying from the pain and was so exhausted from it all that she couldn't find a way to calm down. Exhausted myself, I'd plopped down on the bed, tried nursing her but to no avail. Just an hour before, she was pawing her way into her pink snowsuit, and I was getting giddy by her cuteness. She'd never seen snow yet, and the chances of her remembering the white stuff was nothing. But I remained positive: she'll love it. She'll be excited by it. It will be a special bonding experience.
Although I had managed to calm down, my thoughts were now racing: How would I brace the cold yet again with her? I started to panic and it seemed there was no chance of staying positive.
I use this anecdote to show just how easy it is to slip from one mental state to another. When life gets tough, you have to find a way to stay positive otherwise you'll become an enemy to your thoughts.
I envision this year to be the most significant one in my life. I anticipate finishing a very polished draft of my memoir, Accidental Soldier: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me about Faith, Courage and Love. I will continue building my author platform by blogging about my memoir, interviewing reputable authors for my global radio show, "Giving Voice to Your Story," and writing freelance writing queries to local and national magazines.
My attitude, however, will determine how well I'll weather the curve balls life throws at me and stay positive and focused. Historically, I've been known to be impatient when I don't see success coming my way, and I soon start to lose hope. The law of attraction can only go so far if you don't have the right positive thinking mindset.
Here's 10 ways I'll continue to stay positive and focused on my writing goals for 2015 throughout 2015:
1. Each time I have a positive thought this year, I'll follow it by another positive thought, and another positive thought, and another!
2. I'll write 3 things I'm grateful for each day beginning with my pillow, food and home and then move up the ladder: being able to pay bills, having enough love around the house, etc.
3. I'll take time out for self-care, whether it's peeling dead skin off my feet while my husbands puts our cranky daughter to sleep or reading a book in the bathroom. When I treat myself with respect, I can treat my feelings with respect as well.
4. I'll do a brief check-in with myself and then with my family, and if I have time, with the world. If someone else is doing well and better than me, I'll silently congratulate that person. Another person's success is the success for the human race.
5. Each night, I'll envision myself reaching for those writing and publishing goals I've been wishing for myself for the past ten years. I'll see myself as a published author doing talks for libraries, groups, organizations. Bit by bit, I'll even color the scene to really see the interaction.
6. I'll say positive affirmations to anchor my positive emotional state. If I get swept up by the day, I'll go back to silently repeating the affirmation beginning with "I am safe." "I am good. "Everything is peaceful around me." Then I'll move towards goals that affirm my work as a writer. "I am a writer." "I am a published author." "I write in peace and tranquility."
7. I'll breathe to help ground and focus me and get me back to my baseline state.
8. When I feel life getting unbearable, I'll remember I have friends and colleagues to help hold me accountable and who want to see me succeed.
9. I'll reread the testimonials from visitors to my website, readers of my chapters. They will serve to re-anchor the positive connection to myself I thought I may have lost.
10. I will say to myself, "This too shall pass" and "It could be a lot worse," to help me get perspective. Maybe even read a few Chicken Soup of the Soul books.
This positive thinking isn't just a bunch of baloney. It's something that has been missing on my journey and I've been neglecting to nourish it. I'm a mama, a writer, wife and teacher -- and at times, I'm made to feel incredibly vulnerable. It's time to take care of me in the best way I know how.
What helps you stay positive during tough times?