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Posts Tagged ‘positive thinking’

  1. This Will Make Your Day

    May 17, 2015 by Diane

    Big Laugh

    If you place a call to, oh, say your mobile phone carrier, and the customer service rep asks for your name, and you tell her,


    and she asks,

    “May I call you Miss Diane?”

    and you say,

    “I’d prefer to be called Your Highness,”

    and she happily obliges!…

    this will make your day.

    * * *
    When you remember the gray cat you had as a child, the cat who suffered the indignities of wearing your doll clothes and riding around in your toy baby carriage, the cat who bounded out of the baby carriage wearing those same doll clothes to chase an annoying German Shepard up the road…

    decades later, this memory will make your day.

    * * *
    When your parked car, your tiny Toyota Corolla, is hit by a beast of a big rig and tossed onto the curb like a toy, and the driver continues on his merry way without stopping, this will not make your day. But…

    When a construction worker wearing clunky boots chases down the big rig, and this construction worker happens to be a photographer, and this photographer happens to take pictures of the guilty party and his driver’s license and insurance certificate, and happens to call the police to file a report, and then sticks his business card on your windshield so that you have all the information you need to recoup a portion of the cost of your now-totaled vehicle, you will be filled with such gratitude for this noble do-gooder (whose car was also hit by the big rig, and shoved twenty feet), it will make your day.

    I know, because this just happened to me.

    It doesn’t take much to turn a so-so day, a rotten day, a “why did I bother to get up” day into something wonderful. Not much at all.

    A shared joke.

    A memory.

    A good deed.

    The important thing is to be aware of these fleeting moments, and soak them in.

    So if you’re feeling blue, or you’re spiraling down the anxiety rabbit hole, here’s my prescription: three times a day find something of beauty, or something to laugh about, or something to be grateful for, and soak it in.

    That’s it.

    Be aware, and soak it in.

    And share it with somebody else.

  2. Your World is How You View It

    April 19, 2015 by Diane

    Young Woman Capturing Photo Using Vintage Camera. Monochrome Por

    Picture a world where magic is commonplace. Where people of all creeds and colors sing together in harmony. Where fun is had at any age, and food is plentiful, and everyone is merry and childlike and awestruck at least once a day.

    That world exists.

    It’s the world of Disney.

    I recently watched Saving Mr. Banks on DVD. In case you haven’t seen the film, it’s the story of Walt Disney’s quest to purchase the movie rights to Mary Poppins. But the author, P. L. Travers, is a stubborn nut to crack, and doesn’t want to part with her creation. It takes years of wooing and convincing on Disney’s part, but finally the movie gets made. Oh, sure, there’s plenty of backstory revealing why Travers is the persnickety, repressed woman that she is, but those darker scenes are outweighed by the delightful world of Disney Studios, where scriptwriters and lyricists dance around like children (and Bradley Whitford waltzing in a goofy manner is reason enough to watch the film).

    Anyway, it’s a delightful movie, and I was sharing my delight with a neighbor—let’s call her Chicken Little—who agreed. She lit up, and said, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were all just a bit more reserved nowadays?” and then she deflated. “Oh, Diane, the world is going downhill.”

    And I thought…really? What lens are you looking through?

    But I wasn’t about to get into an argument with this woman. I wasn’t about to point out that Saving Mr. Banks is set in the early ‘60s, a time of rampant racism and the brewing of the Vietnam War and the uprising of women fed up being repressed. And before that, there were two world wars and poverty and prohibition and rationing and polio and tuberculosis and some guy named Jack the Ripper. There were men in white coats who carted you away in a straightjacket if you suffered a mental illness. There was the plague and beheadings and…well, you get my drift.

    There were always frightful things afoot, but no immediate broadcasting throwing it into our faces 24/7.

    I understand how Chicken Little came to adopt her particular viewpoint. She scours the internet daily, pouncing on scary, negative stories that will back up her vision of a world in decline. Through the mail she receives angry, doomsday missives from her political party. She seeks out people who hold similar negative views, and together they chew on the gristle of their dissatisfaction.

    But what about the wonderfulness of the universe? It’s there, too. We might not live in a Disney world, but it’s not skidding into skid row, either, regardless of what our elected officials may spout. And while it’s important to be aware of what’s occurring around us—even the horrendous stuff—if we are unable to personally change it for the better, isn’t it best to focus on all that is good? And in so doing, expand that goodness?

    Just as Disney created his own playground of the mind (and a literal one for all of us to scamper in), Chicken Little creates the world she believes in.

    So I write this for the Chicken Little in us all:

    Where do you aim your lens? Do you focus on the fearful tales that the media highlights? Do you dwell on the people in your life who are grit under your eyelids? Do you rehash the mistakes you’ve made?

    Or do you see the possibility in every human being you encounter? Do you remember the times you triumphed? Do you speak uplifting words? Do you find humor in the craziness?

    Where do you aim your lens?

    Because you have a choice. You are the director of your life. You are the producer and the writer and the actor. You have a choice of whether to live in a drama or comedy or romance or fantasy or action-adventure or cartoon. And if you suffer abuse or unemployment or a life-threatening illness, or mental, physical, or spiritual pain of any kind, then you need to sharpen your focus on something joyful. You need to remember: above the clouds, the sun is always shining.

    It’s not easy. Our thoughts are squirrelly things.

    But I do believe it’s necessary. For the sanity of ourselves and our planet.

    So let’s ask ourselves, periodically, throughout the day: Where am I aiming my lens? What view, of all the views in this buffet of life, am I choosing to focus upon?

    And choose the uplifting one.

  3. I’m the Captain of this Ship Now

    May 12, 2014 by Diane


    You start off with a nice little sailboat.

    You’re bobbing along, enjoying the cool breeze, watching the white gulls dive for fish. You’re kicking back and gazing up at a brilliant blue sky that seems endless.

    Then life dumps a crate on board, and another, and another, and each crate seems heavier than the one before. Eventually you need a barge to haul them all. Before you know it, black clouds have thundered in, obliterating that infinite blue. You’re riding a roller coaster of gray-green water and you’re barely hanging on–unable to even navigate. You’re headed to the middle of nowhere on a freight that’s loaded down, sinking.

    I have a friend who is stuck on just such a freighter.

    I hesitated to write on this topic. There’s nothing amusing about breast cancer and skin cancer and having no health insurance. There’s nothing laughable about a lack of income, or pets that become chronically ill, or unrelenting anxiety, or landlords that boot you out when they sell their property. There’s nothing cheery about roommates that die, leaving you to find their body.

    Life is weighing down my friend with one crate after another, and it felt too raw to write about.

    Then I took a walk in the neighborhood. I noticed a crumpled dollar bill on the sidewalk and thought,  it’s my lucky day! As I bent to pick it up, I had this flash:

    The only way lighten the load is to fill those crates with all the good things in life.

    It might take ten, twenty, a hundred good things to balance out one of the bad, but stockpile them anyway. It might take a freight-load of willpower and gumption and stamina to find something to uplift you, but look for it anyway. The Law of Attraction might be nothing more than a fantasy, but fantasize anyway. Seek out each moment that makes you feel happy anyway. Go out of your way to gravitate to the good, because the other stuff is easy to stumble over. And little by little you’ll turn that barge around. You’ll rise up, lighter in spirit, and raise a fist Scarlett-style, and vow: “As God is my witness, I refuse to be licked. I’m the captain of this ship now. And I’m turning this monster around.”

    We can’t change what life hands us, but we can choose to view ourselves as lucky instead of cursed. We can’t stop the rain (and we need it to grow, anyway), but we can hold onto the knowledge that above the dark clouds the sky is always an everlasting blue.