Positive Thinking, You Are What You Think

The other night I walked out onto my back desk to a thunder storm cloud that made my stomach do flip-flops, you see I really don’t like aggressive storms. Blame it on growing up in the midwest and hiding away below ground during to many tornadoes. I took a deep breath and really looked at this lumbering cloud overhead, I could embrace the fear or I could embrace the beauty. It really was beautiful with the setting sun lighting magnificent water colors through it. You see, this is a choice each of us are faced with every day. Is it the storm you focus on or the brilliant water color?

Life has a funny way of forcing us to look at each moment with either rose colored glasses or dark and stormy thunder clouds. What I feel we most often forget is, life is truly created by the choices we make. We are how we think. If you allow dark and stormy to rain on the parade of thoughts within you head, the world around you will have the same ongoing downpour. However, if you opt to imagine the world as a brilliant sparkling diamond, the world around you becomes a fantastic glimmer of light and warmth. The brilliant thing about light and dark, is that we all posses the choice. The choice to decide on the world we live in.

Truth be told no matter how much you try, you will never be able to control anything outside of yourself. You can’t micromanage others into the perfect happy bubble. Just like you can’t live a life of dancing and laughter if you brain is consumed with negative thinking vomit. That’s exactly what negative and controlling thoughts are, vomit. Vile acidy tidbits of nothing that seep through our thoughts tarnishing the good and corroding everything into a giant melting pot of upheaval. If you take away nothing else from this blogvice remember this, negative breeds negative and positive breeds positive. You’ve heard the saying, you are what you eat, I say… you are exactly what you think.

The bad, goodness knows that negative thought fairy is all around. Your car gets a flat tire, you get laid-off, your niece spills fruit punch down your favorite sweater, or your ManFriend is watching ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ for the 1,928 time this week. The negative fairy dancing on your shoulder is going to tell you that your day is destroyed because of that stupid flat tire. She’s going to tell you that you’re an ultimate failure because your boss let you go and not the nitwit three cubicles down. She’ll say that children are the spawns of satan because not even dry-cleaning will knock out that juice stain. She might even get your annoyed to the point of picking a fight with your ManFriend for having the nerve to mellow out and watch the same movie AGAIN. In short…. Negative Nancy Fairy is a twit who starts drama, kick her little fairy butt to the curb.

Now Penelope the Positive  Thought Fairy is a sassy diva. She’s all smiles and flies around trying to catch your eye with her sparkle, so that you ignore that other fairy. Penelope the Positive Thought Fairy leaves a trail of warmth and sparkle in her wake. She sees the flat tire as an opportunity to push up those sleeves and take charge or as a great reason to see ManFriend again before the work day begins. Flat tire + One more good morning kiss = perfection. She’ll remind you that a layoff is a brilliant opportunity to stretch your legs and see what other adventures are out there for you. She helps you see your niece as beautiful and amazing. She’s not perfect… but your life is truly a better place with her in it. You can buy a new sweater, but little kiddos are priceless. She will show you that ManFriend treats you well and bless his heart he likes to watch the same thing over again, what a perfect time to curl up with him and recite your favorite parts. In short, Penelope the Positive Fairy is your BFF, hold onto this one, she’s a keeper.

The truth is negativity weighs us down. It invades our thoughts forcing us to live in the past or the future. By doing this we aren’t enjoying what is happening right before our eyes. Worry, negativity, doubt, fear… they are all simply distractions. Distractions that you can choose to ignore. Sure it may sound like a daunting task, but truth be told it is really an exiting adventure. A way for you to live your life like a dance party instead of like a never ending lecture.  The choice is yours, shall you dance or shall you sit in a lecture of worry?

You are the queen of your thoughts, you direct your attention… so choose to focus on the amazing. It is a beautiful day outside, the sun in shining and the sky is a spectacular shade of blue. Find the good, forget the bad. Remember, our world is created by our thoughts, and our thoughts dictate our actions. Everything around you has good within it, look for it. Fill your head with so much love and positivity that you walk on cloud 9 each and everyday. If you feel a negative though creep into your mind, quickly replace it with something brilliant. Would you rather worry yourself into frown lines or tone that butt by dancing and your abs by laughing? Replace no no thoughts, with anything warm and fuzzy. Tell yourself you are amazing, remind yourself of a kind act you completed, laugh because laughter feeds the soul. You are the author of your story, create words that inspire not only others, but yourself. Be your biggest inspiration… and that begins with finding the good and positive in even the most trying situations.

Create the world your heart desires.

Brooke

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Have a Trav Sort of Day, Be Kind

Travs smile

I was going to write about lipstick today, pink lipstick in fact, but then I took a shopping adventure. Radio was blaring, I wish I could say the windows were down, but it’s been a typhoon for the past 24 hours. The rain did not deter me from singing, loudly and off key, to every song on the radio. Then Kenny Chesney “I Go Back” came on and my singing abruptly stopped. You see, people lovingly call me an audiophile, I relate a great deal to music. This song has a line, ” And I go back to the loss of a real good friend. And the sixteen summers I shared with him. Now “Only The Good Die Young” stops me in my tracks. Every time I hear that song.” I mumbled the lyrics, fighting back tears, with a gigantic  smile on my face.

That smile is always on my face when Trav crosses my mind, even if from time to time tears accompany the smile. That goofy grinning guy above, sorry for the picture it’s a print circa 2001, is my best friend. My strength and laughter for countless days of my life. We lost him suddenly in 2003, but this isn’t about his death… it’s about how he lived.

And he lived a selfless amazing life.

If you needed something you could count on Trav to be the first one there. He smiled with laughter that filled an entire room. I didn’t realize until I got a few years under my belt that he’d spent the better part of our friendship protecting me. I never asked him to, I was as proud at 10 as I am now at 30, but he knew that my world could be a pretty scary place even if I couldn’t admit it. His heart was so very gentle and kind. In short he was my gentle lion. Quiet and reserved, but would attack to protect those he cared for.

He lived his life embodying the word, kindness.

Some days I forget to live my life with that same kindness. I honk angrily at the car in front of me who crawls 10 miles under the speed limit in the fast lane, side note please don’t ever drive under the speed limit in the passing lane. Life gets the better of me and I snap at my little kiddo when we are running late. Instead of going to bed I stay up watching Netflix until 4 am, so 7 am I’m grumptastic to say the least. I simply forget to be happy and make a world of selfless action around me. It’s so easy to go through your day tired and crabby or rushed and irritated. What I want to do is encourage you to take a breath and release the negative juju before it impacts the world you are creating.

The only guarantee in life is change, everything at some point in time will change. We can’t avoid change or force time to stand still, but we can remember to roll with the punches. When the world gets you down, laugh at it. There is humor all around us if we can simply turn off the negative thought record player in our heads. Focus on the good, embrace the awesome, and trust that the rest of the stuff will work itself out. Practice random acts of kindness, do something special for those who mean the most to you, and don’t forget to take care of yourself too.

What Trav taught me is to love life, love others, and love myself. It’s really hard to be a big ole jerk face when you’re smiling and embracing kindness.

When you’re out there today, think before you speak or act. Have a Trav sort of day.

Brooke

(Closing with one of Trav’s favorite groups)

 

 

Awe Shorts… So This Happened Today

Awe Shorts

Summer has torn into my part of the world like crazed tweens at a One Direction concert; hormonal, rabid and a little bit unstable. Summer storms yesterday gave way to heat paired with dreaded midwest humidity. Humidity so strong that this inhaler loving asthmatic got winded simply by walking across a parking lot. It’s pretty embarrassing when I’m out of breath and the little old lady next to me is trucking along like a marathon runner. Asthma, successfully lowering self-esteem one humidity infested heatwave at a time.

The jeans I wore didn’t help matters much, jeans + midwest summers =  really really bad idea. So why did I buck all logic and pull on my trusty pair of “go to” jeans… well there is a simple answer to that. Prison break. My thighs were trying rather victoriously to break through the fabric prison of my shorts. The shorts held their own though, keeping the angry thighs of doom confined with painful red lines and accented cellulite dimples. The look was fabulous really (not really, not really at all) but I figured as fun as it would be splitting my pants like Bruce Banner, I’d pass. Hulk mad smash. Frustrated I tossed the shorts behind a pile of sweaters, no point in letting them see the light of day anytime soon.

That single event led me to near hyperventilation, dehydration and heat stroke in about half an hour flat. Since Pinteresting “DIY vacuum lip0suction” was probably out of the question, I opted to do what every woman (no matter your age) hates doing. Now keep in mind I’m not a fan of the word hate, it’s a rather strong word that should be used as sparingly as possible, but in this instance it fits. I absolutely hate with the fiery rage of a thousand suns having to buy a larger size in anything. Except maybe bras, but lets me honest I have yet to have that problem. Begrudgingly I tried on my current size shorts, then huffed and puffed around the small fitting room trying to get the things to button. No dice, couldn’t make that happen, even if I could ignore the fact the shorts were cutting off circulation to my ankles. Sigh next size up, winner… well crap.

The truth was in the fabric. I couldn’t deny it anymore. I can’t deny it now as I type this confession… I have eaten my way up a pant size. Poor decisions written all over the shorts, the receipt, the shopping bag.. all of it. Grumble, grumble, but I really love cheesecake, grumble. This will be the only, repeat ONLY summer in this size of shorts. By the end of this summer, those shorts will be donated to the local Goodwill. This isn’t a buzz kill or setback, nope my shorts misadventure is just another stepping stone towards where I want to be. Motivation in denim. But still.

Awe Shorts.

Brooke

The Final Straw

I’ve done this a million times, okay maybe not a million, but I’ve done it A LOT. Started a blog… quit. Set out to lose weight… quit. Said I wanted to make changes…. quit. Swore off Diet Coke…quit. I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line I became a big ole quitter. When times get tough, I revert back to what’s easy peasy. This time… this time things have to be different.

I escaped from the city over the weekend and enjoyed 4 days tucked away by the lake. It was relaxing, it was allergy filled, it was… a large cosmic slap upside the head of reality. At the end of the day when I look in the mirror I’m just not happy with me. Inside and out I’m not the person I want to be.

Let’s start with the outside, since my little hambone was born I’ve carried around an extra 15 pounds. Truth is it’s not baby weight, my baby just turned 7. He didn’t force me to eat my weight in tacos. He didn’t drag me from the dinner table to partake in seconds. Oh no it’s not baby weight, it’s bad decisions weight. That weight hides not so well EVERYWHERE. My thighs are showing dimples, my arm keeps waving when I stop, and my once flat stomach has taken on a mind of it’s own.”Ruuuuuuunnnnn, the blob…. it’s coming.” The icing on the cake (mmmm cake) came this weekend while standing on the dock in a bikini waiting for Hambone to get in the chilly lake water. In short… he took FOREVER, leaving me exposed for the world to see in a bikini that wasn’t flattering since I bought it a long time ago. As I urged him to please hurry up and get in, it actually crossed my mind to toss his slow moving behind into the water. He was wearing a lifejacket so it would have been totally fine, right? With the logic being, the faster he gets in the faster I get in. That was it, the final straw… I can’t go another weekend feeling like that. I don’t want to crawl in my own skin anymore and I don’t want a ticked of 7 year old.

As for the inside, that’s a bit more complicated, but I’m sure it is for everyone. Bluntly put, I am a worry wart wrapped up in chicken little syndrome. I stress out A LOT, because that’s how I’ve always done it. Honestly, that’s the only explanation I have, I’ve always been a stressed. Stressed myself out so much in fact that I worried myself right into 5 years of panic attacks, but that’s another post all together. The point is I worry myself sick and that easily brings down those around me. When I worry and stress I pick at those closest me. I’m afraid to say that when I don’t know what to do, I bark out orders. I uh don’t know how to handle this so uh go clean your room. Not exactly the best way to enjoy life or to help others enjoy life. That’s what this is about, enjoying life and pushing away all the minor stressing and worrying. Contrary to popular belief the sky isn’t actually falling and even if it were that’s what we have Bruce Willis for.

So that brings me here, airing my dirty laundry for the world to see… making myself accountable. Today June 3, 2014 is day one of 365 days of changing who I am. Setting goals and achieving them, while enjoying the challenge. No  more quitting, no more wanting to shove a 7 year old in a lake and no more rough around the edges. It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight, but I want to do this for me. I want to feel good with who I am and how I make those around me feel.

Welcome to me…

photo-34

Brooke