Positivity can be hard, especially when we’re struggling. This Tiny Practice can help us shed the mental habit of focusing on what’s not working and rewire us for healthy positivity. Have fun with this simple exercise shared by Geneen Roth during a talk with Eileen Fisher called This Messy Magnificent Life.
We are all vulnerable to the slippery irresistible slope of negative thinking. No matter the abundance of what may be going right in our lives, we can easily default into zeroing in on what’s going wrong.
Geneen Roth, author of the new book This Messy Magnificent Life, shared with participants at a recent event that the pull is so strong in the direction of the negative, that it often starts the minute we wake up. Before we know it, we are moving through the day this way.
“Noticing what’s wrong,” Geneen said, becomes “a habit of the mind.”
This turns out to be good news because as we believe and know here at Women Together, we can transform our habits. We have the power to shed habits that aren’t working and, with some effort and intention, develop ones that will.
“There are so many things that aren’t wrong than that are wrong,” Geneen says. “It takes a switch of the mind, and changing the neural circuitry so it’s not always obsessed with the negative.”
Ask yourself this question instead:
What’s not wrong right now?
And how do we flip that switch? With a tiny practice that Geneen recommends. It takes just a few minutes each morning (or evening, or afternoon).
Because our minds want to ask, “what’s wrong right now?,” ask yourself this question instead:
What’s not wrong right now?
Or, if you prefer: What’s right right now?
What’s right right now?
Answer with the first thing that comes into your mind.
Then ask yourself again and again answer with the first thing you think of. Repeat several times. Pick a number . . . three . . . five . . . seven times?
Let yourself answer spontaneously and honestly.
You can make a list in writing, use the question as a meditation, or say it out loud to your partner or a friend (or to yourself in the car on your commute).
Notice how your body feels when you shift your focus in this way. Do you feel lighter? Calmer? More excited? Uplifted?
“When you start noticing [what’s right],” Geneen says, “it becomes its own habit. There’s an infusion of what’s right instead of what’s wrong.”
Pretty soon, it will become second nature, a shift in your whole attitude toward life. Yes, things may still go “wrong” and these things will get the attention they need. But why not have a go-to practice you can do whenever you want — make a list, flip the switch, and notice the difference, enjoy the riches.
My husband and my dog are lying next to me in bed as the sun comes thru the shutters after days of rain. I just scored a beautiful green (pre-owned) Eileen Fisher sweater off eBay at a great price (sorry Eileen!). It will replace the old well-loved one headed for the thrift around the corner. It has served me well for 15 years.
A loving husband, A house upstate for summer rejuvenation, a book to be published, a vegetable garden, birds, trees, a Monarch butterfly (and the milkweed to sustain it), teaching and loving it, discovering new wonders each day, know what most do not about the creative process as a generative form of order—into infinity, free from either/or thinking, growing younger each day, trusting my intuition, in touch with my spirit., forgave my old boyfriend his transgressions, the rabbit came back! 🙂 Wow- that was fun. I feel relaxed already!
My family and friends have offered me lots of loving support since my husband died in February. They have been there with me every step of the way and I feel very blessed and well cared for.
This tiny article was like being hit on the head. I do have a grateful journal, and I do have a grateful “piggy bank” that I deposit special events. But I think that is the problem. Only special events. I can be much more grateful in my life, and will now take a few moments every morning to reflect and be thankful for my blessings.
Sunshine dawning over the marshes outside my window.
Healthy food choices are sustaining a healthy weight.
The luxury of waking up slowly while reading things that interest me
I am attending an artist residency in a beautiful part of the country, with time to pursue my artwork that seems endless. I have been painting and finding meaning in the process, and I am giving myself time to look at my creative life, let go of doubt and trust my instincts.
Savoring moments on a Saturday morning in the gentle spring sunshine in my yard with birds chirping AND reading yet another quietly inspiring LifeWork email. 🙂
This is a great way to remind myself that there are more things right than wrong! Thanks for the support, India
Ability to make plans. Work attend workshops, improve organize my. Life.
Being with my new granddaughter Davida and spending time with Sim and helping out his family by doing chores and financing some pitch.
Lucky to be well.
Lucky my husband of many years is well again.
Lucky for the support those four years from friends and family.
Lucky my work also sustained me those hard years.
Lucky to be celebrating in Paris!
October 28, 2018
Surprised myself, suddenly coming across this public entry from six months ago. Still true! And still a useful practice.
After a cancer scare two years ago I have come to appreciate life itself. LIFE is right in my life, right now! The sound of birds singing, the taste of delicious food, the smell of wet pine needles in the forest, the rhythm of my breath. Grateful for every minute of every day, I can finally appreciate the good and let go of the rest.
Grateful to be maintaining good health and having friends and family to share the blessings ?