Share Positivity

Do you believe in the power of words?  That words carry energy? That words can change your perspective as well as your experience in and of the world?

My friend Alessa, founder and designer of Positivity Designs, believes words are energetically powerful and knows that how we express ourselves and how we think can have a powerful impact on our health and our world.  And she’s committed to bringing more gratitude, compassion, love and gratitude into the world through her beautifully-designed products.  That’s why she created Positivity Designs.

If you’re looking for last minute gifts, check out her offerings over at positivitydesigns.com

Here’s a sample of some “gratitude”-themed gifts:

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A Celebrity Surprise

Part of my job as a real estate professional is to be familiar with the inventory, which means I go see lots of houses.  And, this being LA, I have found myself in the homes of actors, directors, writers and others connected to the entertainment industry.  I don’t seek out these homes; most of the time I discover the Hollywood connection because of something that is hanging on the wall, on the mantle or through a conversation with the agent.  It doesn’t really change my assessment of a home, although it can occasionally shift how I perceive someone in the public eye.

For example, I fell in love with a house today.  I loved the decor, I loved the floor plan, I loved the feel and flow of the entire place.  It felt warm and cared for and inviting.  It was just a house with really wonderful energy.  You could sense that the inhabitants were happy there and that this had been a good home for them.  As I was looking around the child’s bedroom, I saw on the wall a little drawing the child had made.  Written on the drawing was, “I am grateful for my parents.”  That just floored me.  To me, that just speaks to how there was some very good parenting going on in that household.

I still didn’t know whose home it was.  As I continued to tour the house, I happened to see something that revealed who the owner was.  And in that moment, I noticed a subtle shift in what I thought of this person. I had been pretty indifferent to this person’s work (just not my taste) and I doubt I will rush to see their next project simply because of what I saw today.  It’s more that I was so impressed that a younger actor with some success is raising such a wonderful kid in this town that I feel this respect for them, from a distance.  With so much of the media focused on the individuals who make their mistakes in public, it’s nice to come across someone who has achieved some success (and who seems to continue to be succeeding in the industry) to be so grounded and loving in their private life.

Indulgence or Self-Kindness?

I just read a post on 40 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Kindness over on the kindness blog and it reminded me of how simple, yet important, it is to practice self-kindness. And how easy it is for me to forget or fall out of practice.

When things are hectic, when there are a lot of demands on my time or energy, those are the times that acts of self-kindness are especially critical and necessary. Those times when it feels super indulgent to take the time to breath and meditate?  Those are exactly the times when I absolutely benefit from slowing down and taking a minute (or five or ten) to breathe.

I am amazed at how easily I can slide into thinking that self-care and self-kindness are indulgent. For example, one self-kindness I often think of as an indulgence is sleep. I know I need a lot of sleep. I am someone who needs at least eight hours of sleep a night. When I was younger, I didn’t think much about pulling all-nighters or functioning on just a few hours of sleep a night for long stretches of time. I really can’t say with much objectivity how functional I really was back then. Basically I was powered by a lot caffeine and those years are now a bit of a blur.

Over the years I’ve come to learn that I am a much happier, healthier and more balanced person when I get my seven or eight hours a night consistently. I know that. I have experienced its impact on my mind and body. I have no doubt of its necessity. And still I think it’s indulgent when I get those eight hours! So I like that the post framed getting enough sleep as an act of self-kindness.

Have you noticed any thought patterns in which acts of self-kindness are framed as indulgences?  If so, what do you do to re-frame?

40 Simple Ways to Practice Kindness

With all the intense emotions, busyness and disruptions to our normal schedules, the holidays are a time when we are both more aware of the love and gratitude we have for our lives AND a time when all the demands on our time and energy can leave us crankier and more self-involved than usual. Which is why I find this post so timely. I find practicing simple acts of kindness like the ones of this list inevitably bring me more joy and immediately brings me back to the present moment. No matter what is going on in my day, taking a moment to smile genuinely at a stranger or to really listen to a friend reminds me of our connection to each other as human beings and puts the material demands of life into perspective.

Kindness Blog

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40 Simple Ways to Practice Kindness

by Mike O’Connor

  1. Smiles are irresistible. Don’t hesitate to smile warmly at friends, family, colleagues and even…strangers.
  2. Write hand-written thank-you notes. The notes don’t need to be an essay and people love to receive them. It’s the personal touch.
  3. If you use public transport, it’s busy and there are no free seats, be the first to stand-up and let a weary traveller, pregnant woman or elderly person take rest.
  4. Pay it forward – When you are in a coffee shop or café , maybe you could buy a coffee or cake in advance for the next customer that comes in. How tasty! Imagine what a sweet surprise that person will get when they discover that a kind stranger has paid it forward for them.
  5. When you see a homeless person, think about how you might be able to help them in some way…

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