Turn on the Lights

I am a firm believer in the mantra “thoughts become things.” I advocate for positivity, knowing full well that negativity manifests itself physically in the body. I own, admire and periodically watch The Secret, even just as background noise while I take care of things in the evening, to revamp the beliefs I have regarding the power of the mind.

That being said, I completely let negativity overpower my otherwise joyous mindset last week, and was unconscious (or ignorant) of this fact until a morning conversation with my mom. My mom is my best friend, my greatest confidant, and my hero. We talk every single day, multiple times per day, and frankly are carrying on some sort of conversation 24/7 be it via email, text, phone or facebook. Seriously. We’re in constant contact, and I like it that way. Now that I’ve grown up and moved away we have a very close relationship that is no longer co-dependent but rather strong, unbreakable, resilient and the bond dearest to my heart. That being said, hearing her opinion through the phone on that chilly morning walk to work was enough to shake me from my funk.

At first I was defensive, as we often tend to be when someone bluntly states that your attitude lately has been subpar and your complaining is getting out of hand. Naturally, I wasn’t a grinch 24/7 that week, but I was really grumpy in regards to obligations and the onset of working a holiday week in retail (which I’ve done once before, last year, and was not eager to do again) and I was complaining like no other over how achy and tired my body was after standing all day long on hard concrete, blah blah blah. My mom is a psychology major, so her carefully selected words, in their wise brevity, kept me from clinging to my defensive reaction and instead led me out of the fog. I decided to simply change my mindset. I decided to simply be happy, regardless of the fact that I was mid-8-day-work-week, and not in a cute outfit, and feeling a little sleep deprived, and, and, and…

That night I was challenged sincerely. I struggled a bit through the day, my defensiveness battling my newfound positivity (I say newfound because I’d spent several days without my normal sense of positivity which, as you know if you too are as naturally upbeat an person as I am, can be devastating to the senses and the mind). I received an email that evening after work from my roommates (of which I have four) regarding house matters, chores, etc. which left me reeling, with a tumultuous desire to defend myself and counter all accusations. Which I did. Which did not help, it in fact worsened the situation as I tossed in my own bitter ten cents to the pile of bitter coins already in the chain email. I closed my laptop and went to yoga, which cleared my mind entirely. It was one of my good friend’s classes and he focused on what he’d just learned from an extended workshop with the great Maty Ezraty, so I walked out brimming with new knowledge and inspiration for the practice. I drove home feeling a bit of a second wind, though it felt more like a meek and quiet breeze. I arrived home to a confrontation (I’m very non-confrontational, and I mean very). Immediately, as though an alarm had signaled, the troops appeared: Colonel Cortisol, Sergeant Stressed-out and Commander Norepinephrine all joined my roommate and I in the kitchen. My hands literally shook for the next hour. By some miracle we resolved the incident far better than any incident has been resolved in this house before, and I slept soundly. I went to bed that night intent on my morning decision to change my attitude, my mindset, and the way I react to things. I set in motion this shift with no room for debate from my little inner demon who loves to stir the pot when things get shaky, and with no room whatsoever for negativity. I laid down in bed, shutting my eyelids as one would curtains and hanging up a “Do Not Disturb, Negativity, You’re Not Welcome Here” sign.

I was almost instantly rewarded for my conscious change of mindset. By instantly I mean about by the end of the next day I was waltzing out of work feeling spry and ready for anything thinking to myself, “Wow…it is scary how well this worked.” It was dusk and I called my mom jabbering on about how much energy I had and how happy I was and how I’d call her after I cooked dinner. I didn’t want to jinx my sudden 180 so I just kept on with my happy self. About three days later, I quietly acknowledged my abundance of physical energy, seemingly unshakeable attitude of positivity, and relaxed manner with wide-eyed wonder. How could it be that nothing had changed apart from my mindset? The work days drug on (mind you I was at the start of a monstrous week when my little breakdown occurred), actually getting longer and busier, the weather got colder, my to-do list grew longer, and yet…I was unaffected. As a sensitive little Cancer ruled by the moon, I’m easily affected and always emotional. This can be dangerous but I am aware of my über sensitivity and therefore make it through most days emotionally unscathed (after all, we must be aware of our own traits and protect ourselves!).

Rather than wait for an ensuing wave of negativity to wash down my carefully built force of positivity, I’m taking this experience as a valuable lesson. Yes, negativity will try to enter into my days now and again, this is unavoidable. No, I will not let it take me down for days at a time, because I have as much power to change my own mind as I do to switch on the lights in my room. It takes conscious effort, which in the wake of negativity we are often not strong enough to muster, but it’s essential. I will let myself the negativity, I won’t deny myself a full spectrum of emotion, but I will not dwell.

We all have these episodes, it’s part of being human, and if you have experienced (or someday experience) this type of negativity-attack, may my words help guide you back to the sunshine. We are perfectly imperfect and “hard weeks” teach us more about ourselves than we’re often ready for, but take the lessons in stride. Things happen exactly when they’re meant to, lessons often hold a heck of a lot more weight than meets the eye, and this life is about falling and getting back up.

Get back up, and show that pretty world your positive glow 🙂

Be well sweet souls!



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