After you…

I learned something about staying positive when I was leaving the parking lot at the grocery store one day. I was in a hurry and it seemed like everything was in my way. First,  someone’s cart rolled in front of my car. Then someone started backing out in front of me.  I could feel myself getting anxious. Then someone started beeping their horn for me to hurry up. Aaaaaggghhhh! 

The lesson was this: the easiest way to maintain my positive attitude is to let those who are in “such a hurry” go ahead of me.  My anxiety in that situation was all about getting somewhere else. And in the present moment I was sacrificing my positive attitude, serenity and joy. For what? So I could be at the traffic light before the other person. 

Slow down and pay attention – see the guy in the side view mirror

When I am in traffic I periodically notice other drivers weaving in and out trying to get there faster. When I see that I say out loud, “after you”. I joke with my fellow passengers that this person must be a doctor on their way to perform surgery or a pregnant woman in labor. Because truly – what could really be THAT important? 

When others are in a hurry, that doesn’t mean I have to be. I can live my life at my speed. Sometimes I am living really fast and I need to remind myself that this day, this moment, will come and go quickly. If I don’t pay attention – I could miss it. 

So I make it a priority to take time to focus on what’s important in my life. I hope you do too. And if someone is impatient with your speed – you can always tell them ” go ahead … after you”. 

Is your attitude worth catching?

I believe that our attitudes are contagious.  Similar to the common cold, you can just be close to someone and catch it!  And just like a cold, it can stick with you for a while.  It is up to each of us to do a daily check up on the health of our attitude.  Without stopping to think about it, would you describe your current attitude as negative or positive? You know in your gut what attitude you are emitting to those around you.

Happy

Some people take on the mood of the people around them.  If your friend is having a good day and in a good mood — you are likely to be in a good mood too.  It can be great when it is a good thing… but when someone is in a bad mood or it seems that nothing ever goes their way – yuck!  Who wants to catch that attitude? Not me!

I am not saying that you should abandon your friends and family when you they have a bad day now and then.  I believe in being supportive, understanding and providing a listening ear.  But – their attitude does not have to become mine, simply because I care about them. Some people call that detachment.  It means that they can have a bad day and I love them, but my day doesn’t become bad too because of that.

If there is someone who is constantly negative – bordering on toxic –  and they are never supportive of you, it’s time to take a look at that relationship.  What are you getting out of it?  What are they getting out of it?  Give it some thought and do what you think is best to have a happy life.

My attitude is positive A LOT of the time. I am a human being, so I do have experiences that I don’t enjoy sometimes and can have a negative attitude.  But even when something feels negative in the moment, I try to look back at it later and find what was positive about it. Yes – I “look for the silver lining”.  Give it a try.

Before you go, do you think that your attitude is worth catching?  Mine is!

 

Things are looking up!

A good friend of mine who has traveled quite a bit gave me some advice one day. She said whenever you go somewhere make sure to look up. At first I didn’t understand. Then she said could you imagine if you went to the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican and didn’t look up at the ceiling? Ahhh. Looking up is important. 

Since that day I have quoted her many times and I’m grateful for that advice. Some of the most beautiful artwork I have ever seen has been installed in ceilings. Gorgeous hand blown glass, paintings, sculptures, chandeliers. 


And when I go walking outside I look up and see God’s artwork! Gorgeous billowing clouds, sunsets with colors that I have never seen before, warm sun on my face. 

It’s also important to look up from our phones, computers and televisions. See the beauty of another person’s smile, maybe look in their eyes and find out what color  eyes they have. 
I am very grateful to my friend for telling me to look up! You know what? That applies to our attitudes too! Imagine that!! 

Go for a walk in the rain!

This morning I went for a walk in the rain. I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t pouring it was just sprinkling. It was refreshing and fun!

I’ve been with people who freak out because it’s raining. Or they are in a bad mood because it’s raining. I LOVE rain! The sound of raindrops on the roof, relaxes me. Watching rain from my porch gives me a view of a clean and brightened landscape – the grass seems greener! Plants grow because of rain. I feel more alive when I walk in the rain.

I recently went to see the classic movie Singin’ in the Rain in a movie theater. Watching Gene Kelly singing and dancing in that famous scene in the rain makes me so happy. I grin from ear to ear – like he does in that scene. Watch that scene below on YouTube- you’ll smile too!

Yes, in a rainstorm will get you wet. Your hair and makeup can get messed up. Your clothes and shoes could get soaked! My question to all that is – SO WHAT?  Live a little! Have fun! It’s really okay to not look or act perfect all the time.

In fact, I dare you to go for a walk in the rain. Feel the raindrops on your face. Put out your hand and feel them falling and refreshing you. If it turns out you don’t like it then it’s not for you. But if you do like it — go for a walk in the rain! You may find yourself singing and dancing out there with Gene Kelly and me!

Acknowledge your life teachers.

When thinking of teachers, most people think of their favorite grade school or high school teachers. But the people who I have learned the most from in my life never worked in a school building or a formal classroom.  They taught me lessons in the classroom we call life.

My parents have been my greatest teachers. Their values of kindness, integrity and love (among so many others) were passed on to me.  I do not have children so I have decided to pass on my values through this blog and through the speaking and writing services I am offer through this website – Positively Inspired (sharonberezne.com).

I could write many chapters on all the people in my life (so far…) who taught me about the important things in life. Today, I am picking just one person and will share a tiny bit of what she taught me.  Her name is Anne Woyshville O’Neil.  She is my grandmother and lived to be almost 99 years old. Here is a picture of her as a young woman.

Anne Woyshville O’Neil

Anne was the youngest of 11 siblings and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.  She married my grandfather (Lt. John E. O’Neil, USMC) and had one child – my mother.  She loved to sing songs from musicals and at Church.  She enjoyed taking me to the Art Museum, Zoo and Aquarium in Cleveland, Ohio.

Anne Woyshville O’Neil

She was well-known to her extended family as someone who was interested in them and had a great sense of humor.  She would write letters (or as she called them “missives”) for us on special occasions.  I treasure them and have kept quite a few. AND she LOVED poetry.  I learned to enjoy so many things in life after talking with her about them.

Her favorite quote from the Bible was “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us Rejoice and be Glad”.  Without fail, when I am down – I remember her smiling and hear her yelling that out to me!  Enjoy this day!!

She taught us to love poetry and music.

Take time today for those that are still here on earth – thank them for their lessons!  Let them know what it has meant to you.  They may or may not be people you are related to.  Life teachers can be much older than you — or much younger!!

When you think of those people who have gone before us — who have passed on — think of them as teachers.  Share what they taught you.  Acknowledge their importance in your life.

Celebrate!

Today is April 2nd – my birthday! So I am celebrating my life. It’s a really good one. No one’s life is perfect. I have had struggles and triumphs. They have made me into the amazing person I am today. Part of what keeps me positive is celebration!

Celebrate!

Not only do I celebrate special occasions, but I celebrate the little things every day. Many of my close friends will tell you that I am known for yelling out the word hooray! I may do this because we got a good parking space or we got a table at the restaurant faster than expected. Sometimes my favorite food can cause me to yell out hooray!

Try it! The next time you are happy or excited -even about something small- yell out hooray!  It doesn’t have to be that word – you can choose a word that you equate with celebration. If you can’t think of one,  here are some of my favorites: hooray! Yippee! Woo hoo! Oh yeah! Sweet! Nice! Awesome! 

I know lots of people dread birthdays. I am not one of them! I am grateful for every day and every year that I have been blessed to live. After all the alternative is no fun at all. I have heard it said “may you live all the days of your life.”

I realize that my joyful positive attitude as a gift from God. My mom has told me on more than one occasion that I was always a joyful child. Even though today is my birthday and I received wonderful gifts, my goal is to share the gift of joyful positive inspiration with you!

Celebrate your life! It’s the only one you have!

Worried -why?

Everyone has worried about something or someone. What’s the point in worrying? Does it change the situation or the outcome? No. Does it make us feel better? Absolutely not. 

What happens to us when we worry? Sometimes we cry, our pulse rate heightens, we get headaches, we snap at other people and are very anxious. It does not help us or the situation. In fact, we waste the precious present moment when we are worrying about what we did or did not do. Or we focus on what we are going to do. 

Instead of worrying, I try to focus on what is happening now. This takes a lot of practice and I am not able to do it all the time. After all I am a human being. But when I am able to do this I feel more positive about my life and the people in it. 

Next time you start to worry – say to yourself- what am I getting out of this? What about the life I am living right now? Think about what you were worried about a year ago. Most people won’t be able to remember. And if you can remember, how have things changed in the last year? Are they better or worse? Did worry have any impact on that outcome?

Sometimes to balance things out when I am worried, I go to the mirror and ask myself – what can I do about this situation? 

The woman in the mirror …

It’s amazing how looking yourself in the eye and asking a question can make a difference. Odds are the answer to that question will come pretty quick. 

I think of worry as genuine healthy concern that is out of control. So take a deep breath. Focus on the moment. Enjoy what is going right. The troubles may still be there, but you will have taken a step toward being positive. 

Being positive feels alot better than worrying. There’s an old song that goes “forget your worries come on get happy!”  Bobby McFarrin sang “Don’t Worry be Happy” and Pharell sings the song “Happy”. 

There are reminders everyday to lose your worries! Here’s one more from me – lose your worries and be Positively Inspired! 

Relax. Be kind to yourself too!

Deadlines, responsibilities, due dates and appointments are commitments we are always going to have to deal with in life.  Some of these are requested by others and some are self-imposed.  In order to maintain a positive attitude – it is important to have downtime.  Time to relax and recharge ourselves.

The daily stress of life can become overwhelming if you don’t take time for yourself.  That might mean you decide to take a vacation with family, friends or on our own.  Or a day at the park or a zoo can be relaxing.  Or reading a book or watching a movie can fit the bill.

Vacation – 2016!

Of course almost all of those things require money.  I have a suggestion that you can use and it will not cost you any money.  It is visualization and meditation. This a great way to take your mind on a “vacation” and provide yourself with some rest and relaxation.

Hudson Springs Park (Hudson, OH) – Sharon Berezne

With your eyes closed, imagine a scene like the one above.  Quiet, shaded, maybe a few birds are chirping… take a deep breath and imagine the way it would feel to be sitting there in that scene… let out that breath.  Whatever scene you imagine is entirely up to you.  But it should be something that you find restful.  You do this for between 5 – 15 minutes and you will actually feel completely different.

The deadlines will still be there – but you will be more focused and relaxed to handle it.  AND more positive!

A walk…to relax. (Sharon Berezne 2017)

My last suggestion, that works for me is to go for a walk.  It can be around your neighborhood or a park.  Either of these will work.  What is different in this relaxation technique is to notice the “little things”.  For instance, the view in the picture above feels very relaxing to me.  But I need to notice it first!  Stopping to look at flowers, pet dogs, watch a butterfly land on a bush, waving to the neighbors!  All those things can re-energize and refresh me.

I hope that you take time to relax now and then. To relax means that you are taking care of yourself.  You count.  You matter too!  It really does feel good and you will definitely feel more positive!

“be kind to unkind people they need it the most.”

When it comes to kindness people often think that there are kind people and unkind people. And I will admit that there are people who are not very nice in fact they’re awful and mean to others.  I heard this quote that I try to live by “be kind to unkind people they need it the most.”

From rawforbeauty.com

It’s super easy to be nice to people who are nice to us. Where’s the effort in that? It takes true strength and a positive attitude to be kind to people even if they’re not kind to us. 

When I was going to school as a young woman there were some students who are not very nice to me. They were mean to me because I was supportive to people who had difficulties. What I remember thinking is that nobody is just mean. Something happened in their life. 

By no means am I condoning bullying, abuse (mental or physical) or violence. But people who are unkind or dealing with some kind of pain. I try to be kind to all people. 

In the end we are all responsible for our own actions. I choose to be kind. How about you?

Giving can be a joy!

One of my favorite things to do is watch other people open gifts. I know a lot of people may not believe that because people mostly talk about the gifts they receive. For me there is just something about the look of joy and happiness on someone’s face.

When I was a little girl my mom gave me a “Mandy” doll for Christmas.  I wanted this doll so much.  I found out you could wash her hair and I had never heard of a doll where you could do that. As soon as I opened it on Christmas, I read the instructions on how to wash her hair. Then I ran off in the middle of opening presents to wash her hair. When I returned my mom had a huge smile on her face. She asked me why Mandy’s tights were on her head? I told her that’s what the instructions said to do. Of all the gifts I ever got as a child that is the one I remember the most.

Mandy Doll – 1970s

I loved that doll. But even more I loved that great look on my mom’s face. I want to feel like that every time someone opens a gift that I give them.

When I got older I realized that when I give to others it can be a gift in itself. And it doesn’t have to be a material possession or money.  When I share my time with someone who is lonely,  share my food with someone who is hungry or listen to someone who needs an ear – those are gifts!  I feel good when I give from my heart.

Over the years I have volunteered at different charitable organizations and at my Church.  That type of giving brings me great joy too!  It feels good to be a  part of something greater than myself.  Your talents can help someone else. As a result, you will feel positive and hopeful.

Yes, it is often said, “It is better to give than it is to receive”.  I believe that to be true and this blog is my gift to you.  I hope you are smiling.