Power of positivity

You always have a choice. Choose to be kind.

Have you ever felt that yuck in your stomach… that moment where you wish you could take back your words? Take back that negative thought or judgment? Where you wish you would have thought a little longer before you acted a certain way towards someone? We all have. I am guilty, for sure. I have caught myself feeling terrible for judging someone before I really knew their story. But, then we learn and grow from the experience, and hopefully the next time we aren’t quick to be critical. We remind ourselves to choose again. Your decision to choose love might just be exactly what someone needs to turn their life around.

“You never know when you’ll be the person who ignites an awakening in someone else. That’s why it’s so important to weave kindness and love into all of your interactions. You can’t predict when you will be the catalyst for something wonderful to light up another human being – but there will be many such moments. And your love and compassion will be the exact thing someone needs to feel understood, and okay, and inspired. “ – Scott stabile 

Someone cuts you off on the highway. You want to honk and get angry. What you don’t know is that someone just got a phone call that their loved one has little time left and they are rushing to get by their side. They are trying to process their emotions and furiously rushing to see them. Take a deep breathe and be grateful you aren’t rushing to the same place.

Someone is callous to you in line at the grocery store. What you don’t know is that someone is at the store buying food for their family and they’re unsure if their card will decline. They are anxious, overwhelmed, stressed, tired and embarrassed. They need to bring food home for their children but are afraid they may not be able to today. Kill them with kindness instead of being rude back.

You are in your car at a red light. Someone is taking a long time to cross the street, and the light turns green. You get angry and impatient. What you don’t know is that person is blind. Be patient and compassionate.

You’re sitting in your living room, staring out the window, enjoying the sunshine as it warms your face. You see someone walk up to your mailbox and open it. You immediately think that they are about to steal something from you. You quickly run outside and yell, “What do you think you’re doing looking in my mailbox?” The person looks at you nervously, shaken up by your enraged energy. “I’m sorry, your mail accidentally got left in my mailbox. I just stopped by to bring it to you. I thought I’d just leave it here, in your mailbox.” Someone was actually doing a kind deed. Take a moment to consider what’s happening before assuming the worst. Approach with kindness.

While waiting in line to meet Mickey Mouse in Disney World, you see someone “cut” to the front of the line. You get angry, and march over to the cast member to complain that someone skipped the line. What you didn’t know is that the family who got to go to the front of the line are in Disney World because their 6 year old son has a rare disease that has given him months to live. The Make-A-Wish Foundation made his wish to meet Mickey Mouse come true. Be grateful. You get to be in Disney World with your healthy child.

We can all be so quick to judge others’ without knowing the full story. If we take a moment to stop and listen to others and hear it from their perspective, perhaps we would have more love in the world. I’m constantly reminded of this whenever things don’t go perfectly or seem to be against me. The reality is, life could always be so much worse. It’s a lesson in perspective & humility.

This is a gentle reminder for me, you, all of us: be kind to everyone. Be patient and understanding. If everything you see is rooted in your own identity, it will be impossible to see from another’s point of view. Consider what life is like for someone whose shoes you have not walked a mile in.

“We’re all going through shit. Each one of us, in our own way. Let’s remember that when we see each other on the street in stores at work and at home. Everywhere. Let’s be good to one another and cut each other some slack.”

Amen, Scott Stabile. Amen.

Power of positivity

If only I could park my car in my garage.

Jealousy. What causes us to feel this? And why does it seem to consume us and eat us up inside? I remember feeling lots of jealousy growing up.

Jealous of the girls with clear skin. Jealous of the dancers who were naturally flexible. Jealous of Linnea Bauer who always got a 110 on her tests. I mean, how did she ALWAYS get 10 points over perfect?! And, she was tall. Talk about double whammy of jealousy.

In many ways, those jealous feelings are what motivated me to work harder and be a better version of myself; as a person, dancer and student. It had me doing my splits to improve my flexibility, studying hard to get an over-perfect score on my test. I tried every acne medication to help me clear up my skin (literally, everything. Props to my parents for that). Can you remember back to what made you feel waves of jealousy as a teen growing up?! Funny how those things seem so silly now, but how important they were to us then. And, how they helped shape who we are today.

Fast forward to adult life: I still feel jealousy, not as frequently or as often… but about the most ridiculous things.

What am I jealous of now?

People who don’t have to clip a tooth in everyday. Broadway stars with voices that fill your soul with their power (though I do pretend I have the voice of an angel when I’m belting out show-tunes in the car). People who don’t have bunions (#dancerlife). Those who have the willpower to say no to a Wendy’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger with fries and a Diet Coke. Cars parked in a garage.

Do you hear how crazy that sounds?

Cars parked in a garage.

Whenever I drive by a house and see their cars parked IN their garage, I get jealous. Am I jealous of the cars because they look so cozy tucked in there? Am I jealous that the homeowner doesn’t have a slew of bikes, buckets, firewood and plastic lawn ornaments cluttering their garage? Maybe I’m jealous of their sheetrock walls with perfectly organized shelves. Why does it give me a feeling of not being good enough?

I’ve been obsessing over it and have made it my mission to clean out my garage, just to park my damn car in there. And then, of course, garage-envy leads to shed-envy which leads to shed-location envy which leads to how-is-their-grass-so-green envy which then makes me green with envy… it’s a vicious cycle! So, when I finally do park my car in my garage, will it make my life better? Will I be happier? I finally checked myself and changed my perspective. I now look at my garage as what I want to define it as: a tiny home for all the fun toys, gadgets, bikes, decorations and remote control cars that will bring us countless memories to cherish. My car is currently parked in the driveway and will be for the foreseeable future.

Funny how we can’t just be content with what is. All these things we wish we had or could do. But, look at all we do have; the blessings all around us.

I’ve done a lot of self-work, read a lot of books about focusing on what matters and have really discovered what it means to be happy and content with what I have. I have posted quotes on my vision board about how “we spend so much time worrying about what we don’t have that we forget about what we do have.” I’ve found so much truth in the blessings and fulfillment that “community over competition” brings. I’ve had the realization that I may not have everything I want or need right now, but what I’ve got is pretty damn amazing. We’re human, jealousy happens. But let’s check ourselves when it does. What we do and don’t have, eat, wear and own doesn’t define us. We define us. And that is a beautiful thing. 💛

Power of positivity

Positive words lead to a positive life.

Positive thoughts lead to positive outcomes.

Positive words lead to a positive life.

It’s easy for so many of us to get caught up in the day to day stress, especially during these incredibly challenging times. Without the ability to share dance with my students, I’ve felt very lost and unable to truly release. I believe in the power of movement & its ability to create long-lasting, powerful change. 

Without the ability to connect through dance, I’ve been seeking other ways to work through my thoughts & emotions. One thing I have been intentional about is staying positive around my children. Whether you call it an affirmation, a mantra or a declaration, simple words repeated often can make a big difference in the influence we have on those around us, and in the way we live our lives and treat others.  To keep myself in a positive mindset, I’ve been leaning into these mantras:

I create happiness by appreciating the little things in life.

I am enough.

I live to give love. 

Today I will not stress over things I cannot control

Our children are going to be faced with plenty of unknowns and will be uncharted territory for many. Encourage them to use positive affirmations. I found this list for kids online that I love! 

When you repeat them often, and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes in your own life and in the world. <3