Yesterday was Day 2 of my Negativity-Cleanse. Or perhaps I should rename it my Happiness experiment.
Tuning out the bad news allowed me to have a great day. Interestingly, the only negativity that came up yesterday was from inside my own head. As I sat down and began to work on my latest book, I froze. I’ve gotten an earful of negativity about my book recently, mostly from naysayers who are sure I’ll never sell it, no one is buying memoir right now, blah blah blah… I’ve been working hard to block out other’s negative opinions, but I slammed my computer shut and heard myself say “I hate this book! What’s the point!” Suddenly a book I’ve loved writing and have felt good about for the past year became a thorn in my side- and all because I let other negative opinions seep in to my brain.
I decided not to beat myself up about it- and just get back on the positivity train as soon as possible. Here’s how I spent my day:
I started the day with gratitude. I asked myself this question, If I were stranded on a desert island, what would I miss? Suddenly a cup of French roast coffee alongside a bowl of greek yogurt and fresh fruit makes me want to weep with gratitude. As does a refrigerator full of food. Music. Books. A home. My family and friends…all of it becomes a miracle to be celebrated.
I ate healthy foods- Negativity cleanse means putting nothing into my body that I would regret later. I nourished my body with only healthy, organic food.
I listened to music that uplifted me. I made a mix CD of my favorite hope-inspiring songs and played them while I worked, cooked, cleaned the house. I felt chipper, singing as I went about my day.
I tuned out news, radio, and TV. Instead I read uplifting news articles and started re-reading “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama.
I had uplifting conversations with my friends.
I went to a yoga class that kicked my butt but ultimately made me feel strong centered and peaceful.
I sat outside listening to birdsong while I worked on my laptop (and wondered why I don’t do that more often!)
After a healthy dinner and family walk with our dog, I spent time reading with Evan.
I ended my day by writing down the things I was grateful for that day, then cuddled up in bed with my Art of Happiness book.
I slept soundly for a full eight hours.
Not a bad way to live. I may choose to do this for more than a week. In fact, why not choose to do it for a lifetime?
To some of you, this may seem a frivolous, self-involved thing to do. But here is a word from the Dalai Lama’s book about that:
“Survey after survey has shown that unhappy people tend to be the most self-focused, socially withdrawn, brooding, and even antagonistic. Happy people, in contrast, are generally found to be more sociable, flexible and creative and are able to tolerate life’s daily frustrations more easily than unhappy people. And they are found to be more loving and forgiving than unhappy people.”
It seems that making yourself happy is actually the most generous thing you can do, since everyone in your life will benefit from your happiness. I think if I continue to infuse my life with things that uplift me, it will inspire me to finish my book, and who knows, maybe all this good energy will help me in court
in two weeks.
Are any of you doing the Negativity-fast this week. If so, how has your experience been? I’d love to hear about it!
(Here is a good news story for the day. Bill Moyers reports on a small town that pulled together to save their libraries from being shut down. The power of good!)