Chelle Summer

thinking positive

Positive Thoughts Only

Michelle Rusk

There is a reason I post very little that's negative here on my blog or on social media. It's not about anyone else, but about me and how I realized the negative posts made me feel. 

Some years ago I had a run-in over a payment with the group that handled our health insurance. It was during my first marriage and my then-husband was a sales rep and owned his own sales organization. That meant we didn't qualify for other insurance providers at the time, but there was a state health alliance where we could get insurance and something happened with a payment and to say I was mad was an understatement (I don't remember all the details– testament to how much I try to let go of negativity so it doesn't simmer and boil over). It was during the early days of Facebook and I posted my anger there. 

It didn't take long for me to realize that I actually felt worse by sharing it. Usually we think that by sharing something, we can let go of it. Not always. I felt worse and I realized it wasn't what I wanted to put "out there." 

My life is far from perfect, but I choose to share what I believe are the most interesting aspects of my life: what I create, the fun things I do, enjoying being with my dogs, what it is that makes me happy. We all have good days and bad days and I found that by sharing what makes me feel good, I actually feel better. I might start a day feeling awful because I didn't sleep well (a normal occurrence for the bulk of my life), but by posting a positive message, I feel better.

It's the same when I am feeling tired, but need to run errands. Interacting with people, talking about the weather, just being connected gives me energy I might lack if I had stayed at home trying to keep myself interested in what I need to do.

Many times I've also found that after I've been through a challenge, that I share it here and talk about how I worked through it. I usually don't need to share what I'm going through, however, at some point I might post what it was and how I managed the challenge. That I also believe can be helpful to others.

We all have reasons for what we choose to post and for me it's about helping myself keep focused, inspired, and motivated. I do that with positive thoughts. And positive postings. And know that they can inspire others to be positive and feel hopeful and happy, too.

Retraining the Brain: Focusing on the Good

Michelle Rusk

I found this blog from two years ago on my old web site and it felt appropriate to repost for the holiday season:

It's easy to do: we start to think about something that's not so good in our lives, or something we're frustrated about, or something that just isn't great. One thought leads to another. And we can't stop.

While this can happen anytime, it always feels as if it's more pronounced during the holidays. Every television commercial we see portrays complete happiness and prosperity. Then we look around our own homes and lives, knowing full well there aren't the funds (or significant other) to receive that piece of jewelry or the new car for Christmas. And we forget that it's not about the material gifts, getting swept away by what media shows us, believing we should have that, too.

And so the thoughts begin: we think about the past year and all the pain. We realize we didn't accomplish much of anything that we had wanted to do in the past year...


Why do we focus on all that's so challenging and difficult when there is so much good around us?

I can hear a few cynical snickers about how I am getting married and how can I not only see the good right now?

Not quite: life is always challenging no matter what good is happening. And I know what it's like to be struggling especially during the holidays when I've spent them single, without a secure relationship.

There is much to be thankful for no matter what our challenges are. Look around you and see the beauty in the day, even the rain here in New Mexico today (because we need the rain as always!). What each of us has in our lives to be grateful for will be different because we all have unique lives. 

Each morning make a list of as many things as you can think of that you are grateful for. And then do it every morning after. Try to write them down if you can because when you're in a difficult place you can reflect back on them and retrain your brain to keep the positive thoughts.

Thinking about the good makes us feel stronger, gives us more peace, and helps us feel hopeful. Think of it this way: no matter what you're going through, there is always a small fire burning inside you. It's your goal to remind yourself that the fire is still burning. How will you do it?