21 day love challenge

The other morning my 13 year old son informed me “You didn’t come and kiss me goodnight last night.” It was true, I had been tired and finally sat down on the couch and it just seemed too hard to get up. I did, on my way to bed pat his sleeping head, but obviously that does not count, he didn’t know it was happening.

Actions and love go together and I find children are great at making this known. Actions speak louder than words – not to underestimate words either. In positive psychology they talk about love as being the strongest emotion. It is something that everyone needs to survive.

Photo credit: hdnextyear.com

Photo credit: hdnextyear.com

 

I was reading Hands Free Mama and felt very challenged by the end of it! A story is told where her daughter is waiting for her to come say goodnight and even though her Mum is meeting deadlines she stops and goes – her daughter had told her Grandma that “Mama always comes”.

Hands Free Mama then poses a 21 day love challenge:

Why Choose Love

Tackle an extra hour of paperwork or love?
I choose love.
I will be more productive after taking a much needed break.

Scream at the driver who just cut me off or love?
I choose love.
It will be better for my blood pressure as well as the ears in the backseat.

Read a text message at the stoplight or love?
I choose love.
It could save my life, my loved ones’ lives, and spare me from taking a life.

Hold a grudge or love?
I choose love.
Let resentment be someone else’s life-long companion.

Say ‘I can’t play with you’ or love?
I choose love.
Seeing her smile as she sets up the game board fills me with a sense of peace I can’t find anywhere else.

Get in the last word or love?
I choose love.
Our words will be better heard when we both cool down.

Rant about the spilled milk carton or love?
I choose love.
Spills can be cleaned up; broken hearts are harder to mend.

Post a picture of this moment to social media or love?
I choose love.
I will remember it more vividly if I capture this moment solely with my eyes.

Complain about the way she’s dressed or love?
I choose love.
I will encourage her to shine her unique light and be herself by loving her “as is.”

Berate myself for messing up or love?
I choose love.
Accepting my humanness offers my precious ones the freedom to be human too.

Today I will choose love.
Tomorrow I will choose love.
And the day after that, I will choose love.
If I mistakenly choose distraction, perfection, or negativity over love, I will not wallow in regret. I will choose love next.
I will choose love until it becomes my first response … my gut instinct … my natural reaction.
I will choose love until it becomes who I am.

My friends, consider the possibilities for a moment: What might result if love becomes your default choice for 21 straight days? What opportunities might open up? What connections might be repaired? What moments might you grasp that otherwise might be missed? Who might you become?

Instead of

The One Who’s Always Too Busy
The One Who Overreacts
The One Who Never Listens
The One Who Rarely Slows Down
The One Who Always Looks Miserable
The One Glued to the Phone
The One Missing All the Fun
The One Who’s Given Up

You might just become The One You Always Wanted to Be …

A Listener
A Hugger
A Forgiver
A Take Your Timer
A Belly Laugher
A Risk Taker
A Silly Grinner
A Moment Grasper
A Liver of Life

Why? Because good things start with love.

Just show up to love today.
Don’t worry about what you look like or what yesterday looked like.
Just show up to love.
Something tells me you’ll walk away a little better than when you arrived.

Then do it again.

Photo Credit: dreamstime.com

Photo Credit: dreamstime.com

 

I want to give the challenge a go. I am thankful for the reminder to choose love. How about you?

 

A letter and a visit – intervention 2

I am continuing on with Iona Boniwell’s list of practical, evidence based activities that are connected to the science of positive psychology.

index

Credit: uel.ac.uk

A gratitude visit.

The activity goes like this: think of a person who you are grateful for, who has done something for you.  Write a letter to them, describing what they did and how it effected you. Give them a call and arrange to meet them. Then, read the letter aloud to them. (It is interesting that Boniwell is an English author and lecturer and she mentions that in her world, usually the students giggle about the delivery part, but in America this does not happen.  I wonder what would happen here in Australia?)

If a person feels uncomfortable making the delivery then it could be just written and posted.  A little warning – this activity tends to give a quick ‘pick-me-up’ but is not long lasting.  Along with it there is the “usual moral dilemma, such as whom this exercise is really for and if there is something strange in saying ‘thankyou’ to someone else in order to feel better oneself.” (Positive Psychology in a Nutshell page 133)

images

Photo Credit: isites.harvard.edu

I have a lovely collection of special notes that my husband and children at different times have written to me. I also have lovely notes my parents and siblings have written. On reflection I wonder if these notes would do a similar thing to the above idea?

Maybe we could all try?
Here’s to special notes being  popped in lunch boxes,
here’s to kind notes being left on the kitchen bench,
here’s to txt’s sent to friends and family just letting them know you thought of them!
Valentines Day is coming up, drop a love note to your kids and family!

Happy note writing!

stock-footage-adult-man-opens-lunch-box-with-love-note-closeup

Photo credit: footage.shutterstock.com

(There are many printable notes if you are interested.  I have put one link here, but there are many others.)

Thought for the weekend!

I have had a ‘hairy’ day! (For want of a better expression.)
But then, let’s rephrase that,
I have had a good day with patches that were hairy!

It is a subtle change of thinking for me, but what a difference it makes!

May you have a weekend where you are able to focus on the sweet things among the not so sweet, the warm things amongst the cold and great love and tenderness in the difficult moments!

index

photo credit: carldavidweb.com

Practise what you preach…

“Do you practise what you preach?”  was the thoughtful question my gorgeous sister asked me last night as we ‘vibered’ back and forth from Australia to Ethiopia.

“Great question” was my response.  “You have made me realise that the reason I believe in my blog is because I have been trying to practice what I preach and it has actually made such a difference to me, my kids and my teaching. So, even when I wonder if I am doing the right thing and check how many followers I have or even share my blog address with someone and the result is a blank face, I keep blogging because I know it makes a difference”.

My sister then wanted to know “What things have made the biggest difference? I am really interested.”

So, today my blog is the answer to that question.

*Searching for treasure.  At different times we now stop to ask ‘What treasures have we experienced?’ (‘Hunting the good stuff’ is the other term) This is not just done at the end of the day but even when driving in the car.

*Living for the moment.  We have noticed our surroundings a lot more. Things like clouds, blossom, trees…that refocusing amongst the busy times and pace.

IMG_1267

The roses and clouds I saw as I ate my lunch in the backyard
photo credit: rebekah bleby

*We have all realised the importance of play and at different times slot in small moments to enjoy. The Uno cards have made a big come back in our home.

*The reiterated knowledge that relationships are really what it is all about and that in this techno world we need to disconnect to connect.  One  way of doing this, is that as Spring has sprung we have together as a family walked to feed ducks together and be.

IMG_1215

photo credit: rebekah bleby

*Undivided attention. This has been a lot harder than I thought, but the desire and the effort is there to listen more carefully to conversations and those comments that kids give when they are actually giving me a privileged window into their world.

*I think a lot more about positive emotions, what they are, how they look in everyday experiences, especially when things go wrong or are difficult.

IMG_1265

My 12 year old painted this for me to put near my desk! (spelling error and all)

*Life is not always about succeeding and taking the safest option, but it is also about experimenting and being willing to explore options. It is about having grit when the going gets tough.

There is much more than this, but enough for now.

Overall, my writing and sharing on this blog has brought an awareness of the way I am perceiving things and it seems like my thoughts are slowly being rewired in a more positive way. But, not just me. My family are reading the blog, they are taking it on board, they give feedback and at times quote it back to me!! I love it and just want to share it with others and help make a difference.