Focus on the Positives

So this is what my hair looks like currently: This was taken on my adorable granddaughter Emmerson’s first birthday, so you get to see the birthday girl as well!

Dying my hair these colors was a decision mostly motivated on doing something just for me that makes me feel good about myself.  I am an artistic soul and love color and creativity, so this seemed like a far less permanent way than a tattoo to make a tangible statement that expresses my creative side.  One that others would see and note that, although I am a grandma and have packed on more than a few extra pounds in the last year, I still am an individual that wants to be noticed for my individuality, not only the roles that I am currently living in my life as daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother to my loved ones.

It was a decision made mostly without consultation of any of the above noted loved ones as well, as I was not really concerned about their thoughts on the matter.  I was confident that those who love me best will still love me regardless of the potentially “crazy” colors in my hair.  I actually am more of an introvert and typically do not like to be the center of attention, so I think that my doing this has surprised some people; myself included.

But I am SO glad I took the leap!

I love the way it turned out, both initially and going forward.  The first week the purple and teal were bright and jarring and had just the punch I wished for and needed.  Over the ensuing weeks, the colors have faded to more muted shades and are softer, but still full of fun, life and laughter.

The most surprising thing to me though, has been how the reactions of others have impacted me.  Almost every single day, someone compliments me on my hair and tells me how much they love it!  This typically happens when I am out and about; running errands, shopping, and spending time with my grands.  I am usually momentarily surprised every time this happens, because I have usually forgotten about my noticeable new hairstyle as I rush around in my everyday life.  I always immediately smile and thank them for their kind words, sometimes telling them how happy it has made me.

But what I really wanted to share with you all is that it has been an amazingingly transformative experience to have people giving me this positive feedback.  When family, friends and strangers notice and say something positive, it makes my day brighter.  What is SO great about this is that it gives me a lift to my spirits and gets me out of the negative thought patterns that can often creep into my day.  You know what I mean, that little voice in your head that says “You should not have eaten that amazing Cranberry Orange muffin Kathleen!”  Anything we all can do to drown out that insidious little voice will surely increase the joy and happiness in your life.

The other day I was reading online something Michael Phelps, the Olympic swimming phenomenon, was saying that he tried at the suggestion of a fan of his.  For one whole day he said something positive or affirming every time he walked through a door.  He was sharing how amazed he was on what an effective and surprising practice this turned out to be for him.  It put him, and kept him, in a much more positive and focused state of mind.  I plan to try this practice today as well.  We are a competitive swimming family and are huge fans of Michael; so if it worked for him, I figure that it’s worth my efforts as well.

If you find yourself stuck on repeat listening to the negatives that your mind wants to emphasize, do something to break that pattern.  Yes, our lives and practice are not perfect and it’s good to set our sights high, but we need to remember that perfection is not achievable here on earth.  Ridiculously amazingWe were meant to enjoy this life, including it’s flaws and imperfections.  Think about what you can do in your own life to increase the positive and minimize the negative- the small imperfections or where you are falling short of your dreams and goals.  Instead, find something that you can add to your life that will remind you daily of your individuality, your creativity (which you ALL possess), your unique gifts that you must share with this world.  It can be a hair color, a tattoo, a unique style of dressing, an obsession with purple, or animal prints, or whatever it is that makes you smile and celebrate you!

CARPE DIEM!

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