"Project Positive", thusfar, has been a booming success. In addition to re-training my brain, I am also taking more control over what I am eating. This week, we started each morning with a fresh dose of carrot/orange/apple juice squeezed fresh from the Hollis juicer. The kids choke it down to please me (ok, sometimes they gag it down), but I happily drink my cup of energy. For lunch, the kids are allowed to splurge, but for dinner, it is a great big salad loaded with an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies (occasionally a steak on the side for Caleb since he is training for football).
Deciding to take action and replace negative thoughts with positive ones has been easier than expected. I have to be deliberate about it right now, but I am strangely empowered each time I choose to re-direct my thoughts. With a life that has been spinning out of control on the Hopey front for the last (almost) five years, being in control of SOMETHING is a bit exhilarating.
Next step in "Project Positive":
Since I am managing all the steps attempted so far, I have decided to add one more. For the next several days, I will make it a point to smile at EVERY single person I come in contact with.....even the grumpy ones. By spreading warmth to others, I believe the energy might be returned to boost me along. Hopefully, in this process, I am forming some great habits that will follow me and make me a better person.
To recap "Project Positive":
Step 1: For seven days, choose to think only positive thoughts; when a negative thought enters your mind, replace it with a positive thought.
Step 2: Make a list of traits you want to change about yourself
Step 3: Find either a "pleasure" or "pain" that is linked with each trait you want to change. Write them down.
Step 3: Choose to consistently re-direct thoughts, specifically turning the "pleasure" to a newly attached "pain" and vice versa to change behavior.
Step 4: Smile at every person you meet or pass each day
Step 5: Eat right and exercise daily
With "Project Positive", I am definitely taking more time to laugh at life---especially at life with teenagers:
On my birthday, Caleb (15), gave me a birthday card addressed to "Momma Dog"....his quirky idea of love language. Jokingly, I asked him privately how many other teenage boys he thought had called their mom a "B" word?? He laughed so hard, because he hadn't even made the connection. Now, I am officially "Momma Dog". (wonderful) This week, he has laughed equally as hard watching me try to keep up with his "Air Alert" exercises as his "partner". MUCH jumping is required, and natural child birth has a way of forcing an unwanted "trickle" every now and then. Well, with "Air Alert" the occasional "trickle" is more like a gusher---so, to remedy, I have to take lots of potty breaks. One of the exercises is 4 sets of 15 squat hops while holding a basketball (just use your imagination). As I squat hop around the great room holding a basketball, my son cheers: "C'mon Momma Dog!" and I shout: "It's all for that extra 12 inches on my vertical leap!" He nearly lays on the floor in laughter.
Natalie and Lydia are typical girls....almost 12 year old girls. They have been attending a Wednesday night youth group with Caleb and some other friends. Last night, Lydia decided it was time for her to step out of her box and meet some new people, but she didn't inform Natalie of her plan prior to the occasion. When it came time to sit down for worship, Lydia quickly found the ONE seat that happened to be left next to a little guy who (reportedly) looks alot like Justin Beiber. Well, this left Natalie to sit alone until a sweet friend asked her to come sit with her (thank you Alex)....anyway, next it was off to play a game where a partner was to be chosen. You guessed it, Lydia chose someone other than Natalie. When Natalie came home, she was furious and preaching: "Mom, my own sister chose another partner during game time, so a teacher, who felt sorry for me, had to be my partner...I was humiliated!" The reason this is soooo very funny, is because two weeks ago, the same story was being told by Lydia about Natalie. When I reminded Natalie of this, she admitted she had (conveniently) forgotten with a sheepish grin. Lydia, in response, shot up off the couch like a rocket with her long skinny legs and threw her (equally) long skinny arms up to the heavens and said: "Natalie, I am soarin' and meetin' new people!" Natalie's quick comeback: "Well, next time I'm gonna be soarin' so watch out." And with that she crossed her arms and stuck her nose way up in the air. Not paying one bit of attention, Lydia kept "soarin" all over the room. Can you say never-ending drama times two???
Pulling a red wagon loaded with Hope and Charlie, two nights ago I sang "The Wheels of The Bus Go Round and Round"...singing every verse at least two or three times all around the neighborhood. The entire ride, Hopey worked out all the hand motions correctly and tried her best to make a joyful noise with the melody in her heart and a smile on her chubby face while Charlie clapped his hands wildly trying to imitate Hope's hand motions. Priceless. Hopey the teacher and Charlie the student.
And sweet Chappy, even though he works in a very stressful environment daily, he takes time to walk two miles with me each evening, strolling the babes, and talking to me and listening. In addition, he goes along with drinking the carrot/orange/apple juice in the morning and downing rabbit food for dinner while salivating over Caleb's juicy steak. Then he takes the time to brag on my new homemade bread creations even though he only gets one slice while the kiddos get two (and I add honey & butter to the kid's slices while Chappy and I take ours plain). Gotta love him.
"Project Positive" is so good.....I am counting my blessings....and laughing a whole lot more! While there is so much negative news in the media right now, those things cannot be changed by a pouty attitude or grim spirit. Choosing to find joy in each moment is where the change is, and I hope it catches on!