Creating a Life Free From Chaos

Surround Yourself With the Positive

Surround Yourself with the PositiveAs many of you may know, two weeks ago, my family lost our home in a house fire. While the human members of our family were not at home at the time, we lost our three furbabies: a greyhound and two kitties. Our house is a total loss, and most of our possessions were either burned or damaged by water, smoke, or soot. Not the way you want to simplify, by any stretch of the imagination. It’s been devastating for us, but the support and love we’ve received from family, friends, and strangers have been absolutely amazing. We are truly blessed, even when faced with the worst tragedy my family has ever faced.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how important it is to surround yourself with the positive, and dwell in gratitude. Most of us have a lot of stress in our daily lives, excluding any sort of extreme experience we’re currently living through. Some of that stress is due to the fast-paced society we live in and some of it is self-inflicted due to who we choose to spend our time with. The fact is, misery loves company. If you want to live a positive and happy life, it’s vital to surround yourself with positive things and positive people. The more positive energy you manifest into the world, the more positive you’ll get back.

Set Specific Goals for Yourself

Whether it has to do with diet, exercise or being positive, set realistic and specific goals with a timetable so you know when you’re supposed to be done with the goal. Write down the goal and the steps you’ll take to reach the goal. Then add it to your calendar. Feeling accomplished will automatically make you feel more positive. In our case, we now have mini goals for everything from thank you cards for all the care we’ve received to insurance claims and the long process of rebuilding.

Nip Negative Self-Talk in the Bud

If you want to be more positive, start with yourself. When you feel your mind go toward negative self-talk, change it around to positive. Instead of, “I am a mess,” change your words to, “I am taking positive steps to live a simplified, healthy lifestyle.” Even if it’s not immediately true, the more you tell yourself it’s true, the more you’ll seek to make the behavior match the feeling.

Listen to Happy Music

Find the most uplifting and positive music you can find and put it on your playlist. Try listening to positive and happy music at least once a day. If you can figure out what time of day you are generally prone to negativity, try listening to that music before that time comes. I’ve been blasting my favorite upbeat worship songs whenever I’m in the car.

Read Happy and Positive Books

There is no shortage of positive books to read in the library or on Kindle. There are even a lot of free inspirational books available on Kindle. Keep your eyes open for the free offers; maybe even join a group on Facebook that helps you find positive free books to read on Kindle. If you don’t have access to Kindle, head to your local library (one of my favorite places) and see what they have on hand. Try to read one positive book each month.

Find Positive People to Make Your Friends

Remember that positive people generally want to hang around with other positive people. Therefore, if you want to meet more people who fit that description, you’ll need to focus your thoughts and actions more on the positive than the negative. Otherwise, you’ll turn them off and they won’t want to be around you, which could backfire on your new positive world. Even in the midst of the chaos of the house fire, I’ve been amazed at how many positive and cheerful people have stepped in to assist us in any way possible, whether it’s a simple note, an email, a bag of clothes from their kids to mine, to care packages we’ve received from all over the country. I’ve made so many new friends in the past week, it’s absolutely astonishing, and I can’t wait to see what sorts of positive relationships grow from this dark time.

Practice Daily Affirmations

The character Stuart Smalley made fun of affirmations in his famous skits on Saturday Night Live but the truth is, they work. You can use the mirror or you can use a journal to write down five good and positive thoughts every single day to help you focus your thoughts in a positive direction.

Reorganize and Decorate Your Home

If you currently live in disorganization and clutter, it can be very difficult to think positively. Try to work on one room at a time to redesign your life so that your surroundings are uncluttered and attractive. Even in the midst of losing most of our possessions, we are focusing on choosing carefully what items we put time and money into trying to salvage, and shopping carefully with what we want or need to replace. We’re also trying to make our new rental home as cozy as possible to recover while we rebuild our house.

Surrounding yourself with positives is something that is very realistic to do throughout your daily life, and something you can accomplish, no matter what’s going on. Choose one thing at a time to work on, giving yourself a time limit on when you will accomplish adding every one of these positives to your life. You will be glad you did it.

Thanks so much for all of your prayers and positive thoughts as we recover from our fire!

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11 Replies

  1. Donna Miller

    I’m a believer in organization and, as you say, simplicity. Clutter weighs on me. I like to have a place for everything and everything in it’s place. I know that’s hard to do with kids, but it is possible. You now have a great opportunity to let people follow you through the decisions you make for storage and organization in your new home. It’s a long road ahead, but you’ll get there. It could actually be fun, and a little crazy, to make decisions as to what you want in the new house. Keeping you in my prayers.

  2. Laura

    I also find “clean/cleaner” comedians a nice boost.
    Top picks: Jim Gaffigan, Gabriel Iglesias, Anjelah Johnson, Jeff Allen, Taylor Mason, Thor Ramsey, Tim Hawkins, Jeanne Robertson, Anita Renfroe, Chonda Pierce

  3. Well said, Sandy! I wish you all the best with the rebuild and with keeping positive.

  4. Colleen Golafshan

    Thanks Sandy for sharing some great tips after all you are going through.

  5. Colleen Golafshan

    Hi again Sandy! I’ve been looking online and on Facebook to find groups that promote free positive ebooks. I found lots of Kindle titles that are/have been free, but no such groups. When you get a chance, could you please pass on names of some of the groups you had in mind please?

  6. Sending positive thoughts your way, Sandy. It is truly remarkable and inspiring to hear about the positive steps you and your family have taken to rebuild from this horrible tragedy.

  7. I have experienced the difference positive music and organization can help you be positive. I like the daily writing down of positive affirmations! Great post! Lots of love to you and you family!

  8. Sending positive thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  9. Charlene Potterbaum

    Oh, Sandy–I had no idea you were reeling from such an ordeal! My heart goes out to you! And am blessed, that in the midst of this, you still took the time to respond to my email. But, do you think maybe that thread burned up with your house? I can’t seem to find it…where was it dangling the last time you saw it? And I loved your response to the situation you were given…something good will come from it. In fact, from what I read, many nice things have come together already…Thanks, Char

  10. I’m so sorry about the fire. That’s just so hard. The house I helped build as a teen burned down, with my mother and brother narrowly escaping. They lost pets in it, too, which was much harder than the furnishings. But there was something about losing all those family heirlooms that changed my thinking about stuff. It didn’t happen immediately for me (I’d already grown and moved out), but it planted the seeds for my own embracing of a more minimalistic life.

    1. Thank you. It definitely makes you see “stuff” in a different light.

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