Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cleansing Negativity

As a mother, I avoid saying, "No!" for impulse control and daily behavior management as I'd be shouting it all day long and that gets old for all involved. I prefer to nudge and focus on using positive terms, such as, "Use a fork" instead of "Don't eat with your fingers."  "Volume control please" instead of "Shut up." "Take turns" instead of "Quit fighting." These twists in semantics may or may not have statistical backing, however, you get more bees with honey than vinegar.

In life or work when you screw up, people love to tell you the rules or the shoulds. "You should wear a seatbelt. You should have a back up plan. You should get that in writing." It seems like rules are brought up just before someone pounces on you or flogs you to death. This kind of stuff drains the life out of me.  If we have to do the shoulds and the rules, we are so down near the bottom of creating any thing interesting that it's hard to want to do it.

I wonder why so many people think that quoting rules and demanding are effective ways to get what they want? Doesn't everyone like a carrot or positive reward?When the work is compelling, I listen. When the way is clear, I follow. When the environment is safe, I grow. My life force opens with sun, gentle breezes, and colorful flowers.

If you have to whine, wheedle, cajole, or remind others of the rules, you are at rock bottom. It's time to reconsider how the negative, squeaky wheel gets the grease, is working for you. Maybe it's time to try being positive, helpful, amping up the experience, or just letting something pass?

When I volunteer in the community to support an activity, organization, or group, the experience is part of the payback or reward. When the experience is negative, I often use a mantra to remind myself of the value of the cause to help wash the negativity out of my mind. "They mean well. The long run is about..." The same goes for people. As a fallible human, I also have to work at being kind to myself when I don't live up to standards that I apply to myself more than others.

At the moment, I'm in a log jam of negative feedback, and I'm busy washing my mind of other's negativity. Which is why I was thrilled today to hear my pilates instructor explaining an exercise to cleanse the mind. It is something along these lines:

Sit cross-legged with hands in namaste, bring your hands down to your lower abdomen area, turn your palms together and horizontal, one over the other, breath in and bring your arms out to the side and up overhead, return to namaste. Repeat for as long as it takes to cleanse your mind.

I'll be here all week.