Seven Steps From Negative To Positive!​

On a good day, life is hard and on bad day, life just seems impossible. We’ve all been at that place where it seems like no matter how hard we try to stay on the positive side of life, the negative just keeps crashing in on us and all we can think about is giving up.

I totally understand, because it’s a battle I’ve fought since the very moment of my birth into this human experience. I am generally a pretty positive person and through the years, I have developed the skills that encourage me toward positivity over negativity. So it’s extra crazy to me how I can so quickly and easily he painted into a corner of defeat.

I have found that there are a few small things that can make a big difference in building up positivity in my life, so that I can take on and take out the negativity. When I feel the negative growing, I use these things as a check list to help bring me into alignment with the positive side of life. Several things on this list are actually a part of my daily routine, which contributes in a very big way in helping me to be an encouragement to others

Seven Steps From Negative To Positive!

1. Scriptures! The Bible is full of promises and encouragement. Take some time to discover and write down some of these that you own as your own. Read it and meditate on it. Speak it out loud and let it be real. Believe it and watch the miraculous happen in your life…

2. Journaling! Pen and paper are a very important part of being healthy. There is something almost magical that happens when we allow our thoughts to flow from our mind, through the pen and onto the paper. Just the act itself works wonders!!!

3. Music! Music jas always been a powerful force and it can lift you up or bring you down. It can excite you or give you peace. Make sure that you are listening to what is helping you. Learn to recognize your emotions and allow them to dictate your musical diet.

4. Quotes! With the internet and social media, we have access to all kinds of encouragement from words and pictures. You can print them out to post in key locations, use them as screen savers on electronic devices and memorize them to speak encouragement to yourself and others.

5. Diet & Exercise! Food and drink have an impact on how we feel. A good meal can do wonders for making you feel better. Pay attention to how food and drink impacts you and contributes to your well being. Exercise does not have to be complicated at all. It is amazing what a difference some simple stretching and a good walk can do for you both mentally and physically.

6. Self Care! We all have basic needs and being aware of those needs and making effort to make sure our needs are met is a very important part of living a healthy and positive life. Think of the three major areas of your life: Physical, Mental and Spiritual – figure out your basic needs in these areas and make sure those needs are being met. You matter and if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else.

7. Service! One of the quickest ways I have discovered that I can move myself from negative to positive is by doing something to make life better for someone else. Look for ways to be a blessing to others and you will be pleasantly surprised at how this simple a t opens up your own life to blessing…

A Great Attitude Begins With Gratitude!

When my girls were younger and they would catch a bad attitude, I would discipline them by making them go to their room with a legal pad and start writing a list of everything they were grateful for. They couldn’t come back out until they had written down 25 things. I had learned in my own life that when my attitude got out of wack, that I needed to get my eyes and mind off of myself and onto my blessings, which have always been many. Some where along life’s journey, I had learned this simple shift in focus was powerful in helping me to get back to a good place in life and it worked for them to – every time!

At some point, I can’t really remember when, I began the practice of writing down three things I was grateful for every now and then. A few years ago, this became a part of my daily routine and has become a powerful tool in helping me to cultivate a more positive attitude that contributes to all areas of greater blessing in my life and living.

Gratitude is not complicated, it is really a very simple thing. Gratitude is a feeling, expression or thought of thanks, appreciation or gratefulness. It amazes me how something so simple, can be so powerful. If there were just one discipline you added to your daily routine, this would be the one I would give my highest recommendation, because from it flows everything else.

Our world has a way of training us to look for the bad, rather than the good. Something inside of us compels us to play the victim. Most of us walk around with a sense of entitlement that the world owes us one, but there is nothing that could be farther from the truth. The facts are: The world owes us nothing and life is not fair!

But that’s okay, because while life does not always work out the way we want it to, it does find a way of working itself out. And I have found that life works itself out for us in a lot better way, when our focus is right. Gratitude realigns our focus, gets our attitude right and puts us on the track for greater blessings.

Take some time today to write out at least three things you are grateful for:

1. Thank You for ___________________________!

2. Thank You for ___________________________!

3. Thank You for ___________________________!

And by the way, you will be glad you did!

Challenges Come And Challenges Go!

This past Sunday, I shared a message entitled ”Speak Blessing!” The message was basically an encouragement to realize there is power in our words and we need to choose them carefully. I do my best to practice what I preach, so my goal was to live a positive life and only speak blessing this week. Great goal right?

Of course you know what happens whenever you get committed to living a positive life? Life seems to throw as much negative as it can and before you know it, your best intentions have become paving material for a road to you know where…

Live life long enough and you will discover that this is in fact life. Just because you are thinking, living and speaking positivity does not mean that you won’t have challenges, disappointments and frustrations. Life is made up of ups and downs, mountain tops and valleys, success and failure.

I’m not going to go into detail of all that has gone wrong this week, but I will tell you, I am doing my best to stay positive, upbeat and teachable. There are a few things I have to keep reminding myself about and I’ve become very fond of the saying: ”What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.”

Here are a few good reminders for you to remember when you’re trying to keep in the positive lane of life, even while it seems that everything and everybody keeps trying to force you into the negative…

CHALLNGES GROW YOU LIKE NOTHING ELSE CAN!

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her classic on ”Death And Dying” said: ”If you shield the mountain from the wind storms, you never see the beauty of the carvings. There is a purpose to your pain. This does not make it easier, but it helps to know and remember that it’s not all for nothing. We are continually being shaped, grown and developed and this is what we call living.

GROWTH AND HEALING ARE A PROCESS!

We are born into this human experience as a baby, but we don’t stay a baby, we grow, develop and learn, but it takes time, because it’s a process. When we fall down and scrape our knee, as it heals, it gets a very ugly scab, which we are tempted to pick at and remove, but it is actually our bodies way of healing and healing takes time because it’s a process. This life is a process, so nothing, no matter how bad it may seem is ever final, not even death.

THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING TO LEARN!

The question we need to always run to is: ”What is this trying to teach me?” The quicker I learn the lesson, the quicker I get free to live the positive life of blessing I was created for. What is life and the challenges you face trying to teach you???

Unload Your Truck!

At my core, I’m just an ole country boy. I love country cooking, country music and riding around country roads in my Dodge Ram pickup truck. I love my truck. It’s not anything fancy and it has a lot of rough miles on it, but it’s mine and it’s paid for. I’m not really sure how it happens, but every so often, I have to take some time to clean out and unload the back of my truck, which us country boys call the “bed” of the truck. Some how, trash, bottles, cans, tools and an assortment of other stuff always seems to accumulate in the bed of my truck and it drives me crazy, until I take the time to clean it out.

I have found that the very same thing happens with my mind. It accumulates thoughts, many of which serve no real purpose, other than taking up space, rattling around and making me crazy. I have learned that every now and then, it is important for me to take time clean out and unload my mind.

It’s not very difficult to figure out how this happens. We think one thought until another thought comes a long and takes it’s place. We don’t really release the first thought, we just throw it in the back with all the other thoughts that we think we have moved on from. The problem we face now is that we have all these thoughts rattling around, making noise, competing for our attention and sometimes this makes it very difficult to get anything accomplished.

So, every now and then, it is very necessary to take some time to unload the truck. The way we unload our truck/mind is by taking and making some time to meditate, pray, practice devotion or sit in solitude. This time allows us to take advantage of the tiny spaces located between our thoughts.

We have no real idea where a thought comes from. What we do know is that it comes out of silence. When we have a thought, there is a very brief moment between the letting go of one thought and grabbing hold of another. This brief moment is a time of silence and space. You can call it whatever you want to call it, the important thing is to realize it exists and offers us an opportunity to exercise some control, so that we might have a little more say about what comes and goes.

There is an old Zen saying that says: “It is the silence between the notes that makes the music.” We train ourselves to listen to the sound and usually ending up missing out on the power of the silence. This is why we need to empty the truck/mind every so often, so we can learn to hear, appreciate and learn from the silence. Music would be impossible without the silence and so life becomes impossible when we allow ourselves to be overtaken by our thoughts and all the noise they produce.

At the very heart of a thought is the act of creativity. The creativity happens in the silence, moment and space between our thoughts. You were created in the image of your Creator and therefore you are a creator yourself. So, I want to encourage you to take some time to get still, to find comfort in silence and discover your place of creation. Once you are there try to do these three things:

– Unload and clean out your heart, mind and spirit!

This does not have to be complicated. I like to use a journal, there is just something about pen and paper that help me to get my thoughts out and organized. It makes it easier to know what to hold onto and let go of. The important thing is to take the time on a regular basis to do the work. A little work every so often, saves you from a lot of work and usually some pain later on.

– Learn to enjoy solitude and silence!

For most people, taking time to get away from all the distractions and sit in silence is a challenging task. It’s not easy, but with a little practice, consistency and discipline, you can do it and you will be glad you did. Start with just five minutes a day, focus on your breathing and practice letting go of your thoughts by every time one comes into your head for attention, shifting focus off of the thought and back onto your breathing.

– Embrace your creativity and have some fun with it!

Once you begin to start unloading your truck/mind, you will discover what a difference it makes in all aspects of your life and you will look forward to the time and the creativity that it unlocks to flow from your life. You may want to use this time to write, draw, color, paint, work on some kind of craft or whatever? Just find some sort of output that allows you to express the creativity that has been freed up, because you will be amazed at how this will grow into a blessing for you and others.

The Bottom Line: This is your life, do what you have to do, what you want to do to enjoy it, because you were created for so much more…

Passed Down Blessings!

I give both of my girls a hard time, that’s part of my job as a Dad! 😉 Anyone who knows me, knows how proud I am of both of them and for so many different reasons.

I wanted to take a minute to brag on my oldest daughter, Gracie Harvell, because I see her do stuff like this all the time and this weekend, it just really made me think about what a blessing she is in so many ways to so many people and at the same time reminded me of how blessed we are as a family to have had ”good stuff” passed down to us.

On Saturday, Gracie got off work at 5 PM, came home, changed clothes and headed right back out the door to finish up a project she was working on at work. As she was heading out the door, she said: “I’ll take pictures!”, so I knew it must have been something important to her.

Around 7:45 PM, she still wasn’t home, so I thought, if it’s that important to her, then I need to go see for myself. When I got there, just before closing time, she was still working. She was doing a “reset”. Many people never stop to think about it, unless they’ve worked in retail, but the shelves and displays don’t magically reset themselves. And it’s not as simple as just throwing stuff up on a shelf or hanging stuff on a peg board.

Gracie could have left it for someone else to do. She could have assigned the task to someone else. She could have rushed through and just got it done, not concerned about spacing or presentation, but that’s not in her DNA. 🧬 She had to go back and was willing to go back on her own time, off the clock and finish what she started, because that is who she is and at the end of the day, she has to live with herself.

I totally understand and it reminded me of some principles that are a core part of who I am and how I operate. I am not a perfect person and I miss the mark in a lot of ways, but I am blessed to see that some of the things that matter to me, matter to my children as well.

And as I was thinking about all of this, I couldn’t help but think about parents and grandparents who passed this on to us, so we could pass this on to our children. Below are seven attributes that are important to our family and that have been passed along through the generations:

1. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right!

2. Never ask anyone to do something you’re not willing to do yourself!

3. Go above and beyond what’s expected!

4. Do it right the first time!

5. Have fun and enjoy what you do – let your work fulfill you!

6. Never forget where you came from!

7. Always have in mind where you’re going!

Speak Blessing!

This is the audio from the message I shared on ”Speak Blessing”. We often speak words without take time to think about their positive or negative influence. This message helps us think about taking the time to think about our words and how they can make a difference in our life and the lives of others…

What Do You Want?

There is a pretty simple question we have to ask and answer, if we really want to experience the blessings we were created for. WHAT DO YOU WANT? It is surprising to me, how many people have not taken the time to really answer this question. Looking back on my own life, it is humbling to think about how many times I have failed to ask and answer this simple, but powerful question.

There is great power in INTENTION, but to figure out our intention we have to ask and answer the right questions and then follow up with action. We need to ask and answer the “What Do You Want” question everyday and often, multiple times throughout the day. There are a lot of different varieties of the question, but they are basically asking for the same thing. What do you want? What is your dream? What is the main desire of your life? What will make you happy? What is your intention? What inspires you? What are you passionate about? What do you want to create, manifest and make reality in your life?

This question is important, because it drives our thoughts and THOUGHTS ARE THINGS! The things we think about become our reality. The Scriptures teach that we were created in the image of our Creator, which means: WE WERE CREATED TO CREATE! The question is: “What Are You Creating?”

There are two worlds, one we can see and one we can’t see. One is physical and one is spiritual. We live in between these two worlds in what is a beautiful dance of co-existence of back and forth between the two. We are spiritual beings living our human experience in a physical body. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:1 – “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This means that what is seen, begins it’s manifestation in what is unseen. We live in both places and in between and this is why asking and answering questions is so important and necessary.

Take some time today to ask and answer the question: WHAT DO I WANT? And think about the steps you can take to manifest and make reality what simply begins as a thought. You may just be surprised at the power you discover that has been placed within yourself to do the supernatural. And once you discover and tap into this CREATIVE power, this human experience takes on a whole new meaning as you begin to live in the blessings you were created for…