So the past year has been a rough one. Graduating in the middle of a recession is not the best recipe for a high degree of confidence in ones working skills. I'm a freelance writer and store owner but I still have the desire to work in an environment where I can actually help people (and see them on a regular basis!-since my store is online I never do).
So since I've been down in the pits so much I decided it was time to "turn my frown upside down" (as I often tell my kids to). A few years ago I watched the Secret and quite honestly it had little affect on my life. In my opinion I was just not ready for it. I didn't fully understand the point (that point being that its not about how much stuff you can get or how often you get your own way, but about how you view the world and how a positive vs a negative view of the world can have a huge affect on how you feel on a day to day basis)
I meditate every day now; focusing on the things that make me happy. I try to find the good in everything (even when it seems impossible sometimes). And even though my situation has not changed that much, my attitude and my confidence have.
I decided to try to use these tactics when dealing with my kids. Especially my nine-year-old daughter who sometimes has a very negative out look on her day-to-day activities. She goes from 0-10, so to speak, in a very short time and is very sensitive. My goal is to help her to become a more patient, positive and caring individual.
As a black woman we are unfortunately stigmatized in just about every area of our lives. The one that gets me the most though is that we are thought to be bitter, angry and just plain mean. If I can teach my daughter to be positive starting right now it will become natural for her. Thus giving her a better outlook on life.
I live in Toronto and if there is one thing that is in abundance here it is Sisters with a scowl. Do you have any idea how many times I've attempted to politely smile at a Sister only to get a scowl in return? No wonder we're all thought to be angry!
In college, a friend of mine pointed out how much prettier I looked when I smiled (somewhere along the line I had developed the notorious scowl as well). At first I brushed his comment aside but years later I thought about it and realized he was probably right. In the same year, (coincidentally at the same college) I asked a classmate, that I got to talking to one day, why we had never talked before. He said that I just didn't seem approachable.
Now that I think about it, I wasn't scowling because I was necessarily angry all the time, its just that my emotions were always showing on my face (stress, exhaustion, anxiety, and yes, sometimes anger). Since I've learned to control those emotions and think more positively I find myself naturally smiling more (not to look more pretty but to simply to feel good!) and (I'm being completely honest here) I get approached more often, get more smiles, get offered more seats on the subway, and get more doors opened for me, than ever before!
Take it from me, there's always something to smile about! So....SMILE SISTER, SMILE!