Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Challenge

Hello, just a quick note reporting in on my challenge to myself yesterday. If you are facebook friends with me, you know that I vowed to not say one negative thing all day. Well, let me tell ya, it was exactly that. A challenge. And it was an interesting exercise that I highly recommend, because you suddenly become aware of the words you let slip subconsciously throughout the day.
For instance I had to push the “reset” button quite a few times, but not when I was talking to others. It was mostly because I was grumbling to myself about things which offended me. Traffic, television, bad drivers, politics. Granted, this was an especially difficult time to take this challenge, considering the state of our country right now. And then at the end of the day, my husband had to talk about Rush Limbaugh saying Democrats are giving psycho serial killer Loughner their full support….It was like Kryptonite. I went off the charts, calling him an idiot, an evil person who cares about nothing more than ratings. I caught myself, then told Troy- “No fair bringing up Limbaugh when I am on a negativity fast!”
It’s interesting, though, to actually notice how many times negative words slip out, and I am a generally positive person. What power those words hold…and they’re just going in, coming out, like breathing…unnoticed. I have decided to pay close attention to the words that “slip out”. And luckily I have Evan who has current Kindergarten training, so he nails me constantly.
Me “I can’t open this stupid jar!”
Evan: “Mommy! Stupid is a bad word!”
Likewise every time I call something dumb, lame, or anything of the like, he is on it.
So, I am at least aware of it now. It’s not that I won’t call out injustices when I see them, or speak up against something that is clearly wrong. But I will just weigh my words more carefully. The next time there is a “stupid” commercial on, I’ll simply turn it off. The next time there is an “idiot” tailgating me, I will change lanes and breathe.
I had this quote taped on the front of my computer for years:
“When you judge someone, you do not define them. You simply define yourself as someone who needs to judge.” - Wayne Dyer
Realistically, we are all people who need to judge, because often we learn through others choices. Starting as children, we watch what others do, and decide what feels right or wrong for us. We see someone making bad choices in their lives, and we want to talk about them, criticize them, maybe to ensure we would never make the same mistakes. But another choice would be to simply say– that’s not for me, and remove ourselves from the situation.
It’s the energy and bad intent behind these judgments that’s making our country the Divided States of America. The problem feels so huge, so overwhelming. What can we do to make it better?
We can start with ourselves. Notice the words that slip out, and little by little, try to change.
Take the challenge! Try not to say a negative word all day, and watch what happens…


  1. I will do that. Yesterday I didn't really think about it but I had such a great day probably no negatives. We missed you at the book signing. I got to see Monica live, Maxee and Howard and a woman I performed with at Spark. See you soon at Laurenne's event.

  2. Hollye,

    This is something that I have really changed in my life over the last 4 years. Dealing with this horrible water mess I found myself living and breathing negativity. When I changed my perspective and turned things to positive, my life started changing for the better each and every day. It really is a work in progress and probably always will be, but it feels so much better! Thank you for the beautiful reminder! Hugs and oh so much love sent your way....Amy

  3. I have to admit I actually didn't believe it would be that hard for you!! But I see how it goes. It's those little things that snowball and become the avalanche.

    I'm in with you. But it doesn't seem totally fair as I am sequestered at home by myself working on my revision. Except for right now :)


I love hearing your point of view- thank you for taking the time to comment and be part of the conversation!