Tuesday, December 16, 2014

preachin' positivity

A career in education, by it's sheer nature, creates a litany of events each day that has the potential to ruin our day:

  • An unexpected meeting
  • An (expected) meeting that ran too long
  • Forgot your lunch
  • A child getting hurt or bullied
  • A disagreement with a colleague
  • A student who talks back
  • A broken copy machine
  • Gossip
  • Technological difficulties
  • Not putting things back where they belong
  • Fell and hurt your foot
The list goes on and on....but notice I said there is potential to ruin our day? That's because it's up to each of us every day to make our day great. We are human, so it's normal to find ourselves in negative thinking patterns or feeling anxious for a various amount of reasons. But, if you can change the way you think about things, you can change how you feel.

Driving home today, I realized that I have a few things that I always turn to when I'm feeling bad or overwhelmed or stressed or angry, and I thought it would make a good blog post, because as educators, you all know what I'm talking about when I say there are 1,000 reasons to be negative. I choose positivity. Here's how I get there:

I listen to a few songs that always snap me out of my bad moods. One of them? Shake it off by Taylor Swift. This song really does a number on me (for the better!) I listen to this song to remember:

"But I keep cruisin' can't stop won't stop movin'
It's like I got this music in my mind saying it's gonna be alright!"
Cause the
Player's gonna play play play play play
and the
Hater's gonna hate hate hate hate hate
Baby I'm just
gonna shake shake shake shake shake
Shake it off, Shake it off"

Seriously though, I can only control my actions, my responses, my choices. So why am I going to let anyone else make me feel bad?

Add to my Pinterest "Positivity" Board

I love quotes. Especially quotes that have been created all cute in little memes online. So when I'm angry/anxious/upset, I go to Pinterest and add to my board. Here's a few I added today:

Does this work for anyone else or just me? Searching through Pinterest for this reason makes me feel so much better. Like light years better. It reminds me of the big picture, of why I go to the career I chose every day...for the kids and the amazing relationships I have with my colleagues.

My go-to book: The Book of Awakening

This daybook provides it's reader a passage a day - to be read in order, or if you're like me, you look up what's troubling you and then read those passages until you feel better. I've used this book more in thinking about my personal relationships and my growth as an individual, but it can be totally applied to our teaching careers. It's a book that I feel every teacher should have at their bedside - to wake up to and begin your day on a positive note or to read as they reflect on their day before bed.

Here's a passage I came across yesterday....

The Ground We Walk
Walker, there is no path,
you make the path as you walk.
-Antonio Machado

I listened carefully as he described his little girl's first steps. He encouraged her to keep her eyes on him, and only when she didn't, did she stumble. Only when she lost her focus, when she became too conscious of the steps she was taking, did she fall.

I was afraid he was going to declare some parental primacy, that without his loving presence, his little girl wouldn't be able to make her way. But to my surprise, he understood her first steps more deeply as a wisdom that effects us all.

He stared off, offering slowly, "She made me realize that when I stop looking for a sense of truth, I stumble. When I lose my focus on what really matters, I fall."

This small story has stayed with me. For aren't we forever taking first steps, again and again? Don't we uncover a mystery of strength by looking out before us and bringing into focus a deeper sense of truth? Isn't balance, in reality, the ability to step quite naturally, like this little girl, without too  much thought into everything larger than our fear?

(p. 292)

Which brings me back to number 1 and another song....

Carrie Underwood has a new song out that I just love, a song that makes me understand the bigger picture. Yes, life is made up of all the drama, all the crap of the day-to-day grind. But, the older I get, the more I understand the importance of spirituality. Whatever form of this you practice - meditation, church, prayers on your own - it's so important for the balance we must keep to be at our best, for our colleagues, for our students, for our families.

Listen to her lyrics:

And now I'm singing along to amazing grace
Can't nobody wipe this smile off my face
Got joy in my heart, angels on my side
Thank God almighty, I saw the light
Gonna look ahead, no turning back
Live every day, give it all that I have
Trust in someone bigger than me
Ever since the day that I believed I am changed
And now I'm stronger...

And her video, if you are so inclined...

I don't know. It just speaks to me. I listened to it about 8 times today, and at full blast on the way home, singing at the top of my lungs (and I'm sure Randy Jackson would say, "That was kinda pitchy.") But I don't care. It makes me happy and I have so much to be thankful for.

Writing on this blog and my readers being two of them.

How do you stay positive? Leave me a note in the comments!

Happy Tuesday!
Three more get-ups!
:-) :-) :-)


  1. I definitely agree that music can do so much to lift your spirits. I was subbing for PE today, and they had music on full blast all day. Of course, I couldn't help but sing along and dance a little bit. I honestly feel like I had such a great day... and I didn't do anything special. I credit it to the power of music!

    I also like to pay attention to the things my kids say. I don't think a day goes by that a student doesn't make me smile. For every one kid that might frustrate me, I have a dozen more who make me smile. That's good to keep in perspective!

  2. What a great list! Thanks for being a bright light for me and others. I've got some research to do...your pinterest board and the book... I'll let you know... Hope you have a GRRRREAT week.

  3. Pinterest saves me some days...What did I do before it?

  4. Fantastic post, Michelle! :) Positivity creates happiness and happiness makes the world a better place. I've been taught by my family to train my mind to see the good in everything. "PMA (positive mental attitude), that's the way, EVERYDAY!" was what my dad would say each morning I left the house. I've developed a wonderful perspective on life because of it and am grateful for all of the good things life has to offer. We are two peas in a pod. ;)
    Literacy Loving Gals


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