How to Be Your Own ‘Personal Trainer of Positivity’

“If you want to stay in shape, you have to consistently work out. If you want to be positive, you have to spend time in the practice of positivity.” – Me

Here’s how I practice “getting my mind right.” I do two things. Every day (or other day, depending on what craziness awaits me) I aim to meditate for 5 minutes. Then, I periodically identify and say out loud what I’m grateful for. There are so many things, every day. What you look for finds you, that’s why I look for the good. It’s a practice, and it’s necessary. Because, as my favorite guru Iyanla Vanzant says, “How are you gonna win in the world, if you can’t even win in your mind?” The good news is we can take active steps in order to “win in our mind.”

Prac-tice. The actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use.

With that in mind, I want to share with you just 5 moments I’m grateful for this week:

5. Witnessing bravery at Nick’s Place.

2Vei+YfjRZG9xG5pNOmqTwI spent an entire evening with two celebrity Food Network chefs and the men and women who make up Nick’s Place this week. Nick’s Place is a recovery home for men ages 20-26 struggling with addiction. Many are in the court system, and many say they would be dead or homeless if they didn’t live there.

The home was started by Rhea McVicker, a mom who lost her 22-year-old son, Nick, to the same dreaded disease two decades ago. I am so grateful my bosses gave me the opportunity to spend an entire 6 hours with these men and women – plus another 6 throughout the week to write it, work on the edit, and the web and social media parts of this story. Simply put, that doesn’t happen often.

I was inspired by the openness, the honesty, the vulnerability and the bravery of these young men – who are facing some pretty tough stuff – in a situation that could be described as hopeless and, even, a black hole to climb out of. They are fighting that with the weapon of hope. And it’s pretty fearless stuff. What a lesson for us all. If you want to be inspired, watch.

4. The world is a small, small place

You know I love a dog story. And this one takes the cake. A Chow named Cash escaped his dog walker’s leash in Brooklyn, New York. As his owner, Gwen, raced around the city to try and find her 6-year-old pup, people spotted Cash running on the Brooklyn Bridge. He made his way into Manhattan and was spotted several times, near the Freedom Tower, on the East Side, uptown, and at a dog park. Finally, 6 hours later, Cash walked into a deli on 8th Avenue and 18th Street and sat down behind the counter. I spotted an article online, about Cash’s great adventure and reached out to his owner on Facebook. Turns out, Gwen Wunderlich and I have several friends in common. We Skyped right after she brought Cash home Sunday night, and WUSA9 got the first exclusive-to-TV look at Cash resting at home, reunited with Gwen. I’m so happy that Cash was found unharmed after all that! Both Cash and Gwen’s tenacity and heart are amazing.

3. Taking time away from the rat race

This one may seem a little counter-intuitive, but on Friday, I took a spill while running with my husband Josh, and rescue pup Murray. My shoelace got caught on a fence, and I went down. My knee and hand are scraped up, but worse than that, my left knee is bruised and oh, is it painful. I couldn’t walk on it the first day, and now I’ve puttering around with a limp while it heals. The silver lining is – I CAN’T work out, and I can’t feel badly or guilty about that. So, I got to spend a lot more time being quiet, reading, writing and connecting with my husband and my pup. When life hands you a little bit of a lemon, meditate, pet your dog or read a book by Eckhart Tolle, I say.

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2. Killin’ it!

Before I took a tumble, I took a Blast class Thursday. Blast is a combo of running on a treadmill, doing sprints, and tough walks up a hill, plus weight-training. It’s tough. I hadn’t done it in weeks. But, I signed up, and gave this grueling 60 minute class my all. I’ll admit, I felt nauseated a few times, I was running so quickly. But, in the end, I proved to myself once again how important it is to set a goal and keep it. Working out makes me feel powerful, like I can do anything. And if I can complete this grueling class, I can certainly stand up for what’s right in this world.

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1. Say thank you

Lastly, I am grateful for these two simple words, thank you. A couple of people thanked me this week, and I thanked other people as well – and it always introduces an overwhelming feeling of positivity.

I awoke today to a message from a reporter in another market telling me she watched my TEDx Talk and that she wanted to tell me how “incredibly inspiring” it was to her. Kvell. I also received a card from my new aunt-in-law (is that a word?) Sally, who also watched my talk, and wrote, “it ignited a strong need in me to regain some of my inner strength and direction. It’s much too easy to fall into acceptance.”

Make no mistake, your words are gifts. Anytime you say ‘thank you’ to someone, it’s a darn gift. It has the power to change someone’s day, and lift up someone when they need it. You never know when someone needs a shift in attitude towards positivity. Trust me. staying positive is a practice. It doesn’t come easy. These “gifts” help us to walk confidently in the direction of our dreams. Just like writing this list does. So, THANK YOU for reading!

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