Both hope and positivity can often feel like sand slipping through our fingers. As soon as we begin to experience them, it seems they are under threat of attack. Little fears from experiences we had in our lives start to take up the space where they were beginning to grow.
For many, a positive outlook needs to be nourished and cultivated, because it actually feels uncomfortable. This is why spreading positivity and hope until they are commonplace is the job of each of us. I never feel good after I have an interaction that did not come from a place of trust and positivity. Because of that, I have a very specific morning routine that grounds my sense of self in these values as I welcome each day.
Every morning, before I even open my eyes, I ask my mind, “What can I do today to move me closer to my goal?” The goals vary in focus over time. They can be creative goals, social goals, professional or personal. This act, and my goals, are always about being more present in my life. This is similar to a prayer or meditation — it is short but focused. Then I continue getting up and trust that an answer will be presented to me.
You may ask, “How is asking yourself something about your goals helping promote positivity?” The short answer is that when I support and love myself, I can support and love you. Loving others, even as I just pass them in the street, promotes a positive outlook on the world. To do that, I have to love myself.
I then pick up my journal and write. This writing, specifically, is about clearing anything that I may not be aware is negatively affecting me. The only hard and fast rule in my morning writing is that I write three pages. I observe what I write more than direct what gets written.
I utilize these internal processes to help me see myself. Asking the question about my goal(s) connects me to all of the possibilities, not just the ones that I may have previously attached myself to. My writing opens me up to what, prior to writing them down, may have just been in my blind spot. Doing these first thing in the morning is a key part of my ritual. Our ego takes more time to wake up than we do and utilizing that time to get in touch with the day can put us in a state that favors a positive outlook on the entire world.
From here, my day begins to unfold — and that will include social interactions. I start every day focused internally, but from there my days are filled with interactions with others, every one of them unique. With the calm foundation I built as I began my day, I set out with the intention of seeing others. Whether I am in traffic, buying a pack of gum at the store, or in a meeting, I remember that I am a part of it all. I am contributing, connected and able to support the highest good in each of those interactions.
Random acts of kindness are another part of my regular rituals. I will often write letters by hand to friends, buy my cashier a little piece of chocolate, or offer a ride to someone who misses a bus. It isn’t that I set out to do these things. I am, however, open to them being done through me. For me, being present promotes positivity. No judgment, no past, no future, and no ego. Being present is just being me right now. That promotes positivity and hope the best way I know how.
To complete my day, I return inward. As I did in the morning I write in the evening. This is not to expose or fix anything, but to solely be grateful. Every night I list five things I am grateful for. Again there are no rules for this. If it relates to my day great, if not, I can still be grateful. Only then can I close my eyes and rest.