Some Thoughts on Positivity

PositivityFscott is a choice. When I decided to make the conscious shift from a negative mindset to a positive one, it wasn’t easy. Honestly, it’s still difficult, but I’ll get to that later. I have survived a lot in my life – elementary school bullying, battling anxiety & depression, break-ups, losing best friends, and a living nightmare. Those events did not make me a better person, as a coming-of-age novel might lead you to believe. Instead, I was focused inward and very negative. I never felt good enough, and while my friends weren’t bad people, they certainly weren’t the type who were going to lift me up and focus me in the right direction.

You are in no way obligated to be the same person you were five minutes ago.

My shift to positivity was not as sudden as it seemed, but as I was blessed with new opportunities of graduate school, independence, and reconnecting with my soulmate, I took this perfect opportunity to make a change. Some people noticed this shift immediately and called me fake because I was trying to put out the light and love that I was experiencing inwardly. These people were quickly removed from my life, not that they had really been around much anyway – and as a recent authority on happiness commands, “if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it.” I think it’s important to remember that you are in no way obligated to be the same person you were five minutes ago. The happier I was, the better I felt. The less negativity there was in my life, the more self-esteem I could muster up each day. I found peace practicing yoga. And because I had changed my mindset, the opportunities continued to come my way. I became friends with a group of smart, supportive, hilarious women who have real, tangible goals that they are working every day to achieve. I got a job – now, two – in an industry I love. I discovered a path to sharing my story with the world and finally have the confidence to hike up that path. Petty comments and remarks intended to hurt me simply fall away, because I know that they come from a damaged place inside someone else.

As I mentioned before, it isn’t always easy. In her book Spirit Junkie (which I highly recommend), Gabby Bernstein talks about how the ego likes to creep up on you just when you think life is smooth sailing. That’s a simple reminder not to let your guard down, or really, to remember to be grateful for all the miracles you’re given. Sometimes I’ll have a day where everything seems wrong, and I just want to complain to my friends about every little detail. That’s not where my focus needs to be, and often more time passes dwelling on the bad than should before I remember to let go and move on. I deal with these self-inflicted ego attacks daily, and I’m okay with it, because I’m still learning.

There is another thing that makes staying positive difficult, though. When other people see that you’re happy, they try to shatter that high, whether out of insecurity, jealousy, or spite. Because I am still new to this process of letting go of negative thoughts and embracing positivity, these attacks can shake up my world a bit. And because I’m an empath, I often sense negative energy, to the point where my hands will shake or I will feel very cold. I don’t see this as a weakness; rather, these are challenges that build up my strength brick by brick. I am more secure now than I have ever been.

Whether you are following the Buddhist laws of karma, Jesus’ golden rule, or Newton’s third law, the end result is the same. Let the vibrations you put out into the world be ones of radiance. Stay positive.

The Florence Forth Road Race 2015

There is one month left until the Florence Forth Road Race!

Last year I posted about Florence Forth in the spirit of awareness and publicity; at the time, I wasn’t even sure that I would be making the trip to Durham and participating in the race. The stars aligned, however, and I made it – I ran (sort of…I finished the race at least), I was inspired by fellow autoimmune encephalitis survivors, and my team Fall Risk even came pretty close to garnering the spot of most donations.

This year my spirit for the race is invigorated by memories of last year. I wrote about some of those memories for the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance blog (x-posted here) in November.

For those of you who missed exactly what this event is, here’s a breakdown from the site:

The Florence Forth Road Race is a 10k run and 5k walk/run that will take place at 8am on March 7, 2015 in Durham, NC.

The Florence Forth race is organized by and for the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance. Proceeds from Florence Forth allow the AE Alliance to raise awareness, educate doctors and improve clinical care so that no one faces autoimmune encephalitis (AE) alone.

Florence Forth was started by Leslie and Will McDow who lost their daughter Florence on March 4th, 2012 after a long battle with autoimmune encephalitis.  Florence was a healthy, vibrant 2 year old when the first symptoms of AE emerged.  Over the next four years, the disease caused neurological complications and developmental delays.  The search for a diagnosis and eventually a treatment lead us to realize the need for increased awareness, improved clinical care and expanded research.

If you would like to participate in the race, you can sign up at FlorenceForth.org. Please register under the team name “Fall Risk” to support my team.

If you get anxious at the thought of running like me, or you just can’t see yourself making the trek to North Carolina in March, please consider donating to my team at the Florence Forth CrowdRise page by clicking this link.