Empowering others: sharing experiences, ideas; offering creative solutions to common challenges.


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Friday, April 13, 2012

Making a Positive Impression

So... to continue with this 'discussion' (okay, it is more like a monolog!); a positive attitude is a way of life. It requires a conscious effort of the beholder to commit to positivity and to possibility. What does THAT mean? Let me explain... positivity (I confess; I believe that I just made up that term) refers to the process of thinking, speaking, acting and modeling positive perspective; possibility refers to the ability to perceive situations in terms of the possibilities that may result. It's never too late to adopt these perspectives. I believe that my mother facilitated this technique in me and my siblings by insisting that we begin every day with a smile. Seriously. If we came out of our rooms in the morning with a sour attitude she would immediately send us back to our rooms with the instructions that we were to come back out with a smile and a better attitude. -And we'd better be quick about it because we were not allowed to be late for school or for any chores that needed to be done! A positive attitude begins the very moment we awake, or at the very least, with our first glance into the mirror in the morning.No matter how difficult the situations that I may have to face that day, I greet myself with a smile in the morning mirror. -It just seems to start my day on a good note.
 May I confess that I've endured days when even that was difficult? I recall one day in particular when I caught a glimpse of myself; the face reflected looked tired, worn, beaten down.... frightening! What did I do? I shrieked with horror -loudly!! My children came running to see what was the matter... and when they asked; I told them that I looked in the mirror and was so scared with my own face that I screamed. We all laughed and it seemed to set things right in my heart! My day was immediately better and my problems put into perspective. Thank God for a sense of humor! Serousy though; the 'take-home' message is this: if your culture permits, greet your self, your day and others with eye contact and a smile.
A few years ago, I took a lovely trip to England to speak at a conference. The trip was particularly long because I was travelling alone, the venue was in the country and the train workers were apparently on strike.  Imagine my surprise when a fellow traveller, sporting heavy black make-up and safety pins through her face  remarked to me that she thought I was rather brave to be seen in public looking as I did. I quickly examined my appearance, thinking perhaps my grooming had gone awry. -I know that I'm not the prettiest creature that God has ever made, but it had not occurred to me that I would need courage to show my face in public! When I appeared confused with the comment, she added that she thought that I was brave to be seen in public with a hook prosthesis instead of a hand. I was both relieved (thankful that she was not actually saying that I was ugly) and bewildered (why did wearing a functional prosthesis instead of a cosmetic one require bravery?)... And that is what we will talk about next... personal preferences and the reality of our perceptions!

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