Archive for the ‘ positive energy ’ Category

Little Paper Umbrellas

The above picture was taken this morning from my plane. It’s the space shuttle on hitching a ride on a plane. I missed it when it flew over D.C. earlier this week but today I got my chance to see it.

Today I flew to Miami. As I type this I sit on a balcony watching the boats and the world go by. Right now in this moment I am perfectly at peace. The day did not start out this way for me at all.

My day began at 4:00 am. I had an early morning pickup to the airport. The shuttle company that I normally use has always been on time. Always. Today they came an hour late to pick me up for the airport. You know that feeling you get when you think you are going to miss your flight to a perfect destination and you know it is someone else’s fault? That is the feeling that was gripping me this morning. My fruitless efforts to call the company were no help. They kept telling me the driver was on his way and even told me the driver’s name. I did not need to know the driver’s name. I was not planning on starting a friendship with him. I only needed him there for me when he was supposed to be.

I went outside in the dark morning air and found the neighborhood still asleep. I wondered where the driver could be? The dispatcher told me that he had another reservation that matched mine. That is a fancy way of saying they double booked him. Suddenly I saw the van driving into my neighborhood and past my court. He was lost in my tiny neighborhood. I realized I had to chase after the van. As I ran after him waving my hands trying to get his attention, I promised myself that from now on I would drive. At least I know I can count on me.

When I got to the airport the man adding insult to injury decided to drive up the set price for no reason. He may have thought I was born yesterday, or just fell off of the turnip truck. Wise to his game, I called the shuttle company and told them what he was doing. They told me to pay only the set price. I paid him, and tipped him and left him standing there not happy with the fact he couldn’t pull the wool over my eyes.

I walked into the airport aggravated, and tense after the events of the morning. I heard a voice in my head say, “decide not to be upset”. It is true. Whatever emotions we feel, we have decided to feel them. I could easily undo my mood by changing it.

I reminded myself that I was going on a much needed weekend away and to smile. I didn’t want to smile, but I did it anyways. If you force yourself to smile, your emotions will soon catch up to your face. If life throws an unpleasant situation at you, handle it the best way you can, then move on. Don’t harp on the event for the rest of your day. You will ruin a perfectly good day because of something that has already happened and is over with.

It was a smooth morning, easy flight, and friendly people. I sat on the plane in the 12th row and a man asked me if I would switch seats with him in the 13th row. I laughed as I remembered my previous post about the number 13 and other superstitions. I sat the rest of the flight in lucky 13 and got a great view of the space shuttle sitting on the runway.

Being angry, irritable, upset or any other negative emotion is a choice. You can instead choose to be in a better mood. You will have a better day, and will be a pleasant person to be around.

Now I will get back to my drink with the umbrella in it :)

I really think we should all invest more in little paper umbrellas. If you are not a drinker, you can still put it in your water or juice or soda if you want. Life is too short not to put an umbrella in our drink once in a while. Jazz it up a little :)

Happy Friday!!!!

Caroline

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Are You Listening?

Have you ever noticed that the people who talk a lot know the least? Have you noticed that the quiet ones usually have the most wisdom? If you talk too much then you won’t be able to listen. If you are not listening then how can you learn something?

Have you ever met someone who thinks they know everything? They are so confident that they have all the answers that they are unwilling to listen to others. They may believe that there is nothing for them to learn because their way is the right way. It becomes a major disadvantage to the person who behaves this way. They are blocking themselves from growing and improving. They unwittingly become their own worst enemy.

If we are open to the ideas of others and accept the fact that none of us are all-knowing, then we will continue to learn and grow. We will get better and wiser. Otherwise we will only remain right where we are without progression.

Keep an open mind and listen. If someone has a new approach or something they want to teach you, pay attention. Listen before you judge. You never know what you might learn.

Just my thoughts for the day. :)

Caroline

 

 

 

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How was your Friday the 13th? Mine started out with me running out the door late. I had a nightmare that made me sleep in. I was taking the dental boards and the instructors would not stop talking during the test. They were so loud. I kept telling them to be quiet but they kept talking. I couldn’t concentrate. I spent one hour just reading one question. I woke up thrilled it was a dream. Those ‘taking an exam’ dreams are the worst. I’d rather have a good old fashioned ‘monster chasing you’ type of dream over an ‘exam’ dream any day. Actually no I wouldn’t. The point is that the nightmare made me run late this morning.

I hit the roads and it was smooth sailing since no one works on Fridays anymore. It seems like Thursday has become the new Friday around here. (Does that make Saturday the new Sunday? Nevermind, too confusing.) My patients sit in the chair on Fridays and I ask them if they are working that day and the response is usually, “Ha ha! Oh no, not today!” Must be nice ;) Anyways, I was almost at the office (5 blocks away) when my smooth sailing hit a grinding halt. Someone had the bright idea to close one lane on K street during rush hour. Suddenly, we were all stuck in traffic. I kept wondering where everyone around me was going since no one works on Fridays. I guess a few people do.

It was a pretty busy day and a few odd things did happen. However, I will not blame anything on Friday the 13th. It’s just another day like the 12th or the 14th. It is silly to have such a superstition. The same reason I think it is ridiculous that many buildings don’t have a 13th floor. Whatever number you call that 14th floor, it doesn’t change that fact that it is really the 13th. Relax, Freddy Krueger is not going to come get you on this special day.

If you have a bad day, don’t blame it on superstition. Blame it on the fact that the day just didn’t come together for you. Maybe it also had a lot to do with your mood and your attitude. I woke up with a not so great mood and because of that, I attracted certain negative situations to me. It wasn’t until I changed my attitude that my day improved. Superstitions will only come true if you give them the power to do so. If you start your day setting yourself up for failure then the day will be just as you imagined, a total flop.

So go ahead, open that umbrella inside, walk under the ladder, step on the crack in the sidewalk (your mother’s back will be fine). Don’t be afraid of numbers. They can’t hurt you, they are just numbers. Someone once gave me a four leaf clover, nothing came of it.  I make my own luck with positive thinking and putting a good vibe out into the universe. Whatever you put out there, comes back at you. So throw some good energy out there- even on what is considered an ‘unlucky day’.

Caroline

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The Basement Cafe

Have you ever faced a challenge and someone has told you to your face that you will not succeed? Did it only make your resolve to succeed stronger?

When I was in dental school I had to take an important exam that could make or break me. Thirty minutes before the test I ate a suspicious chicken salad sandwich in the dungeon basement of the school. As I sat down to take the exam, the nausea and feverish feeling hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew that if I told the intructor that I was ill, they would never believe me. I looked fine and it was too much of a coincidence to fall ill seconds before an exam.

I made a poor choice and decided to sit through the exam anyways. I raced through the test not knowing what answers I was filling in on the scantron. I barely read the questions before answering them. I was even resorting to the old saying, ‘when in doubt, put C’. Bad advice. There were a ton of ‘C’s circled on my doomed scantron. In my entire education I had never raced through an exam. It was a nightmare.

The scores were posted and I recieved a 70%. The head of the dept. pulled me into her dingy office to tell me that if I didn’t get an ‘A’ on the final exam, I would fail the course. (if the math here sounds odd, don’t worry, the logistics of it will hurt your brain. I still don’t understand it) If I failed this class, I would have to stay an extra year and retake this one class. I wouldn’t be allowed to continue to third year. (this class had nothing to do with the practice of dentistry) In a futile effort, I explained to her what had happened to me right before the exam. She did not believe me.

It did not matter that I had excelled in the rest of my classes. This one exam in this one class had the ability to ruin me. I will never forget when that department head looked me in the eyes and told me that people rarely got ‘A’s on this final and that I should prepare myself for an extra year. She did not believe I could do it.

I walked out of her office with tears of anger forming behind my eyes. Tears that I did not let this person see. She did not know me and what I was capable of. I was angry because I felt judged. I decided that I would show her that I would succeed. Then I realized that it was not about her. It was about me. I had to prove it to myself. It was about my belief in myself.

I studied hard and told myself I would get the grade I needed. Failure was not an option. The day of the exam came and the next day the scores were posted. I walked over to the wall knowing the power that the little number on the wall could have over my life.  I closed my eyes, exhaled and looked at the scores. Not only did I get an ‘A’, but I also got the highest grade in the class. Much to the ire of this guy in my class who was used to getting the highest score. Our scores were posted next to our anonymous ID numbers. He looked at the wall and yelled, “Hey! Who beat me?!” I just smiled and said nothing. It wasn’t about him either.

The point is that if someone tells you that you cannot succeed at something and you believe them, then you will fail. It is as simple as that. Choose to believe in yourself instead and understand that another person cannot define you as a failure. Only you can define yourself. If you believe in yourself, then you will win.

The moral of the story? Believe in yourself and never let another person bring you down. Never eat a chicken salad sandwich in a basement of a building served by a guy in a dirty T-shirt. Words to live by. (to this day I cringe when I see chicken salad)..Also, never ever under any circumstances pay a visit to the ‘airport doctor’ in an airport in the Dominican Republic. (I don’t care how sick you feel)…That last one has nothing to do with the post but it’s still great advice. ;)

Caroline

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Dealing With The Bad Apple

Can the negativity of one person infect an entire group? Definitely. Have you ever been in a situation where a group of otherwise positive people changed their behavior to match that of one negative person? It can happen in the workplace, among friends, and just about anywhere.

If you run a business, just one employee who is full of negative energy can bring down an entire office’s morale and affect the business productivity. It is as if that person’s toxic energy attaches itself to other people around them. If it is a business, the only thing you can do is either try to get the employee to change their behavior or remove them completely before the business becomes infected. Whenever an an employee who creates conflict is removed, the entire atmosphere of the office changes and the mood is lifted. It becomes a much healthier environment to work and productivity increases.

When it comes to personal relationships, one antagonistic person in a group of friends can affect everyone in the group. What do you do when there is one person who likes to bring drama to the table and is the cause of many arguments? It is the same situation, they have to either change their behavior (I believe in second chances) or leave. Sounds harsh, but if it is a personal relationship, you have to question why you choose to spend time with them.

Right now you may be thinking about that person at work who gossips about everyone, doesn’t get along with most people and creates a very negative atmosphere making everyone around them uncomfortable. If you are not the boss, what do you do about this person? Try to avoid as much contact as you can. Don’t let them pull you into their drama or gossip.

One thing I have noticed, is that both in the workplace and in personal relationships, negative people naturally get phased out and leave of their own accord. (even if they are not removed) At some point things will come to a head and a decision will have to be made. Having worked in a dental office for the past 9 years, I have seen this happen repeatedly.  Drama at the workplace has created more headaches for me than I care to tell you about. It is always the same exact thing. The bad element is present, creates a negative atmosphere, and eventually either leaves or is removed. The result is a much healthier work situation for everyone else.

It is usually our choice to decide who we spend time with. Why would we choose to share the same space with toxic people, especially if we don’t have to? If a toxic person wants to leave your life, be happy they are going and move on. Life is too short.

 

Caroline

 

 

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Jealousy: The Green Eyed Monster

I don’t like to admit this but I saw a reality show last night. In the show this one girl became so incredibly jealous of literally everyone around her that she began acting out in an abnormal manner. (to put it lightly) It got me thinking about the worst emotion a person can have, jealousy.

Really what is it? Wikipedia defines it as “an emotion and typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values”. Interesting how it states “anticipated loss”. It is as if another person has something you want to have, you somehow fear that you will lose in the process.

Jealousy is a time consuming and wasteful emotion. When a person is jealous of another it means they want what that person has. It could be an object, a lifestyle or even another person. So we see something someone has and we want it, and we get upset because we don’t want them to have it, we feel we deserve it more. What a waste of time and energy. Just thinking about it makes me tired.

I have always said, that I don’t get jealous, I get inspired. Turn jealousy into inspiration and you will turn a negative into a positive. If I see someone has something I would love to have as well, I don’t get angry or jealous. Instead I use that person as my inspiration. I think to myself, ‘they did it, and so can I’. Instead of putting the other person down so you feel better, put the person up on a pedestal. When you lift them up, you can look at them as inspiration to help you reach your goals. If you push them down with ill will, gossip or negative feelings, you will do the same to yourself. When you push yourself down into the ground, you will be no closer to getting the things you want in life.

Put a positive spin on things. If I see someone driving a car I want, I internally praise them for driving such a beautiful car and aspire to do the same one day. I literally feel happy for that person. Turning an ugly emotion like jealousy into something good will change your life. You will be happier and successful in life if you learn to praise others for their achievements instead of feeling jealousy.

They call jealousy the ‘green eyed monster’. Why would you want to be that?

Until tomorrow!!

Caroline

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Today and everyday of your life is an important day. Many of us believe that some days are important and others are just ‘filler’ days that will take us to the next ‘important’ day. Give each day a chance, because every single one is a gift. Take the time to appreciate each day you are given. Don’t waste your energy on negative people, toxic situations and don’t worry your life away. Whatever is going on, worrying about it will not help the situation, it will only make it worse.

Just enjoy your life as much as you can. No matter what is going on, try to make yourself laugh or smile. It is easy to smile when things are going well but it’s a challenge to do it when things aren’t. That is when it is the most important time to do it. It will make you stronger.

We usually get in the habit of treating many of our days as just another day. There is no such thing as just another day. Don’t bring yourself down because it’s Monday and walk around telling people you “have a case of the Mondays” (I’ve been guilty of that too). Ok, it’s Monday, so what? Tomorrow is Tuesday and the next day is Wednesday. Which day will you allow yourself to feel happy? Each day that you are alive and another chance for you to turn that ‘blah’ feeling into a good one and make a difference with your life.

If you think of life as a journey and a chance to feel happy everyday, then you won’t want to waste your time feeling sorry for yourself or let the little things get you down.

The next time you get the urge to have the case of the Mondays or the Wednesday blues or feel down because your workload is too high, traffic is congested, or the dog ate your homework, shake it off. Feel whatever you are feeling then let it go. Move on from it. Don’t harp on it and tell everyone about it. It will only make you feel worse.

It is so incredibly easy to feel down when things get tough. Instead make yourself realize that this day is really a gift. A lot of people don’t have the opportunities you have and would absolutely love to have your problems. If that doesn’t help you, then keep in mind that there are no guarantees in life on the time that we have, so why not enjoy the ride? It will make you a happier and stronger person.

Happy Friday…. or whatever day of the week it is! (does it matter?)

Caroline

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Ever encounter a Whiny Whinerson? A Complainy Complainer? A Debbie Downer? (no offense to anyone named Debbie) This morning on my short elevator ride I encountered one that inspired this post. This lady accompanied me along with her companion on a short elevator ride of 6 floors, but that was enough time for her to complain about at least 9 different things. I was amazed. She sighed and complained because the floor button didn’t light up when pushed. She sighed and complained when the elevator stopped on the 2nd floor and again when it stopped on the 4th. The complaints continued and I was thrilled when I reached my floor. It was like this person had sucked the life out of everyone in the elevator with her negative energy.

Her behavior got me thinking (okay, everything I see gets me thinking) about whether her complaining caused her misery or if the unhappiness caused the complaints. Its very much like the question of what comes first, the chicken or the egg. I think that when we gripe and complain too often, we bring more unhappiness into our lives. I think that we all have good and bad days but when we complain we can make our bad days worse or can turn a perfectly good day into a bad one.

Ever notice that the people you know who are perpetual complainers are the ones who constantly have things happening to them. They always have some type of drama or story to complain about. At first you think, ‘wow this person has the worst luck!’  Do they really? Or are things happening to them that non-complainers would shrug off and move on whereas they harp on it and won’t let it go. Do some people crave something to lament about and subconsciously look for drama?

Some people like to tell you all the things that are wrong with the world and others will talk about the things that are right. This is what differentiates the complainers from the non-complainers. (Don’t get me wrong, we all gripe about something but the perpetual complainers will do it all the time) These are two groups of people who can look at the same situation but see it in opposite ways. It’s like the glass is half full or half empty scenario.

For example, the elevator ride I took this morning, some may gripe about the fact that it stopped at 3 different floors, and the fact that the building was cold. Others may be happy it’s a short building and they don’t have far too travel. Some may just be happy that they woke up that morning and were given another day on earth. It goes back to what I mentioned in an earlier post on keeping your perspective.

Years ago I went on a trip to the Dominican Republic and visited a family who lived in a house with dirt floors, a poorly constucted roof and rooms that were separated with curtains. Despite their conditions, what struck me is that they were so happy. They were content with what they had in life. They looked at their situation and counted all the things that they had. They had food on the table, a roof over their heads, they had jobs, and they had their health. They kept their perspective. I try to remember that family whenever I find myself complaining about my life.

Try to limit your exposure to the perpetual whiners, complainers and bellyachers….if you can. If you are this person that others must avoid, you can easily change your complaining ways by changing your perspective on things.

I catch myself complaining and I try to stop myself before I continue. Today I started to complain about how cold it was outside but quickly reminded myself that we really didn’t have a winter this year and I should be happy we didn’t get the snow they forecasted. You can stop yourself by remembering the details. It also helps to keep in mind all of the people who may not have what you have and would love to have your problems instead of theirs. Keep your perspective and you will be a lot happier.

 

Happy Monday!

Caroline

 

 

 

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What Do You Mean You Can’t??

The other day I heard someone say, “oh we can’t do that! We are not good enough!” Whenever I hear someone say something like that, it really makes my blood boil. The phrase, “I can’t” followed by what that person believes they are incapable of, infuriates me. It makes me want to shake that person for saying such a thing about him or herself. They are setting themselves up for failure. If you honestly believe you can’t do something or you are not good enough, then that is who you will be, someone who is not good enough. You end up defining yourself as someone who is lacking and because of your definition, you will fail.

I think people use the phrase ‘I can’t’ as somewhat of a cop out. If they just dismiss themselves as someone who is incapable of doing whatever they are afraid of then they don’t have to bother trying. It’s a form of laziness. If you say you can’t learn how to do something or can’t be someone that you want to be, then you simply won’t be able to do it. You will only have yourself to blame.

Change your thinking. Stop the self defeating thoughts. If you decide that you can do something, then in the end you will succeed. If you throw away your negative thinking and replace it with a healthy attitude, then you will triumph.

I was raised to believe that I could do anything I wanted as long as I believed in myself and was willing to work at it. Everything I have ever achieved in my life has never ever come easy, but I succeeded because I never allowed the word ‘I can’t’ in my vocabulary. Just saying it seems unnatural to me and gives me a sick feeling in my stomach. Train yourself to eliminate ‘I can’t’ from your language. Eventually it will make you cringe just to say it because by then it goes against everything you believe.

Next time you have the urge to say ‘I can’t', stop yourself and replace it with, ‘I can and I will”. Just shifting your thinking will change your life dramatically.

Happy Saturday!

Caroline

 

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Say It Louder, I Can’t Hear You

 

“Shhhhhhhh!”, “Don’t speak until you are spoken to” and my personal favorite, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all”. Those things were often said to children but for many of us (especially women) it has become ingrained and controls what we say and do even as adults.

I think you should say whatever you need to say. Get it out there. I’m not saying that you should say horrible things to people whenever you want. No, I mean if you have an opinion, you should voice it.

Let people know who you are and what you stand for. Let them know that you are present. Don’t be a pushover. Have an opinion.

Most women have been taught to be nice, pleasant and to let others voice their opinions. That need to be ’nice’ can get in the way when they have an opinion that goes against another’s. It’s a hurdle women sometimes have to jump over in order to express themselves.

The truth is, that until you let others know how you feel  then they will never really know you. They will have only gotten to know a small fraction of who you are.

The fear of rejection from others is a strong deterrent for people to keep their views to themselves. Some may think they will alienate others if their views are different from those around them. It’s like that old familiar peer pressure that carries itself into adulthood.

I realized one day that almost all of the people I surround myself with are people (men and women) with very strong personalities and vocal opinions. I like it this way. As someone who has often struggled with speaking out, they are good role models for me.

If you are a person who has a hard time speaking up and sharing your views, try to surround yourself with strong personalities. They can be a good influence on you. It’s good to be challenged by others because it forces you to make your voice heard too. In the end, your true friends will still be your friends even if they don’t share your views.

Do you want to be the person who lets everyone else around them be heard or do you want to let your own voice be heard loud and clear as well? The choice is yours.

 

The only exception to this entire post is if you encounter that man who works at the Sistine Chapel and he tells you to “shhhhhhh!!!!!!” and then says “no photos in sistine chapel!!!!!!!!!!!” It would be wise to listen to him. I have never seen anyone shush an entire room full of people (especially loud tourists) as well as he did. In fact, I dedicate this post to him. He was a short Italian man with a loud “shhhhh!” that commanded an entire room. If you dared take a photo of the ceiling, he would throw you out faster than you can say ‘Michelangelo’. Now that’s a man with an opinion.

Happy Sunday!

Caroline

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