A Playful Heart Builds Equity

Our ability to reach unity and diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.

Mahatma Gandhi

When I was a child, my favorite doll was Barbie. She was so cool. She had a plane, a convertible, and a camper. My best friend, Darrin, played the part of Ken, my assistant.

Darrin and I would play for hours and hours, taking on adventures, jet setting around the world and flying down the street in the convertible. There was nothing that we could not do and accomplish.

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Five Ways to Become a Continuous Learner

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

Not So Long Ago…

I grew up with a rotary phone, a long cord, and an endless struggle with my parents and brother on who gets to use the phone and for how long.

By the time I got to college, we had this thing called a laptop that we had to use.

It was the size of a suitcase, heavy as a 50lb weight and closed shut like a clam.

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Five ways to give yourself a break

Sometimes you gotta take a break from all the noise to appreciate the beauty of silence.

Robert Tew

Why?

I started my blog for many reasons. I love to write, I want to help others, I want to share my imperfect life as a way to show imperfection is more than ok, and it also renews my positivity.

Acknowledging when you need to pause

As I began to transition out of a company I have worked at for over 23 years, and started another job at a new company, I had to step back for a few weeks until I could find my new cadence.

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10 Ways to Shine Brightly!

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”

Helen Keller

Starting to Shine…

When I started putting out daily positive messages and starting this blog, I was clear in my intent, and that was to uplift those around me in any way I could.

I was constantly barraged with negativity, in the news, my social channels, and at work. The only peace I seemed to have was at home, where I refused to let negativity reside.

One day, as I was pondering how I was managing to feed positivity at home but not anywhere else, I realized that I had very different boundaries and expectations.

It was as if the only thing I could control was my home life, and everything else was a wasteland of negativity. It bandied about without a care, like some amorphous monster you battled daily.

As I began, it was clear to me that every day, in addition to positivity, I should remind people to shine brightly! To cast off the dullness of life and reconnect with their inner sparkles. Some may think the idea of internal sparkles a bit crackers, but if you look deep, it is there. It wants to be fed, and it wants to blaze forward.

Believing…

I was so worn down by negativity; I honestly wasn’t sure I could make a difference. But I knew that my core wiring was optimistic, positive, and affirming. I had to try, and the first step was believing it to be true before it ever was.

I visualized a positive impact. I awoke with positive energy, and the messages were there. It was just welling up waiting to be put to a post. It was quite remarkable.

I kept at it, day after day, and slowly, people started mentioning that they had seen one of my posts and how it positively started their day. It was so affirming and humbling to hear, and see the positive impact that I had dreamed about making, be realized.

10 Ways to Shining Brightly…

  1. Decide to be positive and stick to it. Be mindful and listen to your self-talk and the talk of others. If you are negative, consciously correct yourself and redirect to positive. It will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your inner monologue will be quite stilted. “This is the worst,” Wait Full Stop reframe, “this could be an interesting direction.”
  2. Disconnect, unfollow, banish all negativity on your social media channels. This includes: News that is biased, negative people, body shaming, people that complain as their craft… you get the point. For every 1 you unfollow, choose two positive topics or people to follow. This will improve your ratio of positivity.
  3. Set clear expectations with your family and friends. We all have that one person that if they saw a beautiful bouquet, they would say something like, “shame to waste the money on what is only going to die.” Takes the stuffing right out of you. PURGE the negative people from your life
  4. Set clear expectations at work. We all have those negative co-workers that love to complain, gossip, and stand about in a gaggle of toxicity. They will work hard to pull you in. You want to be polite and fit in, so you join in and then feel horrible after 3 minutes. ESCAPE at all costs!! The damage to your psyche is not worth it. Find the positive group, they are out there, but albeit in a smaller group.
  5. Smile! It is very simple; when you smile, you feel better; those around you feel better and more positive energy will be created.
  6. Say Thank You. Appreciate everyone’s contribution and find ways to say thank you and well done. Again it is fuel for positivity!
  7. Affirm others. Everyone likes to feel valued for what they do. In addition to thank you, find ways to boost others up with authentic feedback. “Mary, that was such a great presentation. I can tell how hard you worked on it, and I appreciate the effort”. I was reminded recently of the concept to fill other people’s buckets. It is so simple and conveys so much.
  8. Celebrate. Much like thank you and affirmation, celebrate success. Small wins are enormous wins on the way to building the momentum needed for a massive win. It will catch on. One day I told a team #woohoo for getting a difficult project task completed. It wasn’t the largest, but it was the first small win. It stuck, and it became a fun acknowledgment, and something teams would want to hear.
  9. Radiate Positivity. The more positive you are, the more positive everything you do will be surrounded by positivity.
  10. Kindness. Choose to be kind in all that you do and say. What we say, how we say it, and the way we act impact others lives. Impact them with kindness.

I want to dig a little deeper into #7 Affirmation and the notion of filling buckets. When I learned this concept, it was focused on filling others buckets with positivity, encouragement, and kindness. And the more you filled the bucket, the sooner it would overflow and spill back onto others and even yourself.

In a business setting, it can be hard to fathom a concept like that, because of the need to achieve, hit high goals, and navigate office politics. However, you can do all that and have a higher chance of success if you look for ways to lift others up and build thriving teams and relationships.

Everyone wants to be positively encouraged in some way.

Final Thoughts

So much of our lives are influenced by the choices we make and the filters we use to see those choices.

It is a choice to shine brightly every day because, in that, you are choosing not to be negative. It is a choice to lift others.

Sometimes the most seemingly innocuous things become the ones that stick. I never thought Shine Brightly would become my tagline so many months ago, as I typed it for the first time. I just felt right. But as I said my goodbyes to my old job in a post, so many people posted a comment with “continue to shine brightly.”

Don’t only stand in the sun, create the bright warmth that sunlight brings and Shine Brightly!

Samantha

Transformation is a Journey

“Transformation isn’t sweet and bright. It’s a dark and murky, painful pushing. An unraveling of the untruths you’ve carried in your body. A practice in facing your own created demons. A complete uprooting, before becoming.”

Victoria Erickson

The Awakening…

It wasn’t too long ago, that I lost my sight for where I wanted to go in my career. It was so unlike me as my goals had always been clear and my journey laid out in front of me.

But my journey became clouded as I started to doubt myself, doubt my capabilities and doubt my capacity to lead and grow. I also let negativity seep in and began to believe what some people, who did not have my best intent in mind, were saying to me about my limitations or their perception of me.

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