It’s another first of the month (how is it already August?!) which tends to bring on a new “challenge” for me. In June, I experimented with something different. I focused on my mind instead of my body and tried for a No Negative June.
The month was eyeopening but towards the end of it, I fell off of my bike and didn’t have the chance to wrap it up the way I wanted to. I thought about just shelving it. The month was over and I had other posts to write (like about our trip to Mexico and Solvang). Was there a point in circling back to the topic?
After some debating, I’ve decided it is. Particularly because I don’t want my non-negativity efforts limited to one month. I would like to strive for positivity everyday. But of course, I will always have run ins with negativity; so it is important to remind myself – over and over again – that the visits must remain as short as I can possibly make them.
You see, negativity is so easy. I’ve noticed how go-to gossip and complaining are (for me and likely many others) in conversation. To talk trash or gossip can easily become our social crutch when we feel we don’t have anything to say or are just getting to know someone. It takes more effort and thought to talk about something deeper than just complaining.
I still fall into this trap even after my No Negativity June. When I’m stuck in an awkward silence, I feel myself scrambling for a bit of recent gossip or a complaint forming on the tip of my tongue. It’s far harder to think about more engaging topics than complaining about my bad workday or what the latest celebrity scandal is.
In the end though, I realize these conversations don’t add much value to my life or relationships. (Of course it is fine to vent every once in a while and I think it’s normal to be interested in public figures misbehaving – or, for me – who is having a baby or getting married; but these interactions should be light and sparse. You want these interactions to be like appetizers, not an everyday thing but an occasional addition to your meal.) I want conversations that are both positive and that make me think harder or in new, brighter ways. I want depth and substance. I want them to be a reflection of my values and who I want to be.
It was so effective to be conscious of this in June and I am really trying to maintain mindfulness here. It is important that my conversations – the stories I tell, the jokes I laugh at – and the information I absorb – the people I engage with, the news I read – serve me well.
Here is to another day, month, year of positivity! (And a 10 day reset starting today where I will be eating as healthfully as I can and won’t be drinking alcohol.)