Grab a piece of paper and at the top left hand side write “negatives” (or an equally descriptive negative word that is relevant to you like sad, bad, depressing, s#@t things etc) and on the top right side write the word “positives” (or an equally descriptive positive word etc).
Now draw 3 see-saws (teeter-totters depending where you are from) under each other in this order
1) left down, right up /
2) balanced or even —-
3)Left up, right down .
Now you can get really creative - write next to the first one “STRUGGLING” and load up that left hand side of the see-saw with all the stuff that is bringing you down (write words, draw pictures or symbols ). So once you’ve loaded up that side I want you to think if there is anything good going on in your life and write or draw that on the right side. For the purposes of this little exercise, its ok either way if there is or isn’t good stuff you can identify. So what you should have now is a picture of how you feel so weighed down by all the heavy bad stuff in YOUR life. It makes you wonder how you even get out of bed each day, doesn’t it ?!?
Well now the 2nd See-Saw is all about realising that despite our heavy loads and challenges, we do “get through” each day, only just sometimes, but we do ! So even though we don’t notice it and certainly can’t identify all of it, there are things, good things, happening in our lives that help balance out the bad so we can SURVIVE. So now, redraw, rewrite or transfer all that negative stuff onto the left hand side of the balanced see-saw, because we can’t pretend it’s not there. You are “actually surviving” DESPITE the challenges in your life. Now think about what balances out that bad stuff. The good stuff can be as simple as that there is family/friends/people around you (they might be annoying, but they are there), that the sun rises and sets each day, that you can lose yourself online looking at things and drawing from other’s positive energy, interacting on social media, reading a book, watching a funny TV show, someone smiled at you, you patted a dog… the list can go on and on and on. But don’t worry if you can’t identify anything specific, just accept that it must be there, simply because you survive to see the sun rising and setting each day. So add to the right side the things you can identify, or just add a whole lot of question marks on that side to acknowledge that there’s “something” positive there. Then,before we move on, I want you to say to yourself, “WOW, even though it feels like I am struggling, I am actually surviving, and now I can see that I can make a difference in my own life. I can do something to tip the balance so there is more good than bad in my life. I can do this….bit by bit.”
Now the really fun bit, stage 3, planning, imagining, choosing, thinking, controlling, experiencing and living life. You can plan/choose as many things as you like, but you just need at least one to start. Firstly, you need to again transfer all that bad stuff onto see-saw 3, but before you do, think about whether there is any of it that you couldn’t be bothered dragging along with you at the moment. For each of the things that bring you down ask yourself ” can I do something about this? does worrying about it today help ? Should I accept that it is something I can’t change ? Is it worth all the headspace I give it ?” Think about whether you want to boot it off the see-saw and just know that it is there. Sometimes it’s a problem or issue that we can move to the centre of the see-saw so it is still there, but not weighing down your life so much (remember when you were little how a 3rd child could play on the see-saw with you if they sat in the middle so that their weight didn’t make either side unbalanced). Or think about whether you leave it on the negative side but automatically negate it by thinking about it in a positive. An example of this would be when you feel loaded down by hearing all your friends problems. Turn this into a positive by acknowledging the positivity you are bringing into their day (and yours) by being that friend that listens.
So last but not least, what are you going to add into your day to make it more positive. Some ideas are little things like:- smlle at 3 strangers, smile at 3 friends, smile at 3 “not friends”,notice as many things that are blue (or pink or any other colour for that matter) during the day, notice when a friend laughs, make a friend laugh, enjoy the sunshine, enjoy watching the rain, be fascinated by a raindrop running down the window, text a friend or relative, enjoy the taste of your breakfast/lunch/snack etc, count how many birds you see, shave your legs just so you can enjoy feeling how smooth they are., notice smells, go for a walk, pat the dog, brush the dog, make your window sparkle clean, choose a dvd for the weekend, plan, dream, imagine, write a list, watch the sunset, set your alarm early, rearrange your shoes in the cupboard, rearrange your bedroom, confuse your sibling by doing something nice for them, look through old photos, say thankyou, ask someone if they are ok, have a bubble bath…….
So add that to the right side of the seesaw and know that you are in control and that today you have a plan and you are going to make sure the good outweighs the bad !! Write it in your phone or on a note to remind you. Be CURIOUS about the day ahead of you, not worried, be EXCITED to in even a small way know that you are in control and you can choose to EXPERIENCE and LIVE LIFE even just a little bit at a time !! Today can be the first of many days of change and happiness.
Love and light,