Monday, February 20, 2012

Changing My Attitutde

I listened to a TED talk on creating lasting positive changes. The method involved 21 days of doing several things:
1) Make a list of 3 things you are grateful for each day. They have to be three new things each day.
2) Journal about a positive experience
3) Exercise
4) Meditate
5) Perform random (or conscious, whichever you prefer) acts of kindness, such as sending a positive email to someone in your social network.

Now, as a baseline, I think I am generally a pretty optimistic person - except that lately I have been plagued by self-doubt. That happens when you have been under-employed for a long time - and I have been. I am currently substitute teaching up to 4 days a week and I have a regular job on Wednesdays for 7.2 hours at $16 per hour. I think I am a good sub, but it is a tough job, and there is little chance for much positive feedback. Occasionally, I get comments from teachers I have worked for, but it is pretty rare.

The last two full time jobs I had, I had to resign - one due to health reasons and both because the kids were pretty awful at those schools. The full time job prior to that I also resigned, but that was due to the fact that the funding for the gifted program that I ran was cancelled and I didn't want to do any of the other jobs that were offered to me in that district.

So, in spite of the fact that I think I do a good job, I don't have a good job and it does get a bit depressing. Thus, this effort to focus on positive change.

1) 3 things I am grateful for: I am grateful that my mother made it through surgery OK; I am grateful that I could talk about it at my music lesson; I am grateful for a cat peacefully sleeping next to me right now.

2) Positive experience - in a day filled with anxiety, I guess one positive experience was the support I got from the secretary at my dentist's. She offered to fax a document I needed to send and was overall very helpful to me. People can be really great when you reach out to them.

3) Exercise - I swam 48 lengths of the pool. I actually count my laps in base 12, so I really swam 40(12) lengths of the pool.

4) Meditation - I am not sure how to do this. I think it is similar to how I get myself to sleep. I will find out more about meditation tomorrow.

5) Acts of Kindness - ah, well, there's always tomorrow. An act of kindness was given to me, though. A lady at the pool said that my swimming suit was perfect for me. I am too fat, but it is nice that someone said that the suit I wear looked good on me.

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