In the spirit of spring cleaning and letting go of the things that no longer serve us, I couldn't help but daydream about getting rid of some of the intangible items too. You know, all those things that could use the proverbial boot that no soap and water solution could dissolve. Negativity, unwelcomed drama and the green-eyed monster also known as envy.
The feelings of envy tend to cause unfair mental comparisons and self-shrinking when you don’t size up. On the flip side, if you’re the one catching the ‘green mean’ you’ll notice a seemingly undeserved resentment from the other: whether openly or via gossip, simply resulting from someone choking on the ‘sour grapes’ of another’s triumphs. Oftentimes it’s siblings fighting for the doting attention of their parents or a best friend in school. But, make no mistake. Adults also find themselves in the throes of negativity, and we cannot share a lesson that we ourselves aren’t ready to lead by example.
Whether at school, in sports, with siblings or self, we face countless opportunities for competition. For those who are more competitive in nature, sometimes it’s necessary to work a little harder towards good sportsmanship! I’ve been on the receiving end of the green eyed monster, but it takes one to know one, so when those negative vibes hit my tribe, here are the ‘green diffusers’ we always keep in mind:
1. Take Nothing Personally
Let’s face it. Some folks out there just operate a little differently. And unless we’ve walked in their shoes, we don’t know what battle they might be facing on the inside. A good friend once told me “Hurting people hurt people.” And sometimes all they’re looking for is a guest of honor to their very own pity party. My suggestion: Ignore. And don’t let it rob you from basking in the glow of your own hard-earned joy.
2. When They Go Low, You Go High.
Like our gracious and former First Lady Michelle Obama said, you can’t stoop to the level of those who wish ill on you with more ill. Bad vibes are much like a flu virus and if you’re not properly ‘immunized’ you can catch it. The best way to handle? Take the daggers with a smile, and wish your naysayers well. Forgiveness is the magical antidote. Remember, you can’t fly high with the eagles, when you’re hanging out with the turkeys on the ground!
3. Keeping Perspective
It’s true that many times in life our greatest failures actually turn out to yield our deepest lessons and thus wildest successes. When someone else seems to snatch what we want like that basketball championship, spelling bee or lead role in the play, it may initially seem like all that hard work was for nothing. But it’s so important to remember that persistence is the key and there will be another chance to rise and shine - with even more determination than before.
4. Practice The Law Of Attraction
The Law Of Attraction states that you can’t possibly attract what you feel you don’t already possess. Have you ever tried it? When someone else experiences successes, jump up and down and holler for joy as if you yourself were getting/experiencing these things. It’s a universal law that activates, one that states what you put out will inevitably come back around to you. The best way to use this one with the kiddos, is to treat it as a challenge… “The next time so and so wins, I challenge you to smile and say congratulations.”
5. Substitution Therapy
What better way to erase negative feelings, than by doing something you love?! Listen to your fave music, move your body with dance or sports, write a funny poem, talk to a friend. Or, simply smile. My yoga instructor recently told me that no matter how fake or genuine your smile, it still sends endorphins to the brain, even for just that moment!
6. Remember The Big Picture
Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. In the grand scheme of life, and all that we’ve been given – the earth and all its magic, the special gifts of family and friendship, and the opportunity to be whatever we can dream – do we really want to spend our precious time focusing on the things we cannot control? What we can control is being a digital upstander and real time face to face ambassador of kindness. Ask yourself and ask your child who do you want to be in life and online? Do you want to participate in cyber bullying and do you know how damaging that can be? Kindness triumphs ALWAYS! At the end of the day, compassion is key. The most important thing to remember is to honor and validate feelings - whether your own, or your child’s. If something really hurts, then it’s vital to acknowledge the pain and move on. And always keep a good sense of humor. You have to laugh through some of this stuff as you would a good comedy or outlandish drama. You are the star of your own life after all, and ultimately you get to decide who plays a part and who doesn’t. If you don’t like the direction of the storyline, you actually have the power to change the script!
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