Yesterday at church, I was totally inspired and motivated. I loved every minute of the three hours... to be honest, I think three hours was a bit much for Mr O - but me - I was in my element...
We had about an hour of pure singing and worship, which really just lifted my spirit and properly got me warmed up for connecting with God and my fellow-believers. I was ready to receive the message and my heart was wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide open - it really was great.
The message from our Pastor was 'be positive'... I know its a simple message really, but when its delivered with power and belief, you actually believe it and take it as Gospel... Our Pastor explained to us that can't just get up one day and win a 400-metre race - you have to train - and train hard! I felt quite smug at this point because I definitely fall into the 'work hard...' camp! He explained that if you want to succeed, you have to arrive early and leave late - basically, you have to put the effort in. A good starting point for this is to have a plan A. Sure, Plan A might fail (see many many previous posts from me for evidence), but, if Plan A fails, there is always Plan B...
if Plan B fails, then there is always Plan C. If that fails, this doesn't make it time to fall to the ground in a heap (our Pastor demonstrated this!), wailing that the Lord has forsaken you.. .heck no he hasn't, he gave us the whole frigging alphabet (OK, our Pastor didn't say 'frigging'!)... we have all the letters up until 'Z'; failing Plan Z, we can create Plan double A! Now, in fairness, if I reached the point where Plan C failed, I'd probably develop a new Plan and call it Plan A2, for no other reason than because I have an attitude about me which screams 'I refuse to accept defeat'.... It's not necessarily a healthy attitude, but we can deal with that in another post! : )
So, anyhow, our Pastor went on to tell us how in life, the negative things seem to jump out at us at every turn. We don't even try to find negative things, they're just there, annoyingly surfacing left right and centre.... but positive things, well sometimes we have to rack our brains to think of them. The problem with negativity is that is stifles creativity and innovation. This is so true. So true, I feel that I should say it again:
Negativity stifles creativity and innovation.
This one sentence screamed out at me louder than anything else our Pastor said yesterday. It got me because I often say 'my creativity has been stifled by academia'... I wonder now though, has my creativity been stifled by my negativity. Although, I don't regard myself as negative, I (like everyone) have my moments... today, I started thinking, what if I spent more time thinking about the positive things and actually cancelling out negative things in my life. Seriously. What if for every negative thought/action, I cancelled it with a positive?! Does it work like that? Do thoughts and actions work like that? I don't know...but I wanna find out... it can't hurt, right?
So, back to the point of my post... each day I plan to consciously think of positive things in my life. My blog is called 'planning, praying, playing', so it wouldn't be fun for me unless I zapped the fun out of it by creating 'rules' and a plan!!).. So, my rules are:
1) I can't repeat the same positive thing on more than one day
2) It has to be something that I properly, truly and consciously feel thankful for or positive about on that day
3) I have to do this for at least 40 days. Why 40, well Goliath came for 40 days before David managed to kill him... Jesus fasted for 40 days....Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days and Noah waited 40 days before opening the window of his ark... sure the numbers 3, and 12 are also significant, but 40 just seems like it will require more effort... surely, the more I put into this little task of mine, the more I get out of it.
So, with that - my first thing to be positive and thankful about is:
Today, I received a book sent to our daughter by a loving friend of ours. Less than a week ago, said friend and I spoke on the phone (the first time in a while) and I told her about how Little Miss O thinks that every birthday is her birthday. This reminded her of a book that she read as a child 'Too much Birthday'. We laughed and carried on our conversation. Today, we got back from work and found this book lying on the doormat. Said friend had ordered the book for Little Miss O and had it delivered straight from Amazon. It only occurred to me that said friend had texted me a few days ago to 'confirm' my address so that she could update her address book. So, in short, I am thankful for my dear friend 'M.D' : ) She is from India, Hong Kong and now Cardiff.. we met in the North East of England and for her, I am truly thankful. In her presence, I feel positive and every time we speak, she brightens my mood. I feel that 'M.D' is very worthy of being my reason to feel thankful and positive today... thank you M.D - here's sending much love, sunshine and positivity your way sweets!!!!
Sunshine, light and positivity - for 40 days (and maybe for always...let's see how this goes...)