Spread the Light Challenge – Step 1: Positivity Begins Inside

Spread the Light Challenge – Step 1: Positivity Begins Inside

I am so excited to launch the Spread the Llght Challenge, desgined to encourage positivity, optimism and hope across this globe. However, before we can start spreading, we need to build a capacity for Positivity within our own selves first. And the first step in that is to take a good look inward and what your level of optimism is. To do that, try my simple test.

I did this test myself and found it quite enlightening, As we go through our day to day activities, we sort of speak to or give feedback to ourselves unconciously. In addition — and this may prove to be elevated in our pandemic circumstances — you get a lot of cues from family members, colleagues or friends that you interact with (whether on the phone, over Zoom or in person) every day. Unfortunately our human nature defaults towards disssenting comments rather than those of affirmation. I would spill something and instantly hear myself “You’re such a clutz.” Or my husband would complain about something misplaced and all eyes would turn to me. This activity on both my part as well as those of others instantly gave me of feeling of low self-esteem of low self-worth and of all things, guilt.

I’m a firm believer that negativity manifests itself within our bodies and is often telling within our chakras of what specific emotional area we struggle with most (more on that later).

So, back to the test. Pick a time period that works for you — it can be 8 hours (at least one full day of waking time), it could be two days or even a week. Simply find a pad or something you can write on throughout the testing period and either carry it with you or place it somewhere that it is easily accessible throughout the day. Then, prepare yourself to start.

Part 1: Really pay attention to yourself, your body and your reactions to things. As you go about your day, really listen to what you are saying to yourself. Every time you have that moment where maybe you are aggravated or frustrated with something — from dropping a spoon, erasing a file, or simply misplacing a pen, literally whatever makes you feel flustered – listen to what you are telling yourself. Find your pen, write down the date and time and just jot down what happened, both physically and emotionally in that moment.

Part 2: Just like you are observing your own interactions with yourself, take it to your outer world — your peers. As you go about your day, notice those moments that make you uncomfortable, fearful, guilty, or cause feelings of unworthiness. An example could be someone complaining about a dish that isn’t clean enough or possibly details that you left off of an email, turning in a project late, forgetting to order supplies, or misplacing the keys to the car. When these moments happen, quickly log it onto your notepad — again noting both physical and emotional responses. (Note: Be sure not to inform your peers about this project as it may unconciously cause them to alter their natural behaviors, creating an unauthentic result.)

Keep this going for the full time that you’ve committed to yourself for completion. When done, you can either go back and review your notes and process your findings personally and then move to Step 2, Or you can skip to Step 2 and then review both results together.

Spread the Light Challenge – Step 2: Positivity Begins Inside

Once you’ve completed Step 1 (Missed Step 1? Click here), it’s time for Step 2. In that step, we got a brief sample of our Negatvity intake. For Step 2, we’re going to follow the same guidelines, but this time we are going to note the positive feedback we absorb on a regular basis.

Grab the notepad you used for Step 1. Try to keep it with you at all times or place it somewhere that is easily accessible throughout your day. Pick the same time period for this portion of the test as you used for Step 1 and again, do not inform your peers about your research.

Part 1: Really pay attention to yourself, your body and your reactions to things. As you go about your day, really listen to what you are saying to yourself. Every time you have that moment where maybe you are joyous or excited or proud about something — from well-received dish, creative artwork, finding that misplaced pen, literally whatever makes you feel joy – listen to what you are telling yourself. Find your pen, write down the date and time and just jot down what happened, both physically and emotionally in that moment.

Part 2: Just like you are observing your own interactions with yourself, take it to your outer world — your peers. As you go about your day, notice those moments that make you comfortable, feeling “in your zone” or create feelings of self worth. An example could be someone acknowledging your creativity, a well-written email, turning in a project early, fixing the printer, or finding the keys to the car. When these moments happen, quickly log it onto your notepad — again noting both physical and emotional responses. (Note: Again, be sure NOT to inform your peers about this project as it may unconciously cause them to alter their natural behaviors, creating an unauthentic result.)

Keep this going for the full time that you’ve committed to yourself for completion. When done, go back and review your notes for Step 1 and Step 2. What does the information say. Are you seeing more Negative feedback or Positive feedback? And is it coming mostly from you or from others?

Process your findings both mentally and spiritually. When ready, move to Step 3.

Spread the Light Challenge – Step 3: Positivity Begins Inside

Following your self evaluation from Step 1 and Step 2, you can now move forward to action — spreading the light within yourself. No matter what level of unconcious negativity you may have discovered in the two previous exercise, there is always room for improvement. We as humans can always use a little boost to move us towards optimism, to hope, to love and light. To spread the light to others, you start with yourself. And, you deserve it!

For this portion of the exercise, the time commitment isn’t predesinted. It’s really a habit that you will need to develop within your own self.

Part 1: Because you’ve practiced it in Step 1 and Step 2, you’re already paying more attention to your behaviors, your reactions, your emotions. Now, it’s time to take this awakening, and make change within yourself. As you go through your day, pay attention to those moments of frustration, guilt, embarassment. More importantly, listen to that voice inside of you that turns that moment into that ugly feeling inside. At the second you hear it or feel it, take a breath — take a few breaths, have a 30 second meditation if you will where you concentrate on just your breath coming in and going out. Come back from that moment and allow yourself to let it go. Whatever it is, it’s already in the past and you are in the now. And if that’s all you do, then you’ve made a step towards the light, because you’re not carrying that baggage.

As you practice this you’re going to get better and better at it — like learning a great habit. While doing this throughout your day, you might want to look back at your notepad. Find examples of things that came up and rethink that reaction. Rather than calling yourself a clutz, what would have been a better, more joyous response? “I love my quirks, they make me who I am!” might be an option. How much better does that feel?

You can also ask yourself the question, “What can I learn from this?” “What is the opportunity here?” You’re your own roommate, sharing the space known as your body. Be kind and work with yourself. You are already amazing. Life is amazing. This tweak could make you amazing-er!! And both roomates will come away happy. So, when you drive yourself crazy looking for the keys everyday, consider improving your experience by creating a space where you keep them. That way the girl that lost them and the girl that is annoyed by you losing them have come up with a great compromise. You would do it for someone else, why not do it for you too?

Part 2: Just like our previous two exercises, we are now going to take this to your outside influencers. This one is a little tougher to work with because different people react differently. So, here’s where you let them know about your observations. Let them know you are part of the Spread the Light Challenge. Talk to them about the words spoken, how they made you feel and try to work towards a better conversation in your everyday dealings. Don’t make them feel guilty for the interactions — as that can lead to negativity. They may have made comments in jest not realizing they can leave unseen wounds. Simply inform and discuss how we could all be a little kinder to each other.

After incorporating this practice in your world for a week or so, get back to your notepad and journal about your experiences: any changes you’ve seen within yourself and/or changes that you’ve seen with others. Do you feel lighter and brighter?

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