positivity

the life and times of a pineapple

image found on Pinterest - unsure of original source. 

image found on Pinterest - unsure of original source. 

I'm going to tell you a secret here. I am a curious person by nature. I like to understand how things work and why they happen. That being said, I have never in my life wondered where the pineapple came from. 

what?

I know, crazy, right? How in the world could I not have wondered about where a pineapple. The gall. I've just been wandering around eating this delicious fruit with no thought into its illustrious history. All of the sudden, however, I was noticing pineapples everywhere. Apparently, the pineapple is the new cool thing. I see them on socks, dishes and according to one of the millenials who work for me there is even a style of music called tropical pineapple house. (okay maybe it is just tropical house, I don't really know but for some reason I think it has something to do with actual pineapples...but maybe that is a sign of me not being cool enough to know, oh well.) 

Who knew?

It is very had to ignore pineapples right now. Then, a couple of weeks ago I was out hunting at a local neighborhood garage sale and I came across the most EPIC find. Oh yeah, I found a solid brass pineapple door knocker. I jumped at the chance to make the $2.50 purchase, I mean I am a new first time homeowner and this seemed like a pretty epic score.  As I drove home, gloating over my purchase I felt like I needed to know the story.

First of all, pineapples originally come from Brazil & Paraguay. It became associated with places like the Caribbean after hundreds of years of Indian migration. The migration was the result of some obvious reasons, not the least of which, pineapple is delicious. Duh! But back then, that deliciousness was a pretty rare thing. Sugar and fresh fruits and vegetable basically cost a fortune so only the peeps with the biggest pocketbooks had access to this delectable treat.  It was in part because of this that pineapples started to be given as gifts as a symbol of friendship, generosity and hospitality. 

oh yea, you read that right, my address IS in fact 12345 because it isn't just my pineapple knocker that is awesome.

oh yea, you read that right, my address IS in fact 12345 because it isn't just my pineapple knocker that is awesome.

And this is what bring us today. Yes, I did just skip over a whole long part of history to jump on in to modern day and the purchase of my dope door knocker.

When I bought my first home a few months ago I knew that I wanted to make it a real representation of me and my personality. My hope is that someone would walk in the door and instantly know it was "Dawne's home". If they had never met me before, they would get a good sense of who I was, good bad or indifferent.

Come on in...

Come on in...

That is why I am so excited about this pineapple door knocker. Basically it is announcing to all who enter my home that this is a place for friendship and generosity and all are welcome. It says...

"hey world, it's pretty hospitable in this joint."

I get it. It's just a door knocker and oh man, trust me when I say I have a long way to go to making this, my first home, the home I want it to be. But promoting friendship, generosity and hospitality is not a bad place to start if you ask me.

What does your home say about you?

conquering negative bias

I pride myself on being a curator of positive content both online and off. It is for this reason that I like to share and promote other people, brands and organizations that are doing the same.

Let's face it, the world seems pretty hell bent on shouting out the negative and only whispering the positive. With the intrusion of social media and internet, this type of negativity becomes easier to spread and it spreads fast. So how do we keep our head up and see all of the amazing things that are happening around us. Because I am here to tell you,

"THEY ARE HAPPENING!"

So why do we shout negativity so loud? My original assumption is that we are hardwired to be negative. And guess what? It is true. During my research I discovered something that researchers call the "negative bias". Turns out we are hardwired for negativity. Our brains actually respond to negative situations  as much as three times more than positive situations. A lot of it had to do with the fact that we had to respond to negative stimuli in a quicker way in order to stay alive. It was the ability to respond to negativity that kept our ancestors positively alive. So if we have evolved in other areas why not in this one?

I could not find a specific answer to this in my research but in reading how to tackle it I think the answer is related to the fact that we respond to the negative bias instead of trying to correct for it.  We accept negativity in our lives and don't demand something more productive. We glorify being busy, dismissive, aloof and sarcasm, all of which actually begat negativity, Why do we think this is so cool?

The other thing that isn't working in our favor is the fact that we think everything is equal, that we respond to emotions the same but we don't. As I mentioned it takes 3x the amount of positivity to impact us. So how do we keep the negative out and invite the positive in?

Research gives a few options that I am going to simplify for us all.

Pay attention to positive things. Did you read a feel good story on your Facebook feed? Did you just read the first paragraph or did you read the whole story? 

We can register negativity right away, which makes sense because feeling bad sucks. With positive emotions/events it takes 5-20 seconds. You know all those diets that tell you to savor your food by chewing each bite multiple times to make the flavor linger and slow down your eating, which in turn allows your brain to get the message of fullness? This is the same concept. Let positive things linger in your life.

Seek out positivity. Too often than not we turn on the news, radio, or read online about all of the tragedies in the world. I am not saying we should ignore what is happening around us but the problem is we don't balance the coverage. Not only do we not give equal time to the negative and the positive, we actually give so little time to positive forces that we have an even bigger hill to climb to feel positive emotions. So watch a video of a baby or kid laughing and hit repeat. There really is no better sound in the world. Don't believe me?

Lastly, be still. You read that right. Be still, and give your brain time to appreciate all that is happening around you. There are so many beautiful things that happen to us every single day but we are rushing through our lives focused on the things we have to fix instead of things we should be enjoying. Many suggest things like gratitude journals to help create this focus.

I am sure there are other ways to combat negativity from other researchers. In the end though I think it is really simple. We have to work to create and accept positivity. Before you let that bum you out and go negative. Take it in, because the research actually proves that working at it works. Watch this amazing Ted Talk called The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance which explains how you can re-wire your brain to be more positive.

At the end, the speakers offers up a 21 day challenge. 21 days is nothing. I'm putting it in the universe right now. Let's do it together. Tell me in the comments below if you are in and let's spread the positivity around. 

You In?

friday's 3 favorite things...what made you smile on social media this week?

Happy Friday! If you are a regular reader or even a regular social media follower, you will know that I often talk about putting positive content into the world. We are indundated with content from every direction. We have music, television, movies, social media and beyond. It doesn't matter how hard we try, we can't escape getting hit over the head with content whether we like it or not.

Unfortunatley, a lot of that content is negative and being surrounded by negativity can get very exhausting. There is a saying Negativity begats Negativity. Heavy right? But the good news is this.

positive minds lead positive lives

Taking from that I wanted to share some people using social media in positive and fun ways. These are just three of my favorite posts this week.

Who doesn't love Amy Poehler? Not only is she smart and funny but she is using her celebrity for good with Amy's Smart Girls where they not only help young girls but they use the internet to spread positive imagery, words and energy of girls and women everywhere.

Here is a snipped from the website and if it doesn't convince you that this belongs on my list today, then...well I don't know.

"The Smart Girls organization is dedicated to providing a healthy alternative to so much tat is being marketed to young people on the internet.

 

 

 

Our motto is: Change the World by Being Yourself."

 

The Written Runway is a great site dedicated to fashion and lifestyle topics. While it does not focus only on women, it's lean towards women and portraying strong visual of images of them through fashion will get you excited to get back in your closet. 

She loves fashion so much, she even gets her dog Bentley into the mix. She swears he loves it. How awesome is his birthday pic?

Here is how she describes her mission;

"In 2011 Ambyr broke off and began The Written Runway. This creative outlet has allowed her to share her love of runway fashion, how to adapt it into every day style and inspire others to express their talents"  

 

The next one is a little bit of self promotion and for that I apologize but as I said this is a list of my favorite things on social media this week. And...one of my favorite things was getting the opportunity to represent Girls Inc. PNW. If it isn't clear yet, I believe in lifting up girls and women. I think the future will be determined by strong smart women. If I have any chance to be a part of this movement then I am going to take it.

If you are not familiar with Girls Inc. and it's local affiliates here is a their vision:

"Our vision is empowered girls and an equitable society. Our mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold."

That's it, three positive social media posts to end your week on a good note and get you pumped for the weekend. They may even introduce you to some new people to follow.


P.S. You thought I was actually going to finish with 3 things huh? Come on, you know I can never leave it at that. I probably should change the number of things I want to talk about on Friday's. 

To apologize I share this, which quite frankly was really my favorite image from social media this week. My sister-in-law and new baby nephew in a moment that just looks like pure bliss. That is not only a positive image but one that looks like pure love.

If being an aunt is this awesome after just one month, I cannot wait to see what happens when this kid starts laughing and I can teach him some really great stuff...