JUST TURN IT OFF📺

With all of the negative news on television, it is easy to get trapped and bogged down with feelings of negativity, overwhelm, and hopelessness. Ask yourself this very important question – what has watching, reading or listening to something negative and fear mongering ever got you? Chances are it was the three emotions mentioned earlier.

These negative stories come to us everywhere! On our television sets, on our computer screens, they even go with us courtesy of news alerts on our cell phone! My suggestion? Turn them all off! Replace them with something positive and motivational.

You may say, “but Neil, I need to know what is going on in the world!” Two things of note here. If it is important enough, it will make its way to you anyway. Also, it is more important to focus on what is going on in YOUR WORLD. You can always get a weather app to know if it is going to rain. Why let others decide what you are going to focus on? Especially, if it doesn’t bring you joy? Just turn it off!

GET THE ANTIDOTE BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

There are plenty of toxins floating around today. I am not even speaking of the covid-19 pandemic we are in the middle of. No, I am talking about emotional and spiritual toxins. There are news stories about violence in your city and throughout the world. There are demeaning and disrespectful political comments. There is even the sad news about this corona virus and how many lives have been lost. Somedays we are exposed to more things that are hazardous to our emotional and spiritual well-being than we can handle.

I have a suggestion that can help us be proactive and save us from a good deal of emotional and spiritual suffering. You know how it feels when after a hard day at work you come home to see climbing death tolls on the news or hear some elected official calling other people names. It is a anchor to your already sinking soul. You see the fear in the eyes of people on the street about a virus that seems to be growing stronger by the day. Even little things that used to lift your spirits such as the smile on the face of a stranger are now hidden beneath a mask. The world can seem to be growing darker by the day.

What we need is an antidote. What do I mean? While an antidote is something taken to counteract a particular poison. We are familiar with being bitten by a venomous snake and then having to get a dose of antidote. What about the venomous people and things we encounter everyday that poison our spirit? Is there an antidote for them? There sure is! Much like each poison has its own antidote, so does each spiritual poison. They also vary from person to person. This is where you get to be an explorer and discover antidotes for you. This is an adventure you should undertake without delay. You certainly wouldn’t want to wait until after you get bit by the snake to start looking for an antidote. While we all may not be exposed to venomous snakes, there are a few snakes in the grass in every community. We all are vulnerable to certain toxins depending on our particular situation.

Let me share some personal examples of toxins in my own life and the antidotes I have put in place to counteract them. My day job is at the United States Postal Service, my night job is DJing. Although there are plenty of nice people I consider friends at both locations, there are also those who may call my faith in humanity into question. Add those to the inevitable sunshine challenged individuals we all come in contact with and you can find yourself feeling rather antisocial. That is the effect of the toxin of unpleasant people. What is my antidote? I have a group of people that always do a great deal to restore my faith in humanity. Here in West Allis Wisconsin, where I live, there are 2 options I use. (there are more, but for sake of brevity we shall stick to two) My friend Curtis at Urban Joe’s café is always full of good humor and serves amazing food and coffee with a smile. If I need an emotional lift, not to mention a great breakfast or lunch, I stop at Urban Joe’s and see Curtis. The same is true of my friends Ricky and Jodi at Peak Physique. It is a local gym that can help find ways to keep you fit during quarantine. Both of these folks are great at bringing a smile to your face. Ricky and I have had great conversations exchanging information on sources of self-improvement. Just a few stops around the neighborhood and I have an antidote for the poison of unpleasant people.

What about all of the stressful news we are exposed to on a daily basis? Hard to avoid seeing less than inspiring items on television, online or even to some extent on social media. Luckily for us, there is an item that can be a great antidote for the toxin of negative news. It is the show Positively Milwaukee. I have written about this show before when I was fortunate enough to be invited to be a part of it. For those of you who may have missed that post, allow me to share a brief description of the show. It is a show that highlights some of the most positive people, places and events in the city of Milwaukee. It is hosted by a young lady named Carole Meekins. She is passionate about sharing positivity and it shows. Every Sunday morning she is there supplying an antidote for all of the negative news we may be exposed to. What if you do not live in Milwaukee? You certainly can still benefit from this show as the episodes are all available on YouTube as well. I will share the link to the episode I appeared on at the end of this post. I encourage you to check out as many other episodes as you can. Each one will bring a smile to your face and joy to your soul.

Whether it is finding people like Curtis, Ricky and Jodi in your own community or discovering a wonderful gem like Positively Milwaukee, I implore of you to find your antidotes today! Some other suggestions are things like joining positive pages on Facebook, following positive people on Twitter and just finding other things that bring us peace and happiness. I would love to get more ideas of antidotes from you. Share what you do to counteract the negativity in your life in the comments below.

SEE THE EPISODE OF POSITIVELY MILWAUKEE I APPEARED ON BY CLICKING HERE

MAKE THE WORLD MORE BEAUTIFUL

Today’s world may seem like it is on the brink of collapse. With COVID-19, murder hornets, doomsday media and politicians impersonating chicken little on every television station things can seem fairly grim. What may appear even more daunting is the ability to turn it all around. There are certainly things we can do to limit the amount of negativity filling our eyes and ears. Turn off the news, or at the very least limit our exposure to a certain amount of time each day. Get rid of Negative Nancys on social media. Fight our urge to post the latest hot button negative topic we have just read.

These are all great ideas and will help us limit the bad but the question still remains, what can we do to start a positive shift in the world? Trying to change the negative can not only be exhausting, but a complete waste of energy and time. An axiom that I not only teach, but have had great luck in following can serve us well in these trying times. The best way to reduce negativity is to increase positivity. Simply by adding kindness to your world, you will not only make your world better, but make the world better for others. This may seem small if not even insignificant. It is not. Consider the ripple effect. If you restore someone else’s faith in humanity with your kindness, this in turn will help them from adding more negativity to the world. This is turn will limit the negativity those they come in contact with will experience. Multiply that by one person you come in contact with every day and that will be 7 people a week, 30 people on month and 365 people a year! You can begin to see the power of this.

It is true they may be in a rush to relieve themselves. We have all been there and it is not fun. They could also be driving on the way to say goodbye to a loved one who is fighting for their last breath. Perhaps they just said goodbye to a loved one and their mind is not focused on driving. Most of us have been there too. How would it feel is someone added even more stress to that situation. Maybe they are just someone full of anger and rage. If we add even more to that feeling, what do you think will happen when they get home to their family? How will they treat the next person they come in contact with? Now, how do you think an act of kindness and understanding will affect them? How about seeing a smile through a car window? In an age where actually seeing a smile on someone’s face is rare, that could really help.

Another aspect to consider is the difference your actions make in the world of another. As mentioned often in this blog I have a way to diffuse my stress when people drive creatively around me. I jokingly say to myself, or Margie who happens to be in the car often, “Maybe they have to poop.” It is a little something silly that changes my state but it does a lot more. It reminds me there are two sides to every story. I could just assume this person is a jerk for driving in a rude and unsafe manner. I could even honk, wave with one finger or some other dazzling way of letting them know exactly how I felt. Will it help them drive safer in the future? Perhaps, but highly unlikely. What is far more likely is that it will increase the amount of anger and stress they are experiencing and will increase their reckless driving.

The point of this post is to never underestimate the power of seemingly small acts of kindness. It may not seem like it will change the world, but that is exactly what it does. We especially change the world for the person whom we act kindly to. In turn, they act more kindly towards others. This spreads and the kindness makes a far bigger difference than we can imagine.

CHANGE THE WORLD. BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER.

FEELING OVERWHELMED AND DON’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN?

In today’s Covid-19 world things can feel like they are coming undone and it can happen quickly. Everywhere we turn there is news of death and the failing economy. This all happens while we are stuck in our homes left staring at the television for want of anything better to do. This can leave us feeling a multitude of ways. It can have us feeling drained, scared, angry, uncertain and ultimately depressed. Sometimes the news of, and thoughts of, this scary event in our worlds history can affect more people than the virus itself.

How do we turn this around. The picture above gives us our first solid piece of advice – turn off the news. I once heard Jack Canfield say something I found rather profound. He said, “You can be informed but you do not have to be inundated.” If you are thinking, “Neil, I have to know what is going on. I have to protect my job and my family.” I will be the last one to argue with you. What I am going to tell you is that first and foremost you have to protect your sanity. You can do little to secure your income if you find yourself depressed. It is also highly unlikely that your family will take their cues from the insane person in front of the television. If you really want to stay on top of the latest news, try looking at websites once a day. Just do not sit at the computer for a length of time.

Giving yourself a limit can be a big help. Saying “I am going to fill my head with all of this doom and gloom for an hour.” Then research to your hearts content for that time, but cut yourself off after. You may even want to set an alarm in case you are locked in to the latest study from Antarctica on the effect of heat on the coronavirus. If you can’t help yourself from wanting to watch oddly dressed scientists or politicians who think they are scientists on television, then choose your format and your time. Again, limiting yourself is key. Trust me when I tell you that you are not going to miss the next crucial development by not staying glued to the screen all night. If you do miss something, don’t worry someone will call, text or tell you on social media.

Ok, you have limited your exposure to the chicken little world of 2020. You pull yourself away from the television or computer. Sure, you’re not being exposed to any doom and gloom, but you are still feeling the effects of it. How do you shake that off? I recommend two crucial steps for this cure. They are what work for me. Please mention some of your own in the comments below as I am always open for and looking for suggestions to raise my vibration. My first suggestion is not only metaphorical, but also practical – take a shower. No, really. Taking a shower not only cleanses our skin and hair (a good practice to keep up during quarantine) but it also can be a symbolic cleansing. Try picturing all of the negative vibes and news you have been exposed to being washed down the drain. As you are scrubbing off the dirt, picture scrubbing off the negative feelings you have. This will serve you after all of this has passed as well. Have a tough day with the boss at the office? Take a shower. Spend hours during a holiday listening to your aunt describe, in detail, her medical maladies? Take a shower. Not only will you get a feeling of spiritually cleansing, you will smell a lot fresher and be more of a pleasure to be around.

This last suggestion is my favorite. I use it every single day. No exception. Not an exaggeration. Crank up your favorite music. If you listen to the late news you might want to use some headphones. Music has healing powers we do not often take advantage of. In my book A Happy Life for Busy People, I suggest creating a happy playlist. A list on YouTube or your MP3 player of songs that bring you joy or get you out of a funk. I have one on my cell phone (which I almost always seem to have with me) It started with 10 songs. It now stands at…let me look…192 songs. Each time I think of, or hear a new one I add it. Then when moments get me down, I put the headphones on and turn the volume up! Can you imagine how many times this has helped me? It may not fix a challenge you are facing, but it can change the state you are in when you deal with it. A personal suggestion is the new Huey Lewis and the News album, Weather, not a bad song on it. Some of the latest stuff Sammy Hagar is doing…great stuff. I have the entire Space Between album on my playlist. Obviously your list will speak to your individual interests.

There we have our first days suggestions for keeping a high vibration during low vibration times. Take a nice relaxing shower and scrub both dirt and negativity off your shoulders. Don’t forget to wash behind the ears in case any are hiding there. Crank up the music and dance like nobody is watching. (If you dance like me it helps if nobody actually is watching) and most importantly – STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN. Remember you can stay informed without being overwhelmed. PLEASE if you have any suggestions that bring joy to your heart share them with us in the comments. I might even write my next blog about your idea!

WE ARE ALL VERY TIRED

One thing that I think we can all agree we are growing weary of is what seems to be the growing rate of violent crime in our world today. As I write this there are reports from the great state of Maryland of a shooting at a newspaper office where 5 people were killed and others were injured. It seems every night you turn on the news, or every morning you pick up the newspaper you read about senseless violence where someone has lost their life. Is this a result of better technology in communicating these crimes? Is it the result of the internet making this a smaller world? Are we becoming less tolerant? Are we becoming desensitized to violence and death due to media and video games? I imagine the answer is probably a little of all the above.

With all of the consumption of negativity you can find yourself feeling quite down. With more people reading more stories of violence we could quickly find ourselves living in a world of people depressed and losing hope. It is my belief that this lack of hope and barrage of negative news can push people who are on the edge to slip into a world of violence.

What is the solution? Are we to bury our heads in the sand and pretend all of this is not happening? The answer is both yes and no. Certainly you need to be aware of your world and what is transpiring, but you do not need to be inundated with it. You must ask yourself if reading every article on every mass shooting will do anything to enhance your life? What it will do is drain your spirit. This is why this and many other sites advocate limiting or better yet eliminating consumption of nightly news. There are apps for weather, sports or anything else you may need to know.

Is there something that we can do that is proactive? The simplest thing we can do is also one of the most powerful and also one of the most difficult. Do not let the constant feeding of negativity get us down. Easier said than done, but it can happen. When I hear of stories of great tragedy in the news I always look for the helpers. A secret I learned from Mr. Rogers. Eventually and in some way tragedy has a way of bringing the best out of some people and bringing people together. If you can’t find a helper, or even if you can, focus on being one.

When I hear of violence or some other tragic news story I know there is even more importance in what I do. The world needs more of a balance of positive to the negative. This was the very reason I began what I do. When I hear of violence in the world I use it as a stark reminder I have far more work to do, and urgent motivation to reach more souls. Victims and their families and friends are not the only people who need encouragement. Those committing the crimes may feel there is no hope. If only they knew they were people who care, even if they are half a world away.

This is where you come in. My words can’t reach everyone. Especially Iceland and Greenland who seem to be two countries I just cannot reach. What we need to do is all work on becoming lights to the world. Whether it is meeting your neighbors as discussed in last week’s post, sharing this blog or just encouraging someone who needs it. Let us all remember it is only light that can remove the darkness.