What do you want in your life?

You will have to forgive me if I am becoming new-agey, but I watched an Oprah show a few weeks ago about “The Secret,” and I just can’t get it out of my head. I only saw the last ten or fifteen minutes of the show as I was running on my treadmill after work. However, it was a powerful fifteen minutes, and it really stuck with me (I also recorded and watched the entire follow-up show Oprah had last week). I’m not going to go into exactly what “The Secret” is, you can google away and find it pretty quickly if you so choose. There are lots of positive affirmations involved, and much focused time and energy on whatever it is you want in your life.

The one thing that really sticks with me is that focusing on the negative aspects of your life only gives them more power. My morning routine is a great example of this. I don’t know how many times I have complained that I hate getting the kids ready and off to daycare, I hate how much they struggle with me, I hate that I end up being completely exhausted by the time I step in the door to daycare, I hate, I hate, I hate. The problem with this is that it was basically a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was constantly complaining about it, and it continued to be dreadful day after day, I did nothing to actively change the situation. However, with this week’s great no TV before daycare experiment and my new resolve not to get sucked into my laptop in the morning, things are better. I actually sat down at the table with the kids this morning (and yesterday) and we all ate breakfast together. The kids behaved because they had my full attention (no need to spill your cereal all over the floor if Mom is already paying attention to you). It was nice, The Boy helped me put the dishes in the dishwasher afterwards, and we all headed into the mudroom to put on boots, jackets, hats, and mittens to be on our way.

It makes complete sense to me that these subtle changes would have a big impact on my kids. They are good kids, but they certainly feed off of my stress levels. If I am in a bad mood, they sense it, and they respond to me in the same foul way I respond to them. Why do I expect anything different? I feel like I’ve had an awakening, or an “aha moment.”

The follow-up Oprah show featured two of the experts behind “The Secret” answering questions and providing additional guidance on the topic. One member of the audience asked “How do I know what I want?” The response was that she could most likely very easily list all of the things she didn’t like in her life or wanted to change. The power in the Secret is to use positives rather than negatives though, so each negative would need to be flipped to a positive. For example, I want to lose weight, which focuses on the negative aspects; should be “I want to be healthy and fit.”

I took the time to write my list, and then shared it with my spouse. It really brought into sharp focus where my priorities need to be in my life. I’m not going to share my entire list with you because I’m just not ready to do that, but a few of the things on my list are here:

  • Feel closer and more connected to my spouse
  • Feel confident about myself
  • Feel healthy and fit
  • I want clearly marked areas for all things in my house
  • I want my children to use their imaginations more
  • I want my kids to know they are important and valued
  • I want set routines so the mornings go smoothly

I started out with 19 negatives and 14 positive statements, and with some sorting and consolidating came up with a list of 25 or so things I want in my life. I have never been as awake as I am right now. Who would have guessed that simply watching a little Oprah while getting in my daily run would have such a profound impact on my life?


Meena said...

You truly had an "Oprah" moment, didn't you? :-) I don't care what anyone else says, I love her.

I have yet to sit down w/the kids for breakfast during the week. That sounds nice to be able to do that. Will have to ponder whether we can do that.

Anyway, great list! You've got me thinking. I love making lists, so I'm sure this is now going to be on my to do list.

I completely agree how focusing on the negative only makes more negative. I've had many bad mornings when I keep focusing on things going wrong. You can almost see the bad day unfolding before you.

Dineen said...

I hear so much positivity in your post, it is is really great to hear. I really wish I had seen that Oprah!

Lawyer Mama said...

I love Oprah too. Wish I'd seen that one. Normally I think a lot of that "turn that frown upside down" stuff is bunk, but it really makes sense.

I hate, hate, hate the morning routine too. I may have to try your no TV before daycare experiment too.