JANUARY 25TH 2018
PALM TREES & NO SLEEVES
Cayo Coco, CUBA.
My first post of 2018!
Starting the year off on a sunny vibe, my next three fashion posts were photographed while vacationing in Cuba!
This year I was fortunate enough to be able to spend two weeks with my husband and his family in Cayo Coco and despite experiencing a mixed bag of weather it was great to escape from the day-to-day and get to know each other on a deeper level.
One of the things that I really took away from this trip was the value of optimism and the power of positive thinking - especially when things don't go as planned.
In other words: when life happens.
"Turn your face to the SUN and the shadow falls behind you."
- Charlotte Whitton
Allow me to elaborate...
When we arrived in Cuba it was overcast but warm; however what followed over the next few days was a "cold front" with full cloud cover, rain, and a lot of wind. Having all packed for +27 degree weather we weren't very well prepared for the "cold." (I use parentheses because +17 is nothing close to the -30 weather we left behind!)
That being said we hadn't anticipated the colder weather and coupled with a few other issues related to service and accommodations, things were looking a little dismal. The first week of our trip passed with one partial day of sun and a few mixed days but still, lots of wind, rain, and very little of the golden sunshine that as sun deprived Canadians, we had come to soak up.
At the end of week one I posed a "no-complaint" rule to our group in an effort to bolster some positive thinking. Anyone in our little party who complained had to forfeit a peso (Cuban currency). Everyone agreed.
(Now I'm not saying that a positive change in attitude can affect the weather forecast but for the second week of our trip the weather did warm up and we even had one full day of +28 un-interrupted hot Cuban sunshine. It was sublime!)
In the days that followed, despite a few pesos being forfeited for complaints, that little bit of motivation towards optimism seemed to shift something in each of us. Of course I can really only speak for myself but on a personal level, rather than dwell on circumstances that weren't ideal, I was consciously choosing to think on how fortunate I was just to be on vacation. As a result I was able to make the most of, and even enjoy certain aspects of the rainy days.
Two words: attitude and perspective.
Now I know this blog post is a bit of a lengthy read but if you're someone who struggles with negativity and pessimism please keep reading.
Speaking from experience I get it - no one is born with a negative mindset but call it unfortunate life experiences, bad luck, or trauma - life is hard and often unfair and when it all adds up sometimes you find yourself in a place where you no long recognize the person you've become. If you struggle with pessimism and negativity don't worry, there's hope. You can change your outlook on life and in turn, your life itself!
If you want to live a happy life BE POSITIVE! Your attitude and perspective is EVERYTHING!
The sun is always shining, even when it's cloudy, you simply need to rise above the clouds to experience the sunshine. A positive person can find a silver lining in even the most difficult of circumstances. Strive to become that person if you aren't already. If a lifestyle of negativity and pessimism has become so ingrained in you that you don't even know where to begin here are some helpful tips to get the ball rolling:
TACKLE YOUR THOUGHT LIFE FIRST. Every time you think a negative thought, shut it down immediately and combat it with a positive one. If your first instinct is to see the glass as half empty then force yourself to explore the glass half full side of the spectrum until it becomes your new reality.
SPEAK LESS, SAY MORE. If your words are negative keep silent until you have something positive to say. Only speak words that encourage, compliment, and build others up. Refrain from complaints, gossip, slander, and exaggeration.
CULTIVATE YOUR CIRCLE. Avoid or limit the amount of time you spend around negative people. If you're really struggling with becoming a positive person these people aren't going to help you get there but rather discourage you on your path and encourage you to slip back into old habits.
BE PROACTIVE ABOUT YOUR HAPPINESS. Surround yourself with positive influences and establish healthy habits. Make time for the things that you enjoy. Eat right, exercise. Try something new, find a new hobby, join a sports team, face your fears...
DON'T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED. Be grateful for everything that you have. Compile a list of all the good things in your life. Dwell on what you have, not what you think you lack.
LOVE YOURSELF. This is often the root of the problem and the most complicated and difficult to overcome. You can't be positive, love others and treat them right if you can't even do so for yourself. It's a fact that people who treat others poorly suffer from low self-esteem and/or self-loathing so work on your relationship with yourself. Again compile a list of your good qualities, attributes, and skills. Don't foster negative thoughts about yourself, don't belittle yourself, combat each negative thought with a positive one until your bad thought habits are broken.
And last but not least;
LAUGH & SMILE. Nothing cheers people up like a good laugh and smiles are contagious. Hang out with your most uplifting friends, watch a funny movie or comedy show. However you get there try to laugh every single day. A day without laughter is a day wasted.
I hope my personal insights are helpful to someone out there!
I promise the upcoming blog posts won't be this heavy! But what better way to kick off a new year than with a better version of yourself?! The past couple of years I have really been working on myself in this area so if my struggles can be used to help someone else - I can't think of a better illustration of positive perspective than that!
Let's all try our hand at turning our life's negatives into positives by helping others!
'Til next week! xo