Manifesting change and learning to be positive
Updated: Jun 12, 2020
Anyone that knows me knows that I am a huge believer in the “Universe” (for want of a better word), and the power of positive change. Whilst this may seem incongruous to my professional life - where on a daily basis I analyse patterns, demographics, economics, deal with facts and figures alongside data, and consumer profiles - to believe in something so intransient, so untouchable and so weirdly and disparagingly “new age” seems almost paradoxical
Believing in the power of positive energy, actually in the strength of belief itself, and in the ability to manifest and conjure up new realities, comes across as such a load of bullshit, that I find it difficult to put into words what I am really trying to convey.
Suffice to say, I am not some always up, positive, supercharged role model. God no, and if I am honest, I find it hard to believe that anyone can always be on the up, always have a sunny disposition. I have tried, on more than one occasion, and it is bloody hard work, nigh impossible if you ask me. However, recently it came to my attention that for some unfathomable reason, positivity doesn’t seem to be our natural default, and it set me to wondering why? And even more importantly, have we always been like that?
Actually, it appears we may well indeed have always been this way as even Plato espoused:
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
And this is the core of the matter. Positivity is currently something I am desperately trying to surround myself with, and instil in others close to me, it is through this process that I have come to realize positivity - and the belief in the power of good energy - does not come easily. Actually, it is possibly the exact opposite. I am not sure if we are hard-wired to see the negatives, or it is simply a result of the constant state of negativity that surrounds us, but it appears to me that most people find it easier to stray into the dark, than run into the light.
As I said, this belief system - my personal default thinking, that tells me everything will be all right - is so entrenched that I forgot, until recently, that I had had to train myself into the power of positive thinking. And, that it took months to succeed, now I think about it. I am not a specialist by any means, not a guru, not a yogi – nothing of the sort. Through sheer perseverance and a hell of a lot of desire, I trained my mind, ever so slightly, away from the default of the dark side (I consider myself truly lucky that I do not suffer from the disorder that is depression and I am in no way referencing this here. Depression is an entirely other ballgame and something bigger than what I am referring to in this post). Generally speaking, I can manage to see the positive side of a situation, or at the very least focus on something else if I can’t immediately see the pluses being presented at the time. As I said, this is not a constant state of “happy clappy” for me, that would take synthetic drugs, I would assume, or a higher state of being than I could ever attain, but in the main I manage to examine an issue from all sides, and generally err on the side of positivity. And as mentioned, I taught myself this – with the help of some insightful information and the will to live a better reality. You can as well.
I learnt it when I was being managed out of a position - a position that I loved, had worked hard for, and one that I was damn good at (see there is a measure of my self-esteem right there, that I can even say that even though I was being pushed out). I was not alone in this circumstance, there was a list of us - which was actually published in a sister newspaper by a fellow journalist incensed at the unfairness of what was happening - which perhaps made it easier to not take it too personally (misery loves company and all that). But it was unfair and unwarranted and such a long, drawn-out process (there was no real reason to get rid of us that we knew of, apart from we were all senior staff members on large wages as befitted our level and expertise, so it took an inordinate amount of time to gather all the framework to make it feasible) that it would have broken a lesser soul.
The being “managed out”, resulted in many exercises calling our professionalism and expertise into question, which can make even the most secure person doubt themselves. It was an unpardonable act which at the base was all about money.
At one stage the Union member who was attending the almost weekly meetings with me, where a litany of what I had supposedly done wrong that week was to be conveyed and recorded as a way to justify “letting me go”, turned around to me and deadpanned: “You do know you are getting fired for not putting cardigans on a model, don’t you?” Such were the claims levied at me: Our readers are older (late 30s and up, mind you), and there was a model with bare arms. Older readers cover their arms, you are responsible for that. (I shit you not!)
It was then and there that I decided there was no sanity in buying into what was going down. There was no need to take this personally, you cannot argue with lunacy, so I decided to turn away from the situation, recognize it for what it was – a cost-saving exercise – and to not let it get to me, (well, ok not too much). Now that my friend, is easier said than done when your work ethic, professionalism and many years of what was previously an esteemed skill base are being eroded for not having a cardi at hand!
But if I was to survive this nonsense with any sense of self intact, I needed to change my mindset. I needed to believe in myself, I needed to be able to see with perfectly clarity the path laid out ahead, and most of all I needed to remain positive, because becoming insecure and negative would be to hand over everything, and lose sight of absolutely everything that meant something to me – not least my integrity and sense of self.
I spoke to a Life Coach, which trust me can be very difficult particularly with the costs involved at a time when I did not know when or where my next job would be, and my mind was telling me to save every cent for what was to come. I had a mortgage and was on my own, so it was frightening to think too far ahead into the future, let alone pay a lot of money to talk to someone about what I was very clear on. But pay it I did, and the advice was invaluable. Thank you, Sian, you know who you are. I learnt that I was more than the measure of my job, that my work did not define me, and that my skill base was so much broader than I even thought. I started to make a vision board, and I started to get excited about my future. And it was then that things started to happen.
Ok, I was still being fired for not putting cardigans on 30+ year-olds (hard to see the fairness in that I grant you), but for some reason, it all became easier. Sceptics will say it just “seemed” to get better as my mind became freer, and they might be right, but isn’t that in itself a great thing? All I know is that when I started believing in the power of positivity and showing gratitude, my situation started to change. Believe me, at the time I did not think there were too many positives in place, and not too much to be bloody grateful for either. But I worked at it. I read self-help manuals, tried to practice gratitude, and began learning the science of energy and the law of attraction. “Everything you can imagine is real” according to Pablo Picasso, and when I became more positive, less worried, learnt how to be grateful and stopped dwelling on all the negatives that could come out of it, life simply got easier.
Of course, being thankful for everything - showing gratitude for everything - is a bit of a reach. We all have bad days, negative energy days, days when the world completely sucks (three months of Covid 19 in strict isolation and counting, anyone?) but the premise is that if you buy into the negativity, you keep it swirling - you know one bad thing happens, you get pissed about it, another bad thing, you get more pissed and so it continues - you have to make an effort to change the energy, to change the spiral. So I decided, even in the face of adversity, to learn how to be grateful. Now I had no idea how to do this. I would get up in the morning chanting: I am grateful for my hot shower. But I wasn’t actually. I said out loud I was, but in actual fact I just felt I deserved a hot shower (entitled much?), but I really didn’t understand how to feel grateful. I could say it, but I didn’t know how to feel it. Until I read the simplest explanation, and it all clicked into place. There was a woman on the same path as me - learning gratitude to improve her life, and she was doing really well. I, like pretty much everyone else I assume, would be less than grateful, let alone happy, when my electricity or phone bill came in - I might not worry about it - but I definitely was not bloody thankful, I can assure you. However, this woman explained in a post how she practiced gratitude, and it went something like this: Whenever I receive my phone bill, I feel gratitude because it means I have a phone, and that means I can communicate with my loved ones. Whenever I open my electricity bill, I feel grateful because it means I have light and hot water and my children can have a warm bath… you get the picture. I am grateful that she nailed the gratitude thing so succinctly. Boom! From then on, I understood gratitude and I worked on manifesting positive energy into my life.
I was fired by the way (or offered a redundancy, the difference escapes me).
But I was paid a large sum of money, which I invested in myself - travelling the world (this was part of my manifestation and a huge part of my vision board). In actual fact, I was offered two much larger roles with direct competitors the very next day (the first phone call woke me from my sleep, that was how eager they were to engage me), both of which I turned down to embark on my world trip. A journey, which gave me experiences beyond belief, and subsequently resulted in a job that I would never ever have considered. A management role half way around the world, where I would never have thought to apply, one where I got to travel extensively and learn completely new skills, as well as guide a crack team in a company that I admired – and still do. A role that I still perform today, and one that I absolutely adore.
And that my friend, is due to the power of positivity. No-one can convince me otherwise.
We are now at a stage in the world where darkness seems to have surrounded us, where more bad things happen than good, or so it seems. And there is the crux of the matter: or so it seems. If we continue to surround ourselves with the negatives, focus on the mindset of evil, if we buy into the darkness we will remain there. Collectively, we have to turn it around - we have to get positive about our future, we have to believe that we can make a change, and we have to believe that that change will be positive. And we have to do it now, before the darkness overwhelms.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. (Martin Luther King)
Never a truer word spoken.
PS: And just for the record – I am 52 now, and I still go out sans cardigan. Just saying.