Monday, November 29, 2010

Let Yourself Go!

I love fall. Every year I imagine feeling the cool, crisp autumn air on my face and gazing at trees as they burst into glorious colors of red, orange and gold. This is not an easy feat as Arizona is as apt to be warm than not – even in November. Most of the leaves turn brown, not gold, and fall onto the ground without fanfare.

But this year was different. My spouse, CB, and I decided to go to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum with the two grandchildren, Rosannah and Briannah. The girls are pretty young (3 and 19 months respectively) but I knew they would enjoy an excursion. We drove the 45 minutes to the arboretum and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Once we were at our destination we saw golden leaves of Aspen, the red leaves of the Pistachio trees, as well as the sights, smells and sounds of autumn.

I make frequent trips to this site, but this time it was the most beautiful I have ever seen it. Of course it was even more special because CB and I were sharing it with the girls.

We navigated through the hilly terrain (it’s hilly if you are pushing two tykes in a double stroller), as well as over bridges and a narrow pathway alongside a stream. It was gorgeous. Once we arrived home my daughter asked her girls what her favorite part of the trip was. Her answer was not of beautiful sites (although she did talk about a beautiful house that we thought looked like a castle and had the possibility of a princess living there.)

Rosannah was excited that she peed in the potty. The toilet training has been a bit slow, but this was a significant feat because she has never used a public toilet before. Try saying “Pee pee in the public potty” five times fast. But I digress.

The fact is most of us get a shot of self esteem when we accomplish something significant. The temperature was deliciously cool, the air fragrant and the colors magnificent, but the one thing that Rosannah accomplished on her own was the potty peeing procedure.

Now most of you reading this are not going to brag about going to the bathroom by yourself. It’s something we take for granted (except when camping when I thank the heavens for flushing commodes.) But this was a new experience for my 3-year-old granddaughter.

So I have a challenge for all of you. I propose you go on a negativity diet and bolster your self esteem by eliminating some negativity from your life. This is no small matter. Reducing your negativity can increase your happiness and improve your health. Why? Consider this.

• The average person has 40,000 to 65,000 thoughts a day and 95% of those thoughts are negative.

• Developing a happier mindset can increase chemical reactions that can calm anxiety, relieve depression, promote alertness and increase enjoyment.

• Happy people are 35% less likely to get a cold and produce 50% more antibodies in response to flu vaccines than the average person.

• Individuals who score high on happiness and optimism scale have reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and infections.

• People who maintain a good sense of humor (an indication of inner happiness) outlive those who don’t. No wonder so many comedians live well into their 80s and 90s.

In our book, Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within, we offer tips on how to erase negativity from your life. I will also be writing more about the subject in future blogs.

If you haven’t had a chance to buy the book, it’s available on Amazon, or by contacting me through the blog, or emailing

So don’t hang onto that negativity any longer. Be like Rosannah and enjoy the feeling of letting yourself “go” and sending the stinky stuff into the toilet where it belongs.

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