Based in Frederick, Maryland, Digital Ink & Parchment is a blog by Alexandria Pallat. Her posts explore the integration of faith in every day life.

Challenging Myself: 30 Days of Positivity

Challenging Myself: 30 Days of Positivity

Have you ever experienced a point in your life where it feels like everything has gone wrong, nothing has happened the way “it was supposed to” (according to your idea, anyway), and you can’t stop the spin of anxiety and negativity you seem to experience every day? I have. And I’ve been looking for answers and a way out. I may have found one.

I came across The Truth Practice on Pinterest, and I Pinned the piece “10 Ways to Practice Mindfulness and Reduce Anxiety.” As I read through it, I was inspired to challenge myself: to 30 days of positivity.

So, for 30 days, I will not think negatively about anything I am experiencing, and I will not voice negative thoughts. Notice I don’t say “try.” In the immortal words of Yoda: “Do or do not; there is no try.” For me, saying “try” gives me an out. I am challenging myself; I will catch myself when those negative thoughts swoop in and before they can take hold in my mind.

Here are the 10 things I will be focusing on in the next 30 days:

  1. Stay in the present moment

  2. Don’t analyze the situation

  3. Accept there is only so much that can be done

  4. Trust in something bigger than yourself

  5. Find beauty in every moment

  6. Stop labeling everything

  7. Take action (if necessary), then move on

  8. Surrender to what is

  9. Focus on one task, one activity, one thought at a time

  10. Embrace being surprised

These sound terrifying, especially numbers 3, 8, and 10. I know me, though, and I know those particular concerns are the main cause of my anxiety.

But I didn’t know where to begin. How do I go about vanquishing dark and negative thoughts? Then I had an idea, a sort of "pre-challenge" if you will: make a “negativity list.”

I wrote down any and all negative thoughts I have had recently, releasing them. I prayed over the list, focusing on asking God to release me of my negativity and that I would hear Him during this challenge. Then I ripped up that paper into small pieces and threw it away. And, in all honesty, I already felt better, as if part of the weight had already been lifted.

Each day, I'll write about how this challenge impacted the way I went about my day and how it (hopefully) changed my perspective. I'll also be publishing an article on Odyssey at the end of each week, highlighting what that week taught me, so keep an eye on there as well.

So, are you ready? Which of the 10 are most terrifying to you?

Day 1: My Weaknesses in Positivity

Day 1: My Weaknesses in Positivity

(Not) Exceeding Expectations

(Not) Exceeding Expectations