Thursday, September 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday: It's Good for You, 9/25/2014

With thousands of people participating in the social media trend #ThrowbackThursday (#TBT), over 100 million photos have been posted. It's the practice of sharing old photographs, lyrics, and links to songs along with the memories behind them. It has taken Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like by storm.

Have you joined in the fun yet?
You should join in the fun because nostalgia has benefits. Pondering over fond memories makes you feel better. Take a soothing bath in those times when you felt happy, protected, and loved. According to Hepper, Ritchie, Sedkikdes, and Wildschut (2012), the strength you gain from these positive memories can  have the following effect:
  • improve your self-concept
  • boost your mood
  • feel accepted
  • help you make connections between the then and the now
You can conjure up fond memories by looking at old photos, listening to old songs, smelling an aroma, touching an object, and/or tasting a food item or drink. 

Participating in #TBT is easy:
Participating in #TBT is easier than you think. 
  • Select a picture that was taken at least five years ago (one associated with fond memories).
  • Post it on your favorite social media site.
  • Write a brief description of the nostalgic memory.
Note that social media is not the only way to participate in #TBT. Start a #TBT scrapbook. Each Thursday, select an old photo that generates fond memories. Insert the photo into a scrapbook (make it or buy it). Then write about the fond memories centered around the photo. Before you know it, you'll have completed the scrapbook.

I was walking in the park the other day when I saw this sign. It reminded me of
my childhood days as a Girl Scout Brownie, Junior, and Cadette. My Aunt Brenda and her good friend Diane were my Girl Scout Cadette troop leaders. As I look back on those days as a Girl Scout, I remember it as a time when I felt happy, safe, and loved. My Girl Scout troop leaders invested their time in providing engaging activities that contributed to my self confidence and relationships with others: how to help, share, get along, and find meaning in life.

Thinking about my troop leaders makes me also think about the men and women who dedicate their time to little league sports teams. My brothers played little league football for the West Side Cubs, and my sister and I were cheerleaders for the West Side Cubs. Many men and women sacrificed their time for us. I do not remember most of their names, but I remember most of what they helped me achieve: self discipline, honesty, loyalty, courage, and good sportsmanship. I appreciate that.

As an educator and volunteer, I have learned that working with young people involves a particular mindset because the results are not always immediate. It takes forgiveness, patience, and faith—believing you will make a difference no matter what you see. So, your contribution may be to till the soil, plant the seed, water the seed, or reap the harvest. It usually takes many different people during various times in a person’s life to perform all these tasks. I am grateful for the many people who tilled, planted, watered, and reaped in my life.

What fond memories do you have when you think about your childhood? This is the story in you. Share it. 

Connect with me on Pinterest to view creative ideas about writing:
  • Why should you write?
  • How should you write?
  • The quirks of writing
  • When should you write?
  • What is writing?
  • What is a writer?
  • In what should you write?


Hepper, Ritchie, Sedkikdes, and Wildschut. (2012). Nostalgia. Retrieved from

Saturday, September 20, 2014

7-Day Positive Status Challenge

“What you looking at me for. I didn’t come to stay.”
I decided to participate in the 7-Day Positive Challenge when a dear friend of mine invited me via Facebook. For the most part, I consider myself a positive thinker. On Day 1 of the Positive Challenge, I didn’t know what to post on my Facebook page. So, I thought about my day, hoping I could use something  that had crossed my path that day. I had just read a magazine that included a tribute to Maya Angelou. The tribute contained a poignant quote from Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: “What you looking at me for. I didn’t come to stay.” It’s not an Angelou quote but a line from a children’s poem she encountered as a young child in Arkansas. The line is perfect for inspiring positive thoughts. To me, it means that no matter what embarrassing, disgusting, regretful, or depressing state you find yourself in, you don’t have to accept the condescending looks of others. Why? Because you are just passing through. You are not going to camp out in a dark valley. Eventually, you will climb to the top of the mountain.

Night falls. The moon blooms. The sun rises

I recently heard an inspirational message about positive thinking. Metaphorically speaking, darkness precedes sunrise. Even if you are in what you consider total darkness—when the moon seems to have vanished and the sun has yet to emerge—hold on to expectation of the sun’s emergence. Think beyond your present condition.

Taming the Mind
Positive thinking is a choice, but you have to train yourself well. It’s a matter of thinking about your thinking. Evaluate and analyze every thought. If you think about something bad happening--What if this headache means I have a brain tumor—replace it with a positive thought.

Feed the Mind
Quotes are food for thought. What goes in must come out. The more positive ideas you introduce to yourself, the more likely you will generate positive thoughts on your own. Thousands of books on quotes are available, or you can just Google "quotes on positive thinking" to find suitable ones.

“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.”  ~ Muhammad Ali (as cited in Brown, 2013)

“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.”  ~ Joel Osteen (as cited in Brown, 2013)

“You cannot tailor-make the situations in life but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations.”  ~ Zig Ziglar (as cited in Move Me “Quotes”)

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.”  ~ Oprah Winfrey (as cited in Move Me “Quotes”)

Charge up the Mind
According to McCraty, Barrios-Choplin, Atkinson, and Tomasino (1998), listening to “designer music” can “. . . enhance emotional well-being and mental clarity” (p.83). Designer music is music written to achieve a specific purpose, such as boosting confidence. Breines (2012) suggests creating a self-esteem playlist:

  • “We are the Champions”
  • “The Greatest Love of All”
  • “Wind beneath My Wings”
  • “U Can’t Touch This”

Make sure you have a variety of strategies on hand to engage in positive thinking when negative thoughts try to invade your mind.

How do you maintain positive thoughts? This is the story in you. Share it.


Connect with me on Pinterest to view creative ideas about writing:

  • Why should you write?
  • How should you write?
  • The quirks of writing
  • When should you write?
  • What is writing?
  • What is a writer?
  • In what should you write?


Breines, J. (2012). The self-esteem Playlist. Retrieved from

Brown, J. (2013). 50 Positive thinking quotes for more inner strength & growth. Retrieved from

McCraty, R., Barrios-Choplin, B., Atkinson, M., & Tomasino, D. (1998). The effects of music on mood, tension, and mental clarity. Alternative Therapies. 4(1). Pp. 75-84. Retrieved from

Move Me “Quotes”. (2014). Top 15 power of positive thinking quotes. Retrieved from