Do you take time to smell the roses?
1. When life gives you a lemon, do you moan about it being sour,
or do you make lemonade from it?
2. When having a glass of lemonade in front of you, filled to the
middle, do you consider it half full of half empty?
3. When you’re going through an uphill struggle, do you feel it’s
all too much, or do you think “I can do it”?
4. Do you catch yourself speaking mostly about problems or about
5. Do you feel others need to change their behaviour, or do you
concentrate mainly on your own actions and how they affect others?
6. Does indecision often paralyse you, or are you happy to decide
to go forward?
7. Do you look at life as a gift or as a problem to be solved?
8. Do you feel you’re in a downward spiral, or are you optimistic?
9. Do you love who you are and what you have, or are you discontent?
10. Can you recognise beauty and wonder in daily things?
11. Do you endure life, or do you make the best of everything and
12. Do you use your brain to the full by thinking outside the box
and looking for new vistas, or do you follow an unchanging bland
and boring daily rhythm of life?
13. Is it just work and no play in your case?
14. Are you a driver or a passenger in your life?
15. Do you enjoy giving good things to others? Unexpected gifts,
random acts of kindness, compliments, commendation?
16. Can you see the silver lining at the horizon, even though there
are grey clowds? Do you see light at the end of the tunnel?
17. Are you grateful for rain, or do you think rain constitutes
bad weather? Do you dress accordingly?
18. Do you light up a room by walking into it, do you try to make
others happy? Do you radiate genuine happy positivity?
19. Do you re-focus negative conversations, or do you wallow in
20. Do you tend to exaggerate or over-generalise?
21. Do you compare yourself with others, or do you feel that you are unique?
22. Do you dream about what you would like to do? Because if
you don’t have a dream, a dream can’t come true! And do you
really pursue it to make it come true?
Remember that you have the power to choose your attitude!
Happiness and positivity can be CHOSEN!
And when you have truly chosen to be positive, you will be happy!
It has been said that
the "human creative spirit" is
a playful spirit.
We must be able to PLAY,
to take time to be playful.
Only then we can discover and explore
possibilities to make life more creative,
more interesting, more enjoyable.
Being playfully creative is refreshing
and has many other positive effects.
And positivity can spark creativity and recharge your motivation,
which puts you in a positive frame of mind,
which again improves your focus and creativity on all levels of life,
so you can generate fresh ideas. This is an "upward spiral".
--- Did you know that
"Positive emotions trigger upward spirals toward
emotional well-being." -?
"This upward spiral can, over time, build psychological
resources and optimize people’s lives."
(Barbara Frederickson, University of Michigan,
--- In other words:
Be playfully creative, enjoy it,
- and you'll feel good and better and better!
You can try the following by yourself,
or we can do this together (even on an art lesson basis):
- Brainstorm "POSITIVITY" (everything positive that comes to mind)
--- and afterwards "GRATITUDE" (everything you are grateful for) ---
(here in alphabetical order, you may think of more ideas)
and then pick one idea and become playfully creative with it, in your mind, and perhaps also on paper (in writing or in doodling):
Active (action, not just dreaming)
Animals with positive expressions
Art and creativity
Babies with friendly smiles
Bees, bumblebees, and flowers
Connection (instead of isolation)
Content (being good enough)
Courage (in going forward and in standing one's ground)
Definite but flexible goals
Doing, not just talking
Expecting (but not forcing) the best of self, of others, of life
Fresh air, fresh water, fresh beginnings
Healthy, natural health
Ideas, full of them
Inspiration and Ideas
Kindred spirits (people)
Looking for the good in others or in a bad situation
Love, genuine relationships
Meaning and Purpose
Nature, beautiful earth
New ideas, creative thinking
Open to talk with others
Parents and family, loving friends
Progressive thinking, not stuck in traditional ideas
Savouring, treasuring moments mindfully
being a Self-starter
Serenity, a serene scene
Stretching the mind, happily
Thinking outside the box
Trust, confidence, faith
Vision (be inventive, be a visionary!)
Working on improving one's memory
Working on reaching worthwhile goals
Working on strengthening oneself physically and mentally
Now try "GRATITUDE"
... grateful for my hands, my feet, beautiful hair, seeing lovely windows, ...... etc etc ....
- Draw or paint or photograph or multi-media-create (eg. cut out and reassemble):
Your hands (with or without rings, gloves, nail polish, in different places, positions, settings, contexts, surroundings, or with other hands, incl. those of humans or animals)
Your feet (with or without socks, shoes, sandals, boots, nail polish, in different places, positions, settings, contexts, surroundings, or with the feet of others, whether human or animals)
Somebody's hair from behind or sideways-behind (with or without accessories)
Beautiful or interesting Windows (a variety of) (with or without plants, pets, reflections, window shutters, flowers, window boxes, whatever)
Imagine yourself the way you want to be, wish to be, or will be when everything you hope for will come true, with or without surroundings / context, make it a lively imagined scene, see yourself clearly, hear the sounds, feel the situation.
(- And if negative thoughts interfere, just ignore them, we want only positivity now . -)
Become playfully creative with this imagined idea.
Enjoy, and let your creativity express itself as controlled or as freely as you wish. On
paper or on canvas, as you like. When you have an idea, be grateful for it and begin.
If you need inspiration, view some examples further down, and then go ahead and create your
When you have done a few artistic creations, pick one you like, and
- make a greetings card from it, or
- copy the idea onto a stone pebble with acrylics, or
- paint it on a smallish canvas, perhaps make a miniature of it,
- draw it with colour pencils on blank postcards (conserve-spray it afterwards),
- have a piece of timber cut into rectangular shapes (postcard size or smaller), round the edges and make them smooth, and then paint an entire series of similar ideas.
Start your art activity NOW with a new positive and grateful
You can also make artwork out of one of the words in the list above (just scroll up again). Such as Tranquillity, or Simplicity, or the Attitude of Gratitude. The Chinese do that, and of course the Chinese characters look very attractive. But the meaning behind an English (or French or German etc.) word can also add lots of beauty to a picture.
This is a vintage print which always reminds me of the great value of having gratitude as a dominant leaning in life.
Gratitude is actually a life skill which enables you to observe your surroundings with appreciation. It you let it, it can become a life-long habit to focus on your blessings rather than on your problems, and the result of that attitude is improved health - mentally and physically.
Focusing is a choice, an act of will, and it is much better for you to focus on the positive things in your life - than to constantly brood on the more negative challenges life throws at us. It's not denying that misery exists in this world, but it's choosing what to busy our minds with, it's deciding what thoughts you fill your mind with.
Michaela Avlund explains on her website: "Research indicates that people who make it a habit to focus on the blessings in their lives rather than on the problems and difficulties have a much greater chance at avoiding depression and serious health issues."
Her website is called http://gratitude.ie/gratitude.html and it emphasises the great value of gratitude. (She has written a book called "Happiness Skills".)
And here is another good source with regard to gratitude: http://jodiegale.com/20-ways-to-practice-gratitude-infographic/
... - just don't forget to come back to THIS website afterwards ...
And here is a list of things to meditate about, things for which you may find plenty of gratitude:
- Your health. Even if you're unwell, you may be grateful for the remaining health you have.
- Your family.
- Your brain power, your intelligence, your consciousness and awareness.
- Your inquisitiveness, curiosity, desire to learn new things.
- Nature, sunshine, rain, the landscapes, the flowers, their seeds, the great ourdoors.
- Your food and the nourishment and enjoyment you get from it.
- Your positive memories.
- Your personal freedom in many ways.
- Your job, your income, even if it's from social services.
- Your dog, your cat, your pets.
- Your relationship with God.
Do take a few moments every day to think about what you can be grateful for. The
positiveness that comes from it gives your body added energy to heal itself when ill.
It could be - however - that you suffer from a disability in your heart, including fear, anger, insecurity.
Don't be angry about what you can't have or do. Rather be grateful for what is possible. This will benefit you immensely.
And don't believe people who discourage you saying "you're not good enough, you'll never do this or that". Go your way with hope, real hope. Don't set yourself unnecessary limits. Never give up!
If you don't get a miracle, - become one! You can be an inspiration to others. You have no idea how satisfying this is, what it feels like. It's wonderful.
"What are you grateful for?"
A lovely article about "How to love oneself" can be found here: