EDWISE  - EDITOR AND EDUCATION CONSULTANT
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A Year of Living Positively -Day 151

I had a swim and felt good after. People were smiling at me and I felt surprised by it. I guess a lot of people have "Bridget Jones" days when they lack confidence, feel acutely klutzy and incompetent, and feel that no-one can love them. I experience those days maybe twice or thrice a year. My courage and poise dipped this past week, but I am already coming out of it, despite the reality of negative experiences that I cannot change or control, such as the poor student evaluation last fall, the indignation I felt from the way department staff spoke to me recently, and disappointments in personal acquaintances, and the many external circumstances such as technical difficulties, bureaucratic hassle, and work and decisions that have to be made, like it or not.

The whole point about this positive thinking exercise is that you can choose a perspective and choose how to respond. You can train yourself to look at things from a fresh angle, and you can make changes. For example, you could count your blessings, assets and accomplishments before you complain about what is missing or failing. Also, you can reconstruct your social situation somewhat, and make choices about the people you spend time with. Moreover, you can revise your self-identity, your lifestyle and make new goals. 

Basically, Bridget generally does that and manages to grow, deciding to defeat her childish tendencies and allow herself to go forward in life. Journal writing helps her to do that because it offers her a chance to reflect and process her situation and experience so that she can see herself, others and life much better. Equipped with better vision and higher consciousness, she can then adjust her thinking and take new action. She can also laugh at her mistakes and faults and accept them.

I'm not always good at laughing at my predicament, errors and flaws. The work called, "Confessions of a Klutz" is supposed to help me do it, however. It is hard when the habit of responding to life with negative feeling and that of letting people provoke me are very powerful. I must keep working at self-improvement in order to rise above it, make the right changes for myself and smile.

Today, I felt as though fortune were with me in perhaps silly ways. On the way to the pool, after completing a complex transfer of funds at the bank this afternoon, I was glad of having succeeded in doing the paperwork and communicating well enough at the bank to have a payment sent to pay an agent abroad for a connecting flight on the part of my journey between visiting activists in the Netherlands to the site of the education conference in Florence. I also felt relieved to have bought a ticket at a great price, and made the payment today in order to secure the plane reservation right away. That was a fortunate situation, to be sure. In transit, I realized that I was sensitive to forces of good around me. That thought was followed by a some uncanny incidents. For instance, I was exiting the subway station and surveying the sunshiny scene ahead of me where I would have to take a concrete ramp in the open sunlight. As the weather has been getting quite warm lately, I wised there was shade along the whole long length of the ramp, then a small cloud shielded us from the sun for most of the time I was on the ramp. As another example, there I was in the supermarket looking for broccoli and a deal of fruit en route to the checkout. The floor was bustling with teams of workers stocking this and cleaning that as I cruised along looking everywhere in the large produce section but I could not spot any broccoli. I was about to give up and was leaving the section when a sales bin with ripe produce caught my eye. Low and behold, there was one head of broccoli. Along side it were two grapefruits packaged and on sale for 1,000 won (about a dollar). I have never seen grapefruit at such a low price before! After that, I made the crosswalk light in time carrying three bags that were already beginning to feel heavy. At the bus stop, a youngish man smiled at me. My bus came shortly and the man let me on the bus when he saw I was letting two grannies board ahead of me. There was one seat  still available that was not for disabled, pregnant or elderly passengers, and I managed to sit down with my bags only a little awkwardly as the bus carried on.

I guess that feeling of good fortune, or guiding spirits or angels getting you through the day is one way of interpreting the act of counting our blessings; that is, taking stock of the little comforts and conveniences we get to enjoy, and being able to see the bounty of life's treasures (God's gifts or creations?) in mundane daily life. Moreover, when you are feeling humble and thinking of the good things about your life, good people tend to notice you and are attracted to you. You can feel that you travel in company and not alone. 





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