Here’s a little BIG tip, but a truly fantastic one. (I have the beautiful Sarah Morgan to thank for inspiring this!).
But a little background first (yes, bear with me!)
See, I’ve taken a good deal of bashing in the last year or so. I don’t think I’ve heard words like “useless”, “incapable” and “lazy” quite as many times as I have in the last year, so much so until I really did begin to believe how much of those words I really was.
I remembered then that I’d heard about this Japanese scientist (well of course he’d be Japanese, they’re so clever) who’d done some experiments on the effects of different energies on water molecules. Using certain technologies to photograph frozen water molecules, he discovered the varying responses that water would have to the kinds of energies that were transmitted to it. When gentle, kind intentions were focused onto the water through words like “LOVE” and “GRATITUDE” and music, the shapes of the water molecules would also be pretty and well-formed. When nasty things were transmitted to the water, the corresponding shapes would instead be distorted, grainy, shapeless. (More on this lovely jubly science here)
So surely, as energy bodies which are largely made up of water, we might assume that humans too would react physiologically to the kinds of energies that are being projected towards us from external sources. Yeah, yeah, I know you’re now going to tell me that it’s all mind-over-matter and we shouldn’t let what other people say affect us blah blah, but you know what, if you’re being told the same thing over and over again – whether it’s positive or negative – for a long-enough period of time, you’re bound to somehow be affected by that energy. There are enough psychopaths suffering the long-term effects of emotional, verbal abuse to attest to that; there are also the thousands of empowered people who have sworn by the uplifting effects of pronouncing positive affirmations.
I’ve had my fair share of sitting in a room for 7 hours hearing nothing but how useless, bad, undependable and a loser I am ( and for the record, 7 hours is a long time!). I decided it was time to rewrite this ugly story.
So there I was talking to Sarah one day (it was through that rather impersonal bland interface of Facebook messenger, not even over the phone) and feeling even less than a maggot on an old rotting pile of shit. Then she said to me, “When I first met you, I was bowled over by how strong and clever you seemed”.
And I thought, hell, that’s actually true, isn’t it?. When Sarah first met me, I was 20, at the top of my game, sassy, confident, loud, fun and capable. That’s the girl I was and I’m sure, if I root around deep enough, she’s still in there somewhere.
I decided then, as I was tap tap tapping away talking to Sarah, that I would do the complete opposite to what I’d been sitting through for months. Instead of mulling over all those awful words that I’d heard being said to me or the people around me, I would think about the good, positive, happy things that I’d heard said about or to me instead.
I thought in that instant of doing up a BOOST BOOK! Here’s what it’s all about: Get yourself a beautiful scrap book, or you could start it online, as a blog. Then fill it up with everything wonderful and happy about yourself. This is about recreating your own story, instead of believing a less-than-pleasant one that you’ve been told, either by people around you or by yourself (How many of us like to tell and convince ourselves of how less-than-perfect we are? And how often do we believe the bad things we tell ourselves about yourselves?)
A few ideas:
*1: Start with writing out all the wonderful, positive things that people have said about you. DON’T immediately say that no one’s said anything positive. Just stop for a moment, sit quietly and think back; you’ll realise that there have been far more positive things said to and about you than you remember at first.
If you want, you could even ask some of your close friends and family to write out 10 nice / beautiful / inspiring / positive things they see in you. Don’t be embarrassed or shy about this; don’t think that you’re being egoistical. Explain to them that you’re doing this as a kind of healing or therapy and if they’re good enough friends, they would definitely agree to help you. Write it all out in a big happy list. Use coloured pens if you like – it looks pretty! Or draw pictures to illustrate the words if you’re a more visual person.
*2: Include gratitude lists in your boost book. You can dip in and out of this book whenever you feel like it and write a list every day, every other day, once a week or whatever you’re comfortable with.
*3: Stick pictures in the book that make you happy – anything from silly Polaroids from 10 years ago, to that dreamy photo of the Maldives that you found in a magazine.
*4: Write out inspiring quotes that you find online or in books
*5: Include bucket lists – be as wild and impossible as you like (never say never, eh!?), from learning how to crochet, to reading Ulysses (!), to traveling somewhere obscure, to learning how to make a macaroon that won’t fall apart.
*6: Get friends to write in it – a message to you, a poem, draw a silly face, anything!
The best trick and tip to this is to involve and think about people you love and who love you as you’re putting the book together. You’ll begin to realise just how many people out there are cheering you on, believe in you and think you’re great.
Most importantly, you’ll realise that the source of the shitty things you’ve been told and made to feel before is really only a few people – yourself, your boss, that one nasty colleague, that one irritating relative or that single jealous friend etc. You’ll realise the shittiness comes from a shockingly small minority of people in your life. Actually, the majority of the world around you believes in so many other incredible, amazing things that perhaps you never even noticed or had forgotten.
Choose to believe in that instead. Listen to the majority of the positive, loving voices, not those one or two naysayers. Build your Boost Book, look back on it regularly and relearn to believe in the truth of that story instead because you know what? Many more people believe in this story you’re now (re)writing than the shitty one you’ve been living.