choose your mood

Positive

You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.
C. JoyBell C.

It seems like most often the opposite of being positive isn’t really being negative, it’s being bitter. And bitterness is a weight that none of us can carry quitely.

Whether it’s a chip on our shoulder or a crack in our heart, bitterness spreads. It’s an emotion we think we can hide, we think we can control, but really, if we allow it to exist at all we give it a power over us.

Where does it come from and why is it so consuming?

For me bitterness comes primarily from two places: envy and unforgiveness. In my experience both are polluting, but unforgiveness has been much harder to get over. I think it’s because we will eventually see that we are in the wrong when it comes to envy and jealousy, but when we’ve been wronged, when we’ve been hurt, it’s sometimes easier to play the victim than to move on.

The sad thing about this is, of course, that when we're busy playing the victim, we don't give ourselves room to play the heroine. When we allow ourselves to set camp in unforgiveness we don't get to step forward into all the joy and adventure that could be waiting ahead. We become a prisoner of the past.

Here's the beautiful, miraculous truth though: we were made to live in freedom. Any chains of bitterness that we allow to hinder us aren't locked on, they're like untied ropes that can be shaken off with even the smallest effort.

We just have to be willing to make it.

What's getting in the way of you and positivity? What's making you bitter? Isn't it getting heavy?

What could you pick up if you weren't lugging it around anymore?

Being positive means being hopeful, it means feeling excitement about what's next and thankfulness for what's right now.

It's easy to think of positivity of an unnecessary emotion, it's easy to live in a world of sarcasm and bitterness, but the truth is - being positive is one of the most free states we can exist in.

How will you choose to be positive? And how will it change your your world?

||  Head over to our shop and get this print as a constant reminder that           positivity is a conscious choice, not an automatic response.

 

Happy

Did you know that 40 million adults struggle with anxiety in the US?

It’s a staggering statistic, but for some reason I don’t feel very surprised.

How often do you hear people answer “stressed” when asked how they’re doing? How often do you report your life as being “busy” above all else? We live in a culture that’s chasing the idea of more, and this unquenchable appetite leaves us feeling either worn out or hungry or frustrated by the fact that we just can’t seem to get “there”.

Where is “there” though? What is it we’re looking for?

I think the answer is different for everyone, but ultimately boils down to happiness.

We just want to be happy. And not in a selfish childish way, we want to be happy in deep sincere way that overflows into the life happening around us.

Don’t you want that? Why is it so hard to find?

Did you know that researchers have found a relationship between the rise in cases of anxiety in America and the rise in the number of people who are more influenced by extrinsic motivation (external rewards/consequences) than intrinsic motivation (internal satisfaction/morals)? Meaning, there’s something about seeking satisfaction in status and money and praise that induces more anxiety than chasing things that bring an inner sense of achievement and meaning.

I don’t think we’ve become unaffected or uninterested in intrinsic motivation - I know we long to be passionate and brave and proud of the lives we live - but I wonder if we are too easily distracted by the thrill of extrinsic motivation. There’s something more thrilling about someone telling you you’re beautiful than simply believing it, just like there’s something more thrilling about winning a race than going for a run just because you love it. The problem is though, thrills are only temporary. They quickly dissolve when life gets hard.

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl spent his life researching the importance of finding meaning in all seasons of life. What’s amazing though, is that Frankl survived four concentration camps during WWII and still believed this. He knew better than anyone that life will never be easy or free from pain, and that’s precisely why he explained we need to hold on to something stronger and more powerful than temporary pleasures. Frankl believed that meaning and purpose and passion lead to a happy life, that when we’re head bent, hustling toward our destiny we’ll find pockets of sweet happiness all along the way.

Being told I’m beautiful and likeable and smart and funny makes me incredibly happy, but I know that happiness will quickly wear off if I don’t believe those things myself.

I want to experience the kind of happy that makes my heart beat faster.The kind that flings me forward, head first into life. I don’t want happy that dissolves in my mouth, I want happy that tastes like Funfetti and pink champagne! And, to get this kind of happiness I know I need to do more than look for it externally, I need to find it within.

40 million Americans struggle with anxiety and I know from personal experience that this is often caused by a wide arrange of chemical imbalances in our bodies. At the same one though, I wonder if the number would decrease if we weren’t so frantically trying to grasp onto things we think will make us happy only to have them slip away a few minutes later.

Now, to finish up are you ready for the cheesiest quote of all time?

Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you”.  What if we took a minute to sit down quietly today and really think about the kind of life we’re chasing and the kind of life we were made to live? Let us know what you come up with, we can’t wait to hear!

 

Courageous

Choose to be courageous: “ I get worried for young girls sometimes: I want them to feel that they can be sassy and full and weird and geeky and smart and independent, and not so withered and shriveled.” - Amy Poehler

When we were thinking about the moods we wanted to highlight in this campaign we kept coming back to words that were similar, but seemed to represent something unique and different from one another. Brave and courageous were two of those words and we couldn't put one of them down. So, we're holding them both out to you with the option to, of course, choose. 

To us being brave is the very human instinct to take risks - to leap off the edge into the unknown. But, to be courageous is less about wild abandon and more about the silent determination to be true to yourself. To be who you were made to be. 

Courage is so important, so special to us, at Be Bona Fide, because it is required for all that we stand for. To be real and genuine and authentic you have to summon up a courage deep within.

I love the quote by Amy Poehler above, because I think the idea of being withered and shriveled perfectly encapsulates what it feels like when you’re not being yourself. To me a courageous woman glows and looks like she's full to the brim with life. We obviously live in a culture that encourages thinness as a beauty ideal, but sometimes I think it encourages a shrinking of personality and originality just as much as it does body size. 

The most courageous people I know are the ones that aren't afraid to be wonderfully themselves. Their voice and expressions and even body language exude a brilliant freedom. 

You know what I mean don't you? The people that stand tall, shoulders back, heads high, eyes twinkling with personality. The ones that dance and laugh and cry whenever they feel like, because they aren't afraid of themselves.

Amy Poehler says she's worried for young girls sometimes, and to be honest I am too. 

To live a life tiptoeing around as if letting your full-self be known would cause too much disruption in this world is such a shame. 

 So, here's the question: what would it look like for you to be courageous?  What parts of your life feel withered and shriveled and how could you courageously make them full again?

Patient

Love is patient. 

 1 Corinthians 13:4-- You probably heard it at the last wedding you went to, or have seen it framed in an adorable nursery on pinterest. The verse gives characteristics to love and for some reason it starts with the idea that love is patient. 

Yes, “Love is kind, it does not envy or boast, and it is not proud, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres”, but first and foremost, “love is patient”. 

Why is that? Why is patience so crucial to love? 

Google’s definition of ‘patient’ is: “able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.”

I think patience is important to love, because it’s so easy to be un-accepting and intolerable with the people we love most. It’s probably because we know they’ll love us even after our moments of impatience, but should we allow that to be an excuse? Probably not.

Thinking about it, when was the last time you were impatient? Who was it directed towards and what was it about? 

Patience certainly involves grace - people really do move at glacial speeds when we’re in a hurry and don’t always catch on as soon as we’d like them to - but when you really think about that last moment of impatience wasn’t there something else going on?

For me, impatience usually comes from some deeper source of anxiety, but bubbles out as agitation over little things. 

So often I live one step ahead of the moment - I’m physically there, but my mind is racing an hour or a month or a year in front of me. And somehow, this disconnect between my body and my mind generates an intense feeling of stress, which then leads to me snapping at my husband or the people who don’t pay attention in line at Starbucks or Al the Dog. 

It seems like being patient maybe means settling into your life - like choosing to be being patient maybe has a lot to do with choosing to be present.

Which makes sense doesn’t it? How can we feel at rest or calm in the moment if we aren’t 100% in the moment? How can we feel content with our lives if we’re constantly thinking about what’s next? 

Gretchen Rubin, Author of the “Happiness Project” says, “The days are long, but the years are short.” 

The truth is that where we’re at right now and all that we’re experiencing in this very moment, is important and will be gone in an instant. As a day seems to drag along, our lives really do pass by so fast. How can we figure out how to embrace them? How can we figure out how settle in and choose to patiently live in the moment, because right now, this very second, is once in a lifetime? 

That’s my goal currently. All suggestions welcome. 

Joyful

 “I want to see beauty. In the ugly, in the sink, in the suffering, in the daily, in all the days before I die, the moments before I sleep.” ANN VOSKAMP

 

 

To be joyful I think you must be aware. You must have the kind of eyes that catch the small glittering pieces of goodness in a long day and notice the beauty in what many would call insignificant or even ugly.  Things like an old couple sitting at Starbucks together or a dad fishing with his kid in the pond at the park. Things like the person singing alone in their car next to you and the smell of the magnolias beginning to bloom. 

I believe joy is all around us waiting to be discovered and chosen, but I think it’s often left unnoticed - brushed past in our frantic scurry of a life. 

See, happiness is an emotion that bubbles over in laughter and often excitement, but joy is quiet. Like a whisper telling you it's okay to put down your guard now. It’s the thing that exists beneath the surface - beneath happiness or sadness, beneath the little stresses of the day. Joy is the pulsing emotion that tells you, at your core, life is good and everything is going to be okay. 

It’s peace. 

A joyful person is at rest and in tune with themselves and the world around them, and that peace and connected-ness allows them to experience life in even the most mundane. 

These are the people that smile doing the laundry because as they fold their babies clothes they dream of the human they will become. They’re the people that can have a real conversation with anyone, because they know there’s always something to learn. They aren’t free of strife, they’re the people that persists in spite of it - that choose to get up and keep going, because they'd rather love life than avoid it. 

And, I think this is key. The most joyful people are rarely the ones with the most money or best bodies or largest social media followings - they’re actually often times the ones going through the greatest hardships. The ones that understand life in such a deeper way than the rest of us, because they know how delicate it is.  They know joy doesn’t just happens to you, that it  doesn’t comes about when all the pieces finally fall into place. They know that Joy is something you must choose...even when the pieces are a mess, scattered all over the floor. 

Are you capable of that? Can you choose joy?