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positively present
positivity. awareness. self-love.
Recent Activity
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Regard yourself as a cloud. Clouds never make mistakes. Did you ever see a cloud that was misshapen? Did you ever see a badly designed wave? No, they always do the right thing. And if you will treat yourself for a while as a cloud or wave, you’ll realize that you can’t make a mistake whatever you do. Because even if you do something that appears totally bizarre, it will all come out in the wash somehow or another. Then through this capacity you will develop a kind of confidence. And through confidence you will be able to trust your... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2019 at positively present
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Get the print here! Whenever I do interviews, one of the questions I get asked most frequently is, "If you could give out one piece of advice, what would it be?" It's a tough one to answer, but my instinct is almost always to say, "Pay attention to your thoughts." It sounds like simple (or perhaps even strange) advice -- after all, aren't we always paying attention to our thoughts if we're thinking them? But, if you think about it (ha!), we actually don't pay attention to our thoughts very often. Maybe when we're infants or children we pay closer... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2019 at positively present
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Get the print here! For as long as I can remember, I've been anxious. During some periods of my life (like now) it's worse. Other times, it's just a faint trace, like someone's perfume lingering on you after a hug. For as long as I can remember, I've been trying to elude my anxiety. I've tried almost everything. I've tried mixed drinks and drug cocktails. I've tried sleeping too much and sleeping around. I've tried therapy (which does, to some degree, help) and soul-searching (also helpful, in its navel-gazing way). I've tried shopping and scrolling. I've tried yoga (also useful... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2019 at positively present
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On Friday, my mom celebrated her birthday, and it never feels like I'm able to express how grateful I am for her presence in my life in the form of tangible gifts. You see, my mom is the absolute best mom. I know lots of people think their mom is the best, but I truly did get the best one. And this time of year, with her birthday and Mother's Day, always reminds me of how fortunate I am to call her mine. As someone who is incredibly fortunate to have an amazing mom, I sometimes feel guilty talking about... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2019 at positively present
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As the leaves start to sprout on the trees and the flowers begin to poke their heads up through the dirt, I'm reminded, once again, of how spring is the ultimate symbolic season of change and growth and blooming once again. After months of drab, colorless treetops, things are blooming as they always do, and it's showing me that we, too, can bloom again, even when things have been dormant for some time. One of the best ways to channel the springtime vibe of transformation is to investigate what we've been settling for. When we can identify the areas in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2019 at positively present
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How I came across the video Keeping Mentally Fit I'm not quite sure — pretty sure it's a combination of my own YouTube content and Safiya Nygaard's decades videos — but when I first saw the video in my recommended feed, I naively expected it to be filled with such out-of-touch advice that it would be laughable to those interested in self-help today. While some of my 1950s-era expectations were certainly met (blatant racism, overt sexism, and a bizarre understanding of mental health treatment — 2 out of 40 high school graduates could expect to someday spend time in a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2019 at positively present
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If you need this reminder IRL, print is in the shop here! Materialism exists because we get excited about something, want to own it, get it, grow used to it (or even feel let down by it immediately after acquiring it), and then strive again for the "wanting" high by identifying a new thing to covet. The cycle can be endless, and even if you're aware of it, it can be tough to break because wanting something (and striving to make it yours) just feels so darn good sometimes. The problem is we often don't pay attention to where in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2019 at positively present
Sabrina - Great point about how emotions are momentary! Positivity is something we can embrace at any time and work to cultivate more of, but emotions are fleeting and we don't have to be helpless in the face of them!
Toggle Commented Mar 12, 2019 on On Toxic Positivity at positively present
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Kathy - Thank you! I really appreciate your encouraging and kind words! :)
Toggle Commented Mar 6, 2019 on On Toxic Positivity at positively present
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Kate - I'm sorry to hear that you've been going through such a tough time, but it sounds like you really have the right attitude! Being positive doesn't fix things, but, as you said, it really does make it more bearable. I hope things start looking up soon!
Toggle Commented Mar 6, 2019 on On Toxic Positivity at positively present
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Pamela - Thanks for following along on Instagram! I know there's a lot of content out there so I appreciate it! :)
Toggle Commented Mar 2, 2019 on On Toxic Positivity at positively present
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Helen - Thank you! I'm so glad you appreciated the post. And thanks so much for supporting my work by purchasing my diary! :) It means a lot!
Toggle Commented Mar 2, 2019 on On Toxic Positivity at positively present
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Christine - It makes me so happy to hear that you copied the post into your planner! It's a nuanced concept for people to grasp (the notion of experiencing two emotions at once), and I'm so glad you don't get that "just be happy" vibe from my posts 'cause that's not my message at all. Thanks for reading!
Toggle Commented Mar 2, 2019 on On Toxic Positivity at positively present
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Wendy - Thanks so much for your encouraging words! I'm so glad what I wrote resonated with you!
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2019 on On Toxic Positivity at positively present
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Amy - Thank you! I'm so glad you loved the art and that my posts help you stay in the present. Instagram is definitely a more positive platform, but negativity is everywhere unfortunately. Thank you for being one of the positive and encouraging supporters. It means a lot!
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2019 on On Toxic Positivity at positively present
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Patty - You're welcome! Thank you for reading!!
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2019 on On Toxic Positivity at positively present
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As I've seen tremendous growth on Instagram over the past few years (which I'm certainly not complaining about!), I've also seen a rise in angry, unkind, and negative comments. This is to be expected, but when you've been doing this for a decade and are only now facing resistance, it's admittedly a bit of an odd feeling. It's new. And it's not great. Coupled with this strange, new feeling is the notion that, because my brand is all about being positive (a word that clearly has a variety of meanings for people, which we'll get into in a bit), I'm... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2019 at positively present
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ANNIVERSARY EXCLUSIVE! From now until the end of the month, EVERYONE who signs up for Patreon will get a copy of Through the Year: 52 Pages of Inspiration from Positively Present, an exclusive e-book containing 52 Positively Present illustrations. For just $1 (or more, if you're feeling generous!), you can get this unique collection of illustrations all while supporting Positively Present! In March, the book will only be available for higher tiers. If you like what I've been doing over the past ten years, please consider supporting my work on Patreon. (And if Patreon isn't for you, don't worry: I've... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2019 at positively present
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Get this print in the shop here! If you follow me on Instagram, you might've seen this recent post, where autocorrect changed my caption from "mind games" to "kind games." Not surprisingly, this led me to think about what "kind games" might consist of since, even if you're not intentionally playing mind games with those around you, most of us do some game-playing. Anytime you're not clearly and effectively communicating with others — intentionally or unintentionally — it's a kind of game (at the very least, a guessing game!). No matter how much you might aim for healthy, communicative relationships,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2019 at positively present
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While reading Karen Thompson Walker's The Dreamers, I came across the quote, "Worry is a kind of creativity," and it really made me think about worry in a different way. Sure, worrying can be a soul-crushing nightmare at times, but it is kind of cool that I can imagine so many things in my mind that have never (and likely will never) happen. I've always been a worrier (that's what we used to refer to it as back in the day before "anxiety" became a buzzword), and I've always considered it to be a mostly negative trait. Yes, worry has... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2019 at positively present
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It's normal for us to want to categorizing things, to label them so we might make sense of them, but as soon as we start identifying something — as good, bad, or any other descriptor — we're limiting our understanding of the thing. (Yes, there are quite a few things that are easily and unequivocally defined, but the list of such things is likely shorter than you'd think.) Attempts to label or categorize are attempts to understand, to provide clarity for ourselves in a world that often doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But, unfortunately, these sense-striving attempts often... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2019 at positively present
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When something really great happens — you get accepted to the school of your choice, you publish a book, you land the great job, you find love, you make the team, you get the A, you choose a new career path, you give birth to a human person — celebrating is easy. People around you get excited for you and, even if you're filled with uncertainty ('cause change, however positive, can be scary!), you likely feel some sort of positive feelings about having worked hard to accomplish something. But, unless you're some kind of amazing superstar, these big "wins" are... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2019 at positively present
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Shop this illustration in the print shop! On the last day of the year, I've found myself reflecting on the past twelve months and, in particular, the ebb and flow my relationships. While reflecting, I realized I was trying to fit my relationships (and people!) into neat little boxes, labeled "GOOD" or "BAD," and it just wasn't working out. Because, as I'm sure you know, relationships are complex. They don't always fit clearly into boxes. They can't always be labeled clearly. My feelings about most people, even those I love dearly, are mixed. For someone like me, who really likes... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2018 at positively present
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In last week's post, I wrote about 5 ways to prepare for 2019, and this week I wanted to dive a bit deeper into the "clear out your clutter" point because, while you certainly don't need the start of a new year to declutter and simplify your life, sometimes the change of a date on the calendar can be all the inspiration you need to make positive changes. Plus, there's something immensely satisfying about kicking off a new year with a (somewhat) clean slate! There are obviously tons of decluttering posts online, but here are some of the things I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2018 at positively present
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The end of the year is upon us, which means it's just about time for all of the articles about New Year's resolutions and "how to make the most of 2019" to come out! Personally I'm not a fan of resolutions, as they're often too broad and rarely stuck to, but I am all about prepping for the year to come. There's only so much you can really do to prepare since you never know what the year-to-come will have in store, but here are five of the ways I like to try to get it together in December so... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2018 at positively present