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Upcycle Your Thoughts!

by Lisa on January 18, 2011

It’s quite easy for me to think positively as I’m sitting on the porch in 70-degree weather in sunny Florida.

This isn’t always the case (flash forward to me arriving home in the frozen tundra of Rochester this evening).

It also isn’t the case that everything is always ideal in life. You know, there are curveballs and responsibilities and things. I have had times in my life (college) when I really focused on the negative aspects. I got stuck in feeling like a victim of life and that the world was out to get me.

It wasn’t. And I could have been a lot happier if I had learned back then how to upcycle my thoughts. Some experts will call this reframing and others call it pivoting.

Call it whatever you wish, I like the word Upcycle :)

Here’s an example of a negative habitual thought pattern:

I can’t believe I have to go home today. The weather sucks in Rochester, and I hate freezing my ass off every time I go outside. I had fun here, but it rained yesterday, so of course it’s beautiful on the day I have to leave. If it weren’t for my stupid jobs, I would just stay the rest of the week. Ugh, I might as well go pack up my stuff and get ready to drag myself to the airport. Good thing I brought a coat because I’ll be freezing when I get to Rochester.

Upcycled Thought:

I love Florida! I’m so lucky I could meet my friends here for a long weekend, and that we still stay in touch almost 10 years after college. The weather was warm and mostly sunny the whole time I was here, and it has been such a nice little getaway. I have about two hours before I need to head to the airport and jump on my flight (how awesome that I got a direct flight!), so I think I’ll head out for a walk around this beautiful resort before I get ready to leave.  I can’t wait to see Joe, and it’s great that I could schedule my flight at a time when he can pick me up at the airport. This way I can save money on parking and get right into a warm car when I arrive.

I made this example be about a day-to-day experience…but I’ve had people do it about bigger and more important issues too. I think practicing on the little stuff is a good way to be able to apply it to the bigger things.

What could you upcycle today?!

I did spend some early morning hours like this b/c the wireless internet only worked outside...but I had a blanket and I'm so lucky I can work remotely and still be on vacation for 90% of the day!

Friends wanted direct sunlight and the hot tub...of which I cannot participate in either. But I'm upcycling that to focus on my fabulous luck of being able to work by the pool with a "glass" of Chardonnay!

I know, too many pictures of my laptop. But I love it and it’s such a big part of my life :)

There were, for sure, many photos I've trashed, but we've got a few keepers too. Although I spent some time with my laptop this weekend, I spent a lot more time enjoying myself with my friends.

I also have found a most fabulous cocktail recipe to share with you very soon.

Right now, I think I’ll finish my coffee (which I meant to give up, but there’s always tomorrow!).

Are you more of an “upcycler” or …something else?  If you’re feeling negative, what do you do to feel better?

See you soon!

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