Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Queen of Your Own Life

On the Today show one morning last week, Kathy Kinney (formerly of the Drew Carey Show) and Cindy Ratzlaff were guests talking about their book, Queen of Your Own Life: A Grown-up Woman's Guide to Claiming Happiness and Getting the Life You Deserve--which is exactly what it sounds like. These women have decided that it's time for them to take control of their own happiness and get out of the negative patterns they've been living for most of their lives.

I thought this was really great. Women, and people in general, have a tendency to look to other people for their happiness--if you aren't getting enough recognition at your job, if you aren't going out on dates, it's easy to let those kinds of things determine your happiness. But these women have decided that they don't want that for themselves anymore.

"We weren't born knowing how to be happy, it's something we have to practice." This was said on the show, and I think it's an excellent point. There's something about the human condition that makes people gravitate toward negativity--complaining about a crappy job can be a bonding thing with your coworkers, or getting together with girlfriends and bashing all the terrible boyfriends you've had. It's true that these kinds of things can help connect people, but they're also bad habits that can really affect the overall quality of your life.

So instead of doing that, one of the ways you can practice being happy is to focus on all the good things about yourself and in your life. We've talked before about the power of affirmations and positive thinking, and the Queen of Your Own Life women are doing the same thing. They have this statement on their website:
Let’s pretend that a reality television crew followed you for 24 hours, recording everything you said, wrote and thought about yourself. Then they transcribed all of your self-descriptive utterances into writing and gave the list back to you to read. What kind of picture would emerge about you?...
Any time you catch yourself casting dispersions on your own beauty, strength, intelligence or abilities, stop. Think of new, positive words to replace the old ones. Here’s an example:

OLD WORDS: “Why can’t I figure out how to upload these photos to the online printer? I’m such a chowderhead!”

NEW WORDS: “Look at me, learning a new skill. Woot! My goodness I’m adventurous. Even though this is hard to learn, once I do learn it—and I will—there’s no stopping me.”

Positive speech is one aspect of their new lifestyle (and can I just say that I love the word chowderhead?), and it can really have a big impact. Like I said, we've talked about it before, but try it out--take some time and pay attention to all the little negative things you say throughout the day, whether you're kidding or not, and then make an effort to replace those comments with positive ones. Be nice to yourself, be nice to your coworkers, try giving people the benefit of the doubt. Focus on good things around you, and take charge of your own happiness.

This Queen of Your Own Life thing is a fun, slightly silly way to approach a serious change in your life. You can even have the official crowning ceremony if you want, like they did--if you're interested in doing that, you can get free certificates from their website, including a crown of arms. So have some fun with it, and whether you do the crowning ceremony or not, be queen of your own life--decide for yourself what your happiness will be, and don't let your circumstances dictate it for you.

1 comment:

amyclem22 said...

I love this! I definitely needed to hear this right now, you spoke to my heart and soul. thank you so much for your incredible words :)