17 Jun Toxic Positivity, Part 2
I received great responses to the last episode about Toxic Positivity. I wanted to take some time to address a few of the viewer mail questions now.
Special intro music: “Spirits in the Material World” by The Police.
✔️ It’s unrealistic to expect every moment to be total bliss. But how can we avoid extremes? Not being a downer Eeyore but also not being toxically positive either?
✔️ As the scriptures say: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” I’ve heard Wayne Dyer lecture on this topic before. There’s a time for comfort and discomfort, for work and for rest, for heat and for cold. This is nature itself. Toxic positivity tries to hijack the system and tell you that you damnwellbetter be happy 24/7.
✔️ If someone close to you is dumping toxic positivity on you, how can you handle it without booting them out of your life? Or if you tend to be sunny and effervescent, how can you avoid perpetrating toxic positivity onto others?
✔️ Right before sleep and upon waking in the morning, your brain is in a good place to receive positive affirmations and statements. These times are excellent for implanting the kind of programming YOU WANT inside your head. Don’t fall asleep listening to things like the news, talk radio, politics, violent movies or TV shows, etc.
Links to videos mentioned in this episode:
Esther Hicks’ Good Morning Rampage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmczMP1gQzk
Five Reiki Principles Meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_gIaVvOKi0&t=128s
Need more? Email me: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/contact-causey/
Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here’s your host, Sara Causey. Hello out there. And thanks for tuning in. I received some really great viewer mail from the last episode. Unfortunately, it seems quite a few of us have been slapped down at one point or another by people probably well meaning and well intentioned, who gave us a lot of toxic positivity at a time when we just needed to vent where we just needed to feel supported. And instead, we got love and light only no bad vibes allowed. And I want to take some time in this episode to go over some of the questions that I was asked in said viewer mail that some of these questions are really awesome, and I think will help so many people. So one of the questions I was asked was, I want to be generally happy, I don’t want to be an Eeyore or a pessimist. But I also don’t want to be in toxic positivity. Like I want to be true and authentic to my emotions. But you know, all things considered, I want to generally have a good life, I want to generally feel happiness and joy. So how do I get there? How do I avoid either er, or toxic positivity? Because it seems like that’s a lot of what’s out there. And that’s a great question. I was excited to get on this podcast episode and talk about it. Because I know a lot of people feel the same way. I’ve definitely felt that way at times where sometimes you feel like it’s cut and dry. I’m either going to be whole ball or like you’re I’m going to be way up here and trying to act like everything’s sunshine and roses all the time, even though I’m dead inside me. I get it. I totally get it. I like the phrasing of the question too, because I feel like it’s getting close to the Buddhist idea of the middle path, not being too far in one direction or the other. And I think that’s what everybody wants to really is just a generally happy life, a general sense of joy, being able to look back on it all on your deathbed and say, yeah, it was worth it. I had a pretty good ride, all things considered. I had a pretty good life. I enjoyed my time here in this flesh suit. Now, obviously, we’re going to have those times your boss calls you into the office and chews you out over something that is so stupid, or some jerk in traffic cut you off almost causes you can get into a fender bender on the highway, you’re not going to be feeling pure bliss and joy in those moments. And nor should you. Alright, I think back to some commentary, I heard from Wayne Dyer that I find really helpful. I’ve heard him lecture before about there’s a time for everything, a time to be hot, a time to be cold, a time to work hard a time to rest. A time to really give it your all and a time to slow down. There’s a time and a season for everything. And I think many years ago, when our ancestors and forebears lived off the land, they were much more in tune with the seasons, much more in tune with agriculture and the natural cycle or the wheel of the here so to speak. They knew these things, they knew there was a time to be hot in a time to be cold. I knew there was a time to work really hard, and then a time to rest and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You know, but we’re pampered and spoiled in the modern world we get mad if the Wi Fi is slowing down. Or if the power goes out for two or three hours during a bad thunderstorm we feel ill used, you know or if the dishwasher conks out and we have to spend a week washing dishes by hand until a new dishwasher can come in from Lowe’s or Home Depot. We feel ill at ease during that time. Oh, I’m a pioneer. I have to wash dishes by hand. Meanwhile, you know the ancestors are looking down on you like Oh, god, no, you are not a pioneer even in the slightest. But we’ve kind of lost touch with this idea of there’s a time for discomfort and there’s a time for rest. There’s a time for joy and jubilation and there’s a time for mourning. This goes back to the scriptures. If you think of the passage in Ecclesiastes is about all of this. If you go and read the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, as you will see that’s where the expression comes from, for everything. There is a season, a time for every activity under heaven, a time to be born and to die, to plant to harvest, to kill, to heal, to tear down to build up, etc. Maybe you only thought that that was just a Byrds song but it actually did come from Scripture. Wayne Dyer was talking about being in a session of hot yoga and being hot, sweaty and uncomfort trouble. And as he was feeling that discomfort, he thought, well, there’s a time for this. Just like after this hot yoga class, I’ll go home, I’ll take a shower and change my clothes. And I’ll be relaxing. Right now, in this moment. In this hot yoga class, I’m doing what I came here for to get hot, and to sweat and to feel discomfort to to put my body into certain positions that may not feel you that that feel challenging, it may not feel super comfortable in the moment, but I’m doing what I came here to do. And then later I’ll be able to relax. Sometimes I think about that. Like if I’m if I’m really wanting to just be lazy, if I want to just lay down on the couch and watch TV or curl up with a book, but I know that I need to exercise I know that it would be beneficial for my health to get up and do some cardio or do some weight training, I’ll just tell myself, give yourself 30 minutes to do that, there’s a time to get up and be active and break a sweat and do the right thing by your heart and your cardiovascular system. And then there’s a time to lay down on the couch and read, you know, there there is space enough in most days for both of those activities. So there’s a time to feel discomfort and a time to feel comfort, it is natural. For me, this is another way that toxic positivity robs people and it is blind to reality. And in the same way that the seasons change, there’s a time when the plants come into bloom, there’s a time for you to tear up the soil and plant a garden and then harvest those fruits. And then there’s a barren winter season, when we should be inside we should be introspective, we should be, you know, eating the food that we set aside and put in the larder through the harvest to make it through the winter, those things are very natural. Toxic positivity wants to tell you love and light only. Don’t feel anger, don’t get in touch with rage. You need to just be happy all the time. Like Life Life is not set up in such a way that you’re that you’re never going to feel challenges, you’re never going to feel pain, you’re never going to grieve, you’re never going to have sorrow. That may be some weird utopian vision that somebody has. But it’s not grounded in reality, and trying to hold yourself to that standard is absurd. And I would even say coming back to the question of I don’t want to be an Eeyore but I also don’t want toxic positivity. Don’t focus on on that which is unwanted. So in other words, don’t focus on Oh my God, I don’t want to be like one of those toxic positivity queens. I also don’t want to be your I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer and just drag my friends down every time they see me, okay, then don’t focus on that. If it’s important to you to get on the middle path and say, generally speaking, I want to be happy. Generally speaking, I want to have a good life, then focus on that. And the more that you focus on things that you feel that sense of happiness and ease and peace of out the more opportunities that you will get to have those expressions of happiness and peace. Again, it’s not going to be when your bosses chewing you out, you almost have a fender bender, your dog is not cooperating, you need the dog to just go out in the yard and do its business in the middle of a rainstorm. You’re like, Oh my God, please just do this. So we can go back in probably not going to be feeling sheer bliss and pure joy in those moments, nor should you. For some people, gratitude journals are very powerful. And I have heard from people who swear by them and have had really great like mental and physical turnarounds from just being able to sit on a regular basis and count their blessings, so to speak. For me, gratitude journaling has a tendency to get repetitive. And then the next thing I know I’m just on autopilot, writing the same things down day after day or week after week and not really connecting to the text that I’m writing. So I personally like to do scripting more than a gratitude journal. So I will think about a goal that I want something I want to manifest something that has not shown up yet but that I am passionate about. And then I will write about it in my journal as though it has already happened and I’m living in it. Now it can be anything from landing a new client, my bank account hitting a new number that it hasn’t been before. manifesting a new car manifesting a new house, whatever it is, and the key there is to act as if it has already happened. I am so happy and grateful that I am in my new dream house. It’s beautiful. I love the bathrooms. I love the kitchen. The kitchen is spacious. I cook x y&z meals in there, really get into it, and picture yourself doing the things that you want to be doing in this situation. I love my new job. My boss and I get along very well. I’m working on projects that are challenging and stimulating. I am paid very well. I have great benefits. My co workers are awesome. And the more specific that you can get me like you may want to start out General, but the more specific that you can get over the course of time, you’ll find that you really were scripting out your future. And the things that you write down, just seem to almost by weird magic manifest in your life. So thinking about what you want to have happen in your life, and then writing it down as if it’s already happened is a very powerful tool. If you find that keeping a gratitude journal is also helpful for you, then do it. For me, it gets a little like repetitive, but if it’s something that brings you into an elevated emotion, and you find that, like, okay, I would say if you find that you are slipping into your territory, because you’re just not realizing how many awesome things you have in your life, keeping a gratitude journal could help you get back into that space of feeling happy and feeling thankful for all the great things that you do have. Another thing that helps me a lot, is ensuring that I have some kind of like positive affirmations or a positive guided meditation to fall asleep to at night, I was in the habit of doing that for a while, and I felt so good. And then I fell out of the habit, I had some nights where I was just really tired, and I forgot to plug something in or pull something up on YouTube before I went to sleep, and I would just pass out and just be like, gone asleep, dead to the world. And I found that in those nights where I just turn everything off, and I just crawl into the bed and I’m deceased for a period of time, my physical body may be like, awake and refreshed, but I don’t feel as confident and I don’t have as much of a positive demeanor. Or as much like, um, you know, whatever this day brings, I can handle it. I don’t have as much of that like inner and spiritual and emotional reserve to tap into. versus when I do listen to positive affirmations or a positive guided meditation as I’m falling asleep or even into the night as I am asleep. I feel so much better. Like I just I have that sense of everything’s gonna be okay. Like, feel the fear and do it anyway, whatever the world throws at me today, I’ll handle it. When whatever happens, good, bad or indifferent. I got this, I know I’m going to be okay. And as a result, I’m not like putting out all of this weird spastic energy. I also don’t feel like an ER pessimist. It’s like, okay, I feel good. I’m in a generally good space. And I feel like I can handle the day. I also in the morning, before I ever leave the bed, will listen to like one of Esther Hicks rampage, like a morning rampage, a rampage of gratitude. There’s some where she, it’s fairly repetitive. This is a good morning, this is a good day. I also sometimes will listen to the five Reiki principles to sort of get the day started off on the right foot. And I will in the write up for this podcast, drop a couple of links so that you can find these tools on YouTube. Hopefully the videos will stay up. But they’re ones that I have used myself personally and have found to be really awesome. If you’re not familiar with those five Reiki principles, I will read them off to you. Number one is just for today, I will not worry. Two, just for today, I will not anger. Three, just for today, I will be grateful for all of my blessings. Four, just for today, I will work with honesty and integrity. And five, just for today, I will be kind to all living beings, which by the way includes yourself. So by starting out by with putting that type of thing in my mind when I’m just sort of in that hinterland between, you know, not not fully awake, but yet not fully asleep. It helps to just prep the mind and the body of just for today. This is how I’m going to approach life. I’m not going to worry about tomorrow, a month from now, a decade from now I’m going to focus on this present moment and say just for today, I’m not going to get angry and spaz out, no, I’m going to worry about the future, I’m going to be in a space of gratitude, I’m going to make sure that I come correct and deliver awesome results for my clients. And I’m going to be kind to myself, to my animals to other people around me. There’s going to try to be an all around decent human being for today. Those would be some of my suggestions. Those are tools that have worked for me. I once heard Joe dispenza say that by about age 35 give or take a little in either direction by about age 35. Your personality is pretty much set. It’s like all of that subconscious software programming that runs in the background that makes you who you are, how you react in different situations, your likes and dislikes, what gets on your nerves, what turns you on what turns you off, etc. It’s pretty much set by about age 35. So if you’re listening to this broadcast, and you’re thinking okay, great. I’m under 35 I got time You do and and it will be a little more easy for you to make changes. If there’s some character trait that you develop that you don’t like that you want to change about yourself. Do it, do it while you’re under 35. If you’re listening to this broadcast, and you’re over 35, which I most definitely am, the good news there is, you also have the opportunity to make changes. Now you may have to be more mindful about it because your automatic programming is going. So when you find yourself going, or you’re getting really angry about something petty, call yourself out on it, you know what, I want to make a different choice, I don’t want to be somebody that explodes like the Incredible Hulk over a minor nuisance, or it wasn’t really that big of a deal, I kind of feel like I’m making a mountain out of a molehill and being a little bit silly, it’s time for me to pull this back. So you may have to catch yourself and be a bit more mindful than someone whose personality has not been as set yet. But at any age, you can overcome that automatic programming. So by using tools like journaling, law of attraction, listening to meditations, doing things to prime the body, and to get into the brain, you know, those times when you are asleep, or you’re sort of in between stages, you’re not totally awake. You’re not totally asleep, either. It’s, it’s easier for those positive messages to get into the subconscious mind. Your defenses are down. So you’re not as likely to go home. Yeah, I’m sure I’ll be a millionaire someday. Oh, yeah, I’m sure my dream lover is on his way. I’m just so sure about that. You mean, sometimes in our waking life, we can start picking things apart and getting super cynical. But if you get those messages into the mind, when when those inhibitions are low, you’re suppressing your cynicism, and they can really get in there and start to take root. It’s awesome. You want to make sure that you’re giving the the subconscious mind really good food, you don’t want to put negativity and junk in there. Like falling asleep listening to the news, all that’s gonna do is make you sad and depressed, find something else to listen to. Other than that mess. One of the other questions I got that I thought was awesome is how do you deal with toxic positivity? If you’ve got a friend or a family member that you like, you’re not you just want to you don’t you’re not want to cut them off at the knees and tell him to get lost out of your life? How do you respond to it when you’re trying to vent or you’re trying to express yourself and you feel like you’re getting slapped down with the toxic positivity. Some people have found that limiting or taking a temporary break from social media helps a lot. Social media has the tendency to stir up FOMO make you think everybody else’s happy. Everybody else has a dream life. All these other people are living in mcmansions and driving sports cars and going on expensive vacations and time out here not doing any of that, what the hell am I doing wrong. So for some, it helps to get away from that kind of bogus imagery. And if you find that your friends on social media are not really supporting you in the way that you need to be supported. Taking a break from that can also be really helpful. I have a friend who was going through clinical depression, and this is this is no joke. I’m 100% serious. Some of his friends thought it would be helpful to send him a PowerPoint slideshow of inspirational quotes by Abe Lincoln. Just gonna pause for a minute and let you digest that. Now, I’m not a trained psychologist or psychiatrist but I myself have never heard of a power almost cuts this almost became an explicit episode. I myself have never heard of a PowerPoint slideshow of a blink and quotes taking somebody magically out of clinical depression. So if you find that these people around you, especially on social media, if they’re like, Oh, just just move on, oh, I’m sending you love and light. Oh, I know you’re gonna get over this soon. If it’s not helping you, if it’s actually making you feel worse because you’re not being heard and validated, then take a break from those people. Another thing I will say is to advocate for yourself, you know, if someone is giving you a bunch of unsolicited advice, or they, maybe their their intention is good, and they sincerely want to help you. But they’re they’re just not going about it in the right way. You can always step in and tell them the way that you’re trying to help me. It isn’t helping me sending me positive quotes or telling me Oh, just Chin up stiff upper lip, and you’ll get through this. That’s not that’s not helping me. I know that you mean well. I understand that you’re sincere. You really want to see me feel better. But the way that you’re going about it isn’t helping me. And you can always sort of calibrate your satellite to attract in people who get you and who are supportive of you. Sometimes the universe God, whatever you believe Then we’ll start to move certain individuals away from you and take certain individuals out of your life. Because you’re growing, you’re in a space where you’re no longer compatible with them anymore. You know, I remember when I was a 20 something and I would go out and you want to like to go to clubs and I like to go to bars and you know, it just wasn’t the weekend unless we were out tearing the town up. I am in touch with very few of those people anymore. The people that were in my live tear in the town of drinkin and honky-tonkin’, and that time in my life are long gone. You know, some of them have settled down, they’ve started families and, and they’re not out tearing the town up anymore. Some of them, you know, who knows, maybe they’re still in that lifestyle. But people come and go out of your life sometimes for very good reasons. And they may be in your life for a certain season, maybe they’re a great party pal. But they’re not somebody that’s going to take your phone call at two in the morning when you’re really down. Or they may be somebody that wants to hang out with you when you’re positive and upbeat. But if you’re sad, if you’re grieving, if you’re just not feeling 100%, for whatever reason, they don’t want to be around you, I had a friend who fell into that latter category. And you know, if I was if I was happy if things were good, and we just wanted to go hang out and have like lunch and a couple of Margarita, she was down any, any any time she was ready to go. But if I was hurting, if I needed to talk about something like you, I think I’m gonna lose my job. They’re having layoffs, I just don’t know what I would do. Or, you know, I feel like I need to sell my house and I’m just not getting any nibbles are starting to really stress me out. Nope, nope, she didn’t want to hear it. And I don’t I don’t necessarily know if it was coming from a place of toxic positivity. Or if she was just like, yeah, I’ll hang out with you if we’re only going to talk about sunshine and roses. But you know, if you have anything that might require some emotional heavy lifting, or emotional support, I’m not interested. And she’s not in my life anymore. And so be it. It’s no hard feelings either way. You want to surround yourself with people that are compatible with you, and not saying they don’t ever challenge you, or they don’t ever, you know, like, question some of your limiting beliefs. But you don’t want to get your your whole inner circle full of people that are just going to give you that love and light good vibes only. And the third question I’ll address is, how can I avoid being the toxically positive friend or family member. And one person wrote me and said, I just by nature tend to be like a morning person, I like to get up in the morning, and I like to throw the curtains back and see the sunshine. And that’s just who I am. But I don’t want to become obnoxious to my friends and family members. And I kind of laughed a little, you know, in a good way. I’m not I’m not ragging on anybody here. I laughed a little because I thought you know, we’re we are different, you know, we have so many of the same human experiences and some of the same human emotions, but people are wired differently as to what excites them, what makes them happy, and their general temperament. Like when I get up in the morning, the last thing I want to do is start turning on every light in the house and throwing the curtains back, like, I have to go through a little bit of a waking up process before I’m totally 100%. You know, like, there’s a period of time there where it’s like, let let my brain completely reboot from a night of sleep before you start talking to me or yapping at me. But everybody’s different. So one of the things I would say to avoid being the toxically positive friend, especially if you’re just by nature kind of happy go lucky. And that’s your temperament. You don’t have to change who you are, you know. And I would say that, just as in the last question that I answered, I was talking about surrounding yourself with people that are compatible. You if you’re you generally have a sunny disposition, and you don’t want to be around a bunch of yours. And you found that you’ve attracted a bunch of years into your life, then you need to take stock of that and figure out why you have a bunch of yours that are like old bald, or when you’re exactly the opposite of that. You don’t have to be all things to all people. And sometimes I find that individuals that have that sunny disposition, they’re just naturally kind of happy, go lucky. They can also get into people pleasing, and it’s not your job or your responsibility to try to be all things to all people all the time. One piece of advice that I would give is you don’t insert yourself into situations unbidden. So if you have a friend that’s kind of going through some stuff, if they want to talk about it cool, but you don’t want to get in there and like butt into it. Well, I think you should just choose happiness. Well, I think you’re looking at this the wrong way. Well, you’re just being a sourpuss, like. If that friend invites you in and says, you know, I’m just not sure what to do about this. You can step in and try to be supportive, but you don’t want to bulldoze your way in and definitely don’t put together a PowerPoint slideshow of a blinking quotes for them, because that’s not gonna land well. But you can always say, you know, I can tell that you’re kind of going through something I’m here for you, if you ever need to talk about it, if you ever just want a listening ear to vent to, I’m here, and then the other person can take you up on that or not. If they do, let them express what they need to resist the urge to come in and be like, well, you shouldn’t be angry about that, or I don’t know why you’re feeling sad about that, or Oh, that guy’s a loser, you’re better off without him just, just listen. Having that. That safe space where we can cry, get angry, talk about our ex is a butthole talk about how our boss is a jerk. It’s really cathartic to just be able to get those emotions out, and you’re cramping, the other person’s ability to have that catharsis, if you just want to jump in over the top of them, and start giving unsolicited advice. Another thing I would say is that it’s okay to sometimes feel that sadness or to feel negative, to feel bitter, to feel angry to get upset, you know, let let those emotions out rather than bottling them up, you know, in the same way that, you know, you may be mostly sunny, you know, everything’s just pretty good. And I kind of roll with the punches, like you have to respect the fact that not everybody is wired that way. Another thing I would say is that sometimes we can hold two different emotions or two different ideas, intention, you know, let’s say that you have a co worker that gets fired for poor performance, but then you absorb some of their job duties and get a pay raise. Well, you may feel two ways about that, you may feel like damn, you, I hate I hate that I got this break at the expense of my friend getting fired, you know, or if the company has a layoff, but you stay on and you get promoted. Same thing, like you may have a lot of mixed emotions about that. You may go through a really bad breakup with somebody and the very next person you meet, you’re like, Whoa, I think this person might be my soulmate. I mean, this is amazing. You may feel sad that you had to go through the pain of the breakup of getting rid of someone who wasn’t right for you anymore. But you know, the silver lining there is you met somebody who is amazing, you were allowed as human beings to feel more than one emotion at one time, or to have more than one reaction about something at one time. The human mind is complex. And it’s very difficult to boil things down to it’s 100%. Right? It’s 100% joy, it’s 100% contentment, like, we typically do feel multiple things at one time. The final thing that I’m going to say about this is I feel like it’s very important to nourish your whole self. You may be wondering why my intro music was spirits in the material world? Well, I personally believe that we are spirits in the material world. But we have to remember that there’s that duality. There’s the mundane physical world, just as there’s the the more hidden, emotional, spiritual world. And if we were to say, Alright, I’m going to be very spiritually aesthetic. I’m going to do all of this meditation and all of this yoga, and I’m going to feed my spirit, but I’m going to starve my body, how well do you think that would go, you’re going to be getting pretty hungry, you’re going to be malnourished, and you’re going to be sick, your immune system is going to go down the tubes. And the next thing you know, you’re going to be ill with something, it really takes a balance of everything. The opposite is true. By the way, too, if you were to just say, I’m going to focus on my physical body and not do anything to grow emotionally, or to grow spiritually, then you’re going to as time goes by, you’re going to look around and realize that you’re immature, and you’re not able to relate to other people around you, especially people in your age group who have developed the mind who have developed their emotions and their spirit. It’s like your growth is going to be stunted at whatever age, you just said, screw it to your emotional and spiritual development. You really do want to take a holistic, well rounded approach. I feel like this helps not only in finding the middle path so that you’re not an ER, but you’re also not toxically positive. You know, you feel like generally speaking, you live a good life, you’re generally happy things generally function and work out for you the way that they should. By taking that holistic approach and feeding the mind, the body and the spirit. I think you’ll really find that you’re on that middle path to happiness most of the time. We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you haven’t already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you next time.