Thursday, December 20, 2007

Color's Influence

Hello all! This is my first post. Pleasure to be here. :-)

How does color influence your mood and your ability to maintain a positive outlook? More specifically, how does the color of your clothing influence your mood?

Do you use color in your appearance to relflect or affect your mood? Ever consider the practical considerations of a monochromatic wardrobe? We often think of goths as being moody and depressed, and clothed in solid black. However, which came first: the mood, or the ebony wardrobe?

I've been experimenting with wearing nothing but black to work (four days a week) for the past month (not that I identify with goth culture, it's just something I've done periodically since, oh, before the internet and before I'd even heard the word goth*), and let me tell you, while I feel especially fashionable and love getting dressed in the morning (everything practically matches! either it's blue-black or it's brown-black), I haven't been my most upbeat self, either. That may be atttributed to other things going on in life lately, but as a fashionista in the field of clothing psychology, it raised a few questions I couldn't ignore.

How does the color of what you wear affect your moods and thoughts? Do the colors reflect what's going on inside, or do they first create what's going on inside? A little bit of both? Just some things to ponder...

*alternatively, I once experimented with wearing all white as much as practically possible. Not nearly as practical, fashionable or flattering as all black. :-)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

shifting perspective

some time ago i started noticing cultural perception and the shape of the words we use in every day language. there's a lot of negativity to battle (and of course, negativity is a judgement for which i must counterstrike and be grateful: for without negativity i would not understand positivity).

anyway, so we were trying to find somewhere to park one day when i used to drive. we were in san francisco and its tiny streets and compiled signs dictated our lives for several hours. of course, this was the last time i drove in san francisco or any large city, for that matter. i won't even consider the matter any more, but that's another story all together.

what i really noticed was that there would be a sign, and the sign would say, for example, "no parking from 3-6am, tuesdays and thursdays;" another sign below it would say "no parking tuesdays" and possibly another sign would say "no parking 6-8 mondays, weds, fridays & saturdays, including holidays" and it would take me like 5 minutes to figure out if i COULD park there in the time & space i was situated.

one could surmise that if there are other cars parked in the area that it was the time of day that is okay, but there are more signs designating parts of the block from point x forward or point x backwards 200 feet, so one has to be very careful.

what i thought would be a better idea all around was to, instead of state what you may NOT do, to state what you MAY do:

No Left Turn >> Please, Turn Right.
Do Not Cross >> Cross When Safe.
Yield >> Let Others Pass
Stop >> Consider
Do Not Block >> Leave Space Open

but it doesn't stop there, of course - that was the thing that got me thinking about it. this kind of thinking is infused not just in our street signs, but in our every day cultural language.

one of my goals for the new year is to be consciously aware of the language i use and its effect on my thinking personally and thus its effects on the community in which i live.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gratitude Counterstrike Part 2

So it's been a week, and I've been practicing my goal to launch the Gratitude Counterstrike.

What I noticed:

1. I feel calmer after I've expressed gratitude. It definitely shifts my mood. We all have to deal with moments of frustration, being human beings. However, being human beings, we also have the ability to choose to take another path.

2. It takes frequent reminders to practice this. I'll have to make it a lifelong practice to get the best benefit. Yet this is a practice that costs nothing and pays in peace. I bet the peace feels stronger over time.

3. I found myself a few times about to complain or judge and stopping myself simply because I felt like I'd rather not be expressing gratitude just to counterstrike something I knowingly said or thought. This is half out of laziness for not wanting to be redundant with what I express gratitude for, and half out of wanting gratitude to be my first instinct, not my second.

So, launches will continue. Or we can get to a point where there's no counterstrike but instead, a Gratitude PREEMPTIVE strike. This is even better. This is if we're aiming for that first instinct to be gratitude.

Can you imagine it? That automatically, when life throws you challenges, whether small or large, our first instinct would be to express thankfulness for something, even the challenge itself for giving us an opportunity for growth.
Every day we do things, we are things that have to do with peace. If we are aware of our life..., our way of looking at things, we will know how to make peace right in the moment, we are alive.

Thich Nhat Hanh


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Gratitude Counterstrike

So, to take Keri's challenge. I'm going to launch the Gratitude Counterstrike this week.

Here's my attempt for small change this week. It's worth making it a practice:

If I find myself complaining or judging (which is a complaint of a sort) I must launch a counterstrike of gratidue towards the complaint in the form of expressing, inwardly or outwardly, two things I am grateful for.

The first gratitude strike knocks out the complaint. The second moves me in a peaceful direction.

G minus 10...9...8...7..6...5...4...3...2...1...


Sunday, December 9, 2007

it might be a fun project to try week-long exercises where each of us takes a turn to promote a small change in our lives and then write about our experiences here.

whattaya think?


Monday, December 3, 2007

Welcome to Pocket Changes Blog!

Contributers wanted. Individuals interested in changing the world, one person at a time, starting with themselves.

Positive Attitude (steer clear of judging others)

I read something the other day where a guy promised himself that the day he could get through an entire day without judging another person, he would reward himself with an ice cream sundae. This guy is apparently the peaceful sort who really does practice trying to stay positive, but he admits he hasn't managed to earn the sundae yet after many years.

Interesting thought. Sure, if you stay home and don't interact with others, you might manage it. Play video games, the kind where you don't interact with others, and you might get through your day without thinking of real life and passing judgment. Tougher to do when we're out and interacting.

I do try, and often fail. I think I fail mainly due to not thinking about it. I guess the good news is, when I catch myself doing it, I can usually change the direction of what I'm thinking and then my actions will show it, my words will show it, and maybe this is something that'll make a little difference.

So maybe we just do our best. If life is a sailing ship, you have the wheel. Steer it towards positivity anytime you feel yourself drifting off course, and if you're headed into the direction of positivity more often than you drift off course, you should reach your destination a bit easier each time.

Maybe eventually we'll earn an ice cream sundae. Well, go ahead and have one anyway. Don't judge yourself.