Hopefully you are now singing ” all is safely gathered in” as the garden is put to bed for
the winter, and crop work is nearing completion. The farming seasons offer us constant
challenges and yet many joys. Are you finding joy in your journey?
Have you been talking to yourself lately? Are these happy, self‑affirming thoughts? Did
you enjoy a good belly laugh this week? Enough probing. The way we talk to ourselves
has a big effect on how we feel and how we see things happening around us.
Positive self‑talk is saying “I can”, setting your mind to meet the challenge at hand. As
parents of young children, Wes and I are often challenged with replacing put‑downs with
building comments like “yes, you can do it!” Even adults get trapped with “I blew it,”
rather than “next time I’ll get it right,” or “I just know I’ll screw it up,” rather than “I’11
learn from my mistakes and eventually I’ll be able to do it!”
Family therapist, Virginia Satir came from a family who used the expression “full‑pot”.
Mother might declare, “be nice to me, I’m having a half‑pot day!” Having a full pot meant
you were feeling good about yourself and quite positive in your outlook . The actual large
black cast iron pot on their farm was used for soap‑making, soups, and moving smelly
The way we talk to ourselves, our self‑talk is our choice. We choose to be positive, seeing
the glass of water in our hand as half‑full, while the negative approach is to see it half
empty. There is also the GIGO factor. Garbage In means Garbage Out. What kinds of
things are you feeding your mind? Someone once said that the two biggest factors for
our happiness in life are the people we meet and the books we read.
Strong families practice good communication skills which enhance positive self‑talk. Are
you quick to snuffout negative name‑calling or labels in your conversations? Try
changing the comment “if only I would have” to “next time I will” Can your family
count on you to listen intently to their feelings ? Does your body language (affection, eye
contact, open arms) communicate acceptance?
A wonderful birthday letter from a friend who appreciated our relationship challenged me
with an encouragement to “lighten up. ” Take stock of your thought life and find moments
of joy in your journey. Here are some ideas:
‑Sing or whistle a merry tune. My father‑in‑law was easily found on our yard if we would
just listen for his whistling. Sing along with the radio or join a community choir.
‑Connect with a friend. Phone calls, the coffee shop, or a handwritten letter bring good
news. Hang around with positive people.
‑Read something inspirational. For some this is a daily must of connecting to God’s word
in the Bible. Feed your soul and spirited self‑talk will follow.
‑Laugh. I delighted in listening to my son read his joke book when he was younger. Hopefully cartoons will give you a good chuckle and send those healthy endorphins flowing in your
brain to make you feel better. “A joyful heart is good medicine.(Proverbs [17:22])” Look
for humor in everyday situations and share funny situations with others.
‑‑Craft and create. Whether your forte is fancy woodworking or wool making, something
of beauty creates more energy and enjoyment. Make a list of fun things you enjoy doing,
and do them! Your kids and grandkids would love to fulfill your list with you!
‑Look up! Our adopted grand-children are waiting to see the Northern Lights. Soon the hunters will be
looking up for geese. Whether you’re after stars or birds, appreciate the peaceful
wonder around you .Say “wow, that’s awesome” to yourself
‑Play! Take a play break. The reason toddlers have so much energy is that they don’t get
stuck at one task they change gears often. If playing to you is taking something apart in
your workshop, share the fun with a younger person.
Take the time to find moments of joy, a few minutes or a few hours every day. Learn to
laugh at yourself in a kind way. Talk to yourself with positive comments and say with
fervor “I like myself”. You are lovable and capable. Lighten up!