Monday, October 1, 2012

Attitude- How's yours?

Ok, so here goes.  The first of a series of posts dedicated to the Daily Dozen that we "studied" and mainly discussed at the MoZart Art Retreat.  First up, attitude!
I think the most important thing to learn about attitude is that it is a CHOICE.  Can't you think of that person who is just ALWAYS happy?  Always positive?  Always has an encouraging word? 

And then there's the black cloud.  That person who just saps the energy out of you.  And the one who you avoid like the plague and try to head the other direction when you see them coming.  You KNOW there's that person. (Just make sure it's not you!)
You can make sure it's not you, because you can CHOOSE to have a good attitude on a daily basis.
Another important thing we discussed is that noone can make another person happy.  John Maxwell's wife, Margaret, was once asked, "Does John make you happy?".  She replied, "No , he doesn't.".  She said, "The first two or three years we were married, I thought it was John's job to make me happy.  But he didn't.  He wasn't mean to me or anything.  He's a good husband.  But nobody can make another person happy.  That was my job." 
Pretty cool, huh? And pretty eye-opening.
These are a few of the attitude choices made by the artists at the retreat.
Karie chose this...
Here's another thing to consider regarding attitude:  You cant' dislike people and have a good attitude at the same time.  Hmmm.  And... you cannot have a bad attitude and encourage others at the same time.  Hmmmm....
And for those of you who were AT the retreat, you KNOW what I am doing in the above photo, thus the hysterical laughter, and still I tried to maintain a good attitude!  Ha. Inside joke.  Sorry.
JM provided a story of a blind woman moving into a nursing home.  As she went down the hall, she said, "I LOVE IT". 
"But you haven't even see the room yet.  Just wait."
"That doesn't have anything to do with it", she replied.  "Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.  Whether I likemy room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged.  It's how I arrange my mind."

And so it is...
By now you also know that we made conscious decisions to INTENTIONALLY change our attitude at the retreat.  ANd then we followed up with an art project.  Each person was contacted ahead of time to be thinking about a quote they find particularly moving/ encouraging/ uplifting to them and email it to me. 
After our discussion, we started the process of making our supportive art project.  This is Riley's.  We ripped magazines and scrap scrapbook paper and decoupaged it onto a canvas.  I am partial to this one, because if you look closely in the photo above, you'll see my Gabbi Girl's pink and purple artwork was incorporated into the background of Riley's artwork.  :)
Everybody started laying out the background scraps any old way they wanted.  Jennifer (her canvas is on the right) decided she wanted her background to show through a little, so she chose things she felt supported her quote.
We also discussed having a positive ally.  That person you call when you need to be encouraged.  That person who is way more concerned with your positivity/ happiness than all the negative things they could discuss but consistently choose not to.  Mine is Polly.  Hey, Polly, you still read my blog?  Bet you didn't know that, did you?  Well, we are going to have to start planning INTENTIONAL weekly lunches to get each other jazzed about whatever little project we each have goign on in our lives.
Riley caught a few shots with me doing my instruction.  That's neat for me, because obviously, I never get to see that perspective because I am always behind the lens.
While talking about attitude, we also discussed the importance of being grateful.  One simple thing we can do to acknowledge gratefulness in our lives is to write thank you notes.  What a lost art!!  And how sad!  I plan to get a few thank you's out to Miss Anne (below in the orange) as she brought me, Todd, Ellie AND Gabbi all a little gift, all the way from Colorado!  How thoughtful!  I learned at the retreat that Anne is a very generous, thoughtful, and positive person.  Hey, Kathryn, I also owe you a thank you. It's only seven months late, but I HAVE NOT forgotten about your gift.  You still here reading?  I have not written it because I had a situation where I was unable to pay it forward as you wished.  However, I intend to!  Soooo, just know I appreciate your kindness and have a full blog coming to explain what you did to all the MoJoy readers.
After we layered our backgrounds, we started painting the paper.  The magazine paper was just for texture.  Riley and I worked to make a cool chevron background with masking tape.
And finally we talked about having a grateful journal.  If anybody is an Oprah fan, you know she talks about this a lot.  John quotes Amy Vanderbilt in his book, Make Today Count, when she said, "When we learn to give thanks, we are learning to concentrate not on the bad things, byut on the good things in our lives."  Thinking about the good things helps us to be grateful. 
After the backgrounds were painted, we added a little spritz with stencils.  Sometimes that is just what the doctor ordered to give our canvases a little "oomph".
The girls learned about using a heat gun to speed up the process.  I use the embossing heat guns and have come to LOVE them.
I asked everyone to send their quotes ahead of time so we could get them cut out in vinyl.  We used the Silhouette to make the words.
Rebecca has a new silhouette, so if you know her, you may just be getting one of these canvases for Christmas! 
Pala claimed to not be very artistic but hung with the group just fine!  It's all about having an open mind to learning after all!
ANd speaking of positive attitude, I guess I'll share with you what I am doing in all of these group pictures.  Or at least, I'll give you a clue!
The clue is TARZAN!  And the fact that he ate an entire silk ribbon which clogged up his bowels apparently, which caused everything that went in him to come back out of him... in the way of dog vomit.
ANd yet, this crew just kept right on smiling.  WHile i was GAGGING.
But I am still smiling, grateful, and happy to be alive!  Have a good week, y'all!



snekcip said...

Love this post!! Great projects!! LOVE THEM!!!

Looks like a very influential, inspiring, informative, intellectual and "innards coming outwards" (well for Tarzan) type of weekend.

Mbeaty19 said...

I am loving all these blogs about the retreat. If any retreat so far would have been right for me. This would have been it. Therefore I have been reveling in all the blogs about it and trying to create right along with it. I printed out the values list and my husband and I sat down and looked at it. Think I have three of my words picked out for sure but need to look again. Will let you know what we pick. This blog about attitude really hits the spot. I have found myself falling into that black cloud stereotype lately. Reading the blog made me realize it's time for me to make that choice and make myself happy. I completely agree that no one can make you happy but yourself. I think that may be one of the biggest faults people have (expecting others to make them happy) Hope you don't mind but will be sharing some of your posts and ideas on my facebook page and possibly my blog (with credit to you) to motivate many friends and family that I think would benefit from this information. Off to the library this week to look to see if they have some of John Maxwell's books. Thanks for all these great posts and look forward to more.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog!!

Ness said...

I agree with all your edicts, but, from my point of view, it's hard to be happy all the time when you're dealing with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. On those days, I think of Jake and the Believe train (that word is now all over my house in various forms) and it helps alot. And I still need info about Jake's thing in December in Memphis. My email is Let me know when the next retreat is because I really need to be there.

jenny said...

Oh, MY! Isn't it a loverly sound they make just before they hack something up on the rug! Joy, JOY!

Becky said...

So, I really need you to come to Minnesota and do a presentation at our team days... about HAPPINESS, ATTITUDE and TEAMWORK!! PLEASE!!!!!!!! How much would it cost us? I left my job today pissed as ever, came home and immediately starting filling out a job application, and told my husband I hated my job! I used the "F" word quite a lot (venting to a friend, of course!) and called someone the "B" word quite a few times too! (should have been to her face!) GRRRRRRR!!! How do you change that to positive!? And I'm usually the upbeat, positive, cheery attitude person.... NOT TODAY!!!

Robin said...

Choosing JOY comes from within. In order to be happy you must learn to FORGIVE. Forgiveness takes all the negative power away. If you Forgive, what can you be mad about ? This brings a good Attitude , and then no one can bring you down.

Amy K said...

L-O-V-E!! It is so easy to get sucked into negativity, but have the choice to walk away and NOT fall into that! Life is tough sometimes, but encouraging words and acts of kindness are lurking around every corner.
Thanks for sharing this Mo!

melanie, aka Mo said...

Sounds like you need a change of scenery. How's the job market in your area? If they made you mad, you let them. And they won and had power over you. Just fix the problem. And that miffy mean leaving.

Emily said...

Love the comment about thank you notes...definitely a lost art but so very personal and meaningful/special to the person receiving them. May just have to get my bootie over to one of these retreats!!!
BTW, I'm thinking of reading some John Maxwell material-what do you suggest I start with?

melanie, aka Mo said...

They are all quite different. Actually all very similar, now that I think about it, but have a different "focus". What are you wanting more of? Leadership, thinking, priority setting, value system, growth? He has a new one out that's not even open to the public yet and I have a copy I can give you. BUT, you have to commit to listening to his live simulcast tonight! I can give you more details. It's about personal GROWTH!