Positively Present – Chapter One

Just as I promised, I’m going to summarise chapter one of The Positively Present Guide To Life. First off, I’m loving the book so far and the way it’s written. But rather than plough on and read it all in a matter of days, I’m taking it one step at a time. I’m going to pause after each chapter, summarise it on here and implement some of the tips.

So, chapter one is all about the home. ‘Home’ is a funny one for me. I live in a nice house with my parents but I’m desperate to move out. When I finish a long day at work, I don’t look forward to going home nor do I feel calm and relaxed when I’m there. I am in the process of trying to buy my own place so if my head wasn’t a mess before, then it certainly is now! I want to be excited about it but so far I’m just finding it stressful. Very, very stressful.

But anyway, back to the book. I’ve summarised below the main things I took from the first chapter.

  1. The space around you

In this section, Dani talks about things like what colour your room is, what’s hanging on your walls (pictures of your family, your greatest achievements etc.) and knowing that it’s not forever. That last one is actually a very good point – things aren’t forever and just because you painted your whole room pink, it doesn’t mean you’ll like it next year and it certainly doesn’t mean you have to suck it up and stick with it. So if you don’t like something, change it. Home is such an important place and I learned that you need to fill it with things you love, colours that make you happy (and calm and relaxed!) and items that remind you of the good times.

  1. Decluttering 

This section is about getting rid of what you don’t need, and not doing what I do where you keep something just because you liked it once and there’s a tiny chance you might use or wear it again. Throwing out what we don’t need will give us more space, stop us hanging onto memories in the form of items and allow us to see what we have and what we actually could do with stocking up on.

My favourite tip from this section though is to put things away straight away. I never do this and regret it every time. I know this is definitely something I will make an effort to work on because it will save me time and I’ll actually know where my shoes are because I put them away where they were supposed to be!

  1. How to be calm

Dani suggests meditating and she doesn’t say you have to do the hippy, sit cross-legged for an hour kind. Sitting peacefully in your kitchen for 10 minutes without interruption apparently counts as meditating and it did make me think about how often (or how rarely) I have just 10 minutes, alone and in silence (and the hours I’m rolling around awake at night don’t count!) Following nicely on from that, sleep is top priority. I’m not sleeping well at the moment; I struggle to get to sleep, I struggle to stay asleep and I struggle to wake up in the mornings. But I’m going to make an effort to meditate before I go to bed, with ‘calming scents’ around me (candles and whatnot) and with any luck, I’ll be asleep in no time!

  1. Hobbies

I’ve never had a hobby, ever. I’ve never been particularly interested in anything and I dread the ‘what do you do in your spare time/what are your hobbies’ question because I have nothing to say other than eating and sleeping (and that’s hardly a conversation starter). This section in the book says find a home-based hobby, a hobby that is available to you whenever you have time, which you can pick up as and when. Also, if you’re lazy like me, then a home-based hobby is a perfect hobby to start off with because it doesn’t require you to drive somewhere or do something at a particular time. As of now, I think I’ve found a new hobby – blogging. (Can we just note, I’ve achieved something already!!) And although blogging may not be as relaxing as say, doing a jigsaw and still requires me to be staring at a screen for a few hours, I’m going to focus my energy on it so that, rather than sit at home and wallow in my own sadness, I can sit and home and write and learn and be creative.

So that’s that. A summary of the lessons I learned from the first chapter of The Positively Present Guide To Life. The first thing I did after I read this chapter was tidy my bedroom. That may not seem like I big deal, but it was a shithole and had been for a while – it already feels a million times better when I walk in and see a clear floor and everything where it should be. A simple but effective task.

Clear your home and I know it’ll clear your mind too.

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