positively present now on YOUTUBE!



If you've been following along with my adventures on Snapchat (positivepresent), you know I've been contemplating creating YouTube videos for awhile, but always made excuses about not having the best equipment, being too nervous, etc. I watch so many professional YouTubers, and I thought that, in order to start a channel, everything had to be perfect. But, if I wait until things are perfect, I'll be waiting forever! So I decided to just jump in and see how it goes. I would LOVE to hear what kinds of videos you'd like to see so feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what you'd like. 

The first video is an explanation of why I started Positively Present, the difference between positivity and happiness, and how positivity and present-mindedness are interlinked (and so important!). Also, lots of mentions of dogs. 


Click here if you can't see the embedded video. 


The second video is a look at recent Positively Present products and books, including the self-love stickers, The Positively Present Guide to Life, the Every Day Matters diaries, two of the books from my Effortless Inspiration series, Gratitude and Living in the Moment, and my upcoming Less Hate, More Love pin


Click here if you can't see the embedded video.

One of the greatest things about filming videos is getting to see how many ridiculous facial expressions I make. I mean, just look at those screenshots in the thumbnail above, haha!

All jokes aside, filming and editing videos is hard. I had no idea how much time and energy it would take, but I'm pretty happy with how these first ones turned out. The more of them I make, the better I'll hopefully get at making them. And maybe one day I'll even get a fancy camera so I can have a more professional look! But, for now, I'm working with what I've got, and I'm honestly really proud of myself for venturing out of my comfort zone. (If you've been following Positively Present for a long time and read this post, you'll realize how utterly insane it is that I'm posting videos!)

There's something infinitely more intimidating about putting videos (rather than written content or photos) online, and I've let that fear of judgment hold me back for awhile. But not anymore. The videos are live and ready to be watched. [Insert scared emoji face here.] I hope you enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed making them for you. I can't wait to make more so let me know what you'd like to see! And if you want to keep up with the videos and subscribe to the channel, check out the full channel here


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positively present picks : june 24, 2016

What Are You Doing



“When you have purpose, you don’t have time for negativity.”

Mark Victor Hansen


Less Hate, More Love Pins : did you check these out yet?!

How to Feel Beautiful : so excited about this course!

Discovering the Joy of Single-Tasking : so much truth here

Pencil Shaving Flowers : these are absolutely gorgeous

How Complaining Rewires Your Brain : and how to break the habit

Is Your Life Actually a Good One? : thought-provoking, for sure

Emotions, Logic, + Decision-Making : very interesting connections

73 Questions with James Corden : I'm seriously in love with with is guy

Rainbow Sticky Notes : I need these little notes in my life ASAP

Taking Care of Yourself Is Never a Waste of Time : self-love. always.

7 Ways to Deal with People in a Bad Mood : counter that negativity quick

Interactive Self-Care Game : what a great idea! bookmarking it!

Self-Acceptance Is the True Key to Happiness : practice it often



Listen to this playlist on YouTube.

"Wild Things" — Alessia Cara
"Young and Beautiful" — Lana Del Rey
"Pigments" — Elohim
"Are We Ready?" — Two Door Cinema Club
"Spirit Cold" — Tall Heights
"This Is What You Came For"— Calvin Harris
"Wave" — Golden Vessel
"Change" — Christina Aguilera
"Stressed Out" — Twenty One Pilots
"Send My Love" — Adele



Check out my reading list on GoodReads.

You Can Master Meditation:
Change Your Mind, Change Your Life
Dave Fontana

Perfect Summer (Sweet Valley High)
Francine Pascal

Authentic Happiness:
Using the New Positive Psychology to
Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment

Martin E. P. Seligman


I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present
Dani DiPirro 



less hate, more love : taking positive action



[THANK YOU to everyone who took the Reader Survey! The giveaway is closed, but the survey is still open if you'd still like to give feedback. I know a lot of you would like shorter articles and I hear you! This one is lengthy because I have a lot to say, but I promise I'll cut them down in the future.]


For those of you who don't want all the details, here's the TL;DR version of this post:

Gun violence sucks. I'm scared and saddened, and I want to do something so I made these pins and I'm donating 50% of the proceeds to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence



Generally I don't write about politics or current events, but a lot of you who took the reader survey said you'd like "more personal stuff," so I'm stepping out of my comfort zone today.

I hesitate to write about personal things or beliefs because, in all honesty, I fear losing readers -- not because I want more readers, but because I want everyone to have an opportunity to learn more about living positively in the present. I worry that if I write too much about personal beliefs (or potentially feather-ruffling topics like money, politics, religion, or sex), people will turn away from the site and miss out on the benefits of living a positive, present life.

But it's too hard for me to remain quiet right now. 



Positively Present isn't (and will never be) a place for political discussions, but recent news -- particularly the Orlando massacre, the murder of Christina Grimmie, and a deadly shooting at my local mall -- has deeply impacted me. While don't know anyone involved in these tragedies, I can't stop thinking about how it must feel to lose a loved one for no reason other than the hate-fueled actions of a mentally unstable man.

It keeps me up at night, my mind racing with thoughts like, Why did this happen? When will it happen to someone I know? What can be done? How can we fix this? These thoughts plague my days, causing me to be fearful in places I should feel safe. 

At the post office yesterday (shipping self-love stickers!) a man in front of me began a heated argument with the postal worker behind the counter. Their voices raised and he called her a bitch, and my eyes immediately went to the waistline of his pants in search of a gun. I could feel the color drain from my face and my heart pound fast as I thought, He could have a gun. He could pull out a gun and start shooting us.

While these thoughts are not helpful (or present-minded!), they aren't entirely irrational. I have reason to be afraid. And that makes me sad. And mad

I don't want to be afraid, and I don't want other people to be afraid either. What happened in Orlando has hit me hard. I can't pinpoint exactly why -- maybe it was the number of people killed or the fact that a community I feel part of, as an ally, was targeted. Or maybe, like so many American citizens, I've simply had enough. 

Whatever the reason, this is the first mass-shooting that brought me to tears. Lying in my bed, reading Eddie Justice's last texts to his mother, tears streamed down my face and I knew I had to do something.



In the aftermath of past mass shootings, I've been one of those saying, "We should do something!" But while saying "we," I really meant "someone else." Someone else should do something. Because, really, what could someone like me -- with no political connections and little extra money to donate -- actually do? 

Taking action is hard, particularly when it's not clear what action should be taken. Do I want to restrict Americans' freedoms? No. Do I want to be able to go to the post office without fearing I might be murdered? Yes.

I still don't know what exactly should be done, but I know with certainty that two things lie at the heart of all mass shootings: hatred and guns. Regardless of how you feel about guns, you cannot deny that hate (served with a side of mental instability) is what pulls the trigger. 

We need to lessen hate and create more love.

But how do we do that? We'll never eradicate hate, but just because we can't rid the world of it completely doesn't mean we should sit by complacently and watch it pelt bullets into the bodies of people at nightclubs and churches and malls and schools.

If we want things to change -- whether it's something personal or political -- we have to take some sort of action, however small.  



When the news broke about Orlando, I was in the process of designing my first enamel pin. After I heard the news, I knew I could use the pin to make a difference. I switched the direction of my design and created the Less Hate, More Love pin.

The pin is not only a way raise money (50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence), but it also serves as a visual reminder that love is incredibly powerful. We need more of it. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

We cannot fight hate with more hate. We must fight with love. It's my hope that this little pin will remind us of that every time we look at it. 



Of course, love alone won't solve our problems. If we want change, I believe we have to start with education. We need all kinds of education to make this world a better place, but there are two things we need much more education on: hate and guns.

Hate is what I'd really like to tackle, but I'm starting small. After much research, I decided to donate to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, an organization making communities safer by translating research into policy.

The EFSGV works on policy development, supports policymakers and gun violence prevention advocates by drafting and implementing policy, influences the policymaking process by lobbying and educating policymakers, and works with community members to bring their voices to policymakers. 

If you're not into the idea of a pin or want to donate directly, here's info on how to donate to EFSGV.


Whether or not you buy a pin or donate to (or even believe in) this cause, I hope this post reminds you that, if you want change, you have to do something. You might feel small, but, as Ronald Reagan once said, "We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone." 

Doing something small is better than doing nothing at all. You can use your skills (whatever they might be!) to make a difference in whatever cause you believe in. Use your voice, your time, your money, and your resources to make a positive impact in the world.  

positively present picks : june 17, 2016

Be Thankful



“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

Roald Dahl 




When the Going Gets Tough... : remember these 6 things

10 Ways to Be a Unicorn : 'cause who doesn't wanna be magical?!

How to Move Through Anxiety : 5 steps for helping you cope

25 Summer Self-Love Ideas : lovin' these seasonal suggestions

Dealing with Difficult People : check out these peace-inspiring quotes

Miniature Books : eeeee, these are so adorably little + cute

50 Reasons You Should Make Body Positivity a Priority : yes! 

Sprinkle of Glitter Instagram : seeing my stickers on there = amazing

Printable Coloring Posters : such beautiful little freebies

5 Ways to Feel More Self-Love Today : great tips from Gala Darling

Summer Indie Mix : I love finding a good mix on YouTube

Be Thankful for Now iPhone Background : made this for you (+ me!)


Listen to this playlist on YouTube.

"Dying to Know" — Tegan and Sara
"Company" — Justin Bieber
"Question" — Lauv
"Winter Sound" — Of Monsters + Men
"All You Need" — Reddening West
"Home"— Novah
"Fools and Their Gold" — PLGRMS
"The Wolves" — Ben Howard
"Summertime Sadness" — Lana Del Ray
"Call Me Up" — St Lucia



Check out my reading list on GoodReads.

Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire
by J.K. Rowling

Authentic Happiness:
Using the New Positive Psychology to
Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment

Martin E. P. Seligman


I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present
Dani DiPirro 



the 2016 reader survey + GIVEAWAY


All year long I've been thinking about how to make the most of Positively Present -- the website content, the books, the products, the new ideas -- and now I want to hear your feedback. I'm so incredibly thankful for each and every person that visits the site or buys my books or follows along on social media, and I want to continue making this site the best possible place for insight, inspiration, positivity, mindfulness, and self-love!

In order to do that, I need your help! Please take a few minutes to fill out the 2016 Reader Survey. If you do, you'll be entered to win all of this Positively Present goodness (some of which isn't even available yet)! A winner will be chosen on JUNE 20, 2016.



If you want to enter the giveaway, be sure to leave your email address in the survey and you'll be instantly entered to win. (You can also fill it out anonymously if you prefer.)

I can't wait to hear your thoughts and feedback and, even more so, I can't wait to share some of the exciting changes I have coming to Positively Present later this year! 

Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading, commenting, emailing, and just generally being awesome. And an extra big THANK YOU to those of you who take the survey. I'm so grateful! 




positively present picks : june 10, 2016

Grass is greener



“You wanna fly, you got to give up
the shit that weighs you down.”

Toni Morrison

Finding Joy + Positivity : my new interview with Turvani

6 Ways to Deal with Rejection Positively : excellent, optimistic advice

The Cult of Happiness : such a powerful + interesting article

5 Things to Do When Your Energy Is Drained : we all have those days!

Mandatory Lazy Days : you deserve a break every now and then

The Lottery of Life : a really powerful read from The Book of Life

4 Productivity Thieves : avoid these time-stealers at all costs

More Information Is Not the Answer : more action is where it's at

How to Thrive at Work : even if you don't love your job...

15 Secrets to a Healthy, Loving Relationship : staying positive is key



Listen to this playlist on YouTube.

"I Love Me" —Meghan Trainer
"Work" (Cover) — Chris Collins
"Take a Change" — Flume
"Seas of Gold" — Brookfield
"Alive" — The Temper Trap
"Moving Mountains"— The Brevet
"Slow Down" — VOKES
"Paperback Head" — Tegan and Sara
"White Flag" — Joseph
"Not Today" — Imagine Dragons



Check out my reading list on GoodReads.

Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire
by J.K. Rowling

Authentic Happiness:
Using the New Positive Psychology to
Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment

Martin E. P. Seligman


I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present
Dani DiPirro 



should you stay or go? : 5 questions to help you choose


Should you stay or should you go? Whether it's leaving a job, a romantic relationship, or a friendship -- the decision to stay where you are or make a change can be incredibly daunting, particularly if there's no urgent reason to leave (i.e., if you're not being treated badly and you don't absolutely have to get out of the situation). Just because there's no dire need to escape a situation doesn't mean you should necessarily stay put if you're unhappy. After all, the time we have here is limited, and spending in situations (or with people) that are just okay, fine, or average isn't any way to live a positive, fulfilled, and happy life. 

The stay-or-go question is something most of us will face at some point in our lives (if we haven't already!). Unless there is some clear indicator that something must change (i.e., abuse, profound misery, etc.), actually making such a choice can be incredibly difficult. So difficult, in fact, that many of us will default to staying where we are, even if we're unhappy, simply because it's easier than making a decision. 


But... do you really want to stay just because it might be difficult to go?


No, you don't. You should want to stay because it's worth it, because, even if there are difficult times, you get something meaningful and important out of your job / relationship / etc. You don't want to stay where you are simply because it's the default answer. And, honestly, no one else -- not your boss, your spouse, your friend -- really wants to you stay simply because it's challenging to leave (and, if they do, they don't truly have your best interest at heart and who wants to work with / date / love someone like that?). When you're staying just because it's easy or because you fear what will happen if you leave, you're not fully invested in the situation. You'll always have one eye on the door, hoping something or someone will propel you to make a change. When "stay" is the default, you're not there because you want to be, but because you feel you have no other good option. And that lack-of-choice feeling can turn quickly into disinterest, distain, and even resentment -- all of which will negatively taint the situation and likely other aspects of your life, since rarely is one area of life (love, work, etc.) not influenced (for better or worse...) by another. 

So what do you do if you find yourself in a place where you're wondering whether or not to stay? What do you do if your situation is fine, but still causing you to be unhappy? What if your relationship has changed to the point where you no longer recognize yourself (or your partner)? What if you've grown so uncomfortable at your place of work that you dread going there every day? What if you just feel like there's something off about your situation and you don't know if it will somehow right itself or if, in order for you to be truly fulfilled, you need to leave? 

If you find yourself wondering any of the things above or whether you should stay where you are or go somewhere else, before you take action, you need to do a bit of soul-searching. Every choice you make -- particularly the big ones involving your career and your relationships -- can change the course of your life forever. I don't say this to scare you (the worst thing you can do is become so scared that your fear is paralyzing and you make no choice at all!). I say this because, when it comes to big stay-or-go decisions, it's important to take time to really think about what's going on, what you want, and how you feel you can get from where you are to where you'd ideally like to be. 

No choice will ever be without flaws. For every choice you make, even if both options are great, there will be pros and cons. Just think about choosing between two ice cream flavors that you love. Yes, both might be delicious, but if you choose strawberry over chocolate, you're missing out on that cocoa flavor. Likewise, if you opt for chocolate, you won't get to taste the tangy sweetness of strawberry. Neither option is bad, but when you choose one, you're going to miss out on the other. Which is why, when it comes to stay-or-go scenarios, it's essential to take time to carefully think through your options, weigh the pros and cons, and also be willing to think outside the box a bit. Here are five questions to kickstart that kind of thinking if you find yourself wondering, Should I stay or should I go...?


Stay or Go

Download the Stay or Go Worksheet!



How much of your unhappiness is caused by a specific person / job / situation / etc.?

It's all too easy to say "I'm miserable because my job sucks" or "I'm so unhappy because my spouse drives me crazy," but it's important not to make assumptions about the reasons behind your mental state. When you find yourself complaining about your situation, dig deeper and ask yourself if it's really that person, job, or situation that's bringing you down. For example, if you're unhappy with your spouse, are you absolutely certain that your spouse specifically is the reason you're unhappy? Or could it be the situation you and your spouse are currently in (maybe you just had a baby or s/he is going through a tough time at work)?

Or, looking even deeper, is it possible that your sense of unhappiness comes not from another person but from something deeper, something harder to pinpoint so you point fingers instead of looking at the big? It's essential to figure out if your unhappiness is more general. Take, for example, me and my career. Whenever I worked in an office environment, with a typical 9-5 workday, I was miserable. I would complain about the job itself and spend evenings crying at the thought of returning to work the next day. I was clearly unhappy, but that unhappiness wasn't a result of the particular position. It was the general workplace environment that caused my emotional strife. 

If you're struggling with a particular person or situation, consider how much of your unhappiness is tied to that person / place and consider whether that type of environment is even something you want in the future. If you're unhappy at work, do you need an entirely new career path? If you're unhappy with your partner, is it because of him/her, or are the confines of a relationship in general the thing that's truly troubling you? 



Are you contributing negatively to the situation? Would changing yourself change things?  

After contemplating whether the situation or person is, in fact, the true cause of your unhappiness, it's time to turn your attention to yourself. Are you, in any way, contributing to your own unhappiness in the situation? Answering this question might take some careful consideration. It's very tempting to say, "Of course I'm not! She's the one who is always so negative in our relationship!" or "Definitely not. My boss is the absolute worst; I'm not doing anything to make the situation unpleasant. It's all him!" But take a moment to really consider all aspects of the situation, including your contribution to it. 

If, for example, you're struggling to live pleasantly with your spouse, ask yourself if perhaps you might be difficult to live with. Or, if it's your work environment that's troubling, consider how you might, in some ways, be challenging to work around. We all have our flaws and, when it comes to answering the stay-or-go question, it's important to take these into account. This isn't to say that you should stay in a bad situation simply because you're not perfect, but it's important to consider all aspects of yourself before making any major decisions. 

In conjunction with considering your own contributions to the situation, it's useful to ponder what might happen if you were to change certain behaviors. If, for example, you're always fighting with your spouse because he expects you to keep things neat and tidy and you tend to be more of a set-it-anywhere type, consider what might happen if you tweaked your own behavior and started making an organization a priority. This isn't to say you should change who you are to fix a situation (this can lead to resentment if it's not something you truly want to change), but when it comes to workplace, relationships, and love (or really any situation involving other people!) sometimes compromises must be made. The key to compromising effectively is making sure the pros and cons balance out. Yes, keeping your home tidy might be a bit of a pain for you, but the effort might be balanced out by having a more harmonious relationship with your spouse. Sometimes changing your behavior or attitude won't change the situation at all, but it's definitely something to consider. 



What about your situation don't you like? Would you find these things elsewhere? 

In Question 1, you determined that, yes, the great deal of discontent you're experiencing is directly a result of that person/job/situation. (If you didn't determine that, it might be a sign that you shouldn't leave the situation but, instead, should do some inner exploration to find out where the feelings of discontent are coming from.) You've determined the source of unhappiness -- the situation or person -- but now it's time to dig even deeper and pinpoint exactly what you don't like about this situation. 

A good way to go about this is to keep track on the worksheet (click the link above to download it) or keep a list of reasons why you feel unhappy in the situation. (Tip: keep this private!) You can note very specific instances, such as, "I want to leave this job because I can't stand the way my colleagues gossiped at the meeting yesterday," or more general experiences, such as,"I want to leave her because there is a lack of intimacy." Spend time on this, giving yourself a week or so to note specific and general experiences that make you feel like you might want to leave the situation. 

Once you have a list of the things you don't like about your situation, look closely at them. Are these things that would be present in another situation? For example, if a decrease in intimacy is your problem, is it possible that this would happen if you were in another relationship for a long time? Or, if you dislike working on projects with a group at work, is it likely you would have to also do this at another job? Remember: a new job, relationship, etc. will always be interesting and exciting at the beginning, but it, too, will lose some of its luster after time. This is why it's so important to look closely at the things you don't like about your situation and determine whether they are result of the particular circumstance or if they might also occur in another situation. No situation is perfect, and if you try to leave every situation as soon as it's lost excitement and newness, you'll spend your whole life searching for a reason to leave. 



What do you like about your situation? Would you find these good things elsewhere? 

Now it's time for some positivity! When you're considering whether to stay or go, it can be challenging to focus on the good aspects of the situation. By the time you've gotten around to asking, "Should I leave...?" you're often focusing a great deal of your attention on the reasons why you're unhappy. These reasons might be perfectly valid -- and should not be ignored -- but what about the good aspects of the situation? It's just as important to take those into account when making your decision. 

Let's say you've come with tons of reasons why you want to leave your job. Now it's time to make another list -- a list of reasons why your job is actually not so terrible. On this list you might include things like health care benefits or a steady income or even something silly like occasional catered lunches. If you're considering whether to leave a relationship, now is the time to consider your partner's good traits. What do you like about him/her? What attracted you to the relationship in the first place? What do you two not fight about?

After you've considered the positive elements of your situation, it's time to contemplate how likely it is that you'll find these things in another person/job. Yes, another relationship might have more intimacy, but will it also have the meaningful conversations? A new job might have a kinder boss, but will the benefits be the same? Of course, you don't know what the future will hold -- or what pros/cons you'll find in another situation -- but you it's important to assess how much you value what you're currently getting out of your situation and weigh the positives against the negatives you identified in Question 3.  



How can you communicate your feelings? What reaction do you receive when you do? 

This final question is the most important. People often leave situations because they feel unloved, unappreciated, or unheard. But there's a difference between feeling unheard after you've spoken up and expecting someone else to know what you want and need. Communication is key. Whether it's talking to your boss, friend, spouse, or partner, if you want things to be different, you have to talk about it. This can be very difficult (particularly if it's around sensitive subjects like sex or money), but communicating your feelings is the quickest ways to determine if there's a good reason to stay or to leave.

The key to communicating effectively is to be open, honest, and focus on sharing how you feel without making assumptions about another's feelings or assigning blame. Two tips for doing this: (1) write down what you want to discuss and bring your notes with you, and (2) focus on the word "I" more than "you," as in, "I feel hurt when you..." not "You're always doing..." Being completely honest with someone, whether it's a boss, friend, or partner, is much more difficult than it sounds, but if there's a doubt in your mind about whether or not you should leave a situation, you'll be much more certain about your decision if you share your feelings with 100% honesty (even if it feels a bit uncomfortable!). 

Open, honest communication will not only give you and others an opportunity to see if there's a way to fix the situation (maybe your boss had no idea you felt you weren't being valued!), but opening up and sharing your feelings is an excellent way to get more insight on others, possibly making your decision even easier. The way others react to you -- listening, helping to problem-solve, shutting you out, making unkept promises to change, etc. -- will tell you a great deal about them and about how they handle conflict. It might also shine a light on how they feel about the situation. If, for example, your boss or partner makes no effort to help improve the situation, that's a sure sign that they don't value you and you would be better off in a different situation. Pay close attention to how others respond and take those reactions into account as you make your decision. 


In most situations, the decision to stay or go is not an easy one -- which is why so many just stay where they are, rather than doing the hard work of determining if that's really where they're meant to be -- but if you truly want to live a positive, present life, it's important to be accountable for yourself and where you are. It's important to get (and stay) in situations because you want to be there, not because you feel like you have no other choice.

No matter how difficult it is (and sometimes it will be very difficult), you always have a choice to stay where you are or move on to something else. Don't take this ability to to choose for granted. Spend time assessing what choice is best for you, make use of the worksheet above, and then choose the path feels right. Whether you end up staying or going, if you do the work before you make a decision, you'll always know that you actively made a choice. Remember: this is your life, and you have the power to choose how you want to live it. 



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positively present picks : june 3, 2016



“You can, you should, and if you're
brave enough to start, you will."

Stephen King

The Book of Life : so incredibly obsessed with this site

Don't Wait to Be Ready : love this quote + lettering style

The Mindfulness Coloring Book : coloring is so soothing

6 Toxic Relationship Habits : avoid these at all costs

Free Printable Bookmarks : how gorgeous are these freebies?

5 Things to Remind Yourself When You're in Doubt : you got this!

Love Yourself! : inspire more self-love with my little stickers

How to Be Present When the Present Is Difficult : it is possible

10 Ways to Cultivate a Positive Mindset : excellent tips here!

The Importance of Morning Rituals : and how to create one

Stay Posi : I need this adorable little pin in my life ASAP

3 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Happier : love all three of these

Admitting When It Sucks : this can be really powerful to do

101 Lifetime Goals List : and why you should create one of your own

Just Say No to People-Pleasing : and start saying yes to yourself!



Listen to this playlist on YouTube.

"Youth" — Troye Sivan
"Me Too" — Meghan Trainer
"Close to You" — Elmore
"Feel Good" — Satin Jackets
"Illuminate" — WILDES
"All the Other Girls"— Cavego
"Keep You Warm" — Jason Gladwin
"Megamix" — Britney Spears
"Still Your Girl" — Fleurie
"Lost Boy" — Ruth B.



Check out my reading list on GoodReads.

The Hopefuls
Jennifer Close

Authentic Happiness:
Using the New Positive Psychology to
Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment

Martin E. P. Seligman


I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present
Dani DiPirro 



6 self-love lessons from alice in wonderland (part II)

All images © Walt Disney Studios

As you might of seen last week, I wrote about two of my favorite topics: Alice in Wonderland and self-love! Today I'm catching you up with the second half of the amazing self-love lessons from Alice. If you haven't already, check out PART I for the first three lessons (and some background on Alice). 





Rose: Just what species or, shall we say, genus are you, my dear?
Alice: Well, I guess you would call me... genus, humanus... Alice.
Daisy: Ever see an alice with a blossom like that?
Orchid: Come to think of it, did you ever see an alice?
Daisy: Yes, and did you notice her petals? What a peculiar color.
Orchid: [sniffing Alice's hair] And no fragrance.
Daisy: [chuckling, as she lifts up one side of Alice's dress] And just look at those stems.
Rose: [as Alice slaps the Daisy's leaves away] Rather scrawny, I'd say... 

When Alice initially encounters a garden of talking flowers, they are polite, welcoming, and curious about her. As she spends time with them, however, they quickly turn judgmental, negative, and cruel. As soon as the flowers start poking and prodding her, judging her appearance and picking on her, Alice removes herself from the situation, quickly exiting the garden and murmuring, "You can learn a lot of things from the flowers! Huh! Seems to me they could learn a few things about manners!" She recognizes the flowers' rudeness and refuses to tolerate it -- and this isn't the only scene in which she leaves a negative situation or character. In fact, in many of the scenes in the film, Alice faces rudeness, nonsense, or bad behavior and, rather than tolerate it, Alice leaves. 

This is one of the most essential self-love lessons we can learn from Alice: if someone is treating you poorly or is bringing too much negativity into your life, get away from that person. Now, this is obviously not as easy as stomping out of a garden if you've been invested in this person or your relationship is very intertwined with other aspects of your life (like work or parenthood, for example), but if you want to truly treat yourself with love, you have to get away from those who don't treat you well. In addition, it's important to seek out positive people -- people who will encourage you, uplift you, and inspire you. The fewer negative people you have in your life, the more room you'll have for these positive influencers. 





Caterpillar: [meeting Alice] Who... 'R'... 'U'?
Alice: I- I hardly know, sir. I've changed so many times since this morning, you see...
Caterpillar: I do not 'C.' Explain yourself.
Alice: I'm afraid I can't explain myself, sir, because I'm not myself, you know.
Caterpillar: I do not know.
Alice: Well, I can't put it any more clearly, sir, for it isn't clear to me.

When Alice encounters the Caterpillar, one of the first things he does is ask her who she is (in quite a demanding and aggressive way, I might add!). If asked the same question, most of us would probably respond with our names, as we use those to identify ourselves to others. But what does it mean to be "[your name]"? Who are you really? How would you describe yourself to someone else? These are hard questions to answer -- and one of the reasons I created the Finding Your Self workbook! -- but they are important when it comes to self-love. It's difficult to love yourself, after all, if you don't know yourself. It's important to get to know yourself as best you can, but it's equally as important not to limit yourself with labels. 

Alice, because she's been through so much and changed physically in many ways since entering Wonderland, doesn't know how to answer the Caterpillar's question concerning who she is. She's changed a great deal, making it difficult for her to define herself. Like Alice, we also change a great deal over time. The person you are today isn't the person you were five years ago -- and that's actually a good thing. When we don't change, we don't grow. One of the reasons some people don't change much is because they often limit themselves to a definition of what they should be (or have been). While it's wonderful to have a sense of self and know who you are, this scene in Alice in Wonderland reminded me that it's also good not to limit yourself with internal or external expectations. It's okay not to know exactly who you are, to want to change, or to feel you have changed. It's okay not to be completely clear on who you are -- so long as you treat yourself with compassion and love. You don't have to fully understand yourself to treat yourself with understanding.





Alice: I give myself very good advice. But I very seldom follow it. That explains the trouble that I'm always in.

This last lessons is, what I believe to be, one of the most important. Toward the end of her time in Wonderland, Alice feels completely lost and uncertain about how to find her way home again. The path she was heading down literally disappeared and she's alone in the Tulgey Woods with no sense of which way to go. In this scene, Alice sings one of my favorite songs, "Very Good Advice," (watch the video here!) all about how she gives herself very good advice but very rarely follows it. You're probably well aware of how much easier it is to give good advice than it is to take it, but one of the greatest acts of self-love is giving yourself good advice -- if this is hard, imagine what you'd tell a friend in your situation -- and actually following it. 

More often than not, we know the right thing to do -- the thing that will ultimately make us happy and fulfilled -- but a lot of the time, the right choice isn't the easiest one to make, which is why we sometimes don't take our own advice. But consider, for a minute, what your life would be like if you did the right thing every time, if you made the choice you know someone who truly loves you would make for you. You can do that. You can be the person that loves you enough to push you in a positive direction -- even if it's hard to do so in the moment. The next time you're faced with a tough choice, try to take your own good advice and see what happens. Challenging as it might be, it's a brave and worthwhile act of self-love.


I hope you've enjoyed these inspiring self-love lessons from Alice in Wonderland. If you haven't seen or read Alice in awhile and you want to check it out, here are some of my favorite Alice-related things:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (original 1865 edition)

Through the Looking Glass (original 1872 edition)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Rifle Paper Co. illustrated edition)

Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland (Little Golden Book edition)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Salvador Dali illustrated edition)

Disney Alice in Wonderland score (the weird, wonderful soundtrack!)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Yayoi Kusama illustrated edition)

The Annotated Alice (annotated and illustrated edition)

Alice in Wonderland (1951 animated film)

Alice in Wonderland (2010 live-action film)


PPGTL-Footer Love-Self-Footer Find-Self-Footer Stickers-Footer










positively present picks : may 27, 2016

Choose Love Over Fear


“When you love someone, you love the whole person,
just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.”

Leo Tolstoy

Love Yourself! : stay inspired with these little motivators

Life Lessons from a Dandelion : beautifully written piece

A Happy Ending : my mom bought me this and I'm obsessed 

12 Inspiring Mindfulness Quotes : a great source of inspiration

I Am Not My Past : three steps to freeing yourself from the past

Disney's Alice in Wonderland Cinestory : treated myself to this :)

Letting Go of What We Want : it allows us to get what we need

Floral Collage Art : how inspiring are these beautiful collages? 

7 Ways to Declutter Your Life : and improve your focus, too

How Mindfulness Overcomes Stress and Anxiety : it's so powerful!

Why It's Okay to Feel Lost : and how to find your way again

8 Things Truly Authentic People Do : how to stay true to yourself



Listen to this playlist on YouTube.

"Stop Desire" — Tegan and Sara
"Vagabond" — Richard J Aarden
"Hurricane Love" — L.A. Women
"Heart Afire" — Defqwop
"Promises" — Tristan Beer
"Breathe"— Fleurie
"Burn" — The Temper Trap
"Thread" — Retro Culture
"I Can Make a Mess" — Thin White Line
"Free" — Broods



Check out my reading list on GoodReads.

The Hopefuls
Jennifer Close

Alice in Wonderland Cinestory
Lewis Carroll & Disney

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
J.K. Rowling

I write books too! Check it out...

The Positively Present Guide to Life
Dani DiPirro

Stay Positive: Daily Reminders
from Positively Present
Dani DiPirro