Might I Suggest

This is a phrase I use often to recommend a thought process or an action that I find useful or beneficial. There is a great deal of power in suggestion, you can convince others, and yourself, of many things. It is a tool, when used appropriately. Might I suggest you try it?

Today is my “travel” day. I worked in Baltimore this week and am in Denver, at the airport right now, waiting for my final flight home. I had an afternoon flight out of Baltimore, which gave me a free morning to explore Washington D.C., a city I’ve never had the opportunity to spend any free time in. I set my alarm for 4:00 AM this morning, I wanted to get an early start, avoid traffic into D.C., have time to see as much as possible and make my flight out of Baltimore. I managed to get to bed by about midnight, so I was a little short on sleep when the alarm on my iPhone awoke me. I showered, let my hair go crazy curly and selected an outfit, a pair of jeans and a tee shirt I bought a couple of years ago at Target. The tee shirt is one of my favorites, I wear it often and really don’t think about it, much. I just wear it. It fits in a cute manner and is comfortable and happened to be in my suitcase.

Washington D.C. was amazing! I am so glad I made the effort to see this city. I walked and walked and walked and saw most of the monuments and buildings of interest around Capitol Mall and the Federal Triangle. I’ll have to save the tours of the museums for another trip, or twelve. As I walked through the city, I was encountered by many people who all smiled at me. I’m a pretty smiley person, so this didn’t really seem so remarkable, except that a number of men also commented “beautiful”. So did one woman. Then it occurred to me, my tee shirt has big black letters that look like they’re painted onto the gray fabric:

BEA
UTI
FUL

Got it. But I don’t think people were just reading my shirt out loud, I was suggesting that I felt beautiful, perhaps. When you feel attractive, your attractiveness actually, visibly increases. And, besides, a few fellas said something like “your shirt sure doesn’t lie.” Aw, shucks. But, between the smiles, the positive comments, the sunshine and the beautiful city I got to experience, I did have a beautiful day. The message on the shirt was, perhaps, also a powerful suggestion for me, my attitude, my experience for the day.

I’m not necessarily suggesting you run out to Target and buy yourself a
BEA
UTI
FUL tee shirt. I am suggesting that you find ways to suggest to yourself, and those around you, that you are confident, that you like yourself and that you feel attractive. I think you’ll experience positive results almost immediately. You’ve seen those people, haven’t you? They are so attractive and charismatic, but when you really look closely, they are actually no more good looking than anyone else, it is all attitude, it is all suggested through their confidence and feeling of self-worth.

Before heading to the airport, after leaving Washington D.C., I grabbed lunch at a kabob place in Baltimore. It was excellent, if you’re ever in the area of the Baltimore Washington airport, and you like kabobs, might I suggest you try MaiWand Kabob! I had a little problem I needed to take care of before going through security; a partial bottle of wine. There was no way I could polish off the whole bottle last night, my suitcase already has an unopened bottle of wine in it that I’m bringing home (I always check my luggage) and my suitcase was already dangerously close to the fifty pound limit. I just needed to find time to enjoy a “glass” of wine between dropping off my rental car and going through security. So, at the kabob place, I secured a Coca Cola cup and filled it with ice water. Once I returned my car to the rental agency, I ducked into the restroom and dumped out the water and poured in the wine. I made sure no one saw me throw the empty wine bottle away. I can be pretty sneaky, like that. I put the plastic lid back on and stuck the straw in. Unless you were really close, you couldn’t really tell it was other than Coca Cola in the cup. The straw did have sort of a purple tint, but you’d have to be very, very close to notice it, and if anyone were THAT close, heck, they’d smell the wine. So, I enjoyed my wine during the bus ride to the terminal, while standing in line to check my bag and then took a seat on a bench until it was gone, then went through security, having nary a care for the long line and slow progress. By disguising my last bit of Hess Cabernet Sauvignon in a Coca Cola cup, I was simply “suggesting” to everyone in the vicinity that I was thirsty and sipping a soda. Right? So, perhaps, the power of suggestion can be somewhat dishonest, at times. Might I suggest you use the power of suggestion with discernment?

While I sat on the bench, near security, sipping my Coca Cabernet Cola Sauvignon, I was within earshot of three Southwest flight attendants, two ladies, one gentleman. In case you’ve never flown Southwest, the flight attendants are a breed apart from most flight attendants for other airlines, though United flight attendants are a close second, and not the recycled Continental ones, the actual United ones who worked for United before the merger. Southwest flight attendants are cheerful, funny, witty, happy, upbeat and really make the drudgery of air travel some measure better. Well, let me tell you, when they are not on duty, they are wholly different! My word! Apparently their chipper attitudes at 35,000 feet are a mere suggestion that they are cheerful, funny, witty, happy and upbeat because what I heard today really suggested they are not at all happy, with their jobs, with their co-workers, with their employer.

One woman said, “I hate everyone I have to work with, some more than others”, to which the man responded, “Oh, no, you have to just hate everyone equally.” They commiserated about company policies about socks, of all things, and the financial state of the airline, which I’ve always thought was one of the more sound airlines, until today. I was a bit shaken. I’m glad I had some wine before boarding the plane! And then, while we were waiting for everyone to board the plane, one of the flight attendants cracked the same joke a flight attendant on another flight earlier in the week made. OMG! This suggests that their material, their super funny, witty jokes, are unoriginal, scripted, perhaps. I don’t know. Here, the power of suggestion is used in disillusion. Anyone who has a job that they so clearly abhor is doing themselves a disservice in keeping it. We spend a considerable amount of our lives at toil, best be something we love or our chances for happiness are greatly diminished. As a customer, I too, am disillusioned. I know it’s important to perform your work with a good attitude, and I have suggested so on many occasion. But, when one discovers that the character of a company, as represented by its employees when they believe they are unheard, is in complete contradiction to everything you’ve been led to believe, it is a little disheartening.

I guess what I’m suggesting here, the moral of my article, because I always have one, is we should use the power of suggestion to improve our self-confidence, to improve our lives. By suggesting to ourselves, on a daily basis, that we are happy, healthy, confident and capable people, we will move towards becoming more happy, healthy, confident and capable. By affirming what we wish to be on a regular basis, and by monitoring and correcting limiting and self-destructive thoughts, we become able to adopt what we suggest as reality. Keeping in mind, that what we do for a living is very much a part of what will lead to our ultimate happiness, and to perhaps include in our suggestions to ourselves that we seek a vocation that will further our desire for happiness and fulfillment, rather than detract from it.

Limiting and self-destructive thought patterns sabotage every desire and every attempt at personal growth and happiness. Limiting and self-destructive thoughts are very powerful, sometimes latent, suggestions by a very trusted source, your own mind, that you are limited, that you’re not worthwhile or deserving of that you desire. Learning to identify and correct limiting and self-destructive thought patterns allow you to align the energy you have with the desires you hold. Once your power and your desires are united they become intent. Intent is extremely powerful, and necessary, in moving in the direction you wish to go. Intent is the power of suggestion driven by desire and agreement of deserving thoughts and attitudes.

Using the power of suggestion to positively affect our goals and desires is one of the most potent tools we have at our disposal. By developing this power we are just beginning to tap into your personal potential. Might I suggest you begin your journey towards fulfillment, towards that which you desire, might I suggest you begin your evolution into the person you wish to become by practicing the power of suggestion.

I’ve Got Swagger

I’ve got swagger.

I wasn’t wearing anything particularly special, jeans a tee shirt and a cardigan. My jeans had glitter on the back pockets, but all my jeans have glitter on the back pockets. As I walked through Target to get a box of Ziploc bags and some Airborne, though, I could hear heads turn. People smiled. A child pointed. I was hoping I didn’t have toilet paper hanging out from the back of my pants. I checked. I didn’t.

Truthfully, I get this quite a bit. I’m not a super model, I’m not even a un-super model. I’m really quite ordinary looking, I have prominent and somewhat asymmetric features. But, I’ve got swagger. I’m not obnoxious, I don’t deliberately try to attract attention to myself, other than just smiling at people when they look up long enough to make eye contact with me. I do seek to make eye contact with people as I pass. I find people fascinating, firstly, and I like to be friendly, secondly.

I’ve got swagger. It’s just an attitude. I do try to look complete in my appearance, but I’m not outlandish or garish, except maybe for the glitter on my back pocket. I do have a confident attitude and I do seek to make eye contact with people, then I smile. I’m pretty sure people can sense the smile before it appears. People look at me because they somehow know I will smile at them. It brightens my day, and I hope I brighten someone else’s day along the way.

I think one’s attitude is contagious to others. I know it, I don’t just suspect it. I know it. I’ve even conducted evil experiments to prove my point. I have.

I was a Girl Scout leader for forever, from the time my daughter was six until she was seventeen. I was the Girl Scout leader that took all the girls at school who wanted to join. Other troops had waiting lists, I know, we’d been on one for over a year when I decided to become a leader. I didn’t believe it was the Girl Scout way to deny a girl the chance to belong because I only wanted to deal with eight girls of precisely the same age. I had several age levels and a whole bunch of girls, sometimes upwards of 25. We had so much fun.

I conducted my evil experiment at a Girl Scout outing at a very popular annual festival held at local apple ranches. I broke the girls up into small groups and assigned them an “attitude”. Some girls were to act rude, grumpy and sullen as they walked through the crowds. Another group was asked to act cheerful, helpful, friendly as they walked through the crowds. Then they switched roles and repeated the experiment. I had them come back and talk about how people reacted to them. As expected, the sullen girls got glares and impatient glances as they passed other people. The happy girls got smiles and good tidings from passersby.

I repeated this experiment at the mall with another youth group with similar results. To be expected. So why is it that so many of us choose to walk through the world with blank expressions, or worse yet, unpleasant expressions? As I’ve been trying to explain to my mom all week long, you really can influence how good or bad you feel by how you think. So, why choose to think dreary thoughts and have a dreary day, and worse yet, make everyone around you feel a bit dreary too? No matter what you feel like inside, putting a pleasant expression on, and acting outwardly cheerful will actually positively affect your mood, and the mood of those around you. Now, instead of feeling grumpy and being surrounded by grumpy people, you feel pretty good and everyone around you is smiling and saying “good morning”. And suddenly, you feel pretty good.

I took my experiment one step further one day. I’d been reading about the power of suggestion, the law of attraction and how our thoughts are “magnetic”. My daughter and I were parking at our favorite mall for an afternoon of our favorite pastime. Shopping. And people watching. We decided we would walk through the mall with an air of importance, a confident attitude, thinking we were famous celebrities. We didn’t ACT like we were famous, we didn’t speak differently or walk differently, we just thought differently. It was amazing! People actually stopped, turned and watched us pass. We weren’t dressed differently, we didn’t do anything to cause that sort of reaction other than think “I’m a celebrity”. Try it some time. It’s a trip!

So, if you want a little swagger, all you have to do is walk, look into all those faces you usually try to avoid, and smile whether they smile at you or not. Practice this, and soon, you’ll have swagger. And a happier outlook. And, best of all, your smile may totally make someone else’s day.