Cheer up! Pollyanna revisited
Day 353/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
"Cheer up, it's not so bad!" Right now at the end of 2020 I'm feeling that not too many people will be wanting to hear from Pollyanna!
Sarah points out that Pollyanna wasn't a positive thinker, denying all evidence of misery. Indeed she was a girl who was taught to find the glad in every situation, even the worst of them. It's worth revisiting this perspective.
I've chewed over this concept of staying positive, finding the value in all situations, looking on the bright side. God knows I've experienced my share of adversity.
My exploration into shifting into a life of joy is that every situation has at least two aspects to it. The obvious which might be glad or bad depending on your perspective, and the other. In fairness there are also many, many shades of grey (read: other perspectives) in every situation as well but we'll leave that for the time being.
Let's take the Trump presidency for example. So many people only see what's wrong with what's going on in the U.S. of A. Yet when I look at it, I see so much positive around awakening awareness, the standing for one's rights, the discussions and unravelling of power bases and more, all happening as a consequence of what seems an unfortunate set of circumstances.
It's about seeing the bigger picture.
In my neighbourhood many people have lost jobs and struggle to make ends meet. And they are revising their debt situation and lightening their debt load, and learning to grow food gardens. That's a positive long-term and life skill right there.
We're coming up to a few days before Christmas. My family are meeting and some of them are into buying expensive gifts. I'm not one of them though I have been. Instead I'll be extra busy baking fresh for Christmas gifts in the last 2 days. Now, that initially made me feel a little uncomfortable, but on the bright side I get to be and show up as my authentic self and it will cost me very little.
What I am saying is that I learned to look for the opportunities in every situation instead of dwelling on what's going wrong. When we focus on what's wrong we're so attached to our expectations that we can't see the opportunities that arise.
Initially it took a bit of a shift to let go of my expectations that I thought would drive me to success. That's probably an understatement. Letting go of my expectations felt a lot like letting go of the steering wheel whilst I was driving.
Now it's a lifestyle. That's because it pays off. If you allow what is to be, grieve it briefly and let it go, trust me, you will soon find the brighter future in stall for you. Eventually you'll stop with the expectations and just allow life to carry you.
Last night I had the most interesting dream. I was on a bus that was driving itself. It knew the direction to go, navigated the twists and turns in the road and only stopped when it came to an intersection. Then it was my job to decide which way to point the bus and off it went again. That's what being in the flow of life is like. Once you have a direction, let life take you. You'll know when it's time to make a different decision or a turn in the path.
Then you'll find that life will become fascinating and serendipitous.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.