Does optimism emerge from resilience?
Day 11/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Status: super-tired
With the climate changes we are experiencing, irrespective of the perceived cause, with the current bushfires, the rise in childhood illnesses, cancers of all types, inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases, rubbish food, worse pharmaceuticals, it's sometimes difficult to maintain an optimistic outlook.
Optimism: Is it always in our best interests. According to Psychology Today, "research shows that tempering a sunny disposition with a small dose of realism, or even pessimism, might be the best way to build resilience and achieve one's goals. I dunno.
As I post this image, it's actually raining!
When things look bleak, it's easy to focus on everything that's going wrong. Getting into the blame game is easy when social media is alive with active players.
In a recessions we are required to scale back our expectations, redefine our consumer values, reorder our priorities, and meet the challenge of a living only with necessities. An optimist will dig in and achieve this goal with a cheery disposition.
As we experience a range of natural disasters the call is much the same. Scale back our expectations of life on this planet, redefine our connection with the earth, reorder our priorities and meet the challenge of becoming a more connected human race. Yep, my optimism is alive and well with my focus on my getting garden established.
Today's inspiration from Sarah:
Optimism in times of trouble is much like the happiness habit. It takes time to learn.
Expect something good to happen not matter what has occurred yesterday.
Smile at everyone you meet.
Know that the past is behind you, do what you can to relieve your struggle and that of others, and know that the world is an abundant planet.
The eternal optimist would be a fitting description for someone like me. Always looking on the bright side with the knowledge that I'll have the resilience to manage anything that life throws at me. I've done a pretty good job of it to date.
Resilience is key I think, when it comes to being optimistic. If one is filled with fears, unable to see the wood for the trees, then optimism is not going to be a thing.
It's easy to be optimistic when things are going to plan. It's another thing when the chips are down.
Are you able to lift yourself out of the doldrums to feel confident that, "you've got this"? Do you feel confident in your inner resources to ride it out, and make the choices and decisions that will support you and those close to you?
It's not a pretty sight watching someone you love go into a tailspin that takes them deeply into fear and ultimately, depression.
However if one has mastered many of life's ups and downs and found their personal solutions, they may, as I do, feel optimistic that they have the inner resources to roll with the punches and come up smelling of roses.
The optimistic tone that I subscribe to goes something like this:
Everything is going to work out fine. I can't remember a time when it didn't. Here I am, alive and well after all the passed challenges. This is just another challenge and it will all work out fine. I might have to adjust, live life differently, live off breadcrumbs and baked beans for a while, maybe live without electricity until the storm passes, build new and different relationships, but I'll live, or not, and all will be well.
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.