I’m an avid Pollyanna, meaning I choose to be a positive thinker. I pray prayers, work with energy, follow the stars, love extra hard, and I believe that people are fundamentally good. When life confronts me with a challenge, I feel all the negative feelings, and I sink to the bottom of the well for a brief time. Invariably and soon after, I rise. I commit to finding the opportunity in the challenge and to finding a way to transmute the hurt, loss, stress, or pain into something positive for someone (myself, family, clients, listeners, or the world). Then I attack the apparent problem with every heavenly and earthly remedy I have.
People who call themselves “realists” are quite confounded by my constant return to positive thinking. They say they’re too mature, they’ve seen too much, and they’re too wise now to succumb to the rainbows and gumdrops in my delirium. They see the bad in people first, and the world is a dangerous place rife with narcissists and evildoers. They live in constant vigilance, never fully bonding with anyone and incapable of trusting others completely. They say their pessimism and defensiveness keep them prepared for the next hard thing, and my optimism leaves me vulnerable.
What a pile. Filling oneself with negative thinking and expectations, and worry provides no protection or preparedness. It just robs one of present joy. When the next hard thing happens, they’re no more prepared, and they may already be worn out from all of the energy spent being unrelentingly tense.
Life challenges all of us. It’s healthy to understand this and to do all of the things that make good sense. I wholeheartedly encourage you to:
*** Eat a healthy diet (Veggie forward)
*** Sweat 3-5 times a week
*** Sleep 6.5 hours+ every night
***Save and invest money. Check out my podcast: 10 Things You Need to Know About Money
***Get checkups and dental cleanings
***Get auto, health, and whatever other insurance you need
***Pay your taxes
***Don’t break the law
***Reduce or eliminate drug and alcohol intake
This list offers a good start to creating a sound foundation for preventing and preparing for many life challenges. But, Goddess help me, is this all there is? My realist friends seem to think so. I do not.
Us cotton-candy-wrapped paragons of positive thinking benefit a whole bunch from:
***Creating time for rest/positive reading/meditation every day
***Being bonded and completely present in a healthy relationship and having lots of sex with our lover
***Growing a community of people we feel happy and energized with
***Spending less or no time with people draining and depleting people
***Optimizing our work lives or getting/creating a job we love
***Asking ourselves, “What’s the best thing that could happen?”
***Adoring and adorning ourselves with things that make us feel magical and beautiful
***Recognizing our immense power and resilience
***Trusting that at some level of creation, everything makes sense and works together for good
***Believing that challenges are opportunities to grow and lessons for our souls
***Knowing that we are loved and never alone. There is a presence who loves us totally.
***Celebrating the unlimited aspects of our nature (love, possibility, hope, ability to grow)
***Remembering that all things change, this includes all feelings and bad times
***Owning our power to direct our attention and energy. What we direct it to will grow
***Disregarding doomsayers and detractors
***Being grateful for all that remains
***Embracing the power that pulls you through
***Loving fiercely and fearlessly
This list, which is by no means inclusive, combined with the realist’s list above, is a formula for joy and miracle-filled life— a life worthy of the magnificent beings we were created to be. To the wary realists who reject my sparkle, you keep your pessimism. I’ll ride my unicorn through the storm and into that gorgeous giant lemon-drop sunset.
Are you more of a realist or a Pollyanna positive thinker? Leave a comment and tell me what you’d add to the lists above.
I’m such a fan of your work and message. I’ve taken your challenge twice and just signed up for a third round! It makes me happy to wake up in the morning and see your message in my inbox.
A couple questions help me break chokehold emotions (and they may have come from you, I’m not sure):
-Who would I be without that thought?
-What if the opposite of that thought were true?
The first question helps me see how the negative thought I’m having props up my image of myself and sheds light on my values.
The second question opens up possibilities.
Thanks for all you do.
Yay! Three times on the challenge is amazing. I continue to take it because, as you mentioned, it is a wonderful way to set an intention for the day.
Hmmm, I’m not sure if those questions came from me. I’ve definitely asked the first one. The second one makes me think of Byron Katie, and I really like it.
Thank you for your awesome contribution. <3
I totally agee
Yes! Score another point for the optimists 🙂
I love and miss your podcasts! Can we have more of you?
Hi Kelli! Thank you for your kindness. You made me smile. I have a new podcast called REWRITTEN: Rewrite Your Story, Recreate Your Life. I’m working hard to help us identify the false stories we tell ourselves and rewrite them with empowering truths. Listen and let me know what you think. I’m so happy we’ve connected again. 🙂
I have come to a point in my life where I do remain more calm when the waters are stirred by ‘trouble.’ I was never a ‘realist,’. I thought I was being ‘punished’ for something I did that I didn’t know I did. Just as my mom would punish me for things people told her even though I didn’t know what it was. I found out my dad was that way. He thought his cancer was a punishment, perhaps for not being able to make my mother happy. What he couldn’t know was she has Borderline Personality Disorder.
I have my PTSD to deal with, of course, you can’t come up and yell in my face and expect the response everyone else has. But with all the work I’ve done with therapy and hypnotherapy I’ve taken the edge off of it. So, when things happen, I am able to handle them better and able to see them in a different light. There is more joy, more love, more me. The main thing is, I found me. I recovered me. And I believe through my creative endeavors in theater that I am to show the way for folks to fully express themselves. That this is a good thing. Being fully yourself, not a facade, the you that’s behind that facade is far better than any mask.
Diana, thank you for this honest and vulnerable share. It is important to tell your story because it helps others feel connected and hopeful. Our parents’ wounding becomes ours so effortlessly, and healing it requires so much effort. My favorite line in your comment is, “I recovered me.” This is monumental. Your audience is graced and privileged to be with you. I wish you and them more of this healing energy and inspiration.