was experiencing "snowcopalypse”—bomb cyclone winds,
blowing snow, and road closures. We hunkered down at home
and watched as snow blew sideways and branches fell to the
ground around our house. The first day of spring is
promising to be sunny and warm with most of the evidence of
last week’s storm melted away.
In the northern hemisphere, we enter a new season as the
spring equinox welcomes new life. Whether you're in the north
or south, the change signals that the season before is dying so
a new one can be born. Although there are aspects of each
season that I enjoy, I particularly love this time of year! Our
garden is full of snowdrops and crocus and every day new
things are popping up and surprising me. The lovely snowdrop
is one of the first flowers to appear in the spring as it warms the
snow around it and works its way through the snow to bloom.
The spring equinox is a seasonal, astronomical event caused by
the Earth's axis tilting neither toward nor away from the sun.
Twice a year, at the Vernal (spring) and Autumnal (fall)
equinoxes (equal light), the Earth's tilt is in perfect balance. Day
and night, light and dark, are nearly equal in length. Springtime
is a time of growth, renewal, new life, and balance. We begin to
feel more energetic and open to allowing changes – both big
and small – into our lives. This is a time to examine our
lives—inner and outer and make room for the new (think “spring
cleaning”). Across cultures and traditions people are called to
positive thinking at this time of year. How can anyone not be
inspired by the spirit of optimism that spring brings?
we’re moving into the warmth of the
light. Nature is coming alive after
months of being dormant. The same
thing is happening to you. Your
attention is drawn toward your
intentions for what you want to plant,
grow, and nurture within. The end of
winter can sometimes feel a little unsettling. The energy shifting
from an inward to an outward focus and the transformation it
brings may bring a feeling of being out of balance. Where do
you feel out of balance in your life? Where do you feel
balanced? What are ways to bring balance in to your life?
Research in to the new and growing field of Positive Psychology
shows how important emotions such as hope, joy, and
excitement are to our wellbeing.
Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.
others have determined that one of the key elements that has a
major effect on wellbeing is optimism. Their research shows that
optimistic people are happier, healthier, recover from illness
more quickly, and even live longer.
Optimism is having confidence in a positive future or success of
something even when an optimist encounters a difficult
situation. She makes course corrections toward a desired
outcome because of her positive perspective. This indicates
that an optimist accepts the situation, even the obstacles to
success and continues to work toward accomplishing her goals-
-Growth Mindset in action (see our March 14th post).
Psychologists also believe that optimism can be learned and/or
can also be genetically inherited. If an individual is taught to see
the positive aspect of each situation and cultivates the belief in a
positive outcome from childhood, this becomes a lifelong habit. I
see myself as an optimist (most of the time) and believe that I
both learned and inherited optimism.
For as far back as I can remember, I heard my mother's words
"Things always turn out for the best". I didn't always believe her
when things didn't turn out the way I wanted them to. But those
words have echoed in my mind and heart for decades, thanks to
my mother. In case you think she lived with her head in the
clouds, never seeing "reality" the way the people around her
did, allow me to tell her story.
She was the oldest of four children, born to farmers in rural
Georgia. From the stories I've been told, I learned that she was
a happy and healthy baby. When she was nine months old, she
became infected with the polio virus. Shortly afterwards, she
was sent 200 miles from her home to a hospital in Warm
Springs, Georgia where she would spend the first five years of
her life. Not only was she separated from her family (my
grandparents couldn't afford to leave the farm and travel to visit
her very often), she was isolated and underwent very painful
treatments, including time in an iron lung. She had very little
comforting, physical touch. The disease left her paralyzed on
one side. I can’t image how she felt or how she survived and
thrived. I've come to believe that her attitude, her mindset, was
her pathway to living a long and fulfilling life. Much like Viktor
Frankl's examples in Man's Search For Meaning, she choose to
see the "glass half full" even under such devastating
circumstances. She chose to see the present and future from a
The Positive Psychology approach also recommends building
optimism by habitually recognizing and challenging pessimistic
thoughts – something made much easier by the new season in
which we can throw open the windows, and let in the fresh air
and soft sunlight.
Spring is all about opportunity – a time for cultivating optimism,
for accepting ourselves, finding balance, strengthening the
belief in ourselves and our ability to overcome obstacles,
including our own fear. This Co-Creative Mandala, "Optimism"
invites you to embrace Spring's Eternal Optimism and step into
the unknown. The spiritual journey of the spring equinox is one
of discovery. Remember, savor, and build on optimism
throughout the year.
Throw open the windows and let in the fresh, vibrant
energy of new life.
Infinite possibilities are available to you.
Embrace the beginning of something new!
Spring has always been considered as a time for change and
personal evolution. If changes need to be made in your
life, this exercise is going to set that in motion. It’s designed to
help you honor what is and leave behind whatever doesn’t serve
you and to support allowing your goals to manifest.
Give yourself plenty of time to dive deeply into this exercise.
Meditate, journal, create your sacred space for doing this
exercise throughout the spring season. Come back to this
exercise as often as you like. Make it your own.
Find a quiet place, without interruptions. Light two candles, one
for that part of you that is holding on and one for that part of you
that is letting go.
Invest your time and attention. Don’t rush. Close your eyes.
Take several deep breaths.
Open your eyes and focus on the mandala. Invest a
few minutes toward feeling the “Optimism” energy traveling
through your body & all your chakras. Imagine that energy
bursting through your crown chakra & extending far into the
heavens. Now, feel the “Optimism” energy entering your
body through your crown chakra. Sit with this energy for a few
minutes, feel yourself connected to the mandala energy.
What about the mandala captures your attention? Notice and
Wonder--Something in me is feeling...
I wonder what it wants me to know?
Begin asking yourself the following questions; acknowledge
whatever is holding you and holding you back. This helps train
your brain to cultivate optimism...
1. What does optimism feel/look like to me? What does
optimism mean for me in me spiritual journey?
2. Where do I feel optimistic in my life?
3. Where is there pessimism? Do I feel out of balance in any
aspect of my life?
4. What can I do to bring optimism to that part of my life?
This is one thing I'm willing to do that brings optimism to
The cycle of life is once again starting. This is the season of
new beginnings. Right now, these energies are combining to
make this a time of growth & evolution. In order to make this
change a reality, first appreciate what is. Then cultivate the
power of optimism. Believe that anything is possible this time of
year. Celebrate spring because it reminds us that our optimism
You may have difficulty with this process. I know when I first
started intentionally shifting my attention to being optimistic,
I thought I was "betraying" reality. That seems odd to me now,
but I was invested in the limiting beliefs that come with
pessimism. I think I was afraid to let go and allow optimism to
guide my life. I invite you to be gentle with yourself and trust the
process. You've been living with these beliefs for a lifetime;
they've protected you; pessimism has kept you safe. It's
important to acknowledge and honor this.
One energy modality that I've found to be gentle and effective
for working with limiting beliefs is EFT/Tapping. By tapping on
meridian accupoints, EFT-Tapping sends a signal to the energy
system that you are safe. It's a very effective technique for
clearing our energy system of the disruptions that happened
when the experiences we had created the limiting beliefs.
When we feel safe, we can see our human experience through
a compassionate and optimistic lens.
I offer 30-minute complimentary EFT/Tapping Sessions. This is
a perfect way to begin exploring and releasing limiting beliefs as
you move toward a life of Eternal Optimism.
Peace and Joy to your seeking heart,