“The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Optimism is life’s way of giving us light. It is a beacon that shows us our path and opens up a down feather lightness for our lives to cuddle in. It allows us to sort, shift, and discover the parts we need and love best from moments that seem heavy, dark and unending.
As our personal fountain of hope, optimism not only inspires and allows us to relax into ourselves, but it’s power lies in it’s regenerative process. Good thing optimism begets optimism, we all need it in unlimited supply.
It’s easy to forget that thinking and feeling optimistic about yourself, a situation, or your life in general is only a thought away. But it is the hardest to do when we are completely wrapped up in believing our negative mental thoughts. And that is precisely when we most need our own positive reinforcement.
To cultivate more optimism in my life, I try to do very small things that can reap huge rewards. A few times throughout the day I’ll stop what I’m doing and sit silently. It’s like a small check-in with how I’m feeling, where I am, and what my thoughts are thinking. I notice and then proceed. If I was thinking something really negative, I may laugh out loud at myself to break the hold negative thinking can have. Or I might say the word “hope” or “intention” in my mind to break the downward spiral. Then, I let it go. This is hard, so it helps me to visualize the negative thought literally being enveloped by a balloon or a bubble and floating away. Sometimes I even imagine myself waving at it. Buh-bye!
Optimism helps us see—see our selves as part of the greater whole and the humor in all that we do. It enables us to more freely create for the world (like giant thumb’s up sculptures in gold) and bring joy to everyone who experiences our work. Optimism allows us to be and give our best, which in turn is the best gift we can give our selves.