08 Mar Choose Optimism – It Feels Better | Greg Barringer | Shelly Olson
Happiness, love and peace are ongoing challenges for so many. In a discussion with the Dalai Lama, he was asked, “For decades you have brought forth a message of love and peace, yet our world is harsh, and spurns love as weakness. What is the wellspring that allows you to transcend despair?”
“There is no other choice.” he said, after a meditative beat, to laughs and cheers. “Optimistic attitude, not foolishly, but holistically, is a major factor to keep your mind fresh. Even your physical health [benefits]. So, if you want to die soon, then meditate on pessimism.”
Optimism is the better, healthier, easier choice. I finally reached this epiphany after years of triggered trauma. The need to heal and rise above my circumstances opened my mind to another possibility. After much reading, meditation, yoga, and talks with my friend and teacher, Greg Barringer, a local yogi, meditation guide and counselor, I finally got it. It has changed my life so profoundly, I felt an obligation to share this with you, in case it helps you or perhaps your clients.
While our minds tend toward the negative, optimism is a much easier state of being. It’s easier to be relaxed, positive, and loving. Negativism, pessimism, and separation take a heck of a lot more work.
If we can accept the ways things are, step back into the role of observer or the seer, in yogic terms, and examine our options going forward, things will flow much more easily. It’s best to accept the way things are and take it from there.
Complaining takes work and negative thoughts flow from this activity which cut us off from the light and happiness that we could be experiencing.
For most of my life I’ve been motivated by the fear and anxiety of needing to please my parents, provide for my family, and get things done on time. Coming from this fearful place took so much energy, negatively affected my health, and separated me from my innate creative talents, natural abilities, and positive, fun-loving, adventurous nature.
When fear and anxiety are the primary filter through which we see the world, most everything becomes a threat. We see most things as negative, problems to be dealt with or overcome. A great deal of heaviness begins to permeate our lives, and we become pessimistic about ourselves; seeing the glass as always half to almost empty, rather than half to almost full.
It’s not just about seeing the future as bright, but experiencing the present as better than we think.
Even in difficult times there can be beauty and connection. It is our perspective, or the attitude from which we CHOOSE to experience each moment that determines the quality of our life.
If we see things as bad, then life is bad.
If we see things as extraordinary, then life is extraordinary.
And it is so much easier and more enjoyable to experience an extraordinary life, then a bad one.
When we expect the future to be bright, fear and anxiety are reduced and we change our anticipated reality.
And best of all, through our optimism, we honor our connection to something good and greater than ourselves, beyond our own egoic desires. This is divine. This feels good. This is healthy.
“People who are optimistic are more committed to their goals, are more successful in achieving their goals, are more satisfied with their lives, and have better mental and physical health when compared to more pessimistic people,” Suzanne Segerstrom, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky. If you think that the future can be positive, you’ll put in time and energy to manifest a positive outcome. By being engaged and persistent, even if you don’t feel particularly positive, the benefits of optimism—like satisfaction and health—will soon follow.
Optimism is the courageous choice we make each day in the face of adversity. It leads to other many wonderful things – joy, creativity, problem solving, openness, love and connection.
But if you find yourself going over to the dark side, the good news is that energy can be changed very quickly from negative to positive, particularly with help from a teacher or guide. So, choose optimism. Time and time again. For additional inspiration, please take a look at these 10 reasons to think positively: https://www.healthambition.com/positive-thinking-and-health/
Opportunities to Connect
If you would like to connect for yoga with extended gong meditation, we’ve teamed up with St. Luke’s in Darien on April 1 and 29 from 8:30-10:30am to host 3 mornings of practice. Please sign-up at: http://www.shaktiananda.yoga/spring-tune-up
We also practice Community Beach Yoga from May-September at Bayley Beach in Rowayton, CT.
All are welcome. We’d love to see you there. Please see www.shaktiananda.yoga for more info.
Founder of ShaktiAnanda Center for Yoga & Bliss, Greg is a highly-trained practitioner of Yoga and Meditation, certified and registered with the Yoga Alliance (ERYT). He is on the cutting edge of transformative practices that complement other healing modalities.
Greg’s intention is to elevate our consciousness, sense of connection, and build our capacity for feeling, healing, and sensation. The benefits of practice with him include releasing blocks that keep us stuck, raising energy and awareness, strengthening the body, and enhancing the immune, circulatory, glandular, and nervous systems.
Visit www.shaktiananda.yoga for information on the benefits of therapeutic yoga and meditation and for classes, workshops, and retreats.
Shelly Cote Olson
Shelly has over twenty years of strategy consulting, marketing, and market analysis experience at Citibank, IBM, MetLife, and Gartner. She has a strong passion for yoga, meditation, dance, music, and service to others. In her consulting business, Cote Consulting, she markets products and/or services that greatly help people improve the quality of their lives, elevate their consciousness, and ability serve others.
Please reach her via at www.shellycolson.com if you’d like to connect.