Is it a sunny day? Regardless of whether there are clouds, rain, or sunshine outside, the answer lies within you. Successful Passionate Pursuers have Optimism. They carry a hopeful, upbeat disposition and believe that good prevails.
WHAT IS OPTIMISM?
My theme in 2015 is “Be a SUNFLOWER.™” Each letter of the word aligns with one of the traits of successful Passionate Pursuers. O stands for Optimism. From page 52 of Pursuit of Passionate Purpose, “Norman Vincent Peale in The Power of Positive Thinking popularized and humanized the importance of a can-do outlook using examples of real people. People with a positive attitude carry a hopeful, upbeat disposition with the believe that good ultimately overcomes evil.”
INSIGHTS FROM A LABYRINTH WALK
During a week-long meditation retreat in the mountains led by Shinzen Young , I walked the outside labyrinth. Merriam-Webster defines a labyrinth as a place that has many confusing paths or passages, something that is extremely complicated or difficult to understand. However http://www.veriditas.org/guidelines has this to say about a spiritual, meditation labyrinth, “The labyrinth is not a maze. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It has a single circuitous path that winds its way into the center. The person walking it uses the same path to return from the center and the entrance then becomes the exit. The path is in full view, which allows a person to be quiet and focus internally.
Generally there are three stages to the walk: releasing on the way in, receiving in the center and returning when you follow the return path back out of the labyrinth. Symbolically, and sometimes actually, you are taking back out into the world that which you have received.”
Here are my insights.
- Be grateful for those who have helped bring you to where you are now and those who have come this way before, have shown the way, and have tended the path.
- Keep going. Put one foot in front of another. The journey brings the joys, satisfaction, and learning of life. Sometime it looks like you are so close to the finish, but there may be a long way to go. There may be obstacles along the way, don’t let that stop you.
- Rest and appreciate. See the beauty and small, little flowers along life’s way. Hear the birds chirp. What messages do they bring? Feel the air with a touch of moisture, notice the dew sparkling in the morning sunlight. Enjoy the diversity and difference of each stone along the path.
- Savor your progress. Pat yourself on the back for what you have accomplished.
- Be optimistic. Just like sunflowers which turn to the sun, raise your face to the light. Find hope and the bright spots in life’s journey. Remember and sing the popular American song, Keep On the Sunny Side
KEEP ON THE SUNNY SIDE
This song was originally written in 1899 by Ada Blenkhorn (1858–1927) with music by J. Howard Entwisle (1866–1903) and popularized in a 1928 recording by the Carter Family
There’s a dark and a troubled side of life;
There’s a bright and a sunny side, too;
Tho’ we meet with the darkness and strife,
The sunny side we also may view.
Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,
Keep on the sunny side of life;
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way,
If we keep on the sunny side of life.
Life and work is a spiritual journey, whether you realize it or not. Similar to walking a labyrinth, have hope as you notice, learn, appreciate, and continue along the way. Keep on the sunny side of life. You can turn a good life into a great life.