Creative prompt…The Bright Side of Life.

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The quote above is from the Monty Python song ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.’ A very cheerful tune in itself…I hope you can sing along whilst you are reading…

Hello there, this week, I’m contributing to Nikki of FlyingThrough Water and her creative prompt ‘The Bright Side’.

There is so much goodness that comes from being positive, looking on the bright side, not dwelling on the negative. This has been promoted heavily in the self-help movement as Positive thinking.
Keeping Gratitude journals are excellent ways to maintain our focus on the good things in life. Even if at times it feels as if life really isn’t going in our favour.

But is it necessary and even healthy, to ignore a huge part of life when things go wrong?
To attempt to deny the feelings that accompany the less desirable parts of life?

It’s easy to fall into the pattern of blame and negative thinking with phrases such as ‘this always happens to me’, ‘I never win anything,’ and ‘everyone else seems to be having a better life than me…’ These defeating self talk patterns can swim around and around in our head for days, weeks or even months. Believe me, I know. I’ve been called a catastrophizer in the past…
We are unaware of how much it’s become an ingrained, almost reflex attitude to life. We are in great danger of attracting more of what we don’t want through these negative reactions.

This isn’t acceptance of the challenges that arise. It’s more about living in fear.

But there is another way of accepting the curve balls that life throws at us. It’s called Positive Psychology and is described beautifully in a short interview here by a researcher called Barbara Fredrickson. She believes resilience and strategies for managing the hard times is the more proactive way to respond. I hope you find it helpful.

 Dr. Andrea Dinardo writes about these important topics in her inspiring blog,
Thriving under Pressure.

Can we still find happiness when we are facing hard times that can rock us to our core?
Can we really just look on the bright side of life that readily?

I believe it comes down the that beautiful expression…
We can ‘make lemonade out of lemons’…

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Now, I can see a huge pile of sour, bitter lemons presenting themselves before me. Yes, they are here, they are not going away anytime soon.
What to do with them now they are mine? Somehow I took ownership of them without even asking…

Well, I can try to ignore them, long enough, and the rotting sphere of once brilliant yellow will call us to attention even harder. Glossing over things and ignoring them can only be of value for a period of time.

Or

I can sit with them for a while, say ‘hello lemons’, ponder ‘what am I going to do with you?’
Leaving them in the back of the fridge in the dark will not make them go away.

Ok… attitude shift.
I’ll take those lemons, slice them open to allow the light of  day to penetrate, squeeze them until the juice inside runs out, after all, the only way to remove the juice is through squeezing them… and when I have taken what I can from them, it’s now time to find a way to make it work for me. To restore the sweetness to life, even in the midst of discovering that things aren’t proceeding as planned or as I wished them to be.

I add sugar…

So perhaps it’s not about desperately thrashing around in a stressful state aiming to remove or find a quick fix for something…

It’s not about turning a blind eye to the challenges, less than desirable experiences and negative parts of life, as if they didn’t exist, attempting to sweep them under the carpet.

Perhaps looking on the bright side of life is truly about acceptance of what is, sitting with negativity, sadness, disappointment, just long enough for our emotions to feel seen and heard. Once we name the beast, we tame the beast, and could we even find a way to love it?

Like a recipe I need to modify, it’s not possible to remove the ingredients already mixed…

But what I may choose to do is add a sprinkle of this, a dash of that, a pinch of something extra, until before us lies a totally new recipe, while still incorporating the initial ingredients.

I re-write the recipe.

Adding Love to the situation through…
Discovery
Belief
Choice
Surrender
Trust
Peace

Loving what’s presenting itself to us just now manifests as…

Adopting a fresh attitude,
Discovering how this issue is contributing to my growth, through choosing to believe it’s here as my teacher,
Creating a purpose for its existence even when it seems near impossible at the time. Cradling my thoughts into surrendering to ‘what is’, if I cannot change the situation.
I can also choose to see it as something that is part of a bigger picture, one I am not necessarily privy to just now, so I can add trust along with the surrender.
Perhaps with time, I am able to reflect, to see the experience as a superpower; one that affords me the opportunity to serve others going through their own tough times.

As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet,

‘There is nothing either good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.’

I’ll leave you with this beautiful piece, called
‘Amazing advice on Happiness at 92 years old.’

It’s relating a story about a 92 year old lady with vision impairment who knew the time had come to enter a nursing home. Her story, I’m sure, will melt your heart. I hope you have time to read it when suits you… there are many gems of life lessons contained within…

As always, I am very grateful to you for being here.
Thank you again Nikki for an awesome prompt…

Much love,
Di xx

 

 

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Time…

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When you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder, a second seems like an hour.” Albert Einstein.

Time is Nikki’s weekly creative prompt at FlyingThroughWater and one that has intrigued me for a long time too.

Jim Croce sang in his beautiful song ‘Time in a Bottle’

‘There never seems to be enough time,
to do the things you want to do,
once you find them.’

And also from that song…

‘If I could save time in a bottle,
The first thing I’d like to do
Is to save every day ‘til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you.’

Chicago sang about it in a song titled ‘Does anybody really know what time it is?’

Pink Floyd, Cyndi Lauper and so many other famous artists have sung about time. There is a wonderful post by UpVenue by someone who has wondered the very same thing. They have included video clips of their choice of some of the most beautiful songs written about time…

There is a bible verse in Ecclesiastes 3:1 ‘There is a time for everything.’
It has been made into another beautiful song. I’ve included the link as sung by The Byrds.

This concept has intrigued us most probably, since the beginning of time…
There are movies such as ‘Back to the Future’, ‘Midnight in Paris’, ‘Groundhog Day’, ‘Terminator’, and television series such as ‘Doctor Who’ inspire us to challenge the notion that time is a liner experience. Einstein himself proffered the thought that ‘the dividing line between past, present and future is an illusion.’

It appears as if it has captured our imagination…

We all experience ‘time flying when we are having fun’, and ‘time dragging’ when we wish it would be the end of something we don’t particularly enjoy doing.

And so, it’s come to the time to share some exciting news with you

There is a time to dream…
There is a time to imagine…
There is a time to create reality…

A dream I have held close to my heart…
The desire to meet the world, when that little girl was peering through the airport glass wishing she could fly off to far away lands.
The dream to expand my horizons, to challenge my comfort zone, to leave the known for a while and immerse myself in someone else’s world..
is coming true.

It’s time… my childhood dream of living in London and becoming part of life there is now reality. For some reason it’s called both of us for much of our life…my husband and I are making the most of the opportunity of transferring to London with the company he is with here in Melbourne. So come September, my blog may perhaps have a different flavour about it.
I also just wanted to let you know in case I’m not keeping up with all your wonderful posts as often as I’d like to…

Is it because the time is right at this moment in life?
Is it because it was time to stop dreaming and start to truly imagine it?
Is it because it was time to relinquish my fear of making this dream come true?

Many times we hear that things aren’t as fun in reality as they are in our minds and dreams…

But at what cost should be forego pursuing them in order to maintain the wonder?

Some things just may be worth fighting for so we don’t reach the end of our life with that one niggling regret…

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Thank you for being here,

Much love,

Di ♥️