Episode 16. Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life
'Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the light side of life.
If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten.
And that's to laugh and smile and play and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle, that's the thing.
Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the right side of life...'
Eric Idle 1979
An excerpt from 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life' A Song from Monthy Python's Life of Brian.
Apart from this song's paradoxical message about existential crisis, coupled with how we should be optimistic about it, which I find amusing, my Dad often used to sing it and whistle along to it. He made it even funnier. My Dad didn't like Monty Python, he thought they were stupid. He was more of a Fawlty Towers and Only Fools and Horses chap.
My optimism had left me for a couple of weeks, but it was re-ignited on Sunday 21st October 2018 at 8.45am when a million rainbows flooded into my lounge, from sunlight shining through my window-hung crystals. I made a video of them and posted it on LinkedIn, connected to last week's blog, Episode 15. Out Of Darkness Cometh Light. It's been viewed over 4000 times now, so I'm happy I managed to cheer a few folk up.
The rainbow Sunday, reminded me about how important it is to be optimistic. It's not the same as having to force positivity. It means you can feel down or worried, without struggling with guilt or feeling negative. Optimism is a way to give yourself a chance to remember nothing lasts forever, not even our miserable feelings. We can be optimistic we will soon feel well again.
I've had a productive week as a result of my returning optimism. I've remembered to do things that make me feel better. I've been writing my gratitude journal, completed outstanding assignments and projects and continued to battle with physio for my broken-now-mended-poorly-sore-arm.
I find mornings a bit of a struggle. I think it takes my serotonin and dopamine a few hours to start circulating. I've never checked the medical explanation. At this time of day, I'm most likely to cancel plans or talk myself out of something, I happily arranged the evening before. Once I get warmed up I'm fine. So for those few difficult hours, I have to be more mindful.
The latest mindfulness exercise I've just added to my repetoire, is to be grateful for the sunlight and rain that grew my coffee beans. Then I send gratitude for every hand that has touched those beans before they arrive in my cup and hence in my tummy. I enjoy believing that those exact beans were always destined only for me. When I view myself as connected, it makes me feel valued.
Feeling connected to all other beings, our world, our universe even, has helped me to understand I have a purpose. And having a sense of purpose gives me hope, it's very motivating. This in turn drives my momentum, making it more easily possible to be creative and to undertake all my tasks, I otherwise find difficult.
So all in all my sense of optimism is like a bridge that spans a chasm of difficulty. Optimism carries me over to the next good spell. I always know with certainty a dark episode won't last.
The universe and everything in it, including all of us, is constantly changing. We are all merely a collection of processes. We and everything around us, are constantly flowing, changing and moving. The idea of impermanence, to me, is comforting and freeing.
The final part of Eric Idle's song comments:
'You started with nothing,
You go back to nothing,
What have you lost?
And with that said, we may as well enjoy the ride.
© Gillian Cullis 31/10/2018