I go through cycles like crazy. Lows, highs, and everything in between. I go from total peace of mind, to extreme anxiety. When I think about the year that has almost passed I could either be ecstatic or verging on depression. Perhaps it sounds crazy, or perhaps it sounds exactly like you. It’s times like right now that all that positivity talk becomes an incredible necessity as I commence on measuring my year and close out this chapter.
I recently bought a Mala necklace from a local artisan who told me that the sacred tree seeds the necklace contains have the ability to soak in positive energy. You see these necklaces in the yoga world a lot. People wear them while meditating. The general idea is that you wear the necklace when you are in a peaceful state to “charge” them. The seeds collect the good energy you’ve cultivated and become a source of stored positivity when you are in more stressful situations.
I like to think that practicing positivity is a similar strategy. Sometimes quotes or blogs about optimism can seem cheesy or unrealistic. I can feel a little skeptical when social media personalities claim to be only love and sunshine and rainbows. But there is merit in practicing positivity even when you don’t feel it.
The other day I went on a run because I was feeling extremely stressed. I was on the verge of tears and a lot of worst-case-scenarios started playing out in my head. I needed to unplug from my devices and sweat it out. So at 3 ‘o clock in the afternoon I found myself running through my neighborhood streets. At that exact same time the trash pickup truck was cruising down the main street I run down. He’d stop, pick up trash and give me just enough time to pass him. Then he’d drive past me, stop and do it again. Obviously, he was doing his job (and a tough one at that). But I was furious at my terrible timing. I went on a run to relieve stress and instead I was playing tag with a smelly trash pickup truck. I felt like my head was going to explode from yet another stressful situation presenting itself.
And then it came. That thing I’ve practiced so many times. That thing I’ve preached almost as many times. The art of optimism. I thought to myself, there are almost no other pedestrians jogging down the street right now on this beautiful Monday afternoon. How lucky was I that I lived in a safe neighborhood, had the physical ability to run down the street, and had the freedom to do it at 3 p.m. in the afternoon? Right as I was receiving this wave of relief saving me from my train of negative thoughts, the truck turned and went down a different road. I wasn’t wearing my necklace, but I was indeed dipping into a source of stored positive energy.
I don’t know how your year went. I don’t know what your measurements for success are. But I do know that there is always a choice between positive and negative. It doesn’t always feel that way, especially if you are prone to anxiety or depression, but the more you practice seeing the positive the more you’ll be able to save yourself from the downward spiral.
As you think about your year, consider all that you’ve accomplished. Consider that wherever you are is where you are supposed to be. Consider that whatever you want to achieve in the upcoming year(s) is still attainable. Seriously. Believe it. If you can’t get your mind into that positive space now, let it come to you naturally. When it does, soak it in. Store it up. Maybe grab some Mala beads for good measure. You never know when the practice of positivity will save you from yourself and perhaps even push you in the right direction to achieving your biggest dreams.