I'll be honest and just say that sometimes the choice to be hopeful is not an easy one.
It is a daily choice - sometimes a choice made moment by moment.
This past week was incredible for me personally, and for my family. Ultimately, I am overflowing with gratitude and hope and joy and love as I sit and write - but I know that I can only get to this place and appreciate it because I am aware and have felt the other side.
So therefore, I think it's important that the perspective the downside gives us be celebrated too - when we are ready to celebrate it.
I've gotten to a place where I can quickly recognize that I'm in a difficult funk. It usually comes about when I have forgotten how to listen to myself and get caught into listening to others. It's a tough place to be in though, especially because I'm always outnumbered :)
I have found it crucial, then, to cultivate a strong relationship with myself - one that I can recognize and come back to - to remember. AND I have learned to build a strong tribe of people around me who know how to help me remember. For them, I am grateful.
It's so interesting how certain things bring us back to specific moments, feelings, and places in time. It's these places that I come back to every time I sing certain songs publicly. Like I did last weekend.
During a concert that I gave in my hometown for the community, I sang songs that have been with me for the last 15+ years. I remembered why I had been drawn to each one of them originally, and what they helped me get through. For some, when I perform them, I let myself go right back into the place I was when I first chose them and tell that story. For others, that's too hard, and so I've let them evolve with me and take on different meaning.
What's such a gift about them, though, is that when I tell their stories to an audience, they become something totally different for the listeners. Perhaps they will help them through something in the future - something difficult, or something to celebrate! Both are important.
A week later now I have found the perspective again to just be grateful. Even though yes, global warming, and yes politics and yes taxes and yes, all of the carbs I had this morning after the gym. All of that will always be there, present, in some way or another. But our choice of what to do and what to focus on is the power each of us holds on our own. This year, I'm going to remember more that I have this powerful choice and I'm excited to see where it will take me.
If you could write one phrase down to keep with you, and remind you of what is important each time you are off balance, what would it be?