No bad days, good vibes only, just think positive…right? W R O N G. BIG wrong.
Being positive, living high vibe, feeling good…it’s all a choice. And too often the message is “fake it till you make it,” hoping that by ONLY focusing on the positive, you’ll feel good. BUT THERE IS MORE TO IT than this. And nobody is talking about it.
I am a relentless optimist, which means I vehemently believe that things work out, that there’s always enough for everyone, that there is a silver lining – even if we can’t see it – and that whatever it is we are experiencing has the capacity to push us forward in ways we never thought possible.
Having a positive outlook is essential to living a life that makes you feel full, satisfied, appreciative, loved, and connected. It’s through positive thinking that we pause and give thanks for the simple pleasures of daily life, and have the wherewithal to know – even in our darkest times – that this too shall pass. A positive mindset is essentially having a hopeful mindset, and the tenacity to know that you have done hard things before, and you can do this too.
Positive thinking is healthy, and it’s part of a bigger package – it doesn’t happen in isolation. True emotional freedom comes from having the courage to CONFRONT what it is that’s bothering you, looking it dead it in the eye, and saying “oh hello there; where did you come from?” What’s “bothering us” is seldom what is actually bothering us: it’s a trigger – and an opportunity – to heal something we have yet to heal, on a deeper level.
But thinking positively isn’t enough. And I will tell you, as someone who believes in a real way that thoughts become things, and that we speak things into existence, that just because we have taught ourselves to see the bright side, doesn’t let us off the hook to feel the rest of our shit, and ignore the bigger, deeper, dark, negative feelings that come up.
Having the bravery to acknowledge that, FEEL the ickiness, and examine it to find its core wound and pain point – THAT is the work. THAT is true growth and ascension as we accept the parts of us that don’t yet feel whole…and allow ourselves to soothe them.
When we ignore how we feel, we ignore our truth; we invalidate ourselves through denial or shame for having negativity come up. When we tune out the heaviness that can creep into our heads, hearts, and bodies, we dismiss the messages we are receiving from all three, and pass up an incredible opportunity to learn, heal, and grow.
Having a positive outlook does not mean you get to tune out your shit: if you want to heal, you need to feeeeeel. Even when that feels scary, threatening, uncomfortable, or just plain gross. When we have the bravery, we can meet those challenges, those exercises in adversity, and yes, the negative feelings that come with them head-on, we can also coach ourselves to know that this is just a part of the process. These are just the growing pains that bring us closer to ourselves.
That’s where we loop back to our positive mindset; it’s what gives us the courage to see the bright side, without being blinded by it and ignoring how we feel in the present moment. Know that if you’re only feeling negativity you are doing yourself a disservice – likewise, if you’re ONLY feeling positivity, and using it as a comfort blanket instead of as a beacon for growth, you’re also doing yourself a disservice. Feel your feelings, have the courage to see the bright side, and don’t allow yourself to get blinded by the light.
When you allow yourself the tender space and vulnerability to NAME what really scares you? THAT is how you find the ability to let it go, move forward feeling free, and watch how dramatically it impacts your relationships, your parenting, and your business – all because you have the clarity, confidence, and courage you need to BE YOU.
It’s having the hope of a positive and healthy mindset that allows you to safely feel the shadow stuff, and navigate through in a peaceful, grounded, and secure way. If you want to go deeper and learn how to let yourself feel ALL of the things, read this, and consider working with me in private coaching sessions where I can teach you the skills to do this in a guided, secure way.
PS – In September I’m speaking at the Your Shop Girl getaway weekend in Prince Edward County; over brunch at The Drake Devonshire in Wellington, ON I’ll be getting deeper with this “paradox of positivity.” Last I heard there were only two tickets left!