Growing Into Positivity

If you’ve been “on the path” since, say the ’70s, doing affirmations, self-help courses, visioning or positive thinking your way out of all negative situations life has to offer, and being the first of your friends to buy the latest “New Age” bestseller, I ask, “So, how’s that been going for you?”

I say this as your fellow traveler on the path. However, although I’m not a full-blown “positive thinker,” I haven’t given up on getting what I want, having my dreams manifest into total riches, self-fulfillment, and a better world for my grandchildren.

I have done some deep thinking about positive thinking. Over time, I’ve concluded that I’ve been on the wrong track by trying to brim over with positivity, passion, and optimism, ignoring my personality since birth as a non-enthusiast. Let me be concrete. When friends ask sympathetically, Well, what are you excited about, where’s your passion, I freeze.

I mean, the things that excite me don’t normally bring about self-actualization or an inflated bank account. I’m excited about brewing a perfect cup of tea, but don’t have the business chops to start a chain of tea salons or brews to rival Starbuck’s. I’m passionate about pine-scented, clean floors, but don’t see myself mopping my way to stardom.

I have nothing against excessively positive people. In fact, my husband is one. What I’ve come to realize is that there are people who will do what they love and succeed at it and there are people who will grow to love or at least tolerate what they do. And if I do a few things every day that I love (drink tea, read magazines), that passion can be transferred to more onerous tasks, whittling away at my sense of drudgery or doomsday pessimism. It’s why in answer to the question “why bother?” I bother.

Try it for yourself. Surround your pessimism with your passion. It’s a piece of cake! And a second helping won’t kill you.

Happy May 2015!


About sheilaklewis

As a writing coach, meditation teacher, writer, and academic tutor, I'm passionate about words and the silent spaces between words. In this context, I run book clubs and writers' groups where the resonance of carefully crafted words can spark readers and writers to share their own stories. Connecting through conversation; making memories matter; embracing editing and revision, and imaginative wordplay are some solo and collective outcomes. I came to what I call my "Meditate Write Now" practice after years of art-making, writing grants, curriculum, children's stories, and more. Meditation kept my mind from meandering too far off point and also led me to write from the still point within. May our paths cross in creative journeys across time and internet connections! Other details: My husband and I are the parents of two amazing sons and one daughter-in-law, and smitten grandparents of Micah (born December, 2013). I don't drive, and have lived in the same apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, for too long.
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8 Responses to Growing Into Positivity

  1. Kathleen Ellis says:

    I like this idea of a second helping of cake!

  2. Lia Brigante says:

    Sheila – it would seem that you and I are more tempermentally alike than I have known — and my of enthusiasm is only getting more pronounced the older I get and the more our foregone progressive society disintegrates! When people ask me what I “want to do with the next 10 years”, I say “Nothing!” I’m not ready for the glue factory, but can I get a break from this horrific life pace and just “be”? That’s what I would feel passionate about! I am sure you can relate. Yrs. Lia

  3. Lia Brigante says:

    lack of enthusiasm is what I meant.

  4. Lia Brigante says:

    PS Sheila – I don’t believe in positive thinking, it’s strictly “mind over matter” which we know is a hopeless endeavor! We tried “consciousness raising” in the 70’s and it was a total flop! My current strategy for having no enthusiams is to make sure to get out of bed. Because if you don’t, absolutely nothing will happen, one way or the other. Lia

    • sheilaklewis says:

      Ha, you are so right–half the battle is getting up and out of bed. Consciousness raising seems to have gone under ground, from the looks of young people running around today on their electronic devices…take care and we will be positive in our way. Sheila

      • sheilaklewis says:

        one more thing Lia and folks, just “being” is about the most positive thing we can all do, though we do occasionally have to “do” too. So i’m with the current research that says we should carve out more leisure time and spend less time “working” for cash.

  5. kitsyclare says:

    Nice post. I’ll take positivity AND cake.

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