May has arrived and despite the current level of global turmoil, I am feeling optimistic. I love that word, don’t you? It makes me happy just to say it.
Interestingly enough, in Chinese Philosophy, May is the month that we move into the dynamic seasonal energies of fire and the optimism they convey. Fire rules the heart and represents the heat that ignites our passion, enthusiasm, courage and strength. When it’s in balance we feel happy, appeasing the part of our mind that finds joy in being quiet, calm and content. When out of balance, we experience agitation, mood swings and an inability to find peace of mind.
Maintaining a balanced, optimistic state of mind is paramount to our overall wellbeing. As I contemplated balancing the Fire energies, I asked myself the question: In the face of all the adversity we are experiencing, how do we maintain a healthy, optimistic attitude? And I realized, it’s a choice.
Being optimistic doesn’t mean you’re not realistic or that you don’t care about what is going on, it means you have the ability to do both. You are able to celebrate the great things happening in your life, while also being compassionate and empathetic to whatever is going on around you personally, professionally and globally.
Here is a simple exercise you can do that will help you maintain a healthy, optimistic outlook. It’s called Above the Line/Below the Line. There are certain behaviors that indicate where you’re at and I have listed some of them below. Imagine a black line going across your mind and ask yourself – am I above or below the line?
Above the Line
- Open minded, committed to learning and growing
- Someone who understand that life happens “By Me” not “To Me”
- Take full responsibility for their thoughts, words, and actions
Below the Line:
- Survival/victim mentality – someone else is always at fault
- Defensive, controlling
- Always have to be right
You will find that the people in your life will meet you wherever you’re at. Give it a try and see how much better you feel when you choose to live above the line.