Unabashedly Optimistic

My days feel much like this antelope that we passed while driving in Montana—On Top of the World! Unlike Pollyanna who was blindly optimistic, I’m unabashedly optimistic—not embarrassed to build a net before I leap.

And lest you ask… no, I don’t gargle with bong water, and yes, my balloon does land.

The difference between optimists and pessimists is not simple cheerfulness: it’s how we cope with stress. Psychology Professor Michael Scheier of Carnegie Mellon University explains that optimists consistently outlive pessimists because optimists cope better with adversity. Optimists deal with stress and take action to handle it, while pessimists often deny problems or disengage.

These coping mechanisms affect people on a cellular level. Optimists not only live longer, but they also live better, having better mobility, circulation, and cognitive faculties into old age.

Optimist or pessimist—which side of the coin do you fall on?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Up Side of Down

Recently I started the early-morning practice of standing on my head. And it’s great (except for the top of my head was getting really sore, not to mention flat)… 

think, Think, THINK

Do you wanna hang around?

Do you wanna hang around?

Of course, an inversion table!

Many people who use an inversion table do so to relieve back and neck pain. But there’s a much wider brushstroke of benefits:

     Stimulates circulation
     Develops balance awareness (great for skydivers, gymnasts, and scuba divers)
     Rejuvenating effects (helps to age gracefully)
     Decongests internal organs
     Increases oxygen to the brain
     Relieves varicose veins
     Promotes an overall sense of wellbeing

Don’t be fooled. Now you’ll know what I really mean if you receive a call from me and I ask, “Do you wanna hang around?”

When was the last time you changed your point of view?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               — Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

P is for Perspective

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Because each person carries different baggage, we see the same things in different ways. Our perspective is based on what’s inside the luggage we’re dragging around with us. The contents affect our judgment. Sound judgment is absolutely necessary to stay alive. Being judgmental—critical—is not. They’re two very different things.

Have you ever gone to an art gallery to look at beautiful pieces of work? I find that I don’t stand still in front of a piece. I move around and look at it from many different angles. I shift my perspective.

When I find myself judging a person, place, or thing, I make a point to move (mentally) so I can observe from a different angle. I shift my perspective.

Our perspective—our point of view—is how we see things; how we think about them. Our thoughts shape our lives. Individually and collectively our thoughts contribute to the healing, or the demise, of the planet.

Our perspective is our reality. Our personal reality, however, may not be what’s actually happening. For instance, Chicken Little’s perspective was “The sky is falling!” When in reality, an acorn had fallen on his head. I love this quote from the Talmud, We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” 

One of my friends shared: “When I’m disturbed, I mentally take a step back to obtain a wider perspective. When I’m confused, I mentally take a step forward to narrow my focus and observe only what’s directly in front of me.” I applaud her ability to change lenses—shift her perspective—as necessary.

For my clients who would benefit from a change in perspective, I have them do the following exercise so they can physically see that there’s always more than one way to look at something:

Shift in Perspective Exercise
(as shown in the slideshow above)

1. Stand up and hold your dominant hand over your head, index finger pointed at the ceiling. 

2. Make a continuous clockwise circle about 6-inches in diameter. Maintain a clockwise direction. 

3. Slowly lower your hand while continuing a clockwise motion. 

4. Once the top of your index finger is just below your chin, take a look. Notice that your hand is now circling in a counter-clockwise fashion!

When you started, your observation was from below. When you ended, your observation was from above, an aerial view. Your direction never changed. The only thing that changed was the way you viewed it—your perspective.

In my experience, shifting one’s mental outlook—one’s perspective—even slightly can significantly change the trajectory and reveal the sun coming up beyond the dark horizon.

What did you discover the last time you shifted your perspective?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan


© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved