Welcome to 2021.

I had hoped to begin a series of positive posts at the beginning of this new year, but was having trouble figuring out a theme or feeling inspired to write at all. Instead, I have spent the past three weeks simply living, or perhaps I should say living simply.

Inspired by my herbalist friend, Hannah, I chose to participate in DRY JANUARY, giving up alcohol for the month. I also joined the Mindful Morning Challenge on my meditation app, Insight Timer. And while I was doing good for my mind and body, I also decided to jump into the January Ab Challenge and My Peak Challenge‘s traditional January Peak Streak – both of which I thought might help rid me of the extra belly that I acquired by consuming too many cookies, bourbon balls, and glasses of wine during the holidays.

I’ve been consistent and pleased with my progress in all the challenges, finding them helpful for beginning my day with ease and ending my day feeling grateful and energized. These have been important habits to keep me grounded during these first few weeks of 2021. The coronavirus pandemic has continued to worsen, and our Capitol was overrun by insurrectionists. I found hope elusive. However, this morning during my meditation, Sara Clark asked us to choose one word that described how we wanted to FEEL today. She said “trust the first word that comes to mind”, and my word was “optimistic”.

Maybe because it is inauguration day or because my dad got his first covid-19 vaccine last week or because Mr. Endlessseeker shows me every single day how much he loves me, I knew deep inside I needed, wanted, craved the feeling of optimism – that deeply personal belief that everything is going to be all right. I turned the word over in my mind, and I felt it in my heart and in my bones. I needed to feel it, breathe it, live it – starting today. I began thinking phrases like

Hope will overcome despair.

Love will overcome hate.

Unity will overcome division.

Caring will overcome apathy.

Good will overcome evil.

Then I opened my eyes and watched the sun rise above the horizon, lighting up the sky, filtering through the trees, spilling over the grass and the gardens… giving me another day, another opportunity, another breath of life, and I felt optimism. I knew optimism.

I thought for a moment about the lessons the plants and animals, soil and sun, rocks and rivers always teach me…

Everything is connected.

Matter cycles.

Energy flows.

There is a season for everything.

Be persistent.

Life finds a way.

There is no good or bad, only what is.

Around Pokeberry Pines, the daffodils are beginning to emerge, the bluebirds are flitting from tree to worm, the buds are swelling on shrubs and trees, the spring and summer garden seed packets are arriving in the mailbox each day. There is reason for hope, love, unity, caring, good. The sun and the moon continue to rise and set each day, giving us new opportunities to breathe and hope and begin again. Let’s make the most of our chances, our moments, our lives – and live with optimism and hope.

Let’s be optimistic and begin again.

What made you feel optimistic today?


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