I've been considering optimism and pessimism. Pessimism - and pessimists - can be hard to deal with. I'm tempted to say nobody likes negativity, but if that were true, why would there be so much of it? Actually, it can have a powerful pull. If you are pessimistic, how can you be disappointed with less-than-great results? Oof, what a way to live! I'm staying away from pessimism. It's just a variant of negativity.
Optimism can be a challenge too, when it doesn't feel real. There is nothing wonderful about believing you can climb Everest, if the only time you get out of your living room recliner is to get more cheese curls. That's not optimism, but self-delusion. Yogananda called it "mere" affirmation.
I'm reminded of the story of Swami Kriyananda when a doctor was asking him a long list of questions about what health issues he had, and Swami answered this long list with a "yes" to one after another severe and/or life-threatening conditions. The doctor ended by asking how Swami's overall health was – to which he strongly responded "Excellent!" This a version of optimism we can all happily ascribe to. Swami was realistic about the circumstances, and determined to claim a positive view on the situation.
Maybe the goal should be realism. But if we're living in Maya, how real is real? However, being realistic (within this reality) about situations is a good idea. It can inform our decision-making. Being optimistic doesn‘t mean hiding the truth about situations or perceptions.
"Being real" about things, and staying positive - as we work toward our uplifted goals, seems the best route. We can be optimistic about everything, once we accept that we are in God‘s hands - and He knows what is best for us. With that knowledge, we can stay both optimistic and realistic.
How to Be Happy All the Time October 23 - 25
Learn to work more productively with your own mind:
Your subconscious, with its ploys of unwillingness
Your conscious, outwardly directed mind
Your superconscious mind: the connection with your own higher self, and the source of solutions to life's greatest challenges
“There was a man who had read in the Bible that faith can move mountains. The scriptural precept impressed him, particularly since, outside his window, there stood a hill that obstructed his view of a beautiful lake.
“One evening he decided to put the scripture to the test. Filled with unseasoned ‘faith', he prayed long and earnestly to the Father to remove that hill and cast it into the sea. As he went to bed, he looked forward anxiously to seeing the results of his prayer.
“Awaking the next morning, he rushed to the window and looked out. The hill hadn‘t budged an inch.
“‘I knew you‘d still be there!‘ he exclaimed.
“Such is faith, where it is mere affirmation.”
The Arts & Culture of Assisi Program Tour A participatory artistic adventure May 12 -21, 2016 10 days/9 nights with one optional but recommended additional night in Rome at the start, and/or the end of the trip.
The great idea here is to rotate between visiting the great spiritual and artistic centers in and near Assisi - and joining Dana in the Studio of the Awakening Arts Academy to develop your own creative artwork!
Based at Ananda Assisi, participate in yoga and meditation as you wish, and enjoy wonderful vegetarian meals with some at local selected restaurants.
Join a concert at Ananda Assisi, visit the Portziuncola, Santa Chiara, Minerva Temple & Museum, the Basilica of St. Francis, L‘Ermo (doing a pastel drawing while you are there), San Damiano and the Frassasi Caves! One overnight in Siena, where you will participate in a Stained Glass Workshop and visit the Duomo and other scenic Siena sites.
Why not try back to back tours - save flight time, money and the environment?
Pilgrimage to Spain & Italy
Sacred Sites in Southern Europe Starting May 21, 2016
On this extraordinary trip you will experience the deep vibrations of early monasteries, ancient convents, museums, opulent palaces and antique castles; places of spiritual, historical and artful inspiration. Walk the streets of centuries-old cities where saints lived and walked.
Led by Mantradevi & Krisna Das, with professional local guides. Learn More
The benefit of pilgrimage to holy places is not because of their rich history, but for the fact that divine blessings can be experienced when visiting them. Their very soil is impregnated with a higher consciousness. —Swami Kriyananda