Somewhere in my childhood. I learned the camp song "Stay on the Sunny Side." If you've never heard it, here's a version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZV_q49dsUYQ. I loved the chorus of that song. Today, my go-to lift me up song is Pharrell's "Happy." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbZSe6N_BXs Sometimes you need outside help. Music can be that help.
Here's the thing. It's rough out there for many people. The way things look, it's going to get rougher. We've got choices ahead. I'm going to choose to stay on the sunny side. I want to tell you why. It isn't unquestioning optimism. It's trusting in the personal resilience that I have purposefully cultivated.
I grow food and teach resilience skills, like herbal medicine, food fermenting, etc. I enjoy sharing these empowering skills and helping people find the joys in simple things. I do this from a place of knowing that whether things get better or worse, learning to take care of yourself and those you love is deeply satisfying.
None of us knows what happens next. Climate change is disrupting some of our food production. Our healthcare system is strained and ineffective. Real people are experiencing real suffering. Systems are showing signs of strain. People are feeling enormous levels of stress.
I just taught a class this morning entitled "Keep Calm." It was about the nervous system, and we learned breathing techniques, movements, herbs, and more that can help nourish and support the nervous system.
I had one student who didn't show up, so I emailed to offer them a coupon for a future class. I have a 24-hour in-advance cancellation policy, but sometimes things happen, so I wanted to provide something. They responded by asking for a full refund because the class was held in a residence instead of a business. In ten years of teaching hundreds of people in my home, I've never had anyone feel that way. Of course, I refunded them, but it made me sad.
That is exactly the kind of person that could have gained so much from this class. This brings me back to choices. This person chose to stay in a world of fear. I live in a nice residential area. My social presence is broad, and I have reviews and testimonials. When did we become afraid to knock on someone's door?
We can choose to fear each other, or we can choose to talk to each other. We can be afraid of what might happen next, or we can become as resilient as possible for whatever might happen next. We don't have control of anything except whether to stay on the sunny side. Don't let fear keep you from moving forward.
I'm not talking about unquestioning optimism here or pretending that everything is okay when it isn't. I have cultivated skills and systems and am as prepared as possible for whatever happens next. If what happens next is wonderful, that is icing on my already happy cake. If what happens next is challenging, I'm ready.
I'm not prepping. I'm not living in fear or dread of what could happen. I'm enjoying an enriching, healthy, and fun lifestyle. A happy side effect of my choice to eat mostly from what I produce in my urban yard is an exceptional state of wellness. Not just physical health but mental, spiritual, social, and emotional wellness. I am deeply grateful to be experiencing life from this place.
So, stay on the sunny side of life. And clap along if you know that happiness is the truth.
And cultivate personal resilience, however that looks in your world.