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Mindful : June 2018
Morty? Dead, at just 95! And he took vitamins! I knew those things didn’t work!” Through mindfulness, we come to know our- selves with greater kindness. Without judgment, we can acknowledge our fears about people and the world and be curious about them instead of just accepting them as fact. It also helps you to recog nize how a cynical attitude sits in your body. Is it heavy or light? Does it feel open or closed? Likewise, how does it feel when you have an unexpectedly pleas- ant encounter or experience? Can you notice a difference? Optimism isn’t about shielding yourself from any experience, or about being careless or falsely hopeful and putting yourself or anyone else in harm’s way. Instead it encourages wisdom by seeing the dark and the light, and by looking deeply at your choices so that you stay in align- ment with your values. When you live from this optimistic place, you free yourself up to be a much more powerful presence in all situations, even the ones you don’t want. Imagine being able to hold the space for hard-knuckle reality, and still remaining open. From a health standpoint, an optimistic view heavily tips the scales in your favor. It’s been linked to longevity, helps you cope with disease, and speeds recovery from surgery. Optimism is also tonic for your psychological health. Research shows that increased access to positive feelings makes social interactions easier and more enjoyable. And by broadening your sense of possibility and your thinking, optimism sup- ports greater opportunity, which in turn creates more positive feelings and better social interac- tions, and onward it goes. 72 mindful June 2018 get real MindfulnessNorthwest.org