With so many books now on the power of positive thinking – all instantly negated by those against ‘thinking positively’, one can surely only feel confusion? For some years now I’ve been led to believe the ‘right way’ is to ‘visualise’ my dreams and aspirations; and that is what I’ve been doing. I’ve recently read that (apparently) this sets me up for certain failure as my dreams and aspirations are (usually) far from realistic. Brilliant! Those from the positive corner step forward into the ring, those from the negative corner, likewise. Let’s thrash this out once and for all! Isn’t it natural for an optimist to look hopefully into the future? Isn’t it natural for a pessimist to be, well, pessimistic about said future? Or is this too simplistic? Does it matter if the populace are divided on this issue? Why do we all have to be lumped together and brow-beaten into thinking and believing one way for all? Whatever happened to the freedom of individual thinking; to take what we’ve learned from life thus far and nut it out for ourselves? Surely if thinking positively about your life and feeling proud of your achievements is a far healthier attitude than always looking on/for the negative. Personally, I find that when I dwell on negativity and doom and gloom I feel negative and gloomy. When I dwell on the positive, the things I have achieved I tend to feel better and to view the future with more optimism. One cannot ‘climb the mountain’ in the first attempt. It’s all about concentrating and celebrating ‘each step along the way’. I remember the thrill of having my first short story published. Did I think/hope/expect to have others published? You bet! No, I didn’t have any idea of how difficult and challenging this would be – but I still felt my expectation was realistic and achievable. Where would I have been if I’d gone down the road of negativity? Gathered ‘realistic statistics’ that showed me how unrealistic and unachievable my expectations were? I might have given up writing then and there and never written another thing – and, therefore, never had anything else published. Some people are happy and content being pessimistic. Nothing you can say or do will ‘jolly them out of it’. They do not ‘see’ the positive side of life, nor do they wish to. Some people are happy and content being optimistic. Nothing you can say or do to ‘pull them down’ will work. They do not ‘see’ the negative side of life, nor do they wish to. I’m so glad I belong to the latter group!
It’s Christmas time again and the pohutukawa trees are once again flowering. After a long cold winter, their blazing red colour – along with warm summer temperatures – is as welcoming as a fireside in winter. This year I’ve been in time to capture the yellow blossoming pohutukawa trees as well. These amazing trees originated on a tiny island off the coast of the North Island, but have been successfully transported to mainland parks and gardens. What beauty! I often see tourists taking photographs, or just stopping to gaze at the trees. The blossom is positively humming with bees – I tried to capture some in my photos! The sun is shinning, the skies are blue, the clouds white and the sea changes every day; one minute softly blue then deeper, then light emerald green then blue again – summer at last is here. My spirits always lift at this time of the year. Nostalgia hits me, reminding me of what always felt like endless summer holidays at the beach, being buffeted by the breakers, collecting shells, exploring, and always finding a giant pohutukawa tree to climb and swing from the branches. We stayed until long after twilight, often going home in the dark as it was impossible to leave a place that held such treasures – the rare and tiny native New Zealand cowrie shell, bright sea slugs hidden under a rock in low tide pools, an unexpected find like an octopus, waving his tentacles at us, and then the long walk back along the beach to home. This time of the year always reminds me of my enchanted childhood.