7 Suggestions for Bright Side Living

  1. Practice gratitude– This is the cornerstone of walking on the bright side of the road.  Some people make gratitude lists in a separate journal.  I made notes now and then in my journal about what I was grateful for.  Also, I whispered “Thank you” several times at night before I went to sleep.  Sometimes I was specific, and sometimes just saying those words was enough.  There are days when you won’t feel like writing anything down; on those days, feeling grateful is all you need.
  2. Embrace silence– Bright side living involves a connection to Spirit (or whatever you choose to call the Divine).  Openness to Spirit involves not being afraid of those quiet spaces inside of us. I first became aware of this divine silence in the middle of the night after my second surgery, but it is accessible any time and any place. Spirit is just waiting for a silent pause in our hearts to make contact.
  3. Surround yourself with community– It’s impossible to walk on the bright side of the road consistently and continually without the support of some kind of community.  There is healing on many levels when we choose not to walk alone.
  4. Feel your feelings– A basic tenet of bright side living is that emotions are fluid. They come and go. They need to be allowed.  Spending energy pushing feelings away and pretending they don’t exist gets in the way of healing.
  5. Change your thoughts- It’s important to remember that our thoughts do not define us. They are just thoughts.  To walk on the bright side, notice the thoughts that flow through your mind.  If they are negative and breeding fear, use affirmations repeatedly to change the thoughts.
  6. Express it all– Walking on the bright side involves feeling our feelings and accepting our thoughts while not allowing them to define us.  It’s a little easier to do this if you have some kind of creative outlet. Journaling, art journaling, throwing paint on paper, and dancing are all forms of self-expression, but there are others as well. The important thing is to find the way that suits your bright side best.
  7. Stay in the present moment– If you are focusing on the future with fear, or looking back on the past with regret, you are not walking on the bright side of the road.  It’s important to find or create a practice that roots you in this present moment, which is all any of us really have.  Meditation works for me. Others use prayer, writing, sports, being in Nature.