The holiday season…My 🎂 birthday month 🎂 ! And closing in on the END of the weirdest year I can ever remember.

Oh yes, things have been upside down, inside out and dark and gloomy in so many ways. From the pandemic-that-never-ends to the fires here in Oregon to the ugly racism and political division.  I am fully aware that external circumstances can batter us about and stop us in our happy tracks at times.

I am also now clearer than ever that having an internal compass and gratitude practice are key to keeping sanity through these harsh and uncomfortable situations.

The psychologists have a concept called “locus of control” which means an individual’s beliefs about the things that cause our experiences and how we attribute our failure or success. People with an internal locus of control tend to believe it’s up to them if they succeed. They say things like to “I know I can do this”, “I need to listen better” or “It’s up to me to find a way”. People with an external locus of control tend to say things like “It’s not fair”, “Everyone is against me” or “You made me act like this.”

In a challenging environment, such as the one we are living in currently, it’s easy to blame the external circumstances for our upset, our depression or our constant gloom conversation. Most people would say “of course it’s difficult, and it’s no wonder you are anxious, overeating, drinking too much or frozen with fear.”  And the harshness of the pandemic is one of the greatest ‘reasons’ to collapse into negative thinking and doubt.

I know it is TOTALLY acceptable to be in a constant state of nervousness over these real-world issues.  It’s almost encouraged! You are practically berated for having your “head in the sand” if you don’t stay up-to-date on the chaotic flood of current news.

But remember, people have survived much worse. People have succeeded and flourished and managed to keep an eye on contentment, even in the worst of times.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

People have been beaten, broken, abused and ridiculed and they’ve recovered and chosen to focus on the good in life and continue to thrust toward their dreams.

As always, there is wanted & unwanted in everything around us. And we get to decide what to focus on. The prick of the thorn or the ruby red of the rose?

I choose to guard my inner world. I choose to cultivate that place of inner peace that no person or thing can touch. I decided it is up to me to make my world a beautiful place and to believe in goodness. And yes that is EVEN when things are crum-bum. Even when I hurt. Even when I lack. Even when shizzle hits the fan.  I persist in my decision to turn my eyes to what is right. What is good. What is beneficial. Because guess what…


No really. Don’t deny. It’s true.  The simplest thing being…

You have your own unique imagination. No one can take that magic away from you.

And HEY the sun came up today! Whoo hoo. 🌞

If you truly can’t think of anything that is GOOD and wondrous, then baby it’s time to do some soul searching. It may be a hard task for you, if you are in a really sucky spot, but go ahead, I dare you. Get out a pen and paper and write 5 good things.

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” -Carl Jung, psychoanalyst

In my own darkest days, it was gratitude and focus on LOVE that really turned my life around. The bubbly bliss and warm fuzzies that come from my circle of peeps is indescribable. No words can begin to capture this feeling…except maybe


{Have you seen “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas” short? Adorbs!}

And that is the fuel that keeps me journeying forward.


Shelly Dax

The Fierce Pollyanna

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