As you know, my nickname is The Fierce Pollyanna, because I’ve spent my life finding ways to feel good and look on the bright side, in whatever circumstances I find myself. I’ve been teased, bullied and made of fun of, but these days I just shrug that off.  It matters not. I am truly happy and more and more seemingly ‘lucky’ things come my way each week.  Coincidence?

Artist Nomad

I’ve been traveling in my home state of Oregon for the last 2 months–little mini trips in my travel trailer–experimenting with the artist nomad life. AND I feel an indescribable change in my spirit. Over these last few years, my life has transformed.

The fear is steadily disappearing. I have my footing in a serene inner calm, despite the ups and downs. This is something I never even knew was possible. I’ve developed a solid inner-knowing, confidence, self-love, and an enormous freedom, being newly unafraid of obstacles, hurts, shizzle and murgle. So what?  The weeds are always there. But so are the vibrant blossoms. I know it is my own choice what to focus on.

The abundance of blessings—money, love, health, admiration, beauty, success—it’s what I have always longed, worked, and hoped for. But I thought it was an unattainable dream to live a truly happy life. I thought I had to clean up every pile of crap, and rid myself of all flat tires, unexpected taxes and heartache before the happy train rolled my way.

How Could I be Happy?

There were always roadblocks and reality or some damn damsel in distress lying across the tracks. How could I be happy when so many others, including my own parents and some family members, were so miserable?

I’ve come to know it’s my job to live to my fullest. It is an obligation to do what I love. To show it is possible to be content even in the storms. To allow the others to whirl and twirl and love them anyway. To breathe and KNOW I am not my body, I am so much more!

And those blessings I mentioned are being showered over me now that I am living from SOUL.  How can I even share the depth of gratitude for the rewards that come when you relax, forgive, let go and listen to that inner voice? I am sinking into who I really am. No matter what the meanies and know-it-alls think of my choices, my age, my clothes, my rainbow-puking positivity. HYAH!

Messages I have heard a lot are “don’t be too upbeat”, “cheerfulness is irritating”, “be realistic”, “get your head out of the clouds” or “keep your Pollyanna positivity to yourself”.  Simply put, don’t radiate so much happiness, cause others are annoyed by it. How very strange that most all people desire happiness and yet are reacting with annoyance when they encounter a truly happy person.

A term that is bandied about these days is “toxic positivity”. Many articles explaining this concept have appeared on the internet recently. And I fully believe that those words are an oxymoron. If something is positive, then it can’t be toxic.  If something is toxic, there is no way it is positive. I get what people are talking about though—just telling someone to “cheer up” or “think happy thoughts” is no solution to mental illness or tragic circumstances. But there is a genuine truth to changing your thoughts and changing your life.

Our lives are filtered through our beliefs. Good or bad, fair or unfair, all pass through the gateway of meaning guarded by the sentries we’ve placed there: our past, our traumas, our victories, our tragedies, our knowing, our education. And WE get to decide what everything means. You can be heartbroken AND hopeful. You can have a chronic illness AND feel gratitude. You can experience challenges AND see them as opportunities.

I am only saying all this because I’ve learned the hard way. Massive negative tapes in my brain from youth, culture, media—

hurt people, hurting people.

I began a new story about 25 years ago and have spent all this time replacing and erasing the BS stories I told myself. And as I’ve said before, this was the hardest work I’ve ever done, and THE MOST REWARDING.

This ongoing practice of being a badass, feisty, loving creatrix, is paying off in ways I couldn’t have known. The Great Something always has a better idea than even my wildest dreams.

And I am excited to see what’s next. Whoo to the whoo hooiest.


Shelly Dax

The Fierce Pollyanna