The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 4th December, 2017 – Pale Blue Dot
Hello Dear Positive Habit People,
I hope you’ve had a good week and are remaining nice and calm while the build-up to Christmas really kicks in. Expectations at this time of year can often lead to pressure as we continue all of our everyday responsibilities along with the task of creating the ‘perfect’ Christmas!
“Are you all set for Christmas?” When people ask me this I just smile and think to myself – ‘not at all and that’s OK’! How we prepare for celebrations is in fact very subjective; whatever the approach it is really about finding one that works best for you. If you are super organised and that helps you to feel calm, good. If however, like me, that is not your style then find peace with how you are and be confident that it will all fall into place. I literally haven’t even started to prepare! Christmas, isn’t that miles away?! It is, isn’t it?!
With all the talk of ‘getting set’ and ‘being prepared’ for Christmas it is important that we consider the most important preparation – being calm and happy. The tree can be up and the turkey ordered but if you are not feeling calm and happy, what is the point? Being mentally fit for the festive season is often overlooked and yet causes a lot of difficulties as people often fall into negative thought patterns when surrounded by family. In his autobiography, ‘Music and Madness’, Ivor Browne, the eminent Irish psychiatrist observes that being with your family can be one of the worst places for people to be at Christmas. A rather bleak outlook perhaps but this time of year is not easy for many people. The best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones is to be calm, happy and truly present.
A little perspective at this time of year can go a long way.
During the week, Luca and I (now 10 years old) were watching ‘Cosmos: a Spacetime Odyessy’ on Netflix which I would recommend highly. It is an mind-boggling history of the infinity of the cosmos and can certainly provide us with a healthy sense of perspective if your mind starts to race with negative thoughts. Carl Sagan, the American astronomer, cosmologist, and author who is referred to in ‘Cosmos’, was famous for seeing the bigger picture. His speech, ‘Pale Blue Dot’ really resonated with me as it describes in the vastness of the universe and just how small we are – the pale blue dot. His message of kindness at the end is one that inspires hope.
You can read the speech below or, if you prefer, you can watch the YouTube video here where it is narrated.
The Pale Blue Dot
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
— Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
Have a great week. I will, of course, be here with you next Monday as always to help bring a smile to your face and a lightness to your step.
I will be on the Dermot and Dave Show on Today FM (Monday) at 10.30.am discussing #thisiswhatanxietyfeelslike. I hope you get a chance to listen to it. If not, I will post the podcast here next week.
The Positive Habit Christmas Gift Vouchers
Perhaps you have gifted yourself The Positive Habit Program and perhaps you think someone you LOVE could also benefit from a positive mindset so that they too can feel calm, confident and joyful this Christmas.
Keep spreading the positive energy & make someone TRULY happy this Christmas.
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