I have long been called Pollyanna. As a child I tried to curb that irksome trait, but as I got older ... or should I say wiser ... I began to embrace the Pollyanna that lives inside of me. She is now given full authority to kick doom and gloom to the curb.
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Thank you Lea for writing the article and sharing it with all our friends :-)
Play it like Pollyanna!
By Lea Houston
Pollyanna played the Glad Game and transformed an entire town. We use her name as an insult for someone who is overly optimistic, naive and unrealistic, but she is a great role model. She shows us the power of choosing our attitudes.
Pollyanna chose to look at what was good and helped goodness grow. Pollyanna was courageous. She walked right into the home of the meanest lady in town and invited her back into life. Her Glad Game became contagious. By her very way of being, Pollyanna allowed people to move from isolation to connection, from chronic grumpiness to happiness, from selfishness to generosity and from misery to pleasure. She helped her town discover shared goals and meaningful community. And when Pollyanna had a tragic accident and lost her way of heart, the town she had awakened gathered around her with loving support.
When has cynicism and hard nosed realism ever accomplished all of that?
In her Glad Game, Pollyanna was practicing gratitude.
Gratitude is one of the simplest and most profound tools I know. Choosing gratitude has helped me transform my most challenging times, rescue crummy days, shift my mood in minutes and attract miracles.
Gratitude is at the heart of spiritual traditions worldwide and is one of the most beneficial of all attitudes. When you are focused on gratitude your brilliant body manufactures healing brain chemicals as your own perfect medicine. By simply hanging out in feelings of gratitude, you create an inner environment of health and well-being. This healing radiates beyond your skin into the world, rippling out to grace others and drawing goodness of all kinds back to you.
Gratitude is effective, it’s easy and it feels great!
Play it like Pollyanna with these three practices and begin discovering what gratitude will do for you.
1. Play the Glad Game
How does your life feel when you play Pollyanna’s game, bringing your attention to what you are glad about rather than what annoys you?
My freshman year in college, I had a good friend who hated the Oregon rain. On her first visit to my parents’ farm she felt a major attitude shift, “Here the rain makes sense! Here in the midst of all this lush greenness, I see the rain falling on the forests and the fields and it feels beautiful and important and really right!” Her relationship to rain shifted. Back in the urban dorm she could choose to focus her thoughts on the rain’s blessings for the Earth, rather her sense of irritation and personal inconvenience. Finding a way to feel glad about the rain helped her have a happier college experience.
2. Keep a Gratitude Journal
How can something so simple as writing down your gratitudes make a huge difference in your life? It must be magic!
Four years ago I was in my toughest time ever, deep in the midst of enormous and challenging changes. My daily gratitude journal helped me stay connected to my sense of Source and well-being and helped me find the inner and outer tools I needed.
Gratitude journaling works! Over and over I’ve seen this simple practice help friends and coaching clients. University research validates the positive effects of gratitude journaling on health, happiness and relationships.
Experience the magic of a gratitude journal for yourself. Write for just few minutes a day and you will focus your energy, open to the goodness that is always around you, dispel grumpiness, attract miracles, improve your immune system and enjoy happier relationships.
3. Cultivate Bedtime and Wake-up Gratitude
As you fall asleep and awaken, your subconscious mind is a fertile garden ready to receive the seeds you wish to plant. What better to plant than the healing seeds of gratitude?
Settling into sleep, bring into your mind all that you are grateful for and the things, small and large, that went well during the day.
As you awaken, bring into your awareness what you love, what makes you happy and what you are thankful for: This soft bed, this home around me, this breath, this life, this new day…
Depending on your spiritual beliefs, perhaps these bedtime and wake up practices become prayers of thankfulness.
If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. ~Meister Eckhard.
Although we make fun of her optimism, Pollyanna hasn’t gone away. She appeared in 1913 in a book, a silent movie in 1920, the Disney classic in 1960 and a variety of film and TV versions in Britain, Japan, Brazil and Turkey.
The world needs her story.
The next time someone calls you a Pollyanna, take it as a compliment and keep finding ways to transform your life, your family, your community and our Earth community, with gratitude.
Transformational wellness coach, Lea Houston, MA, will help you create joyful health, vitality and well-being. Get her Free Special Report, Let it Be Easy, and a free subscription to her popular e-zine, Self Care Celebration! rich with soulful and practical resources, tips and inspiration at