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By Renée Tillotson

Why is good cheer of such importance? Where does it come from and how do we cultivate it – and how do we retrieve it if we lose it?

Good cheer can provide resilience in the face of obstacles, annoyances and doubts, to which we can easily succumb without realizing it.

Consider the image of a pathfinder traveling steadily, maintaining momentum. Just as we lightly keep our foot on the gas pedal when making a turn to maintain traction, we can retain meaningful contact with our lifepath when we keep our momentum. 

This analogy shows us the importance of maintaining an active rather than passive connection with our life path. When we are passive, we become vulnerable to our reactive “lower” nature. When active, a steady contact with our higher vision and inspiration has more chance to engage. This engagement fosters the good cheer!

The source of our good cheer seems to be the radiant light of our “higher” Mind and Heart. In good cheer, we never feel lonely, even if no one else is physically present. We may even feel the steady pulse of our true Self, keeping time with the heart of the Universe.

When choosing good cheer, our lower nature becomes soothed into a proper position of subordination to the higher Self. The bright thoughts of higher Mind provide that momentum and traction on the road, leaving behind little lower-mind distractions. Without the mind’s busy chatter upsetting our emotions, we can more happily bask in the illuminant nature of our Heart Mind. 

Passivity is the danger zone. In fact, our challenges on the path require even more of our attention and effort to stave off those jealous and disruptive external influences that ever swirl around us. By keeping our mind productively and creatively engaged in good work, our higher nature actually recruits the lower nature’s energy to overcome those difficulties. 

Our mind is the pivot point. Depending on how our mind chooses to use its will, our thoughts can dip toward pessimism and doubt – allowing the rest of our lower nature to spin out – or can focus onwards and upward, keeping us on the track even at precarious corners. 

Choosing good cheer can even start with choosing what face to wear. Putting a smile on your face is proven to influence your mood. Science today explains that exercising the smile-muscles – even by gripping a pencil between our teeth! – can stimulate the ‘happy hormones’ to run through our bloodsream, affecting our nervous system, thereby effecting our psyche, making room for a more open, buoyant mood and frame of mind. Our better mood has a ripple effect on all those around us. We all know how infectious smiles are!

Science also teaches us that a true smile involves a relaxing, softening, widening of the eyes. It’s evidently very difficult to hold negative emotion, such as a grudge or hatred, with soft, open eyes.

This seemingly upside-down approach of starting at the physical level actually originates in the mind, in exercising our human privilege of choice. When we do so repeatedly, a bright attitude can become an uplifting habit. 

We should mention at this juncture, that true good cheer operates more deeply than at the facial level. Simply pasting a smile on one’s face would not be a wise approach without regular and deep self-study. In this way, we can also ferret out the causative thoughts and reasons behind any sadness, disappointment, irritation, stress or other inclement emotions. We don’t want to be two-faced. 

In the long run, self-honesty is consistent with good cheer, which is at the center of our true nature. 

At times the those pesky outside influences will manage to derail us for a bit. If, however, we have cultivated a habit of cleansing our mind of those sticky, downward pulling bits of negativity and refreshing the mind with visions of our noble purposes, we can regain our course and rebuild momentum.

Even in the inevitable moments of darkness, of unknowing and unsureness along our path, the steady guidance of a well-honed higher Mind makes room for that sunny ray of good cheer.

If cheer is a choice, the more we exercise it the more available it becomes to us.

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This post is also available in: English (英語)