Are you the person who can detect the silver lining in a situation? Do you easily see doors of possibility where others see walls? Or are you the one who immediately sees obstacles and the first to jump to, “everything is wrong”, “it’s never going to work out”, or “I’m never going to get what I want”?

I want you to stop for one second, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think about your stance in life. If you jump to the negative, think about the reasons why. Many times past painful experiences play a part in a negative reaction. If you were crushed by not landing the “dream” job, you may believe you will never find a job you love; if an ex-boyfriend cheated on you, all potential romantic partners might inspire feelings of distrust.

Two Points to Keep in Mind:

1. This moment is unique and brand new and the people in this situation are not the ones from the past. Your fear mind senses familiar danger like a cell memory of the original injury and tells you Now is Then…but it is not.

When you live in the past and use that to predict the future you miss this PRESENT MOMENT and the opportunity to create your desired outcome.

2. Words like “always” and “never” are exaggerations at best and predictive at worst when used to describe what you fear. Some examples: “Things never work out for me”, “I am always left behind”. Be mindful of this type of language because words are powerful, energetically and emotionally.

I want to challenge you to have the faith that this time can be different. That this job interview, this guy, this friend… they might just prove your Now is Then negative theories wrong. But you must be able to at least have the courage to imagine the situation working out and feel those feelings.

If you don’t get the job or the guy does turn out to be a jerk, can you find the silver lining? Can you have faith that there was something valuable in that experience for you and actively seek to discover the gem that is at the heart of every seemingly crappy situation?

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I never asked why me or projected too far into a scary future. I saw it as my opportunity to change careers, regain control of my mind, body, and spirit, and re-prioritize what mattered in my life.

I want to challenge you to be a silver lining detective. Honor what you have learned in all of your life’s situations. From there, with mindfulness, you will be less likely to repeat the negative situation out of automated fear and more likely to create meaning, purpose, and joy in your amazing life.

Your life is what you choose to create for yourself. Ask yourself often how you want your life to look and feel. Continue to go back to the feelings and images of that dream life when you find yourself not living in joy. By conjuring those positive feelings, you will draw those types of experiences to you. Everyday is a new opportunity to recalibrate what is not working.

So, can you be a silver lining detective? I dare you.

Love love love


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  1. Hi Terri,
    Thanks for this article. It is helping me to see the silver linings.
    The thing I am having a problem with is how to validate other people. It seems that
    when I try to do this, I end up validating myself. All of the words point back to me and MY experience and
    not toward them, as I would like to do. I keep trying and I can’t do it. It is becoming a big problem here
    with my family.
    Thanks for any tips on this!

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful question! People don’t necessarily need your validation, they need to be heard. So instead of saying “I approve of you” or “This is how it happened for me” ask open ended questions like, “Can you tell me more about that?” or “What was that like for you?” with the sole purpose to allow them to share without interruptions or you inserting your opinion or past experience. It might take some getting used to AND practicing mindfulness but I promise you people feeling truly heard by you is the most loving thing you can do. Good luck! Keep us posted as to your progress 😉

  2. Thank you so much for this. It came at the right time for me. Your message is powerful and so needed by so many. Thank you!

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