A healer and energy therapist, Carol Tuttle challenges us to assume the BEST. Of ourselves, our circumstances, the motivations of others. That simple shift opens us to possibilities that anxiety, fear and negativity can never provide. When I invite a calm, productive day to unfold before me, I am much more likely to notice glimmers of grace: an effortless drive into the office, a blue jay perched in a tree above me on my morning walk, a Facebook shout-out from an old friend. Even when obstacles creep into my awareness, my expectation for positive happenings somehow cushion me from their sharp corners. I used to consider “looking on the bright side” to be naive, a Pollyanna-ish approach to a complex, sometimes scary world. But, as Tuttle suggests, if we assume the Universe is moving more and more towards operating on a higher energy level than ever before (I.e., more rapid medical and technological advances than in past centuries combined, longer human life spans, more people adopting lifestyles conducive to spiritual wellness), we can more genuinely embrace the belief that goodness and plenty ARE boundless. My capacity to love, to invest more deeply in my work and my relationships, even my physical activity levels are expanded when I turn my focus from what is broken, scary, and stuck to an expectant invitation to all that is lovely and nourishing and forward-moving to enter my awareness. No, I haven’t forgotten that pain and trauma and loss and injustice exist around the globe, even around the corner. (I AM a social worker, after all!). But, time after time, I find that looking for the good, even inviting and EXPECTING its arrival, is a practice with no negative cost. Why wouldn’t I choose to delight in my dogs’ cute wiggling behinds as they chase each other in the yard, or flood my senses with the comforting smell and feel of my son’s hair fresh from the shower? A driving teacher in high school, of all people, was a wise philosopher of sorts when he warned me, “You’ll STEER at whatever you STARE at.” In the past, I could easily drive myself into the chaos of depression, hopelessness and fear. But today, I’m choosing to steer toward joy.