By Cheryl Hansen
My Mother’s Day was jam-packed with fun—from brunch to bike rides to backyard puppy parties. As the day came to a close, I noticed my daughter’s face change from pure bliss to that crumpled look of despair that precedes a spectacular sob. My mama radar went off and I knew instantly what was wrong. “Are you sad that our day is over?” I asked. She nodded as the tears began and shoved her face into my mama belly. These are the moments, right? Moments I’ll bring up years from now that will embarrass her in front of her prom date? Anyway, I stifled my giggle and gave her one of my very best mom responses, “You can be sad that it’s over or happy that it happened. It’s your choice.”
Joke’s on me. She’d clearly made her choice. But I can hope my offer of positivity seeped in at least a tiny bit and maybe next time she’ll choose happy instead.
There was a time when positivity wasn’t exactly my middle name. My family was dealt a tough hand several years ago and though my husband and I persevered, we found ourselves complaining and judging and stomping on any hint of a silver lining—so much so that we nicknamed ourselves Ned and Nancy (Negative). It sounds almost nauseatingly cute now, but it was exhausting and more than a little soul sucking to have such a dark view of everything around me.
Somewhere along the way I started to surround myself with positivity—literally. It may have been my way of faking it till I felt it, but for whatever reason I began to collect happy socks. My first pair sported smiley-face emojis (before they were called emojis). I have a purple pair that say “I’m Awesome!”; some in hot pink that say, “Wherever you go, Sparkle”; green ones that say, “Believe” & “Never, Never Give Up”; a blue pair that says “I Can”; and yellow socks that say (naturally), “Smile” & “Be Happy.” My two most recent purchases say, “I Believe” and “I Am Strong.” All in all, I have a solid week of happy socks (with one to spare). It’s either really weird or really awesome, and I’m going with the latter because my socks say so.
But that’s not all! I also have Life Is Good t-shirts—one that tells me to “Live on the Sunny Side” and another that promotes kindness. And, quite by accident, I bought a pair of pajamas last winter because they were soft and cozy, only to realize after donning them for the first time that there was writing on the arm that reads, “Make Your Own Magic.”
This desire to embrace the positive is what brought me to YogaPod—though I think that, like the pajamas, I didn’t know it until I put it on for the first time. And it’s more than the positive messages the teachers share in each class. I’ve found that Nancy isn’t really welcome on my mat. She tries, to be sure, to insert her opinions on occasion, but for the most part it’s all silver lining. Because if my socks can believe, if they can sparkle and be strong, and never, never give up—then I can, too, both on and off my yoga mat. And if that’s not living on the sunny side, I don’t know what is.