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  May 6, 2016
May Gray... June Gloom...

 

If you keep your face to the sunshine... you’ll never see a shadow...
                                         ~Helen Keller

A friend of mine who was visiting us from Canada last week asked me a question.

"Do you have seasons in San Diego?... I hear that you guys have some of the best weather in the world... but do you Seasonsactually get to experience the changing seasons?"

My friend had really never spent much time in Southern California, other than a brief layover before a cruise to Hawaii, so he was naturally curious.  

This last weekend was unexpectedly cloudy, misting, and gray (unexpected to him that is).

At first, I presented him with the comedic answer that I stole from a local weatherman...

"Of course... we have four seasons here... we have early summer... late summer... thinking about summer... and getting ready for summer", I said with a wink.

I then went on to explain that although San Diego doesn’t experience the same types of seasons that one might experience in Toronto, we do experience unique weather patterns based on the time of year.

During the first quarter of the year, San Diego gets most of its annual rainfall (albeit not more than 6-10 inches... as we really do live in a coastal desert).

The second quarter brings a thick marine layer that doesn’t produce much precipitation but gives us plenty of "May gray" and "June gloom".  Along the shoreline, residents might not see the sun for several days on end due to the dark cloud cover above.

The third quarter typically brings us the legendary summers of Southern California, with hot days, warm humid nights, and endless sunshine. Perfect weather for the beach or a bike ride up and down the coast.

In the fourth quarter, the winds often shift bringing us the hot dry winds from the eastern deserts of the Mohave and Sonora. These Santa Ana winds often cause the daytime temperatures to rise into the 90’s while the low single-digit humidity allows the overnight temperatures to drop below the freezing point.

Since this is the springtime, my visiting friends mostly saw the dark charcoal gray clouds overhead... although every so often... a spear of light radiated through the clouds reminding us that the sun was still there... blocked behind the clouds until the summer arrives.

These "days of gray" often help me to reflect on the notion that it’s sometimes easy to forget that no matter how dark, misty and dreary it may seem to be below the clouds... above the clouds, the sun is still there... shining brightly.

Often in our own lives, we get bogged down in the negative... we start believing that our lives are mired in dark, cold and miserable conditions and that the sun will never reemerge.

Sometimes when we don’t see the sun for days or weeks on end... we forget what the sunshine feels like... bringing us joy... hope... and energy...

We forget that we have innate gifts, talents and skills and that each of us is a special human being...

We often let the negatively of others bring us down and cast clouds of despair around us.

I’ve been told that misery likes company... but that is simply not true...

Misery only likes miserable company... if you’re happy, grateful and joyful... misery wants nothing to do with you...

Your friends, acquaintances and associates who wallow in misery are not interested in your happiness... they are only interested in trying to bring you down to their level...

They will tell you why something won’t work... why someone is not to be trusted... will try to convince you of some impending catastrophe... or will attempt to frighten you with some irrational fear...

This is, in fact, the standard playbook of any politician... they want you to believe that you are miserable... and the only way out of your misery is to engage them to fix everything in your life that is supposedly broken... they and they alone possess the superpower that can save us from all of our woes...

The media is complicit in this great con... providing us with up-to-the-minute examples of how everything is broken... and why we should be living our lives in great fear of some impending doom soon awaiting us...

Armed with this great disinformation, our neighbors and friends take it upon themselves to spread the fear through their extensive social networks with a simple click of a mouse... reinforcing their own belief systems while attempting to evangelize potential converts to their negative thinking.

What we need to remember is that above the dark clouds the sun is shining brightly.

It’s up to each of us to rise above the negativity, fear, and discouragement.

This war needs be fought on two fronts...

First... it’s so important to try and eliminate the negativity in our lives...

Turn off the news. Stop listening to politicians. Eliminate most (if not all) of the time spent creating / reading social media content.

Find a place of worship that inspires love and acceptance rather than hate and fear.

Eliminate (or severely limit) the time we spend with negative friends, acquaintances, and associates who add nothing positive to our lives.

If need be, find a new job that encourages us to engage our talents and creativity rather than chain us to our desk.

Secondly... we need to fill all our new-found time with positive reinforcements.

We need to feed our minds by reading good positive books... learning new skill and releasing our hidden talents (one such way is to enroll in free online university classes to such as edX or coursera)... and by watching videos that help to expand our thinking (such as TED talks or Singularity University)...

We can develop a "master-mind" group of like-minded positive people who can meet regularly for coffee or happy-hour to share new ideas and offer encouragement to the group members.

Engage in positive activities such as physical fitness, volunteering in the community, and/or learning to play a musical instrument.

We can feed our bodies nutritious meals and sleep enough to feel refreshed.

Most importantly... surround ourselves with positive people, friends, and associates... people who will encourage us to become a better person, spouse, parent, worker, and leader... people who can help remind us of things like humility and gratitude... and what the sunshine feels like on a cloudy day...

The key to seeing the sunshine on a cloudy day is to find a way to rise above the clouds by remembering our higher purpose... remembering why we are here on earth... and what we can do to make an impact on those around us...  

Thank you for your support of OptiFuse... where we believe that the clouds helps us to appreciate the sunshine.

Jim Kalb


Jim Kalb President

Email - jimk@optifuse.com
Website - www.optifuse.com
Twitter - @OptiFuse


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