By Lynda Shadbolt

I’ve been writing these articles since the beginning of 2010 and have written more than 300 pieces to date. Former editor, Jenn Watt originally asked me to write about the benefits of yoga and my first article was entitled, Moving from Surviving to Thriving and I wrote about Wendy Bateman who had started doing yoga and qigong with me in 2002, six months post-surgery from a rare kind of cancer in her ureter. I am happy to report that Wendy is still doing qigong with me every week to this day and she will teach at the college again this summer. She is amazing. My focus for my articles quickly expanded to include paying attention to the goodness that is around me, around us. A quote by Mary Oliver says, “Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.”
One thing I know about myself is that when I pay attention to the good things in life, I am happier.

Tara Brach, a well-known meditation teacher says, “Evolution has rigged all of us with a negativity bias—a survival-driven habit to scan for what’s wrong and fixate on it. In contemporary society, a pervasive target is our own sense of unworthiness.” It is natural for us to be negative, so we have to work like fish swimming up a stream to be positive.
Writing these articles has become a focus for me to look for good news and it not only fills my soul and makes me happier, but it writes these articles. I have so many good news stories to tell from the past two weeks. One takes place last Tuesday when my friends and I attended the first Music in the Park sponsored by the Rotary Club of Haliburton. It was a perfect Haliburton summer evening. I would say more than 200 people of all ages gathered to listen to the Ya Babys. I love that this event is a family friendly evening. The music was fantastic and people in the audience were humming and singing along. Everyone was just so happy to be out socializing and listening to live music. Young kids were up by the stage dancing, twirling, prancing, doing somersaults, and running circles. Watchful parents were close by enjoying the music and intervening when necessary. Just watching the kids made me happy. I had the pleasure of sitting beside a couple who had brought their very well behaved and beautiful golden retrievers. Both dogs were quiet and good company. At one point, some camp staff who were in the town for the evening got up and started dancing with the young children. A few adults joined in. It was delightful. Joyful. Spontaneous. I am pretty sure everyone left the concert feeling uplifted and lighter. Hopeful of more good things to come. Thanks again to the Rotary Club of Haliburton whose members work to bring so many positive things to our community. It all makes a difference.