Some years ago, one of my colleagues gave me some strawberry popcorn seeds. For those of you that haven’t seen these before, imagine a handful of the most beautiful dark, ruby coloured pomegranate seeds – just smaller. Being a keen gardener, I planted them immediately; and after a couple of very long months, I finally harvest my first crop. Year after year, I planted the remaining seeds from the previous year and successfully harvested my homegrown popcorn. Then we moved – and the quality of the soil at the new house was no gardener’s dream. Needless to say, the jar with the remaining seeds from my previous garden remained unopened for more than a year. Until a few days ago….

 

 

You see, I was looking for dry beans or seeds of some sorts to put into a lockdown-countdown jar – and then, of course, I saw my almost forgotten popcorn seeds. Unlike our gratitude jar that will be full of positive messages by the end of the next 21 days, my countdown jar should be empty. Early morning on day 3, my second seed was put into the unfriendly and unfertile soil, and so will the other 19 be as well.

 

Research evidence has shown that optimism creates physical and mental resilience for people, even those who have been through extremely difficult life events or medical situations. Optimism can help reduce our stress, lead to more successful relationships, and increase our emotional and even physical health. Being hopeful and confident that we will get through the current difficulties does not mean that we ignore the realities of what is going on around us – it just means that we approach these realities in a more productive way.

 

Chances are good that only a few of my newly planted popcorn seeds will germinate, but with the right care and support I am convinced that the ones that are resilient and hardy, will, in the end, deliver cobs with hundreds of shiny new seeds.

 

My wish for us all during these challenging times is that we make conscious efforts to see things in a positive light and sow seeds of gratitude, optimism, and hope around us.