Message of Self-Mastery: Light-hearted; hope; inspiration to others; seeing the good in everything; optimistic; positive; the ability to make light of difficulties; genuine, soul-stirring laughter; even-mindedness.
Pattern of Disharmony: Moodiness; grumpiness; fault-finding; “waking up on the wrong side of the bed”; contrariness; ornery; feeling mildly to moderately emotionally out of control; moods of known and unknown origin; for the need to “snap out of it.”
I swim gaily on the sea of life, joyfully breasting the dancing waves of bliss!
|Light-spirited||Untouched by difficulties|
|Negative||Determined to remain upset|
|Pessimistic||Caught in a “dark cloud”|
|Moody||Of sour disposition|
Symbolic of Cherry’s ability to help dispel surface-layer moods, the cherry tree itself is shallow-rooted-less than two feet underground. Much like the human temperament, it produces either sweet or sour fruit.
Cherry sports a bubbly quality reminiscent of children’s songs and stories: Mary Poppins singing, “Just a Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down”; “Whistle While You Work” from Cinderella; and of course, the seven dwarfs singing, “Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go.” Are these songs pure fiction and fantasy? Let’s hope not! We adults have a lot to learn from their simple wisdom. The old folk saying that “life is like a bowl of cherries” can apply to every one of us with a simple change of attitude.
In the positive Cherry state, we are able to see the good in people and things. We smile more. We skip in step a bit. We resonate with the bumper sticker message that reminds us, “Don’t worry, be happy.” Without moods clouding the mind, emotional steadiness is our natural state.
Another important characteristic of Cherry is the refreshing quality of even-mindedness, and with it, a certain detachment. Emotional investment in the outcome of life’s tests is equivalent to asking for a mood. And don’t we all, even consciously at times, choose to court them? Referring to Coconut’s lottery metaphor, why be distraught if you don’t win? One in the positive Cherry state is a good loser; healthy indifference is his victory.
The negative Cherry state reflects our decision to be negative, pessimistic or just plain unhappy. Molehills become mountains and small chores turn into large burdens. It seems there is no right side of the bed on which to wake up! Thus, we see the tongue-in-cheek definition of a pessimist as “someone who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks.” Those in the negative Cherry state view life as a disappointment waiting to happen-which it invariably does, just as they predicted.
To put the matter directly-if you make up your mind to be happy, nothing in the world can make you unhappy. Conversely, if you decide to be unhappy, nothing can cheer you. It seems self-evident here that the main issue is choice. At any given moment, we are making choices in our lives. Granted, we cannot control the events that befall us, such as the birds of sorrow flying overhead. But we can control how we react to them by choosing not to invite them to nest in our hair!
Caught in the negative Cherry state, the legendary film star Katherine Hepburn once said, “I don’t know what one means by ‘happy.’ I’m happy spasmodically. If I eat a chocolate Turtle, I’m happy. When the box is empty, I’m unhappy. When I get another box, I’m happy again.” Tell me-do any of us truly covet a state of happiness so fragile that it can come and go on mere whim?
When we invite the negative Cherry state into our minds, before long we find ourselves in a mood that begins to snowball. In time, tracing this emotional blemish back to its source becomes virtually impossible. All we know is that we’re not happy. At this point the mood takes control of us and everything look bleak. We tend to view the world, innocuous though it may be, from our own state of consciousness. “Wind on a hill sounds lonely if you’re sad,” writes J. Donald Walters, “free if you’re free, cheerful if you’re glad.”
Spend time with children Try to understand their reality through shared activities.
Nip moods in the bud. If you can’t change them immediately, change your environment. Go out for a walk, a meal or a movie.
Read fairy tales or stories of heroes and heroines to children.
Sing, dance or be a little bit silly.
Whistle, or learn to.
Sit back and close your eyes. When you open them, imagine yourself sitting in the middle of a cherry tree orchard, right in the middle of the biggest tree that is ripe with cherries. Still young enough to count your age on the fingers of one hand, you study your tiny, cherry-stained appendages.
Yes, you snuck away again to have your fill of the sweet fruit-and who could blame you? Without anyone having to say anything, you know you are eating the light-hearted playfulness of the cherries-and that is what makes them so sweet.
A gentle breeze roves through the orchard, filling your nostrils with the flowery scent. A maverick cloud sneaks across the sky, as afraid to be caught as you are, doing something it was told not to do. Surrounded by branches dripping cherry clusters and so many feet above the ground, life seems just a touch unreal. From this height, it is easy to be detached-and from this sense of detachment a pleasant cheerfulness, like the scent of sweet cherries, wafts upward to the treetops.
Into this gentle breeze, let your cares dissolve. Watch all your worries and moods fly away. And let that very sweet, soft joy become a twinkle in your eye.