Accentuate the Positive

Traditionally my Decembers are filled with Christmas parties and end of year celebrations.  And while this year is a bit quieter there are a few on-line events.    

When I think of Christmas my mind goes back to an event I attended a decade ago.  I smile to think it was 10 years ago, and I also smile that it remains as relevant today as it was back then.

 I was running a workshop for the staff and some of the longer standing volunteers of a large charity.  I’d been asked to speak about positivity in difficult times and I was upstaged by a wonderful volunteer named Margaret.   I’d just been introduced when Margaret stood and walked to the piano on the side of the stage.  Refusing to return to her seat she declared that as this was her 92nd Christmas she had Christmas seniority and she thought a Christmas song might be a fun way to introduce my talk, and then she shared that she’d volunteered with the charity for over half a century and that in her early life she was the pianist and singer with a jazz group and she winked and added that she was a bit of a trouble maker who liked to take the stage.    

Her choice of Christmas song surprised us all.  She went into a quite amazing rendition of ‘Accentuate the positive’.  If you don’t know the song you can find it here -

A few people in the audience commented that it wasn’t a Christmas song and Margaret shared that indeed it was the best Christmas song she knew because it reminds us that we should always focus on the positive, plus, she claimed, it reminds us to take some time out for singing, for breathing and for dancing.  She added “You can’t sing the song if you don’t take time out for singing,  you can’t sing, let alone do anything of you don’t take time for breathing, and the dancing, Margaret added that everything reminds her to dance.  I smiled and hoped that at 92 I’ll be as spritely and as happy as she is. 

There are times when finding something positive can be difficult, but over the years I’ve discovered that sometimes doesn’t take much more than some deep breathing, a little time out and some gratitude to help, as Margaret suggested, accentuate the positive.

Stop and breathe.  Often when things aren’t going as we hope they would our mind goes into overdrive – looking for solutions, imagining worse case scenario’s.  This is the perfect time to stop and take a few deep breaths.  Deep breathing calms the body and mind allowing us to think more clearly, to see the situation from a more relaxed place, to see the broader picture and to find the positives, no matter how well they might be hidden.

Take time out.  Sometimes all we need is a little space to ourselves and a little movement.  Take a few minutes to go for a walk, go somewhere appropriate and do a few stretches, lunges, squats or whatever movement suits you.  If you’re somewhere where you can, turn the music up and dance.  Sometimes all it takes are a few minutes out to re-energise and see the positive. 

Practice gratitude.  Take a moment to think about all things you value, your family, friends, your achievements (however far back they go – I have a friend who smiles at the memory of becoming yo-you champion of his small town when he was 8.  He’s now 67!) Gratitude is a personal and subjective thing, you’ll know what’s right for you.

It has been a big year, for many people it’s been a difficult year.  For me it’s been a year of learning, accepting, and reflecting.

On behalf of everyone at Let’s Laugh – Bob our IT guy, Jayne our office support, and me, I wish you a joyous Christmas, a happy festive season, a brilliant celebration time and a wonderful end of the year.  However you celebrate, whatever the end of the year means to you, may your days be filled with love and laughter and lots and lots of positivity.

Keep smiling.



About Let’s Laugh

Creators of inspirational workshops and presentations

that explore emotional and physical wellbeing 

through the neuroscience of Laughter, Mindfulness,

Breath Work, Mindful Movement and

Awesome Aging programs.




          PO Box 1012
          Blackburn North
          Vic 3130

          0421 335 197