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Mindful Optimism

“We don’t need to wait for optimism to come to us, we can cultivate it and learn to generate it deliberately in and out of meditation. By doing so it can become a state that is instinctive and intuitive for us, rather than happening only occasionally and circumstantially.”


Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article is an exploration of the state of optimism. If you enjoy it, we will be meditating on it in the Tuesday and Wednesday meditation class.

Quick practical note, the timings for the Psychic Self-Defence Masterclass and Mini-retreat have now been adjusted to be both on Saturday 27th March.

In the spirit of optimism,



Mindful Optimism

Finding optimism 
What is the state of optimism like? Here are a few characteristics that occur to me:

  • Joyful-ness, enthusiasm
  • A sense of being supported by tangible and intangible forces in the world
  • The feeling of a bright and possibly exciting future ahead
  • The reasonable expectation good things are going to happen to you, both now and in the future
  • An expansive, bright and comfortable feeling in the body, as if you belong in the world, and you can operate there with ease

If you think about times when you have felt optimistic in the past, you may start to notice that it is a bit like my description above. What other qualities characterize your own experience of optimism?
We don’t need to wait for optimism to come to us, we can cultivate it and learn to generate it deliberately in and out of meditation. By doing so it can become a state that is instinctive and intuitive for us, rather than happening only occasionally and circumstantially.

The Brightness of your life-force
To me optimism is very related to an overall sense of life-fullness. The experience is feeling full of life, with your life-force strongly present in the body, radiating out from your center into your energy field and into the world. Being optimistic makes you creative and solar, rather than passive and resigned.

Why optimism is difficult and pessimism is often easier
It can be easier to be pessimistic than optimistic. Reasons for this include:

  • Our natural psychological bias toward negative thinking and threat detection
  • Cognitive overload and emotional exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Previous traumas and negative experiences
  • A sense of being helpless in the face of the overwhelming problems of the world that are beyond our control

Each one of these factors is worth acknowledging within ourselves in order to release and let go of. The space and we create by doing this we can then begin to fill with conscious optimism.

Optimism, reason and reasoning
As well as the feeling of optimism, it’s well worth looking for verifiable facts in our life that make optimism reasonable and realistic. For example if I look at the state of my (own and my family’s) health, friendships and business right now there is a legitimate, factual basis for optimism. It’s important to have facts to back up our optimism, because pessimism, depression and anxiety often come as an overwhelming feeling. They ‘feel’ real, even if they have no basis.

Embodying and acting from optimism
We can back up the feeling of optimism by deliberately speaking optimistically and acting in a way that is consistent with optimism. For example, if I am talking to a friend about a problem that I am having, I usually make a point about why the challenge could be a good thing for me and all concerned. This way of speaking about it frames it in a way that makes it feel and seem like there is plenty of room for optimism, even if some aspects of what is happening are unpleasant or difficult.

Balancing optimism with critical thinking
Optimism makes it easier to face up to problems and challenges because we feel less intimidated by them. It is then easier to see drawbacks, problems, uncertainties in a critical and objective way, that doesn’t threaten our sense of optimism, and is indeed complementary to it.

PS: Life-fullness, which I mention in Paragraph 2 is also the style of coaching that I offer, the unique characteristics of which you can read about and watch here.

Article © Toby Ouvry 2021, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website  

Saturday 27th March, 10.30-12.30 & 1.15-4.15pm – Psychic & Psychological Self-defence Master class & retreat

In a sentence: Learn how you can effectively defend yourself from negative people, energies and places outside of yourself, as well as the fears and problematic emotions that you feel present within yourself using simple & specific mindfulness & meditation techniques.


  • How can I keep myself strong, directed & happy when other people around me are negative, unhappy or even consciously or unconsciously verbally/psychologically attacking me?
  • When I am under stress and can feel my own negativity, anxiety, depression, anger & so on surfacing, how can I defend myself effectively?

Read full details


Tues 23rd & Weds 24th March – Spring Equinox balancing and renewing meditationThe Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere marks the mid-point between the cooler, darker seasons of the year and the lighter, warmer ones. The forces of day and night, light and dark are of equal strength. As such it represents time to emphasize balance and harmony, both in our life and meditation practice.

It is also good time to attune the life-force in the earth and creative energies within ourselves. We will be taking the time to get in touch with the new ideas, energies and creativity within ourselves as they emerge like new plants and flowers in spring…read full details


Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops for at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Starts Tuesday/Wednesday evening February 23rd/24th – Meditations for thriving and energy creation amidst Covid – A seven week course

Saturday 27th March, 10.30-12.30 & 1.15-4.15pm  – Psychic & Psychological Self-defence Master class & retreat

Tues 23rd & Weds 24th March – Spring Equinox balancing and renewing meditation

Tues 23rd & Weds 24th March – Full Moon Meditation & Manifestation Session

Integral Meditation Asia

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