Each morning, we open our eyes to a day that we know will contain both the pleasant and the not so pleasant, the good and the bad, the joy and the sadness, the glory and the defeat — that’s inevitable.

That, my friend, is life. Embracing the practice of a sanguine life means accepting the good and the not-so-ideal that comes your way, and learning to trust that all of it is there for a reason.

If we aim to be truly sanguine — to lead a sanguine life — the good times we experience increase our buoyancy of spirit, creating reserves that help carry us up and over challenges (and give others a boost along the way).

[Tweet “Our cheerful optimism lights our path even as the dark clouds roll in.”]

During moments of peace and ease, you will feel comfortable where you are, in your shoes — your own patch of grass is the greenest you’ve ever seen. Yet when the going gets rough, your fight or flight response may scream, “Find another, better-fertilized yard!” or “Buy some shiny lawn ornaments!”

How to stop the flip-flopping? Lean into your sanguine, my friend.

Remember that your lawn, your life, is a patchwork — an ecosystem made up of greens and browns, weeds and bugs and wildflowers thriving harmoniously. In that ecosystem, there is a delicate balance where everything, the sublime and the gross/icky/irritating, is essential.

To live a sanguine life wherever you are, it’s important to develop your sense of inherent, internal harmony.

My own story starts in California, where my life was good. Meaningful. A fly on the wall wouldn’t have said otherwise. But I was sick all the time, and the deterioration of my physical health eventually led to overwhelming discontentment, plus a strong inkling that I had more to offer to the world.

I made a change. A really big change. I decided to move to Costa Rica. Immediately, I felt my physical health improve, and I expected my mental and spiritual health to follow, returning to the way I’d felt in California before my happiness was derailed by illness. What a disappointment it was to me when vitality and wellness did NOT immediately follow.

The profound harmony I had anticipated gave way to darkness — yes, even in paradise — that cast a shadow over me for roughly two years. My heart knew that Costa Rica was the right place for me, and despite my freedom from illness, I began to feel lost — I was off-kilter, not at one with myself or my surroundings. What is a sanguine life

Where was my zen-in-paradise fantasy? I knew that it was up to me. And so I began the slow, intentional process of healing myself — all of the parts that were hurting — and learning to take all of life (the sunshine and the rain) together as pieces of a beautiful, messy puzzle.

Good days happen and bad days happen — and when I am at my most sanguine, I am buoyed by my inner harmony, and lovingly supported by the green grass beneath my feet. How do you find balance in your life?

Do you accept both good and bad, or do you find yourself caught up in striving for the next perfect day — or obsessing over each rough one? Let’s talk about it in the comments.