How to Be More Optimistic With Anne Lamotte

Even with a vaccine just around the corner, it can be difficult to continue to overcome the stress and anxiety that the pandemic has brought us. That’s why this week we’re talking to the inspiring Anne Lamotte, a progressive political activist, author and bestselling author of books such as Bird by Bird , A Journey of Mercy, and Operating Instructions . Anna’s latest book is called Twilight Night Dawn: On Rebirth and Courage , and this week she joins us to talk about how we can find hope, even in the most difficult times.

Listen to The Upgrade above, or find us in all the usual podcast locations including Apple Podcasts , Google Play , Spotify , iHeartRadio, and NPR One.

Highlights from this week’s series

From an interview with Anne Lamotte:

Remembering the three A’s that help her overcome frustration:

[Awareness. I do what I do. I heard a pastor say, “The Lord is my shepherd.” I will not go. And so I notice that I am just stumbling over someone or myself. The second A is acceptance … I accept it. It’s as if I hadn’t achieved my goal for the last four years, and I agreed that I had walked this path … And I accept it, and it’s very difficult, even if you are a person whose life is much easier than in most worlds. it was so difficult, strange, heartbreaking and infuriating … and the third A is action. What can I do about it? Well, I can get out of the trance. Sometimes I wear a rubber band on my arm and click it very carefully to break out of the trance of thinking that I’m right when I feel like a victim. Am I, the victim? I do not think so. And do a loving act: go pour yourself a cup of wonderful tea, relax, play my very, very favorite song of the hour. To take a very old dog for a walk and sit by a tree, I am making arrangements. So I do it all the time.

Don’t forget to breathe about the value:

[It’s] part of my spiritual practice, you know, to breathe … so much information comes to us and so little wisdom. You know, and so, my head, sometimes it starts to feel like an air traffic controller on a terrible day. And so I need to change channels from this terrible radio station in my head that works 24/7, you know, from this speaker it goes like this: “I am different, I am better than, I am more than …” And then another speaker says that I am a fraud and a Lada, and I know that even Jesus is drinking gin right now, just watching what a nightmare I have created out of my life, what a disappointment I am. And I need to switch channels from there down to the cave of the heart, you know, and become really quiet … But a lot of physical things for me also come back to my physical body through breathing – breathing work – and noticing my legs.

On the importance of humor at times like these:

I have always believed that laughter is carbonated holiness. And if you sit and laugh with someone, that is the church. This makes your worldview much broader. This gives you plenty of space. You know, “figure it out” is not the best slogan, but laughter. Oh my God.

To hear more of Anna’s words of wisdom, we recommend listening to the entire episode.

Any feedback or ideas for future episodes? Do you want to participate in the show? Leave us a voicemail at 347-687-8109 or send a voicemail to

Episode transcript


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *