Last weekend I am so grateful to have attended a three day residential parent, ‘discovering positive psychology’ workshop at Geelong Grammar School. It was termed,
“A personal and in depth exploration of the science of wellbeing.”
Firstly, I am grateful to John and Deb who looked after Billy and Cosy for the three days so that I could participate, as well as Geelong Grammar as a whole for leading the way and teaching ‘wellbeing’ at the core of their education and passing this on to others. I’m especially grateful for all the other parents who were there, our trainers and teachers who made such a lasting impact on me and all those I am connected with.
It was incredible, I loved being surrounded by like-minded people who were passionate and interested in making the most of who they are, their lives and helping their families and others to do the same. The three days both:
- Clarified and affirmed many of my learnings and teachings in life so far on how to be authentically happy, healthy and live a meaningful life – in a connected way with others and our environment
- Introduced me to new powerful tools to enhance and strengthen my relationships, emotions, health, engagement, accomplishment, purpose and helped me to identify my own strengths too.
I’m not going to go into all the areas or all that we learnt because I really want to honour the intellectual property of the school and their processes and their teachers and also – it would take way too long! I am mindful that you all have your own busy lives to get back to. In this blog – I want to focus on only two key areas because it ‘feels’ right, and I’m big on following your intuition. So here they are:
1. POSITIVE EMOTION
2.GRATITUDE (which actually is a powerful positive emotion in itself)
I especially want to focus on gratitude because – it is an awesome, amazing, super duper way cool game-changer for good living. I also believe that what you focus on – you draw to you, magnetically, so why not focus on all the ‘good stuff” rather than the “unhelpful stuff!’ First though lets talk about positive emotions.
One of the really cool things was talking about positive emotions, how valuable they are, how we can try to look for more of them, create more opportunities for them and when they do happen, to really savour them, so they last longer. We also learnt about exploring more deeply and broadly the huge range of positive emotions that there are. It’s not only feeling happy, we also talked about satisfaction, joy, bliss, contentment, amusement, gratitude, inspiration…and lots, lots more.
How do you describe what are some of your positive emotions? Its a really great thing to do to really start to pay attention to them and how they show up for you. Even by thinking about and clarifying different types of positive emotions -we are broadening our vocabulary and experience of them because we can identify them. I was also really interested to find out that research suggests that Positive emotions,
“Broaden and build our capacities and resources and can undo the effect of negative emotions.” (course booklet: 2013 Geelong Grammar School).
Negative emotions of course are still valuable, they may point us back in the right direction, they show us what we don’t like and are a valuable part of growing and expanding. It’s good though to try to have a higher ration of positive emotions than negative. A good guide, is to at least have 3:1 (e.g. 3 positive, 1 negative). I can tell you for sure that over the seven years I have been applying some of the principles of positive psychology, as well as other powerful life-helping tools (like cognitive behavioural therapy, flower essences and Angel Intuition) in my own life, my ratio has gone from 1:1 when I suffered from depression in 2006 to,now – where it is more like 20:1 (20 positive, 1:negative) these days. This is really good. Personally, because I’ve applied it and experienced it, I know this inner work works for me.
- Gratitude itself is a positive emotion. Think of a time yourself that you felt grateful…Maybe it was when someone gave you an unexpected gift of flowers, maybe when your children were born, maybe a training session, lying cuddling in bed, or the opportunity to work and connect with a person you admire. Notice it, feel it. Gratitude makes us feel good, appreciation adds energy.
- What many people don’t know is that an attitude of gratitude can be cultivated gratitude is a choice. Gratitude is an amazing feeling that can be nurtured, worked upon and nourished to be a greater part of your life.
- Expressing gratitude to others is powerful way to strengthen your relationships too, it doesn’t mean that you are obligated in anyway, it means that you are grateful…how beautiful is that?
For me appreciating life itself and the chance to be a positive contributing part of it is something to be grateful for. That is why my logo is: “Grace Cherish Life.”
So to finish up, and a great way for you to feel more positive emotions through gratitude is to write down five things you are grateful for. You can do it every night or every day if you like. So here goes my quick list:
- The chance to be part of the Liv Giant, Ride2Port, cycling 750-1000km for the Kids Foundation outside, amongst beautiful nature with great people – and my wonderful Mum and John for looking after Cosy for the week so I can do it. Plus all my friends and family who are helping by contributing fundraising dollars and precious time and support.
- John cooking me poached eggs yesterday
- My son Billy being so happy at his school and making wonderful friends and his teachers really listening
- Giant Bikes and their support and sponsorship and making me feel part of their awesome family.
- Amelia’s developing speech, because her delayed speech has disappeared and all the speech therapy and wonderful work of us and specialists is paying off, she communicates beautifully.
Lots of love and gratitude.xxx