The Light Life is Curious

The Light Life is Curious

This journey into our 2022, the light life is curious. But I’m also wary, which makes for an eclectic mix of questions at this juncture in the journey through our positive psychology.  The parts of ourselves that were rattled with grief, remain pain points for us to focus our healing.  The unconscious became conscious on several fronts, throughout our journey. Everything about our language, our worldview and even our friendships shifted and changed.  Those of us who live in the United States have also realized how very divided many of us are about our fundamental belief systems, and/or systemic ideals on what the world should look like.  Be curious Curiosity about the thoughts or actions of others seems to be a solution.  Curiosity about why people got away with despicable things, while also boasting about being above all others.  Curiosity about our core sense of self in relation to others became more defined. ‘Why’ is a question I found myself asking, time and time again. A character on the TV show, Gray’s Anatomy had a line that I personally, felt aligned with as I defined my purpose here.  “I lost myself for a long time.” Christina said, as she awoke from a pattern of wholeness that felt inauthentic.  So many of us woke up to want more for ourselves. We realized how much of our decision making was based on settling just to fit in, or, nesting under the wing of the more powerful, just to survive the collective way we now work, as we nested during this pandemic.  Ted Lasso (another TV show award winner), had a great speech...
Transforming Yourself From Caterpillar to Butterfly

Transforming Yourself From Caterpillar to Butterfly

The caterpillar Eat, sleep, repeat. You are what you are. You don’t even slightly resemble a butterfly. You are wonderful and unique in your own right, you are life, but you’re only ever going to crawl around on the ground. The human as a caterpillar is the human that is yet to awaken and evolve. There’s nothing wrong with this stage, it is essential. But it’s only the start. The caterpillar stage can be encompassed in Carl Jung’s statement that we spend the first half of our lives developing a healthy ego.   What is ego? It’s your identity. It’s who you think you are based on your childhood experiences. Your personality, the way you think the world works, how you relate to others, your belief systems. It’s limited, it’s structured, it’s fixed, it’s repetitive. You may grow a little within the bounds of your ego, but you do not drastically change or transform. You just become a bigger caterpillar. Here’s an example of my caterpillar stage: – I am what I achieve – I must work hard and prove myself – I fear rejection and abandonment – My success is based on material gain – I must get approval and validation from others – I must please others and meet their expectations – I am limited, life is limited, life is a struggle – I must hide emotions like anger or sadness and tears   This is a tiny snippet of my caterpillar world. Whilst I spent years building my self-awareness and reflecting, you can learn so much about yourself just by asking a few introspective questions, observing...
The Light Life Warm Fuzzies

The Light Life Warm Fuzzies

Our world needed the warm fuzzies by the 1990’s, but, do we need something more now that it’s almost 2022?  I’ve been a fan and advocate, teacher and practitioner of the positive psychology movement since 2007. We have changed how the world works. We’ve watched our conversations blossom into including discussions of thriving, happiness, flow, well-being and even our character strengths. We have encouraged a revolution of whole, healthy lives that include the good life.  The feel good mindset has tackled some of psychologies biggest challenges up until Seligman shone a light on the field as a whole. That is a monumental achievement that deserves to be honored.  Warm Wishes  We are glad for the shift in awareness. I am. In 2006, I was studying PTSD and I/O psychology. I had just kicked off my PhD program, a full decade after earning my master’s degree in community psychology. I felt like something was missing. The positive psychology of Chris Peterson’s article with Anacia Parks sparked the next fourteen years from me.  The original creators of the field deserve the accolades and warm wishes.  Happy Thoughts and Warm Fuzzies  In the course of fourteen years however, the message has gotten a bit lost with the fuzzies of other industries that monotonized the success of talking about happiness, thriving, grit, resilience, and other assorted key terms.  We’ve had spin off industries pop up right along with a collective of people who try to reign in the research for their own personal fortune building. The exact opposite of the original intention. Which was to share the data with the world. Until the...
The Light Life Warm Fuzzies

The Light Life in Transitions

Life is a series of transitions. It skips a beat sometimes. Whenever we have a legal holiday on a Monday, I spend all day Tuesday, thinking it’s Monday. Today, is such a day. When we’re going through transitions, our routine has hiccups. My decision to create HappinessNoir.com was a call to balance out the light life but, it’s also a return to my roots in the whole of psychology. The positive psychology movement had pure intentions to help us balance out the abundant focus on what was wrong with humanity. When Seligman boldly challenged the field in the late 90’s to also remember to focus on what was right, there was an industry wide stir that seemed, a bit dramatic. The Beat Goes On All transitions have a heart beat.  Since our specialty within the field took an interesting twist toward consumerism along with social media famous practitioners, we’ve been off kilter. Finding the healthy good news as a professional focus became a tag line for many people. As new generations of practitioners began to generate new approaches to delivering content, we witnessed the monopolization of the field. Life is skipping ahead 2020 felt like a demand that we change and change now. People made abrupt changes. We jumped on definitive band wagons or, we took the leap of faith, digging in to what brought us the most joy. We as a collective, have seen major disruption in our daily routines. Millions of people had to say goodbye to their loved ones. Millions more, like myself, have made professional transitions that were disruptive to our lives. I myself have...
The Light Life Warm Fuzzies

The Light Life and Happiness Noir

Happiness Noir came about after working with clients who were suffering, but had strikes against them beyond what they could help or control. They were female, in a male world.  They were fiscally disadvantaged (not all, but most) compared to the rest of the world. They were being diagnosed with mental illnesses, when really, what they battled was trauma and domestic violence and grief. It changed the meaning of happiness for me. After two decades of moving through the evolution of the positive psychology movement, nothing more profoundly affected me than to both survive trauma then work with those who were surviving domestic trauma.  Noir Defined  Noir is the darker side of our human emotions, in this context. The opposite of the light life, as I wrote it. The yin to the yang. The balance between seeing the world through rose colored glasses versus seeing the world through a scarred heart.  Not all that is good is light and love. It’s not all darkness and shadows either. There is a balance in our world. To live a full whole life, we inevitably must embrace both sides.  I wrote The Light Life for a year or two so wanted to dedicate the next year to that shadow self. The positive psychology 2.0 as described by the evolution of the field includes the balance.  We can’t be afraid of the fear, the sadness, the confussion that often times happens in lieu of the true joy we strive for.  Embrace the darkness When we can comfortably sit with our emotions we have a command over them. We can regulate back to a...
Positive Experience

Positive Experience

  People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.”― Paulo Coelho The above-mentioned quote is a straightforward and direct explanation of what experience is. It is something that we have to find out for ourselves, we have to go through a certain phase of action to know the nature of the action better than otherwise. Cambridge dictionary defines experience the following way: the process of getting) knowledge or skill from doing, seeing, or feeling things (Cambridge dictionary, 2020) Throughout history there were numerous occasions for people to learn about new knowledge and skills, however, most of these were taught by people to people, by books and songs to people and nowadays by the internet to people. The charismatic frame is the most tempting of all, a religious, political, national “redeemer” or whatever other representative from somewhere to instruct something to someone. Humans love to play the teacher’s role, many of us like very much to teach, to talk and to enlighten. This isn’t bad, it is just information. While there is information that’s embedded in our genes, such as the knowledge about fire. Most people in the world needs no cautious information about fire (except perhaps pyromaniacs), because we know that if we play with fire, we’ll get burned. For tens of thousands of years, homo sapiens had enough time to learn how to use fire beneficially, without getting burned. And the key point here is to let ourselves be burned… sounds weird, huh? The idea is that we learn far better by using action-emotion processes! And this is where I’d like to draw...