The Foundations of the exploration of Hope:

One of my roles is teaching drama and something very interesting took place with my year 11 students.  For their GCSE they have to create a devised piece of drama.  The requirement is the teacher provides a variety of stimuli for the students to explore and then they decide where this will take them in relation to the end product.

I used a photo stimulus of Pandora opening a box.  The interesting part of this story is most groups I have used this with in the past, explores the despair and negative effects of opening the box.  This group started doing exactly this, but when they came to the ‘Hope’ aspect, they started to explore what the positive side of this one virtue being left meant to them.  Without knowing it they had ventured into the world of Positive Psychology and they just happen to have a drama teacher, who is also a Positive Psychologist.  I completed my MSc Applied Positive Psychology in 2018.  The students know this and I do use concepts from Positive Psychology with them, but they were left to their own devices in how they wanted to explore this stimulus.  Here is where the two worlds that co-exist for me began to organically merge.

In the Presence of Hope – Is the Power of Everything.

‘Hope’ has a pivotal role in the Positive Psychology world and is defined as ‘Positive Expectations and feelings about the likelihood of desired events and outcomes occurring in the future’. (Norrish, 2015).  This group of students looked at the box in an alternative way.  What if on opening the box, instead of all the despair being unleashed into the world, what if all the positivity and wonders of the world were unleashed instead?  What would this look like?  What positive emotions will be felt by humanity?  Can this focus on positivity be sustained over time?

Lots of questions were explored and their drama piece began to look at the concept of your glass is half full, not empty.  They looked at worldwide events that have brought humanity to its knees and then looked for the positivity in each of these bleak events.  They saw the courage, compassion and bravery that people showed to live through those harsh times.  They saw the wisdom that was generated and pass down to younger generations so history should not repeat itself.  They saw the ‘Grit’ as people preserved through the suffering of such difficulty.  They saw the spirituality in believing in some greater than humanity.

Journaling with Hope at its core:

In reflecting on these aspects using journaling as a method, a piece of creative writing merged, which I used with the group:

‘Hope’ has a pivotal role with the Positive Psychology world and is defined as ‘Positive Expectations and feelings about the likelihood of desired events and outcomes occurring in the future’. (Norrish, 2015).  This group of students looked at the box in an alternative way.  What if on opening the box, instead of all the despair being unleashed into the world, what if all the positivity and wonders of the world were unleashed instead?  What would this look like?  What positive emotions will be felt by humanity?  Can this focus on positivity be sustained over time?  Lots of questions were explored and their drama piece began to look at the concept of your glass is half full, not empty.  They looked at world wide events that has brought humanity to its knees and then looked for the positivity in each of these bleak events.  They saw the courage, compassion and bravery that people showed to live through those harsh times.  They saw the wisdom that was generated and pass down to younger generations so history should not repeat itself.  They saw the ‘Grit’ as people preserved through the suffering of such difficulty.  They saw the spirituality in believing in some greater than humanity.

 

Journaling with Hope at its core:

In reflecting on these aspects using journaling as a method, a piece of creative writing merged, which I used with the group:

In the midst of times, the division between good and evil, positive and negative plays out on all stages of times.

Its presence echoes through generation after generation mapping out the distinction of our moral compass.

As each human soul explores this great land the emotions play pivotal roles in how we conduct ourselves and how we interact with others.

The primate essence within us all roars itself to fruition when we are not mindful of our actions.

Our intentions can be pure, but their consequences can leave a ripple effect that can become centuries old.

When Pandora opened the box, she did not consider the consequences outside of herself or outside of that moment. 

That came later.

But with all the chaos and devastation she caused, that one essential emotion of HOPE was left and this we choose to focus

When there is hope there is faith, when there is faith, there is a belief and within this belief, the power of change can be activated. 

These emotions are linked to the higher calling emotion of love. 

Where there is love, there is abundance and even though Pandora did not leave Love behind, it stands firmly with Hope and when we choose to see life through this lens. 

Heaven is on Earth.

Final Thoughts:

As you read this, I offer you the power of hope in all those dreams that you have left to explore and that love surrounds you on your journey of life.

Find out more about Kelly Seaward-Ding and read her other articles HERE

 

‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’

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