So I’ve come to the end of my 31-Day Visual Challenge and I want to thank you all for spending time with me on this journey. Posting every day for a month (a month with 31 days, no less!) was challenging for me. In some ways, it was really interesting to do it; almost like proving to myself that I can if I make it a priority… in other ways, it reminded me of Tal’s story of the lasagna principle: lasagna is his favorite food, but he wouldn’t want to have it every day. We can get tired of doing the same thing over and over again, even if we love it! While I love writing and looking at visuals, to make it a “have to” took a bit of the joy out of it for me. This is a good thing to notice! I wondered if it might have also taken some of the joy out of it for you, the readers, knowing that there would be another post tomorrow and therefore you didn’t have to read today’s because you knew there would be another one…? I don’t know. It’s just something I’ve wondered about this past month.
I’ve mentioned on a few of the previous posts about my final project for the Certificate in Positive Psychology program that I completed earlier this year, and how first I noticed signs of positive psychology all around me after leaving the first immersion a year and a half ago. Then I started to collect photographs of those signs, along with many, many others. I thought that people might get bored just looking at images of signs, so I started to share photos of people in my life who are important to me, and places that I’ve been that have meaning to me. Before I knew it, when I looked at my poster, I saw it as a visual guide of what Positive Psychology is: meaning, love, joy, connection, gratitude, humor, family, fun, friendship, mindfulness, reflection, contemplation, nature, togetherness, travel, beauty, … what we focus on is what we see. When we appreciate the good, the good appreciates. Life is short. Have fun!
I shared many of those images with you during this month: some of the signs (Positive Psychology is all around us), some of my travels (connection, mindfulness), some of my family (love, humor, joy, laughter), some of reflections (reflections, both literally and metaphorically), some that made me laugh or showed my silly side (humor). So this has been a good way to share my process with the students currently in the CiPP program. I hope you found it helpful as you prepare for your final projects. And I hope those of you not in the program enjoyed following along for fun!
I’ve done a few presentations about Positive Psychology, both while I was in the CiPP program and since I’ve completed it. My husband and I are even co-teaching a course right now for first year students at the University, which has been both a lot of fun AND a great learning experiment for both of us. Emerson said, “All of life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” I think this is a great quote to live by!
One person who has been to a few of my presentations this past year (and who isn’t my husband!) has heard me speak both with the visual images and without. His comment was, “Lori, what you have to say is really powerful and interesting stuff… but I really miss the visuals when you don’t use them. Having seen and heard your talk both ways, we can see at a glance what it takes you much longer to tell us without the images.” This is why I think this is a valuable exercise. As Ellen Langer says, “Mindfulness is simply noticing new things.” Take time to notice new things. It doesn’t take any longer than to go mindlessly through your day not noticing new things!
… and Happy Halloween! There’re probably lots of things to notice around you today…
As for today’s image? What do you notice? When my siblings came to visit earlier this month, we carved pumpkins. These are the results that have been gracing our front walkway ever since. Boo!