The flames are dancing in the wood stove, sending little flickers of light and shadow around the room. I can hear the clock ticking over my left shoulder, marking the seconds as they go by. It’s dark outside, and overcast. There’s no moonlight. The coyotes who have been chattering every night for weeks have gone … Continue reading Flickers
inspired by Analog Sea There is an energy– it’s there in the ether on the ground running through the soil nestling deep in the bedrock settling with the sediment of lakes washing downstream via small tributaries into the massive veins of rivers that keep the earth alive. An energy untamed by technology refusing to be … Continue reading Don’t Let the Robots Get You Down
Every couple of weeks – especially as weather warms toward summer – my seven year old daughter and I have what has become known as “adventure day.” We put on clothes suitable for the weather and head outside, usually to a local park or nature preserve, but sometimes just down the path behind the house, … Continue reading What Life Belongs To: Reclaiming Attention in a Digital Age
I wrote a post nearly 10 years ago, on the blog that eventually became the book Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth that basically just listed a bunch of things I didn’t like about the world with a bunch of things I did like about the world. That particular entry didn’t make it into the … Continue reading Wild Love for the World
The way we see the world shapes the way we treat it. If a mountain is a deity, not a pile of ore; if a river is one of the veins of the land, not potential irrigation water; if a forest is a sacred grove, not timber; if other species are biological kin, not resources; … Continue reading Earth Day in a New Story
Anne Herbert, in an essay titled “Handy Tips on How to Behave at the Death of the World” writes, “Falling in love has always been a bit too much to apply to one person. Falling in love is appropriate for now, to love all these things which are about to leave. The rocks are watching, … Continue reading On Love
Researcher James Pennebaker writes, “Emotional unheavals touch every part of our lives. You don’t just lose a job, you don’t just get divorced. These things affect all aspects of who we are – our financial situation, our relationships with others, our views of ourselves…writing helps us focus and organize the experience.” When I lost my … Continue reading Writing The Ending
At 4:30pm on most weekdays, I walk up the steps from the basement where my office is, fill the kettle with water and put it on the stove. The dial gets turned to the number 7, and while the water heats up, I open the cupboard to get a ceramic mug with a moose painted … Continue reading Ceremonies of the Ordinary
Yesterday evening it was my spouse’s turn to put our child to bed, so I snuck down to the lake and hauled our huge, green Old Town canoe over to the dock, determined to get a little time on the water after a long day of computer-based activities and schlepping around town. It’s not an … Continue reading Glittering Mica
I have been a wellness coach for almost exactly 10 years. And along the way, I have gotten thoroughly immersed in positive psychology. Which, if you didn’t know, is a fairly new field of study typically said to be pioneered by Dr. Martin Seligman in the late 1990s. It’s all about reaping the benefits that can be had from focusing on the good in life, and where you want to go in the future, rather than on unpacking all the stuff that has happened in the past as more traditional psychology models tend to encourage. I’ve see it work for plenty of individuals over the years – there’s a lot of benefit to placing your focus on what you do well already and the good things that you want to bring into being.
Right now I’m reading a book called America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks. Midway through the book, Dr. James Coyne, in an interview with author Ruth Whippman, shared the name of a lecture he was to be giving the following week. It was “Positive psychology is for rich white people.”
In my work as a coach, I recommend ‘practicing gratitude’ on a regular basis, regularly help people take ownership of their choices, and often encourage calling out the positives in life while staying present in the moments as they unfold. These strategies have made a difference for many of the folks I have worked with, so I know positive psychology has plenty of benefits.
Plenty of benefits IF you were born into privilege. Continue reading “The Dark Side of Positive Psychology”