Today was the Stevenson University Commencement. As is the tradition, the speaker at the winter ceremony is the recipient of the Rose Dawson Excellence in Teaching Award. This year’s recipient and speaker for today’s ceremony was Dr. Nancy Sherman, a full-time Professor of Psychology who has taught at Stevenson for more than 30 years. Dr. Sherman talked about Positive Psychology and parts of it really hit home. Currently I am going through a very difficult time in my personal life (and I’m sure I’ll be blogging about it periodically) and my work life isn’t quite where I would like it to be but I’m sorta ok there. The personal stuff is overwhelming, extremely stressful, and starting to wreck havoc on me emotionally…. to go along with it all there are serious money issues. (and if anyone happens to know a divorce lawyer in Maryland who is looking to do pro-bono work… send them my way)
Anyway… The one thing that is keeping me centered and from a serious pit of despair is My Heart (who shall remain nameless… smile… he knows who he is). Now I don’t want to get all maudlin here so back to why I’m saying all this.
As Dr. Sherman talked about Positive Psychology I reflected on how I am getting through all this and then she mentioned “flow“. “Flow is the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.” (wikipedia)
When I am with my Heart, whatever we are doing, there is peace… that is not to say that it is boring or that there is not necessarily Activity, Adventure, etc. In my previous relationship, I spent so much time trying to not “upset” him… to pay attention to him… to watch what I was saying so he wouldn’t get angry. I was not able to enjoy what I was doing and I was not Present in the moment.
In the time I’ve been with my Heart (which is almost 2 years so I don’t feel like it’s just the flush of a new relationship), I’ve found things to be passionate about (Social Media and HealthCamp), I’ve found a voice again and I’ve found peace. As Dr. Sherman described flow I thought about being able to step away from all the horrible stuff that is going on to just be in the moment – enjoy the company, the music and food and wine we are sharing, enjoy the conversation or the comfortable silence. In those moments I am happy, energized, interested, and Not worried or stressed. I can focus on things I want to do and like to do but I also recognize that there are things I Have to deal with regarding this divorce and such and it’s less difficult when the rest of me is ok.
So why am I blathering on? I thought that you might be interested in reading the information about Positive Psychology and seeing if it is something you could learn more about and possibly incorporate into your own life. I’m going to learn more but I am also going to hug my heart and thank him for Peace!
Thanks, Dr. Sherman for sharing your insights and for giving the SU graduates food for thought!