Note: This column is not the main part of Pocket Perspectives. It’s up in the headline area under “Seeding the Clouds.” I put these “pages” and “Charging Well Being” checklists into this headline section, to show to Emily Esfahani Smith, the author of a terrific new book that I’m reading, The Power of Meaning, Creating a Life That Matters…and to show anyone else who might be interested… there are lots of good and helpful ideas below!
Making “positive choices” that support a sense of “well being”…
…plugging into each energetic choice…
feeling the dynamic energy of that positive thought, word or action……
the positive “dynamic, electrical energy” of those positive choices…
Activating an “Internal Locus of Control”
It’s up to me to activate…
…an internal locus of control…
it’s up to me to actually….
choose, plug in and connect…..to positive choices
Identifying, Clarifying and Living with a Deep Sense of Meaning and Purpose
A photo of the book, The Power of Meaning, Crafting a Life That Matters, in front of a post on Pocket Perspectives… the ideas in that book are really helping me clarify and deepen the ideas I’ve been exploring and using.
Creating the “Charging Well Being” Checklist and Brochure
January 13, 2017
Some “pages” I’ve been creating and using over the past year….
“Charging and Re-charging a Sense of Well Being”
for encouraging myself in developing and living with
a deeper, more meaningful sense of well being
Earlier ideas, related to the Charging Well Being checklist ideas, posted October 2016, : Link to: Living with curiosity, willingness, openness and enthusiasm…as I learn to “choose…plug in…and…connect” to positive energies!
( Note: Emily, or anyone else who might be interesting in ideas about”well being,” you might be interested in the variety of checklists in this link.. ideas I’ve been studying on my own, from Positive Psychology, ancient Buddhism teachings and a variety of contemporary researchers and writer sources)
Link,below, to a variety of “charts” I created, before I created the one page “Charging Well Being” chart, in the winter and spring of 2016 (ideas that eventually led to the one main “Charging Well Being” checklist that I’ve been using since then) for helping to support myself develop deeper understanding, identifying, becoming more aware of, nurturing and actually USING/LIVING them in my everyday life:
- VIA Signature Core Strengths: identifying, learning about, noticing and encouraging my own VIA Core Strengths, identified by filling out the UPENN online questionnaire
- Seligman’s PERMA Flourish Qualities
- Fredrickson’s Positive Emotions and Positvity Qualities
- Optimistic Explanatory Style and Perspectives
- ABCDE Strategies for both negative thinking and flipping that and encouraging more positive thinking
- Richie Davidson’s “Constituents of Well being”
- Living the Six Perfections and the Immeasurables,
- David Richo’s ” 5 A’s of Adult Relationships,”
- Using Loving-Kindness Wishes
- Mayo Clinic Resilience Qualities
- Carol Ryff’s Well being Qualities and Scale.
This link offers explanations of, and elaborations about, those various ideas that I then chose to put onto the “Charging Well Being” checklist October 2016: Link to: Choose…plug in…connect to…. the “energy” of so many positive qualities
A shorter variation on the “Charging Well Being” checklist, created this fall, using experiences from this summer at our summer home in Lincoln, NH (we live near Berkeley CA, but I grew up in the little town of Lincoln, NH (a bit like growing up on Tangier Island, from the book…strong sense of belonging) in the 1950’s and 1960’s….and last winter, we bought a home on the wonderful (!!!) Pemigewasset River, in Lincoln…reconnecting with “belonging”… “place”):
(note: the photo in this link of me riding a motorcycle/dirt bike… I’m 68 years old, so that’s unbelievable, to me, that I did that!…actually “outrageous!”) Link to: Inspired to be… extending our limits….and that we did!
“Charging Well Being”
Checklists and Brochure
Motivations, Explanations, Development and Use
Photos of a draft of the printed out “Charging Well Being” brochure…
…….I did it!…….
………. I actually did it! ………….
Here’s the Charging Well Being “brochure” I’ve been creating and using…
- explaining how and why I pulled these ideas together (I went “flat”….after some challenging life events)
- and explaining how I’ve been using the helpful ideas ( explained in the posts linked above)
- using ideas from various sources, for supporting living with a greater sense of “well being…. ideas from various researchers, authors etc….
- REALLY HELPFUL ideas on the checklist!
Link to an easier to read PDF copy of Living “Life Awake” ….Charging and Re-charging a Steadier Sense of Well Being
about “WHY?” and “HOW?”
I created the “Charging” Well Being Checklists
(Here is a copy/paste of the text in brochure, above… this text might be easier to read)
This past winter and spring, I went through what I perceived as a personal “life quake.” I had experienced several external and internal “upheavals” and disruptions that strongly impacted my personal sense of well being. I felt like my “foundation” had crumbled. For months, I felt “flattened, ” maybe even “collapsed.” I felt bewildered about where the previously warm, loving, energetic, capable, competent, proactive “Kathy” had gone. And I wondered if, or when, those positive qualities might “return.”
I waited and waited. I tried to live my life in a positive manner, but I didn’t seem to be able to reconnect with that steady sense of “well being.” I was pretty sure I wasn’t “depressed,” but I still felt “flat.” I couldn’t think of strategies to help myself “recover” and I didn’t really understand what I might possibly be able to do to support that. I DID know, however, that I DIDN’T want to stay flat or feeling like my life was continuing to feel disrupted!
In February, I realized that I was going to have to take finding solutions to this challenge “into my own hands.” I decided that I would simply have to get activated and read, study, go to workshops and figure out what “resilience” and “well being” might entail and find simple, usable strategies that I could actually “use” and “live” to get myself back into a more dynamic frame of mind.
I started reading and studying academic research, books and online articles about factors that are known to contribute to a steady, positive sense of “resilience” and “well being.” A lot is written about those topics and much is known!
Unfortunately, the many wonderful, usable “well being” ideas are embedded in long books, academic studies and articles. When feeling “overwhelmed” or in the midst of a seeming “life quake,” it didn’t seem realistic to be able to search and sleuth for ideas…but I did. I read, highlighted, took notes and pulled out the ideas that I thought might be most “usable” and useful. I selected the “well being” ideas and strategies that seemed like the most realistically useful and usable and organized those onto concise “checklists” that I could refer to throughout each day. And that I did!
I’ve used the strategies and ideas in these checklists for the past 9 months…and they work! They help! I referred to, and continue to refer to, the strategies and ideas several times a day. I even taped copies of the checklists to the dashboard of my car, the kitchen cupboard doors and above the bed, to remind and reassure myself that I could learn and practice these ideas and strategies that contribute to a sense of “well being.” Later in each day, I reflected about how I was naturally using some of the strategies and figured out ways I could use more of them.
By recognizing, understanding, practicing and living these positive qualities and strategies day after day throughout the past many months, I seem to be creating and “living” with an increasingly steady and stable sense of “well being.” …still a work in progress…but they work!
This increasing sense of a steadier and more stable sense of resilience and well being seems to be supported by creating, shifting into and practicing…again and again and again…these positive “habits of mind.”
And so, as many of us might feel impacted by our own sense of “life quake,” perhaps due to personal factors, relationship challenges, health challenges or reactions to current affairs in the United States…I offer you the strategies, ideas, practices and encouragement on these checklists. They help! I encourage you to give them a try. Perhaps start with just a few and then expand to more. They work! The sooner we can recover from the sense of flailing in the midst of a “life quake,” the sooner we can get back to living our lives in a dynamic, caring, proactive, engaged manner! Give it a try!
The Actual, Usable “Charging Well Being Checklist”
Here’s the actual “Charging a Sense of Well Being” checklist below, that I put together, use and review throughout each day…using it to align, again and again and again, with positive motivations, inspirations and aspirations…very practical and usable ideas, but within a much deeper, broader context of a sense of purpose and meaning….
On the checklist, I didn’t specify what my own sense of deeper meaning and purpose is… it probably varies for various people…but I know what it is for me:
sharing kindness, caring, generosity, compassion, ideas, developing “wisdom,” nurturing, encouraging, contributing, inspiring… trying to develop (and re-develop) a deeper, steadier sense of “well being” so that I can live my life in a deeply meaningful, steady manner, sharing what I have, and what I create, with others…
Link to a pdf copy of the checklist: Living “Life Awake” ….Charging and Re-charging a Steadier Sense of Well Being
A Vertical Format, Easy to Use “Charging Well Being Checklist”
Below: A single tall page checklist that I actually use (photo taken today, the checklist I use during the day, on top of book I just received yesterday: THE POWER OF MEANING, Crafting a Life That Matters, by Emily Esfahani Smith
(I revised the title of the checklist, for my own use…after reading an article in the newspaper about the power of increasing “dopamine” in one’s body… various possible strategies for supporting that happening…many similar to the checklist items….and through using the ideas on the checklist and getting a sense of accomplishment from seeing all of the checks beside the boxes)
a few days later….
checking off each day…
after reflecting upon and about specific “activities” I did that day…
Wow! I’m surprised how embedded these ideas are in my everyday life…
And how wonderful to become more consciously aware of the specifics!
Easier to read copies of that checklist (same as the brochure checklist, just a vertical, one page presentation that I keep on the kitchen shelf.)
Using my sense of ingenuity and creativity to improvise…
having an “I can do it” mentality
Seeing how “this is the house that Jack built….”… is similar to … “this is the house that I’m building…”…. “this is the ‘life’ that I’m building…”
….one thought/word/action leading to another and another…
creating my life… leading to positives, if I choose positives …
tying in with the “Charging Well Being” checklist ideas…
……leads to more positives for myself and others……
which will continue to positively impact my own life and the lives of others…
This is the “house” that I’m building…….
This is the….thought….feeling…..words…..action…..
that leads to ___________________________
that influences _________________
that increases ______________________
that impacts ___________________
that decreases _____________
that shifts _______________________
that transforms _________________________
that connects to __________________
that enhances ________________________
that detracts from __________________
that opens up to _________________________
that leads away from __________________
that clarifies _____________________________
that compounds ________________
that contributes to that _________________________
that influences the “house” that I’m building
Seeing that actually living the ideas on the checklist, throughout each day, involves an “internal locus of control”…it’s up to me to make these choices…that’s good news!
(Note: advice that supports these ideas, that I received from Ven. Jampa Choepal, a very close and dear friend who is from New Zealand and who lives at a small Buddhist monastery in Australia)
“Reflections from a Friend” Others can shine a light that helps you see, but you are still doing the seeing….these qualities are within you
Learning about, Developing, Living with and Using
an Internal Locus of Control
Internal locus of control….
committing to using…living… the ideas on the checklist
All coming out of my own identified sense of “meaning and purpose”….
opportunity, learner, flexible, shifting, growth
Realizing that choosing and living all of these checklist ideas
involves taking an “internal locus of control”…
coming out of my own identified and committed sense of …
“meaning” and “purpose”
“Inner locus of control”….Good news!
Using my sense of ingenuity and creativity to improvise…
having an “I can do it” mentality
“This is the house that Jack built…………….”
“this is the ‘house’ that I’m building………………”
Seeing how each and every “choice” I’m making…
each item I’m actually “doing” on that checklist…
each and every positive intention…
each and every positive thought, feeling, word and action…
is continually leading to…
a cascading series of other thoughts, feelings, words, actions, effects…
in myself and those around me….
“this is the house…..the life…… that I’m building……………..”
Each of those thoughts, feelings, words, actions and intentions ARE affecting or impacting the “house”…the life… that I’m building…
AND they are ALSO influencing, affecting and impacting the “houses” …the lives….that everyone else is building…
that detracts from ___________
that opens up to _________________
that clarifies _____________
that compounds _______________
that contributes to that ______________
that influences the “house” that I’m building….
that impacts the house that you’re building….
that impacts the house that he’s building….
that impacts the house that she’s building….
that impacts the house that they’re building….
that impacts the house that we’re building….
that influences the house that I’m building…..
the motivation for me to become very aware of this cascading dynamic…
to be careful and to choose intentionally and wisely…
aligning and realigning…
with my deeper sense of meaning and purpose…
living and using…
the ideas on the “Charging Well Being” checklist!
using my own sense of creativity and autonomy
to create practical useful materials
that encourage, nurture and enhance my own sense of well being
and sharing these “tried and true”creative ideas with others in my life
I thoroughly enjoy creating these pages…I LOVE creating them… I thoroughly enjoy thinking, reflecting, observing, analyzing and pulling ideas together, choosing colorful backgrounds and fonts, photos etc… it may not be apparent to others, but every font, color, line, image has some deeper meaning or symbolism that supports what I’m trying to reflect upon, understand, learn, take in or practice.
The main purpose, however, for these colorful, engaging “pages”..the checklist included… is practical: I print them out, tape them up around our house, look at them, reflect on them, remind myself to “live” the ideas…. using effective teaching and learning principles that I learned and used throughout 40 years of teaching school…for the purpose of developing more positive ways of living my life in an increasingly rich and more deeply meaningful manner.
Photos of the “image” pages taped up around our home…. still a “teacher”…. teaching myself…. encouraging my increasing awareness of this “reality” of “inner locus of control”…and reminding myself..again and again and again… to shift back…into that precious “wisdom” awareness of “inner locus of control”… perhaps, like the Bodhisattva vow…. taking responsibility for using “inner locus of control” to choose intentions, thoughts words and actions that can bring benefit to myself and those around me….
“In the classroom of the “teacher” …that is my life!”
Note: I was an Elementary School Resource Specialist and Special Ed teacher for 40 years. I’m retired from teaching now, and am still trying to connect or reconnect with…or find new places or ways to engage with… that deep sense of meaning, purpose, contribution, inspiration and belonging that I had while I was teaching.
I created these types of colorful, playful, meaningful pages for the kids in my Resource class, to support their learning, confidence, courage, kindness, warm-heartedness, motivation, persistence etc. …
Now I’m using similar motivations and strategies for supporting myself…. by creating these kinds of colorful “pages” to support my own growth and progress…
The “pages” I create might look like they’re more suited for “kids”…but lots of the challenges we face in life seem to come out of that “young, vulnerable, confused or hurting” aspects of ourselves…so the “youthfulness” of these colorful pages might “speak” to that young part of ourselves.
And those “youthful,” child-like parts of ourselves often seem to value novelty, color, symbols and few words… learning and shifting by getting right to the essence of ideas, awareness, understanding and strategies through colors and few words!
Ever since I started creating these colorful image “pages”, I’ve sometimes been sharing some of the “pages” on my blog, Pocket Perspectives, when I’ve actually used the pages for a few days, weeks or months and found them helpful in leading to understanding and shifting and think the pages might be helpful for others….then I share them in Pocket Perspectives….
Connecting with and Supporting Others
I also create and share what I hope might be helpful “pages” in my other blogs: Reflections for a Friend, encouraging, insightful and warmhearted ideas from my husband’s and my friend Ven. Jampa and others….
and English 4 Me, Too, a blog I created for sharing basic English materials I’ve created or adapted 2 years ago, when I was helping to teach VERY basic English to some WONDERFUL, warmhearted, kind, loving, highly motivated “older” women from Eritrean, Ethiopian and Yemen…amazing, inspiring women! I couldn’t find basic enough English materials that the women could understand, so I create my own teaching materials, that I shared in the blog English For Me, Too… english4me2 …
Amazing women…warmth, love, friendliness…belonging…welcoming…
I learned sooooooooooooooooooo much from them!
Taking Good Care of Myself,
so that I can live a vibrant, satisfying and meaningful life
Additional, here are more practical, usable, useful ways that I’m actually using the checklist ideas, throughout each day, in my everyday life:
Taking Good Care of My Body:
health, strength, stamina, flexibility, agility, vitality, aliveness
On January 2, my husband, adult daughter and I started doing the Whole30 food program…a commitment to at least attempt to eat more healthily… hopefully leading to a deeper, broader, more energetic sense of “vitality” and “well being.”
As I was setting my intentions….identifying and affirming positive intentions and potential possibilities that might be coming out of making healthier food choices….I also used several playful approaches for setting intentions and seeing potential benefits…and sharing playful perspectives with my husband and daughter!
Creating playful pages and sharing my positive Whole30 intentions with my husband and daughter …all intentions for doing Whole30 are aligned with the “Charging Well Being Checklist”.… … trying to help all 3 of us lighten up about the seemingly ambitious (!!!) plan we were about to be engaging in and seeing possibilities….
The Emergence of Lots of Positive Energy
After 10 days of eating on the Whole30 program,
I was starting to actually get LOTS of positive energy!!!…
positive energy that was leading to…
…..clearing out old things….
…clearing out spaces in my closets…
…clearing out and organizing our many drawers and cupboards…
….clearing spaces in my mind…
creating open, pleasing warm, comfortable welcoming, enlivening spaces…
in both our home
and in my mind!
checklist item!… (lower right on checklist)
Surprising “Clearing out…” energy….
I made this page, below, with photos of what I’d completed during that “clearing out” closets, drawers and shelves” process, to remind myself about and affirm how good it feels to have positive, proactive energy that benefits both my husband and me, as we’re cooking together, side by side, in a more organized and spacious kitchen!
Making each day……a story worth creating
Making each day…… a story worth living
Making each day……a story worth telling
Surprisingly enough, I’ve also had the VERY UNEXPECTED energy, interest in and motivation to walk the Lafayette Reservoir loop (3 miles) FIVE days in a row!
For the past many months, I haven’t been able to walk more than 5 minutes without pain in my feet, so I wasn’t walking or getting out much anymore. I finally went to a podiatrist, found out there was actually a correctable problem, and so I researched, shopped and found several pairs of comfortable shoes….Wow!
Amazing…almost like a miracle… to be able to walk again!
That surprising walking energy
and positive motivation to walk 5 days in a row
CERTAINLY was unexpected!!!
Wow!…you just never know!!!
Learning Ways of Nurturing Body, Heart and Mind…and each other
Uh oh! My husband and I are cooking together, side by side… for 30 WHOLE DAYS!!!….and…. it hasn’t been easy!
I had been discouraged and given up on cooking for the past year, but due to Whole30, I’m back trying to get myself going again, eating more healthily and sharing the prep and cooking with my husband.
January 2…our first day!… my husband “spiralizing” zucchini …learning new ways!
So…. cooking together, side by side: definitely a practical, slightly high stress, everyday situation for actually using the “Charging Well Being” checklist ideas.
I created this photo page to remind, motivate and inspire myself of my commitment to trying to live with and use positive qualities… using several of the more pertinent ideas from the “well being” checklist….using a background photo of my husband Peter cooking happily…. and then printed it out and taped this photo page up onto the kitchen cupboard door….right in front of the chopping/prep area!
Ah ha! On that cooking photo page, I used some of the pertinent checklist ideas...to help remind, inspire and motivate myself to support my deep commitment to actually “living” these ideas…
“showing up and choosing to be present”
“living with what has heart and meaning”
adapting and using David Richo’s “5 A’s of Adult Relationships”
“The 5 A’s of Cooking Together” ….
And….as I’m cooking beside my husband…. for 30 WHOLE DAYS!!!….for me to TRY to be as pleasant, good natured, patient and cooperative as I’m able to be….not easy for me, while cooking in close quarters, side by side!…
adopting a bit humor….
engaging with the cheerfulness of….
a laughing cow!
inner locus of control, in accessing these positive qualities….right????
Reminding myself….again and again and again….
…being in “learner” and “growth” mode…
….creating “positive habits”…
….the “Well being Checklist” ideas
… making an intentional commitment to living with….
“an inner locus of control”