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Adventures in Flourishing
No adventure is complete without an opening dance sequence.
Remember Adventures in Babysitting? I mean, who didn’t love Elizabeth Shue lip-synching her heart out? Go ahead! Get up and groove for 2 minutes before we begin our adventure together…
I will admit I’m completely ripping off the title of this post and my forthcoming August blog series from two sources: the classic 80’s movie above and Martin Seligman’s Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. Other sources of inspiration include Seligman’s Authentic Happiness, Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, Chogyam Trungpa’s Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, Sakyong Mipham’s Ruling Your World, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life.
Ready? Welcome to…
ADVENTURES: A risky undertaking of unknown outcome. An exciting or unexpected event or course of events.
FLOURISH: To grow well or luxuriantly; thrive. To do or fare well; prosper. To be in a period of highest productivity, excellence, or influence.
What exactly am I undertaking? A month of immersion in applied Positive Psychology, inspired by the books above, filtered through my own experience.
It’s a commitment to all those personal best practices that I know make me the most vibrant and centered Molly possible, based on scientific studies of motivation, optimism, and character. It’s a personal experiment, not a preaching tool. It’s an inquiry into my own version of the good life. I’m going to be sharing my ups and downs with you, regardless of how I feel it makes me look. It could get messy. It could fail miserably. It could be a raging success.
I’m open to whatever comes. That’s part of the adventure!
WHY NOW? Most of you know I just moved to San Diego, right? Well, it’s been a million times harder than I thought it would be. There. I admitted it.
I’m homesick for my sister, my girlfriends in Seattle, and all the creature comforts I knew how to access without thinking in a familiar city. The Big Man is working long days at an actual office (Gasp! We’re not together 24/7!) and I’m trying to settle back into a productive, creative work routine, with a few more family and business responsibilities than I had previously. Though the weather is amazing, the beach access parallel to none, and the city vibe friendly, I don’t feel anywhere close to at home.
To top it off, I feel guilty about not loving my life right now. I mean, hello! I’m in a gorgeous place, continuing to work on my dream business, totally in love with my husband, completely healthy and not wanting for anything…
Who am I to complain? Especially on my website that promotes strategies for joy! Especially when I have access to so many cool tools and ways to tap into well-being. I’m supposed to be the expert here! I teach other people how to value their happiness and embrace their strengths. Gasp, cough, imposter syndrome, mascara smears, downward spiral, self-imposed isolation…
(Insert pained face and rolling of the eyes.)
See the conversation I’ve been having in my head? To blog about the low points or not? To share with you the down times or only highlight the awesome? I made a promise to you in the beginning of Stratejoy to be honest and authentic. And though it feels completely vulnerable right now, I’m sticking to that!
I need to take some of my own medicine. I want to stop procrastinating on some healthy and creative habits, and I want to let go of some unhealthy crutches. It’s time to dive into Adventures in Flourishing!
Clear the Slate.
One of the things that has become abundantly clear to me in this last month is that I’ve been distracting myself from my own life by relying on passive leisure, instead of engaging in active leisure. Passive leisure are things that feel “nice” but require little thought, ability, or skill: television, junk novels, internet surfing, alcohol, etc. Active leisure activities are still “fun,” but they require you to engage, learn, create, or otherwise experience flow: sports, creative pursuits, cooking for pleasure, dancing, playing games, learning a new hobby, or gardening are a few examples. Ideally, active leisure provides feelings of “being in the zone” — intense pockets of time where goals are clear, feedback available, and your skill level is slightly pushed by the challenge.
I’ve been indulging in two main distractions in my life right now: drinking and hulu.com… Neither are necessarily “bad”, but when they come at the expense of other activities in my life, I know I’m out of balance. When they become forms of comfort or “check out time” instead of appreciated pleasures, I know it’s time to reign them in. I want to feel like I’m in control of my personal choices, instead of the reverse.
As the ever-inspiring priestess, Danielle LaPorte says, “What’s on your Stop Doing List?”
To clear the slate for this month:
- I’m giving up drinking for the time being
- Restricting my television time to the occasional movie with the Big Man
Is this permanent? Who knows? But I want to experiment with the extra time and energy by devoting it to a flow activity that I’ve been neglecting lately… Writing.
Add in One Flow Activity.
Writing is one of those things I keep saying I love, but it gets pushed to the bottom of my to do list. Especially when I’m overindulging in my distraction crutches of alcohol and t.v!
So… It’s on, baby. I am devoting the first two hours of my working days (Monday to Friday) to writing, somewhere between 7:30 am and 11 am. I can work on blog posts, newsletters, guest posts, Joy Juice Prompts, or content for Reclaim Leadership. As long as I’m writing (and sipping coffee!) I’m golden. I want my schedule reflect my priorities and this is the beginning of that process.
Will this be easy? No. Will I report to you how I’m doing? YES. But only after I’m done writing. Social Media is a definite no-no for those 2 hours!
What happens when I don’t feel like I have “time”? Or have to travel to speaking gigs or have an early morning coaching call? I don’t know- we’ll find out together.
- Stop Drinking: 1 day Sober. (bahahaha!)
- Stop Hulu.com: 1 day TV free.
- Write in the Morning: 1 day complete. (You’re reading the product!)
Is anyone going to join me in Adventures in Flourishing?
What will you let go of to clear the slate? What Flow Activity will you add? Share in the comments or on the Facebook Wall! To new adventures and flourishing in life, sista’!