The Benefits of Positive Psychology for Those Living with Chronic and Acute Health Conditions – Check Out the Online Discussion Forum!

This week in Barbara Fredrickson’s Online Positive Psychology Course, the focus is on HEALTH. There is an ongoing discussion forum, where I just started a thread on Positive Psychology and Chronic and Acute Health Conditions. I’m excited to see what people have to say! Here is part of what I shared:

“The study of positive psychology has so much to offer those of us dealing with difficult health conditions. Personally, when I discovered this field, it opened me up to a realm of possibilities that I had never thought were possible. I was 24 years old, had just been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and was feeling helpless. Seeing *scientific evidence* demonstrating the power that individuals have to shape their own experiences of life gave me great hope and changed the way I looked at my diagnosis. As I started applying some of what I was learning, cultivating and bringing more awareness to positive emotions in my own life, I started to see Dr. Fredrickson’s Broaden & Build Theory in action, and my upward spiral took off! Experiencing more positivity helped to lift me out of the contracted, stressed, and fearful state that so often comes with health crises, and *broadened my awareness* of what I might be able to do to improve my experience, whether that meant directly impacting the course of illness or making the most of whatever it brought me. This opened me up to exploring alternative approaches to health, diving more deeply into meditation and other beneficial practices, and knowing that having an MS diagnosis did not need to define how I lived my life. For the last 7 years, I have been *building resources*, just as Dr. Fredrickson describes in her work. I’ve discovered so many things that have improved my experience of living with chronic illness, many of which have directly improved my health, AND now I get to share these discoveries with others as part of my career! The spiral continues and I am in awe.

There is so much to be discussed here. For now, I’m very curious to hear from those of you who are dealing with health conditions about any shifts you’ve seen from applying positive psychology in your own lives. And if all of this is new to you, do you have ideas about how positive psychology could benefit you in dealing with your condition?”

If you’re interested, you can sign up for the course sign up for the course here.


And you can follow or join the discussion thread here.


Another Lesson in Surrender and Trust

Another Lesson in Surrender and Trust

Even as I sit to write this, I can feel resistance coming up. I can feel something in me that thinks things should be a certain way, and that this isn’t it. It’s not “what I want” in my mind, but here it is…

My book, “Flourishing with Chronic Illness,” will not be available for pre-order this month, as I had previously announced. I made a decision last week to let go of my original deadline for submitting the manuscript to kindle.

This was a huge act of surrender. I cried, I grieved, but as soon as I let go of my resistance and made the decision, I was flooded with a sense of relief, of confirmation, and of knowing deeply that it was the right thing to do, for myself, for my readers, and for all those around me. I could feel myself being held by the Divine, being reassured that yes, this is for the highest good.

This was not an easy decision. Despite several weeks of getting clear signals from my body to take a break, I kept pushing, blinded by beliefs that things were meant to be a certain way – to go according to “my plan.”

And the timing! By all appearances, the timing is just so ripe! It’s as if the universe has orchestrated this AMAZING opportunity – the “perfect” time to have my book available, at least for pre-order, while the Online Positive Psychology Course that I filmed with world-renowned researcher and author, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson is live, while I’m being exposed to tens of thousands of people all over the world!

By outward appearances yes, the timing couldn’t be more perfect, but if I listen to my body, and to my inner knowing, it has been SHOUTING, “no!” so clearly. I just hadn’t wanted to listen.

A few weeks ago, I started experiencing severe symptoms, unlike anything I’ve ever dealt with before. At first, I thought I just needed to rest. I thought that I could get away with just “taking it easy,” spending extra time in meditation, and still working towards the deadline without stressing too much about it. Last week it became clear that this wasn’t cutting it. The symptoms were getting worse, and it finally broke through to me that it would be crazy to try to force it any more. I needed to accept the circumstances, listen to what my body was telling me, and surrender; trusting that everything will be just as it’s meant to be.

My mind keeps trying to rationalize. There’s not that much left to do, and I keep thinking that I “should” be able to just pull it all together, put on the finishing touches, and get it into the hands of those who need it. But I have a deeper knowing that this is what is best in the big picture. This is what is best for me, and what’s more motivating than that is the knowing that the better I take care of myself, the more I am able to give to others. Even though I want people to have access to the book right now, I know that by taking this step aside, I will be nourishing my inner flame in a way that will make what I have to offer people that much more powerful.

This project is so much bigger than me. I know that it is going to help so many people, and that it will happen in whatever way it’s meant to happen. It is going to get out there, one way or another, and it’s going to be big. This work has already touched so many people, and I know that it will benefit many more for years to come. I am only the vessel. I am letting go of my plan, and trusting in the timing of the Universe.

I am still dedicated to doing all that I can to get it into the hands of those who can benefit as soon as possible, I am still committed to putting in the effort, to going all the way. I am also dedicated to listening to my body and my inner knowing, and to trusting that even if things aren’t going according to my plan, everything is unfolding just as it’s meant to.