My painting Water Image #1 is on the International Guild of
Figurative Art Invitation that I received today. It's the
painting in the lower right hand corner.
I listened to the 1000 Awesome Things guy, Neil Pasricha,
today on TED TV. Neil started working at noticing
what is good about life after his wife left him and his
best friend died. He began noticing the simplest
little things that were good.
I've been hitting the TED site a lot because I'm painting
and listening to the speakers helps me to stay in the studio.
When I get engrossed in one of these talks I forget to wander
out to the kitchen, for a cookie, or a coffee, until the talk is
over, and as most of them are about 20 minutes long
Neil Pasricha was interviewed in the Globe and Mail,
Canada's leading newspaper last year. I looked up his
blog and wrote to him. He wrote me back the nicest
email letter, and ended by telling me that I was awesome.
I am very interested in the power of positive thought
on the brain, and subsequently on our organs, our
sleep, our recovery from disease, and especially
our creativity. A friend was telling me tonight that
one of the credos of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)
is that an alcoholic can't "afford" to stay angry. I like
that thought. He said that this was a powerful idea,
and especially powerful for men who tend to view
life in terms of costs. (Whether that's a true observation
or not is not for me, a woman, to say.)
What struck me though in both the 1000 awesome
things talk, and my friend's discussion is the concept of
choice -- that even when bad, perhaps terrible things
happen, we have the power to choose to believe in hope.
That doesn't mean we don't have to work to change
what's wrong with our world, and the world in general,
it means we can choose to try not to despair, to imagine
an end to sorrow.
All of us have reasons to feel grief -- many of my
friends both in the blog world, and my immediate world
are going through hard times. Our creativity needs to
gentle us towards hope.
This subject matters to me because I teach a psychology
course that works on helping people succeed in school.
Belief and hope are key to changing our lives, and the
lives around us in dramatic and important ways. I know
that these ideas are transformative because I've watched
at least 1,000 people change, emerge, smile, grow,
grab their goals, turn the ship around. Just that thought
is enough to convince me tonight thinking about them,
and thinking about you out there, that the world is truly awesome.
Have an enjoying-the-small-hopeful-and-awesome-things day.