Three Years of Silver Lining Blog

133 countries

133 countries

My October 30, 2015 blog was a sort of Back to the Future blog where we reflected on where we were and who we were in what we might call the ‘distant’ past. Similarly, as we approach the third anniversary of the Silver Lining blog, I can’t help but look back to the time that the blog was created.

The blog began after I had an ‘Aha’ moment while helping a friend and colleague work through some concerns. She said, “you should do this for a living Susanna.” I had always poo-poo’d such suggestions, but for some reason, on that day, the words clicked. I decided then that I needed to start sharing my thoughts and stories with others in a more formal way. Some time later, the blog was born.

I was in a different stage of life in November, 2012. My youngest was still at home but getting ready for college and the empty nest was looming.   I had only just heard of positive psychology and was still in the exploration stage (I would argue that I still am!).   Soon, I will decide I should go back to school and get coach certified and seriously invest myself in a subject is the basis of all the intentional and accidental growth and improvement I had ever experienced.

Only time will tell where this path will take me.

Right now, my work is a source of inspiration and joy for me as I now feel I have the foundational education and skills to really be effective and impactful in this work. Though I love being in the positive psychology training/coaching/teaching space, the reward of feeling that the work is making a difference in the lives of others is unparalleled. A small shift in perspective, knowledge or attitude can make all the difference in terms of how someone feels about themselves, their relationships, their work or their life.   That I can contribute to that in any way is a privilege beyond description and I’m so grateful to have the ability to make that difference for some people.

And yet there is so much more to learn.

Obviously, I don’t know where the next 3 years will take me or anyone else. I imagine the blog will continue to evolve since I certainly will. Regardless of whether you’re a regular or drop-in reader, I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts and your own journey with me for these 3 years. After all, every adventure is better when shared with others.

Silver Lining wordle

Silver Lining wordle

250 Blogs and 1 Degree Later

Something about a milestone makes you want to sit back and reflect. So after having completed my 250th blog and now starting on a fresh Word document (no, not all 250 blogs are on one Word document), I thought I’d take a retrospective of the last 1.5 years since I’ve started blogging.

In November 2013 I primarily wrote about my kids and my failed marriage. Though my focus was quite different back then given that I’m now an empty nester and about to be remarried, I’m struck by how I was talking about the principles of positive psychology throughout the blogs even then. Forgiveness, gratitude, perspective, growth, acceptance, pride, relationships and love.

Yet I’m not the same person I was back then. Yes those heart-felt emotions are still there. But now I’m aware of the body of evidence and work that surround those concepts, what they mean for our well-being, and how science shows that those emotions are not accidents. Or they don’t have to be.

Fortunately for me I’ve been an amateur positive psychologist my whole life. I’ve learned and applied those principles in a world where I am the primary subject. Just like any other area where you’re re-inventing the wheel, it was a long and slow learning process only recently accelerated at warp-speed by going back to school. I remember one of the best days of my life was when my girlfriend told me my perspective was all about this new field of positive psychology, and then suddenly I had something to sink my teeth into.   Now I feel like I’m trying to live by those principles every day, every minute, and I could not feel more joyous or engaged with my life.

We are practitioners, not clinicians. I don’t do therapy, though I do have coach training (which is distinctly different from therapy BTW) from outside the program. Instead, we focus on the good things in our lives and on ways to build them both in individuals and organizations in order to grow well-being, a concept distinctly different from ‘happiness.’ We do not diagnose, analyze the past, or treat mental illness.

In school, my mission to help others become the best possible version of themselves crystallized. Sort of. Like any other calling (as I view callings), I have a direction, and now I have the tools. I have this blog, and the pedestal of the lectern, and hopefully venues in the future through which to live my mission.

In this manner, I can change the world, one person at a time. How about you?