Will you play along with me in a way that might make a real improvement to mental health for many?
I was recently reminded of the importance of “looking at” my surroundings and being curious about what I see. I recalled how looking at what’s happening IN THE REAL WORLD and considering the positive/uplifting interpretations of what I’m seeing can work to shift the emotional balance. Neglecting to invest efforts in making these types of observations over long periods of time can have the effect of lowering energy and mood.
Sometimes a person just stops looking for the uplifting content of everyday life. But why? Perhaps it is related to getting caught up in the acts of working, accomplishing and stressing about life and responsibilities? Maybe it comes from being a regular consumer of everything the mass media serves up (mostly negative news… invoking fear, sadness, or anger)? Perhaps a person gives too much attention to screens and technology, rather than observing real scenery and real people? Regardless of the reason, the point is that it happens, and then the potential benefits of improved mental/emotional balance may be forfeited.
This act of “noticing the good” as I am suggesting is NOT simply about locating a few positive/uplifting stories or events on the internet, sharing a few links or posts, or otherwise expressing general gratitude, and then being done with it. This challenge is about LOOKING OUT THERE in your particular surroundings for things that appear uniquely positive/uplifting – things that stand out to you, things that happen as you are living life – such as witnessing a random act of kindness between people, a bird landing on your windowsill, or a rain puddle conveniently available to quench a dog’s thirst. The possibilities are endless. But how much do we see?
For some people it may come very easy to make these kinds of real-life observations, perhaps due to lots of practice (with or without noticing it). That’s awesome! Please show us how it’s done! For others it may be more of a challenge and seem a bit frustrating at first. Please be patient with life and with the process. It might take a few days to collect a handful of uplifting observations, but that is ok! You may need to take a walk or expose yourself to some new places or people to start seeing new things. Again that’s all good! The point is to begin (or resume) seeking out, noticing, and interpreting life in a certain way.
One final point to make about this challenge is that IT IS NOT about replacing the negative with the positive, or turning a negative into a positive (finding the silver lining). All types of experience have their place in life. Taking things to the extreme or trying to ignore certain types of information would defeat the purpose of this challenge. The point is that we sometimes become fixated on certain types of interpretation and clusters of emotions (quite often the negative) and therefore become unbalanced and unwell, and this is what we are attempting to adjust with this challenge.
The inspiration for this experiment comes from skateboarding culture. Skateboarding in the old days (before city skate parks) was all about making the city your playground. The objective was to find the next “skate spot” or what could be done with whatever was available, no matter how mundane or ordinary (e.g., a curb, a manhole, an incline, a decline, a bench, a set of stairs, a handrail, etc.). Doing the skateboarding tricks was a thrill in itself, but much of the good feeling came from the hunting, the observing, the noticing… what and where to skate next and how to use the terrain, and then making it your habit to continue on seeking like this.
The mascot for this challenge is Curoshima, the cat. He is the face of the challenge because he looks the part so well (having such intense curiosity). Following his apparent example of being the curious cat is exactly what we want to do.
To participate in the challenge please complete the following items…
- Copy and paste the brief instructions for the challenge (including the link to this article and twitter hashtag) into a new facebook post
- Extend the challenge to three of your facebook friends (edit the post as necessary to tag friends)
- List 5 of your uniquely positive/uplifting life observations (edit the post as necessary to include your observations)
- Post to your Facebook!
**If you were not tagged in a Facebook post and would like to start your own “Have You See ‘The Good’ – Curoshima’s Challenge”, the Facebook post looks like this…
WELCOME TO “HAVE YOU SEEN ‘THE GOOD’? – CUROSHIMA’S CHALLENGE”
I NOMINATE THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE TO COMPLETE CUROSHIMA’S CHALLENGE…
Enter nominee here
Enter nominee here
Enter nominee here
THE CHALLENGE IS TO MAKE 5 UNIQUELY POSITIVE/UPLIFTING OBSERVATIONS, COPY AND PASTE THESE INSTRUCTIONS INTO A NEW FACEBOOK POST, EDIT THE POST TO INCLUDE 3 FACEBOOK FRIEND NOMINATIONS AND YOUR UPLIFTING OBSERVATIONS, THEN POST TO YOUR FACEBOOK WALL!
THE INSPIRATION AND FINER DETAILS OF THE CHALLENGE CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK (the challenge works best after reading the article!)… http://breakawaymhe.com/seen-good-curoshimas-challenge/
**Please help keep Curoshima’s challenge clean, safe, and useful: PLEASE REFRAIN FROM ANYTHING POLITICAL, SARCASTIC, IMMORAL, etc.**
MY UNIQUELY POSITIVE/UPLIFTING OBSERVATIONS…
1. Enter your observations here…
2. Enter your observations here…
3. Enter your observations here…
4. Enter your observations here…
5. Enter your observations here…
TAKE YOUR TIME BUT NOT TOO LONG! I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING HOW IT TURNS OUT.
PS ~ I practice meditation daily to both settle the brain and make better use of learned skills for BPD. I have become a big believer in the benefits of meditation for BPD as explained in Step-9 of the BreakAwayMHE 9-Step program. Please do check it out if you haven’t already! Having said that, I am confident in recommending a special soundtrack that works great (and that I use myself) to enhance the meditation experience and solidify the long-term benefits of meditating. An explanation of the product and FREE demo can be accessed by CLICKING HERE