As you may know, or maybe not, I am in Milan for my study tour with my positive psychology class at DIS. Before this week-long trip to Milan (paid for by DIS), I thought of positive psychology as strictly a life-coaching division if psychology–over-optimistic, under-researched, and mostly worthless to the field of psychology. Because of the way the DIS curriculum was structured, positive psych was my required core course that could count for an elective at Villanova. Now, while I still think that positive psych needs much development before it can be a respected psychological field, I can at least understand some points of departure from which this area of study took off. For me, the most influential point was mindfulness, which is used as an intervention (lesson) in life coaching sessions, but is more generally applicable as an important part of the lives of many spiritual people. In positive psychology, spirituality is studied because it helps people find meaning in life and have self awareness, both of which are important for living a fulfilling life.
When we went to the spirituality lecture today (on this trip we have lectures, cultural activities like museums and classical concerts, and food experiences like my overwhelming plate of prosciutto today at lunch) I was not convinced on how helpful it would be to me, and how relatable it was to positive psychology. While I am still on the fence about the usefulness of positive psychology in general in the field of psychology, I thought this spirituality lecture was worthwhile. The speaker talked about being self-aware in every sense–what we eat, do, and feel. She said that modern people are driven by their fears, a negative emotion that deals with anything from not getting anything done today to being in a car accident. Further, she mentioned that seemingly neutral thoughts, like “I need to do laundry today” can actually become harmful to us if the think them over and over, because they become wasteful thinking. Some statistic even says that we spend 80% of our thoughts on wasteful thinking!! To meditate, then, is to silence those wasteful nonproductive thoughts with mindful, productive, positive thoughts. This, supposedly, can create happier, more encouraged people! With meditation, we can reduce wasteful thoughts, freeing time for self awareness, positive thinking, and peace of mind. Eventually, we can reach within the mind to access our wisdom.
As my bio reflects, what i want most in life is harmony and balance. Being at peace is an important part of that process. Therefore, I am hoping to try this in my life by meditating for ten minutes every morning, turning my eew I hate mornings and I will probably accomplish nothing today thoughts into what a great morning and I’m sure ill get something done today type thoughts. I will use my good qualities today is another good one. With this starting point, meditation time can be extended, with the focus of detaching from the senses to access the inner mind. It’s important not to tell the mind not to think, as that is unnatural, but rather, to detach from the wasteful thoughts, then from all thoughts as the mind becomes more and more relaxed and serene. Before you know it, you have reached your peaceful center, allowing access to your own inner harmony and wisdom. This state of awareness will guide your actions and attitudes in daily life, if you continue to cultivate it through meditation.
thanks to this Milan study tour, I have this new way of reaching my Harmony goal. My fear of accomplishing nothing (which manifests as anxiety) will diminish, as I will become content as a human being not a human doing. I will have contact with my inner peace, balance, and wisdom. This, with all life goals, will take some serious discipline, but will be worth it.
Wish me luck, or better yet, peace.