MartyT Posted February 25, 2014 Report Share Posted February 25, 2014 Dear Ones, as I was searching through my files for another article this morning, I came across this excerpt from Tough Transitions: Navigating Your Way through Difficult Times by Elizabeth Harper Neeld. It's a wonderful idea that some of you may find helpful: [Dr. Verena Kast, a visiting psychology professor, University of Zurich recommended] . . . that we go home and write a “biography of joy.” She suggested that we attempt to remember all the moments in our lives when we experienced joy and then write a short vignette describing what those moments were like. This suggestion startled me. By this point, I had told my “life story” a lot of times, always with a big emphasis on what had gone wrong . . . But write a biography of joy? This was a new way to think. I did as Dr. Kast recommended and continue even today adding to this collection of stories about those times in my life when I feel joy. I’d like to recommend the same to you. We all have told our stories from certain perspectives – troubles we have had, stories handed down in the family, relationships we have been involved in – all emphasizing different strands of our lives for different listeners. When we shift perspectives – say, as in constructing a biography of joy – we can see new dimensions of our lives. “Reconstructing a biography of joy removes us from our usual biographical treadmills and habitual conceptualizations,” Dr. Kast says in her book, and we “discover a new story about ourselves.” I urge you to try it . . . Questions Dr. Kast recommends we use for our biography of joy: What in my life has given me joy? How have I expressed my joy? How does my joy affect my relationships? How do I keep control of my joy? What spoils joy for me? How is the joy I experience now different from the joy I had as a child? In the past, in what situations was I really happy? How did I express my joy then? And perhaps the most important question of all: What has become of my joy? . . . What can I do differently to hold onto the times of joy I do experience so that they are naturally a part of my everyday experience? In the best of circumstances, this biography of joy that we construct can not only remind us that we have been joyful in the past, it can also awaken that joy in the present (pp. 208-209). Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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