Right after reading an article by Stephen Moegling, I walked into our living room, took a deep, satisfied breath, and took in the scene: Our older son, 21, was on the floor, snuggling our giant chocolate lab mix in front of a beautiful fire in the woodstove. Then I thought to myself: “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
Then I went back to my computer and reached out to Stephen via LinkedIn, asking him if he’d please be a guest on my podcast. He said yes.
He’s just as warm and kind as his article gave the impression. We spent an hour talking about how he came to write the article, the changes he experienced as he addressed his stress during his divorce through a brilliant counselor, Frank, and the result of years of practicing the mindfulness strategies Frank taught him.
Stephen didn’t always have this calm and relatively easy-going presence. He describes his pre-mindful life as stressed, high-strung, type A, dissatisfied, and generally unhappy. But what I experienced during our call was the opposite, I’d describe him using my sister’s phrase, baseline happy.
What can cause that kind of transformation? Being mindful of the good things in life, which doesn’t necessarily come naturally. According to the article, our brains hold onto those things we pay attention to, and it’s human nature to pay attention to the negative things that happen in our lives. We replay those old, negative memories/stories over and over again, creating almost permanent neural pathways around the emotions that accompany those memories.
But what if, as Kurt Vonnegut suggests, we notice those happy, satisfying moments.
What if we stopped for just a few seconds to really take in the goodness around us, noticing how we feel, and creating a strong mental image of that satisfaction?
Listen in to our conversation to hear how he was able to transform his mindset and his life, the stories he shares now to help others, and the beautiful way he now sees the world around him.