“If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is” ~Kurt Vonnegut

–To Balance Bad Memories with Good Ones, We Must Actively Acknowledge the Good Stuff in Daily Life

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.

Thanks to friends Kimberly Davis and Melissa Hughes for sharing Stephen’s article on Facebook!

Sarah Elkins
Sarah Elkinshttp://elkinsconsulting.com/
Sarah is a communication coach, Gallup certified Strengths coach, keynote speaker, writer, and professional musician. Sarah uses storytelling as the foundation of her work with management teams and individual clients to improve communication and relationships. Her podcast, Your Stories Don’t Define You, How You Tell Them Will focuses on storytelling themes, the primary concept being that the stories you choose to tell - and how you choose to tell them - impact your internal messages and the perception of those around you. Her podcast was named in the top 50 in the category of emotional intelligence on player.fm. Her passion for connecting people and helping them learn to better connect with others is embodied in the events she hosts, No Longer Virtual, which are small, interactive conferences based on the theme of connecting beyond the keyboard, recognized twice by Forbes as “Can’t Miss Events for Entrepreneurs” in 2017 & 2018.