Episode 11: Happy New You

Last week, Martha shared with me, a delightful story about a little boy who had heard the adults around him saying “Happy New Year”. He misunderstood what he heard, so when he repeated the greeting, he said “Happy New You”. I just love that misstatement, and thought it would be a great theme for us to explore in NF Learning Lab as we begin a new year together.

We just completed what was, for most of us, a year of unprecedented and profoundly challenging change. All of our expectations about what ‘normal’ life should be were turned upside down. As iNtuitive-Feeling women, we nearly always experience change as an opportunity for personal transformation, and so for us, 2020 was O-M-H-F-G-E … One More Huge F-ing Growth Experience. And what a whopper it was! Let’s look deeper.

Some time ago our NF Learning Lab sister, Andrea Conlon brought to our attention the work of Dr. Rick Hanson, who teaches that we are hard-wired to notice and retain negative experiences as though they were Velcroed to our brain, and to let positive experiences slip away as though they were Teflon. Here’s what a web article on the subject says, “While this Velcro/Teflon effect once kept us alive, in modern times it is more often just a source of anxiety, irritability, and sadness. Put simply, “What are you more likely to remember at the end of the day: the 50 positive experiences you had or the one negative interaction?” Research suggests that it takes 5 positive interactions to make up for a single negative interaction in a relationship; the same is true of self-talk. This means we need a conscious, active process of taking in the positive - something like mindfulness - in order to make up for our brains negative wiring.”

Many of us in NF Learning Lab use our Reset tool as a way to intervene with our negative thoughts and experiences, and redirect them to positive ideas and outcomes. It is definitely a challenge, though, to stay positive about life events in our current world, when everywhere we look, there is cause for concern. This past year, with its preponderance of negativity, was a rare opportunity to notice our thoughts in new ways, and to practice positive thinking and positive self-talk. In order to protect ourselves from being overwhelmed by negativity, many of us learned to adjust what we expose ourselves to. We quit plugging into disheartening news coverage. Some chose movies and other entertainments that we might previously have thought of as too soft or Pollyanna-ish, but which felt comforting in the chaos of the pandemic. At the same time, we had opportunities to show up in our strengths in new ways, and of course, together, we’ve had an unprecedented year of learning about who we are as iNtuitive-Feeling types, through the learning lab of the iNtuitive Conversations calls. Today, we review where these adjustments have brought us, by exploring the very positive idea of what it might mean to celebrate “Happy New You!”

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