My shift from wrong to strong began long before I formally studied positive psychology. During a year-long recovery from a second round of cancer, I had lots of time to think about how difficult things were, but I couldn’t pinpoint what I wanted to be different.
I had also struggled through a divorce, faced the devastating loss of my best friend to brain cancer, and tried to balance work and family as a single parent. Of course, I couldn’t ignore these problems – they were significant – but I thought there had to be more to life than facing crisis after crisis.
I was able to cope with adversity,
but I craved something meaningful and energizing.
I had little awareness about how to enliven myself along the way, savor even small moments of hope, and feel grateful for the blessings I had.
After being introduced to Martin Seligman’s book Flourish, and networking with people in the field of positive psychology, I enrolled in an 11-month certificate program offered by the Wholebeing Institute. This program was co-founded by Tal Ben-Shahar, former Harvard lecturer and author of The Joy of Leadership, and Megan McDonough, CEO and author of The Inspired Life: A Wholebeing Happiness Workbook.