The room looks and smells not too different from the library in the middle school I attended while growing up. Walls lined with books. A floor covered with short, blue looped carpet. Encouraging posters dominated by animals reading books are pasted to any wall without shelves. Florescent lights buzz overhead. The room smells like books do when the humidity from hot Chicago summers seeps into their pages and yellows them. Missing are any of the trappings one finds in school libraries these days. No computers or technology of any sort. A typical, old school library; except this one isn’t in any school building. It’s on the lower level of a juvenile prison. Continue reading
You know your happy place? That mountain or beach or spa or whatever that makes you feel that all is right with the world. I can’t seem to find my happy place. Maybe its because I’ve never been some where exciting or maybe my imagination just isn’t that good.
What I can do is make “Feel-Good Memories“. When I feel really good – I try to remember to make an emotional memory of that feeling. I’ll take a few seconds to think about how good I feel. Then I’ll make a note of the things that I’m happy about and tell myself, “I’m going to remember feeling this good.” (Yes, I talk to myself a lot! Most people do, but often they aren’t paying attention!)
Later, when I’m discouraged or struggling, I will bring those memories back up. Sometimes I can feel a bit of that moment and it will cheer me up. Sometimes all I can do is be amazed that I ever felt that good. Either way, it’s ready-made encouragement when I need a bit of happiness to get me through.
So, make “Feel-Good Memories” for yourself. And when you use them, resist the urge to be wistful for some time past when you were happier. Be encouraged because if you were ever that happy before, you will be that happy again.