Welcome To My Honey Stand
I was strolling through a late summer market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and was drawn like a bee to a charming honey stand. Since childhood, I have been a honey lover, treasuring precious memories of honey, and honeycomb itself, on toast swimming in butter.
I was hoping to purchase some honey pollen, another childhood standard, intended to address allergies. The owner of the booth greeted me with the delightful words, “welcome to my honey stand.” From southern New Mexico, he shared that coming up to Santa Fe was an annual favorite for him in the cooling days leading to autumn.
I said to him that he must be so happy having his business focused on such delicious and aromatic products. His reply was immediate and utterly genuine; he spoke from his eyes as well as his mouth with these words:
“I am so grateful for my sweet lifestyle!”
Martin Seligman, who boasts a smile that fills his entire face, is a psychologist, teacher and the theorist of “learned happiness.” He has written countless books on optimism and fulfillment.
Seligman worked with Christopher Peterson to create Character Strengths and Virtues, a 'positive' counterpart to the age old Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). While the DSM focuses on what can go wrong, Character Strengths and Virtues is designed to look at what can go right.
In their research they looked across cultures and across millennia to attempt to distill a manageable list of virtues that have been highly valued from ancient China and India, through Greece and Rome, to contemporary Western cultures.
Their list includes six character strengths: wisdom/knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence. Each of these has perhaps a half-dozen sub-entries; for instance, temperance includes forgiveness, humility, prudence, and self-regulation.
A key point in the research is the assertion that there is not a hierarchy for the six virtues; no one is more fundamental than or a precursor to the others.
Most recently, Seligman has written about the concept of wellbeing in his book Flourish. Seligman articulates an account of the good life, which he concludes consists of five elements under the acronym PERMA:
My “honey stand” friend indeed has a sweet life and instinctively understands all that psychologists are researching and teaching us. He knows how to FLOURISH. As I walked away, I inventoried all the “sweetness” in my own life…
I hope you will do the same!
To schedule a mind wellness retreat/experience, contact Laurie Morgan Silver.