IMG_9030

I’ve talked about City Park before on Style Crone, and today I’m exploring its late summer beauty from a different perspective.  Only a half block from my home, I have easy access to breathtaking statuary, sculptures, flower beds, tress, birds and animals.

IMG_9017

Having worked in emergency mental health for most of my career, by nature my jobs required conversations and interventions with people in crisis, usually having experienced painful and intense traumas.  No one crossed my path unless suicidal, homicidal or severely psychotic.  I found my patients to be extremely interesting, admired their resilience and spirit, and I was drawn to the stories that shaped their lives.

Perhaps out of this experience, I became interested in the emerging field of wellness and the rapidly evolving study of happiness and the brain.  Happiness is defined as “the state of feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”  I wanted to learn more about how to feel calm, centered, peaceful and engaged.

IMG_9059

I’ve become enamored with the book Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hansen and have been practicing strategies that, according to this book’s author, facilitate changes in the brain.  The concept of neuroplasticity (changing the neural networks in the brain to improve quality of life) has become my new best friend.

IMG_9040

The following steps have been paraphrased from Hardwiring Happiness.  I’m giving it a try for 21 days; long enough to develop a new habit.  Who knows if it will work, but I enjoy self experimentation with a possible splash of transformation.

“Have or create a positive and emotionally rewarding experience.”

Observing the beauty in the park fits this criteria perfectly.  The landscape of fall cascades before my eyes with every step.

IMG_9027

“Enrich this experience by focusing on it for at least 10 seconds. Fall into it as it falls into me.”

In the past, walking in the park had become a rote activity; inhaling and truly recognizing its beauty was not part of my consciousness.  It was much easier to focus on the problem of the day.

IMG_9087

“Allow it to become part of me and tuck it away in the treasure chest of my heart, where it becomes available as a resource that I can take with me wherever I go.”

The internal images of this treasure chest become more elaborate as the days unfold.

IMG_9076

Photos By Daniel

Slowly, methodically and mindfully I hope to drive myself more fully to a place of inner peace.

Namaste

Vintage orange/off-white pillbox with crystal trim, vintage crystal earrings, vintage green beaded necklace, and folk art bag – estate sales, black long-sleeved tee – yard sale, multicolored scarf – San Francisco China Town, black pants – summer retail sale, black walking sandals – summer sale at my shoe repair store.

VOG Sep 2014 blog image

Vogoff is out HERE!!!!  Melanie of Bag and a Beret HERE has done it again.  Check out her wildly creative magazine and enjoy the show.  Thanks Mel, for all that you do to celebrate community!

The SC is off to party with the visibles at Patti’s Visible Monday HERE at Not Dead Yet Style.  Patti in tulle is not to be missed!  I’m also sharing my sandals with Sheila’s Shoe Shine HERE at Ephemera.  I’m always thrilled with the footwear that’s shared on this lovely link-up!

23 Comments

  1. I love that book, and also practice “hardwiring” happiness. Every day brings an opportunity to practice, yes? : > You look gorgeous in the Park, and anywhere. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xox.

  2. This is a thrilling outfit- I think the hat is charming, and the shawl, delightful, and the rest makes a wonderful background for showing them off.

    Also- thanks for your comment on my blog, and I’m sorry I missed this month’s hat attack again. Hopefully next month…

  3. This is exactly what I needed to see this morning, You, looking lovely in your Fall colors, and the idea that I can change the quality of my life through neuroplasticity. I need to get my hands on Hardwiring Happiness!
    By the way, your VOGOFF piece was just breathtaking! Such a classy photo; it’s an honor to be in the same issue with you 🙂

    Alicia
    spashionista.com

  4. How interesting; will you let us know how your hardwiring experiment goes, Judith? I remember working on risk management plans with service users, which made use of mindfulness techniques and imagery – this sounds similar, at least in part.
    And how glorious you look with your stunning hat and scarf so beautifully autumnal against a black background and such a lovely setting for a lovely woman!
    And I was delighted by your stylish and thoughtful contribution to Vogoff – it’s a pleasure to be there with you! xxx

  5. Very interesting text to fit the budistiske orange colors which I love. Scarf, hat and bag is beautiful, I want to explore these beautiful patterns. I will find the book by Dr. Rick Hansen This issue I never let go.

  6. Judith, you are so right about approaches to happiness. Let it flood over and into you. I believe in the brain rewiring concept. I think old ruts can be smoothed over and new, more positive paths can be created.
    YOU make me happy in this beautiful outfit in the park. The colours are dramatic and oh so uplifting.
    Finally, thank you very much for being part of Vogoff. Your contribution added an invaluable touch of elegance – it wouldn’t have been the same without you and Daniel’s fine photography. And thank you for the mention here. I’m so lucky to have you and so many other creative women in my life.

  7. Judith, such stunning Autumn colours in your wrap, bag and hat, echoing against the pretty blooms in the park. The book sounds very interesting, I need to explore futher, thank you for the information, hope it goes well for you.

  8. Lovely as always, Judith! I must check out that book! And – your colors are beautiful – that shawl/scarf is to die for!

  9. You have posted the perfect post, at least for me at this point in time. The richness of the outfit fills me with happiness, the intelligence of your pondering affirms my wandering mind, and the resources that you offer will undoubtedly be valuable.

    Thank you, my dearest friend!! 🙂

  10. “Crone Moon” is an elegant image indeed! Congratulations to you and Daniel for your contribution to Vogoff 2014.

    In this post you’re modelling my favorite autumn outfit: black slacks and shirt with a colorful tunic or topper and an beaded bag! (I aspire to hats, Judith, but being more teapot than vase in form, on me they invariably resemble lids.)

    Your remarks about improving one’s mental health by consciously focusing on beauty echoes advice given me years ago by the last hereditary chief of the Miami, Larry Godfroy. He believed that one digests thoughts as one digests food, and so a sound mind requires cleanliness and whatever beauty one can gather, much as a dining table should be polished and adorned with flowers. He was blind in his last years but content because his mind was “well furnished with good memories.”

    My own attempts to maintain focus on a target are aided by making quick ink sketches in a palm-size notebook. For five minutes, I escape rude reality!

  11. What a striking image you are against the green backdrop of nature.

    Mental health is such a tricky thing. Like everything in life it requires work.

    bisous
    Suzanne

  12. I like the idea on focusing on one’s surroundings. Sometimes we’re so busy taking photos or thinking that we fail to appreciate what is going on around us.Do share how you get on.
    A wonderful outfit, rich, jewel-like Autumnal tones but I’m happy to see that your feet are still in sandals. Surely a sign of optimism? xxx

  13. Lovely visit to your park. Lucky woman! You may still be seeking happiness, but you bring it to others all the time 🙂
    Neural pathways are a big subject in my neurologically interesting family!
    Brain plasticity is mentioned in discussions about Aspergers/autism. Apparently we have highly plastic brains…I’m not sure I want plastic. I like natural substances 😉
    Enjoy your immersing walks, and thanks for sharing one with us, with all the organisation that requires!
    Lovely hat, scarf and bag xo JJ

  14. I haven’t heard of this book but will order it right away. I love the concepts you’ve shared. I’ve gone back to meditating for the last several months in an effort to change my view on life and state of happiness. This book sounds like a must read for me. Thank you for sharing it with us. Of course looking as beautiful as you do brings joy to all who see you!!

  15. Awwwh. Lovely you, and pretty darling in those athletic inspired little trousers … perfectly gussied up to match your signature style. How nice to have such a great place so near to home!
    You were brilliant in this Vogoff Issue! I haven’t gotten around to everyone yet, but had to say how much I enjoyed this issue, especially with you in it! And isn’t Curtise stunning on the cover?

Leave a Response