A Ripple Story…

Kellie Mills

Kellie Mills

Partner in Mills-Eaton Training

Alumni: Sydney 2017

In our 10653NAT Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing we always talk about the ripple effect; starting with self and creating a ripple out there in the world - whatever that may mean for each person.

In this interview, one of our Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing graduate explains how this course has helped her professionally, and how the resilience tools she acquired during the diploma supported her through a heart attack.

What drew you to complete the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing?

I had done some Emotional Intelligence (EI) and Strengths Profile training with Sue in the past and she had suggested the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing to me in 2016. I work with my husband to provide coaching and training in Communication, Leadership & Team Development and we have been in business together for 21 years. I am always looking at what I can add to my training toolbox as well as ways to continue my own personal growth and development.

I’ve been very values focused in the work I do and have studied Mindfulness for around 8 years. I was really keen to see the research on Positive Psychology & Wellbeing and find out what else was out there in that space.

What was your experience during the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing?

I found the whole course to be inspiring and uplifting, and it certainly exceeded my expectations!

I loved every minute of the 6 days and I also enjoyed the reflection and further learning as I completed the assignments.

Our facilitators, Denise and Agapi, created a safe and extremely special learning environment and were generous with their knowledge. Their style of facilitation is very similar to mine – lots of stories, examples, discussion and fun, so I was engaged throughout the whole program.

I also enjoyed meeting and getting to know the other participants. I remember saying to my husband at the end of day one, “I’ve found my tribe”. I met some pretty special people and have maintained a connection with several members of the group.

I think my favourite module was Positive Meaning. The whole concept of finding meaning in what may seem like meaningless tasks has had quite an impact on me.

Another significant module was Positive Relationships as I was able to review two significant personal relationships and make some positive shifts in how I now connect with those people. This has made our relationships so much richer.

How are you spreading your positive ripples, and how has the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing helped you achieve this?

I believe I apply the learnings from the Diploma every day in some way. I finish my day with gratitude for all that has happened and all that I have, and I’m always looking for opportunities to do random acts of kindness. I find both of these have enriched my life significantly.

I have included Dr Paul Wong’s PURE model in a lot of the training and coaching work that I do. I have found it valuable in assisting staff who are going through challenges or significant change. It gives them a format to remind them to connect to purpose and think about how they should show up (behave) in line with that purpose. I also have changed how I teach Goal Setting as I now focus on including Positive Goals.

I love sharing the benefits of anticipating, savouring and reminiscing.

Last year I treated myself to my ‘life-long bucket list’ car, a BMW. I was inspired by Sue Langley’s presentation Positive Psychology & Prada at the Happiness Conference last June. I was going to just replace my (much loved) thirteen-year-old, Mazda 3 with a newer model, then I remembered how I felt when I bought it and wanted that same feeling with my next new car. I recall the excitement in knowing what I wanted and planning to buy it; the pure joy whenever I got behind the wheel; and reminiscing about the road trips in my ‘baby’.

I ordered my ‘Bess the Beamer’ in July and had it delivered in November. I smile when I see her in the garage or carpark and feel blissful driving her around.

I think the most profound impact of the DPP was evident on January 16 this year when I had a heart attack during a workshop. I found the following helpful when I was in the emergency dept, the CCU and over the weeks since:

  • Mindfulness – just being present and focusing on the breath. My sister had died of a heart attack at age 45, so I was feeling extremely scared waiting for the ambulance, and then in the ED. I used mindfulness to bring me back from getting carried away with lots of ‘what ifs’.
  • Gratitude – I was running a training session when I became unwell. I was grateful I had nursing staff in my group, grateful my husband arrived in time to come with me in the ambulance. Grateful I live in a city with a number of excellent hospitals. Grateful the medical staff were caring, thorough and listened to me. It was gratitude that kept me calm. Grateful for my family and friends. Grateful I ended up in a private hospital room with an amazing view of the city…Grateful I was alive.
  • Seligman’s 3P’s – a friend made a comment about it being a bad year for me. I said it was a small incident that will influence some of my decisions going forward but it wouldn’t make it a bad year. It was a temporary event. If I had died as a result that would be permanent.

Overall I believe the lessons I have learned from the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing have helped to make me calmer, more in tune with what is important in my life, more committed to living a full and joyous life, and more focused on sharing the joy and positivity with those around me.

Feedback from family, friends and clients would indicate that they are feeling the benefits (Ripples) too!