A Ripple Story…

Lynne Dorling

Lynne Dorling

Coach, Women Working Together

Alumni: London 2016

In our 11069NAT 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 shares her completely life-changing experience of the course, and how it set her up to spread ripples in a number of areas of her life.

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

I had been interested in Positive Psychology since my daughter bought me a copy of Flourish by Martin Seligman. We then attended a Masterclass in Bristol, having decided that our Training Budget wouldn’t stretch to travelling to Australia as we thought the Langley Group DPP was by far the best around! When I learned that Sue Langley was running a UK Programme, I took this as a sign that I should go! I was keen to gain a qualification of some kind – having supported twin daughters through university and run my own business training other people I felt it was my turn!

In my 60’s, I wanted to prepare for my Third Age, and whilst I was clear that I wanted to downsize or delegate some of my work, I wasn’t sure what would replace it. My goals were to recharge my batteries, meet new people, ‘stretch myself’ and learn some new things and consider how I might use my strengths, knowledge and experience to ‘make a difference’ and give back.

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

Just like the ripples on a pond

Sue Langley waved her magic wand

Amongst our group from far and wide

And what a week – we laughed and cried!

The history of Psychology

Was on Day One – no time for tea

We got to know each other well

Sue’s style was far from ‘teach and tell’

The second day was packed indeed

Of our emotions we took heed

Made quite ok to feel the range

It’s ‘just some data’ – nothing strange!

Engagement kept us occupied

There really was no place to hide

What lights our eyes up, makes us tick?

It suddenly began to click

Day Four affected all of us,

At first we kicked up quite a fuss

But once we saw a chance to work

With Helping Hands we didn’t shirk

Relationships are often tricky

With little things we can be picky

So on our Wheel we gave a score

And came out vowing to do more

The final day we set our goals

And closed our eyes to search our souls,

This learning had flicked on a switch

Inside we felt so full and rich

And since that week when first we met

A new direction I’ve been set

By taking heed of Realise 2 –

Released things I don’t want to do

A rush of energy’s come back

No time to focus on the lack

Of one or two strengths now I know

What keeps me in a state of ‘flow’

So as a coach I now transform

Those who are low and feel forlorn

Instil them with more confidence

They leave inspired – no longer tense

This is the magic spread by Sue

Now we belong to ‘chosen few’

Who carry on and spread the word

Determined to get voices heard

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

I can honestly say that doing the Diploma has been life-changing for me! I have savoured it all, taking my time to enjoy each module and ensure that the study is relevant and is making a difference to my life. As a result of this, I feel energised and motivated. I am much clearer about what ‘lights my eyes up’ and plays to my strengths (loved the R2 Strengths). I have ‘let go’ of most of the work which I was using my Learned Behaviours to complete, and developed two associates to take this on. I now work very selectively, and mostly as a coach, which plays to my strengths. I spread ‘positive ripples’ with all my coaching clients and have shared many strategies and techniques which I learned on the Diploma. I have also incorporated some of the research and learning into workshops I have designed on building resilience.

My two main areas of interest are Positive Mental Health and Positive Ageing and I am determined to have some influence in both of these areas.

Having chosen Positive Education as one of my Electives, I conducted a very thorough Wellbeing Audit at a local secondary school and my recommendations were well received. I have since been asked to run workshops for teaching assistants and support staff on building resilience so will get a chance to spread more positive ripples and ‘give back’ which was one of my goals. I feel very strongly about the potential burnout of teaching staff – a real risk identified at the IPEN Conference I attended last year. I am hoping these workshops will help in a small way by equipping people with positive strategies to keep themselves in a good place.

Another goal is to volunteer myself as a coach to a small business called Positive Ageing UK, which uses positive psychology to help people plan for later years and view life more optimistically. Not only is this of great personal interest to me, but I believe it is an arena where I can use my skills, experience and knowledge to good advantage. I loved the work of Ellen Langer and will use this to spread more positive ripples!

Having always viewed myself as a ‘half full’ person, I believe the impact of the Diploma has been significant. I now actively take steps to show up as my Best Self in my work, leisure and relationships and I feel happier.  I love talking to others about Positive Psychology and sometimes challenging their perceptions of life. Small things can make a Big Difference – for example, the Daily Practice of Gratitude has a significant impact on mood and mindset.

I am hoping to continue to spread Positive Ripples for many years to come! Thank you.