Gratitude & Ripples from The Spring Series...


What an adventure we’ve had over the past month! We had such a great group taking part in this series, Vulnerability & Connection. Many came for all 4 of the salons, and some just a couple. The feedback has been great and I'm always open to it.


These salons really are like the stone soup fable. In the story, a large kettle of water, a magic stone and a healthy dose of curiosity brings people out of their homes and entices them to add their special ingredients. Later, while enjoy the soup with each other, strangers become friends, and a community is born (see the pic of us below from our 3rd salon).

But much more important are the ripples that continue to bring them closer. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it surely happens.


Being vulnerable really can be life changing. We saw this in the films, in our group conversations, in our Private Discussion Group and during this week's closing salon.


As this series wraps up, a few last words and ripples...


HUGE Thanks to Our Featured Guests: To Steven Ullman, Peggy Callahan and Reed Frerichs, thank-you doesn’t nearly express our gratitude for your generosity of spirit and tune during this series. Not only were we able to experience such inspiring screened content, but you also took time out of your own lives to experience it with us. Thank you SO much.



1. Fall Series:

Though I did mention that the next series would be in fall, I didn't mention the dates. Look for information about it in mid- to late September.

Tentative dates are Tuesdays, October 18 and 25 and November 2 and 8.

2. The Positive See Saw of Vulnerability & Connection:

In the closing salon, I mentioned Terry Gross’s recent Fresh Air interview with psychiatrist Anna Lembke, author of Dopamine Nation. As I thought about the interview, it parallels Newton’s Theory of Relativity, that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.


The way I see it, this idea also relates to vulnerability and connection. When we have the discomfort of being vulnerable, it gets counterbalanced by the very positive feeling of connection that comes afterwards. So the more vulnerable we make ourselves…like when we really open up, the more benefit we might receive.


Here’s a paraphrased excerpt: "Neuroscientists have learned that pain and pleasure are processed in the same place in the brain… AND that pleasure and pain work like a see saw. So when I do something that’s pleasurable — like having a piece of chocolate — then my pleasure/pain balance tilts just a little bit to the side of pleasure, and I get a release of dopamine in my brain's reward pathway. BUT the see saw wants to get back to being level, (which is what neuroscientists call homeostasis). It doesn’t like sitting long on either the side of pleasure or pain. So that when I have that cookie, my brain re-balances by tipping to an equal and opposite amount to the side of pain.. Those are the aftereffects, the comedown or the craving for another cookie. BUT, if I wait long enough, that feeling passes — and homeostasis is restored, and I get on with things. Apparently, chocolate increases dopamine above baseline about 50%. Sex is about 100%. Nicotine is about 150%… And amphetamines is about 1,000%."

4. Invitation to Participate in the Big JOY Project:

If you came to the closing salon, we explored two of the Acts of JOY in the Big JOY Project. It takes a few minutes a day, it’s free, and it’s backed by science. I’m doing it for the second time and am on Day 5. It’s worth the bit of time it takes to do it. To get started, click here. or see the QR code in the photo.

The Mission Joy team worked with scientists at UC Berkeley, Harvard, UCSF, and many other universities on this. Big JOY is actually the world’s largest-ever citizen science project on joy. Our participation will help uncover the next scientific discoveries on joy. As important, it will help each of us feel better at a time when 40% of all people are experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression.



5. SERIES AT A GLANCE: The Spring ’22 Series, Vulnerability & Connection (with hyperlinks)

I'll close with words that Sheng Huang, our master mind mapping SSR member wrote in his Silver & Steel newsletter last week...

“I used to think that interactions [with other people] were distractions to my big goals, but I’ve learned the hard way that they are actually the point. I could live for 10,000 years, make big bucks and be famous, but what’s the point if I don’t have close people to share my experiences with?” - Sheng Huang


Please feel free to comment on this and any other posts. Until soon!


Christine