The Sanctuary of Positivity

A sanctuary is a place of reserve, of preservation, and of safety. We find safety in a sanctuary that is a place for the preservation of something highly significant, like personal freedom or rare birds.

A sanctuary of positivity is a wholly new concept because we haven’t yet revered positivity.

Positivity is something we squander, waste, and disregard as something like a fleeting experience we hope we might get, perhaps, so long as it doesn’t get in the way of several other things on our schedules of trying to make life interesting.

The Zeigarnik principle in psychology tells us that we have a lean of 9:2 toward the negative.brain-evolve

We have come to learn that this is because of evolution, because of our development as a human species.

Think about that for a moment. We have nearly conditioned out, in our evolution, the capacity for positivity. Yet it has persistently remained in our DNA.

Not only has it remained, but it is responsible for the creative, ongoing, emergence of the progress of the human species.

Positivity is a primal essential to ongoing creation and evolution. Without it, we die.

Without it we die not only sooner, we die less well, with greater misery and loss of meaning.

Think about it. This precious human resource responsible for the evolution and progress of inventions, great art, great music, great social movements, is the natural human resource that engages, emerges and allows the flow of creativity.

It is this precious resource that we have nearly succeeded in bringing to extinction, and yet it has survived. It is hard to imagine the human race without positivity, even though we have paid really so little attention to it. Positivity is the ground of flourishing.

How is it that such a great natural resource has gone so unnoticed and taken so for granted? We have done it with animals, we have done it with the rain forests, we have done it with energy resources, and we have done it with human life.

The fact that our evolutionary lean is 9:2 in favor of the negative is a staggering realization that we could have come so far. Yet it was not so long ago that one American president said that we would land a man on the moon in 10 years, and we did.

Had that not been said and done in what positivity is, there would have been no man on the moon.

Could we say with great intention that we will change the world in 10 years dedicated to positiivity, bringing such sanctuary to its presence that it becomes revered as the force that puts a man on the moon and ushers in a new world of consciousness not possible in a ratio of 9:2?

In our lifetimes, we intend, by making a sanctuary for positivity, to change that ratio to a positive 3:1 at least, and 5:1 ideally.

There is no imagination capable of knowing what that would mean.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin
  • Alan Cohen

    As more and more people become exposed to neuroplasticity and the possibilities created by developing the capacity for positivity, it seems wholly possible that this positive:negative ratio will be improved to favor positivity. From an evolutionary perspective, as our brains are shaped to become more positive, would it be fair to say that future generations will evolve similarly? I am writing this today, on the eve of one of the most contentious and negative Elections we have experienced in history, and, speaking from my most positive self, I certainly am optimistic that the conscious few can create a shift. I believe that emotions like love, hope, gratitude and joy will have people living life longer and happierin the upspiral.

  • Kelsey Abbott

    This is my mission–as a coach, as an athlete and as a human–to show people that it’s safe to be positive, that it’s okay to feel joy, that peace is available to all, that gratitude is addictive and that we always always always have the choice to choose love. We learn new things every day. We learn new routes, new words, new names, new faces. Our amazing brains process and store all of this information for us. And our amazing brains can also learn to be more positive. I’ve seen it happen in my clients already. And I see it happen in daily interactions over the course of a minute. I truly believe that we can and will change the world.

  • Dr. gloria wright

    I remember the first time I heard that our natural tendency is a 9:2 lean toward positivity. I thought, “Well I’m not that negative.” When it came to intentionally creating a quotient for myself of a 3:1 ratio toward the positive, I bumped into all kind of worry (negative) thoughts going through my mind. To move to a 5:1 ratio toward the positive seemed a bit of a climb.
    With perseverance, diligent practice and intention, I have certainly made progress. It was tested by the recent political campaign. It
    seemed the votes were driven by fear and negativity. The platform was that we (America) were in real trouble and we needed to fix it. Even though most media commented consistently on unemployment drops and more people having insurance, etc., the politics kept pushing the fear factor – and it resulted in a win for the fear pusher that was anti-establishment.
    Change the things you can, did not include the presidential votes.
    I do realize that positivity is not the norm in most settings. I see it at the Senior Center every week. But without optimism and positivity, how will we evolve, grow, create and believe we can make a difference.
    For life to have meaning for me, I need to believe and feel that I am having a positive influence on my community. My birthday was Nov 2nd and I received confirmation that people perceived me as happy and helpful. More than one person commented on my smile and my sense of humor. Thank goodness.
    Random acts of kindness are a daily goal for me. Brightening
    someone’s day with a genuine smile, a compliment or a word of encouragement is a small price to pay for helping make a better world.
    Believing in possibilities is a way of life for me. If we
    all do our part to be positive – with our thoughts, our emotions and our
    beliefs and our actions, we CAN make a difference – in ourselves and in our world.

  • Tonight I am looking forward in just about an hour to join with the UpSpiraLife group members for our weekly conference call. This group method has been structured by Drs. Larkin and Johnson as a “sanctuary of positivity” with the intention of encouraging the optimally lived life in one another. There is something so grounding and at the same time uplifting that happens each week as we gather to focus on the positive experiences in our lives. Positivity IS a precious resource. When a group of individuals come together (as in our group) to form a “sanctuary of positivity” and reinforce the best in one another, a process of transformation is put into place. I personally benefit from knowing that there is a time and place set aside each week for me to focus on good, as well as knowing that a supportive group of like-minded individuals will come together in a common spirit of positive growth. I am so grateful that I belong to a “sanctuary of positivity”!

  • Mary Verstraete

    First, I love the phrase “Sanctuary of Positivity.” I have called my place of respite: “Inner Sanctum.” A place that allows positive, beautiful, and lovely, and grace filled thoughts to reside. Safety…ahh…just writing that word brings peace, as my inner sanctum is just that…safe.

    Now, my being able to assimilate an inner consciousness by way of “positive states of mind” is delightful. “Positivity is the ground of flourishing.” [Dr. Johnson].

    Knowing that I can be in a consistent Up Spiral and high Emotional Score is life giving. Granted, I have lived life [a long time] though a strong life mission, vision, values and my Strengths, personality preferences and the leap to a positive being doesn’t seem vastly in the future, but something I can put my arms around, cherish, and become.

    Coming into the understanding that positivity is not a fleeting experience, rather is in our DNA, it can become us, and results are transformational.

    The opposite is unappealing. We end life with greater misery and loss of meaning.

    One person comes to mind when I think of someone who exhibited the traits of positivity: President Reagan. Setting aside political biases in my comments, he saw America as a shining city upon a hill, and people living with harmony and peace, still a beacon . . . Having lived in the era, I remember the hope that entered my own heart for America.

    Dr. Johnson stated in this blog: “Could we say with great intention that we will change the world in 10 years dedicated to positivity, bringing such sanctuary to its presence that it becomes revered as the force that puts a man on the moon and ushers in a new world of consciousness not possible in a ratio of 9:2?”

    Who can Mary help in making a sanctuary for positivity? That thoughts of that answer brings joy into my own Sanctuary of Positivity.

    The predisposition to a more positive mood puts the path to positive being in perspective for me.

    1. Pulsing is a form of meditation

    2. Getting an emotion of immediacy, make it last, and increasing it, affects the left frontal lobe from blood flow to EEG activity.

    3. This is associated with positive mood.

    Meditation alters the brain by choice and lessens the negative emotional reactivity of both the right lobe and amygdala. Amazing!

    Bottom line: When I pulse and feel emotion, I’m activating the left frontal lobe. The left frontal lobe is also associated with visioning, direction, and schedules and if I keep my left frontal lobe busy thinking and feeling love, peace, gratitude, joy and hope, the greater I’m affecting my state of mind.

    In simple terms: I can feel what I want to feel and choose to feel “love, peace, gratitude, joy, and hope…for no reason…except to choose to feel them (Emotional Gym). Now that is a beautiful Holiday gift!

    • shirah bell

      I am new to this work and thrilled with it!

      • Dr. Bell,
        I am trying to reach you via telephone but with no success. Will you kindly call my office and leave me your number? Thank you.

        (760) 636-1400

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