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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Isabel Galupo at 8:14AM
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Blog posting written by Isabel Galupo, Cinema and Photography '14, FLEFF Intern, Towson, MD

I hesitate to open this blog post with a quote.

I admit it; in attempting to formulate my very-own-super-personal definition of “microtopias,” I turned to someone else’s words.

Specifically, I turned to the words of writer Anaïs Nin. Nin was a fantastic writer and thinker. She is most famous for her published diary (which inspired the movie “Henry and June,” starring Uma Thurman).

 She wrote:

“From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.”

I discovered this quote about two years ago, while casually scrolling down my tumblr dashboard. It struck me then, so I saved it in a document on my computer…then quickly forgot about it.

However, I found myself coming back to it after reading Gretchen Rubin’s enthralling book “The Happiness Project” this past Winter Break (follow her blog about happiness here!) Rubin’s insights, along with Nin’s quote, informed my conscious decision to actively pursue positivity in an effort to control happiness in my life.

After becoming inspired by the words and ideas of these two women, I knew that I needed to test my new perspective.

Enter: my little sister, Lucia.

Lucia is an extremely creative, bright, compassionate, and outspoken five-year-old. She, like any five-year-old, can be also insolent, stubborn, and dramatic.

Before I committed myself to intentional positive thinking, I would get easily frustrated with Lucia when she refused to listen to me. Occasionally, I would raise my voice at her—and she raised hers right back. I began to think that the situation was hopeless, that she would never calm down and that things would continue to escalate.

And guess what? Because I thought that things were going to escalate, I panicked and got more upset. And the more upset that I got, the louder I raised my voice. So things, naturally, escalated!

When I thought negative thoughts, the situation would continue to produce negative results.

However, when I took a deep breath and spoke to Lucia calmly—the whole time thinking, knowing that she would calm down and everything was fine—she started to listen to me!

Positive thinking = positive action = positive situation.

I find solace in knowing that I, and I alone, have the power to control my emotions, and subsequently my life. My mind has the potential to become an escape from frustration, sadness, anger, and guilt— if I only choose to recall the hub of good feelings that are always accessible to me. If I can turn negative thoughts and emotions into positive ones, I can transform negative situations into positive ones.

I have come to learn that I can create my own microtopia simply through intentional positive thinking.

But, hey, this is just my personal experience!

I am sure that many people have denounced positive psychology, finding that it simply does not work for them. So I am interested in your opinions!

Do you believe the human mind has the potential to become a microtopia? Are different perspectives and outlooks on life, in essence, just different microtopias?


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