Ah, Sweet Memories – Part One
by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

Finally! The colors of the leaves are changing, and now all too quickly.  As I walk around my neighborhood enjoying the smells of autumn, combined with the reds, oranges and even maroons of some of the leaves, I think once more of all the autumns that have come and gone.

Surely for me, it is a special season.  How does my memory hold on to this time of year?  It is partly by color, and certainly by memory traces of weather conditions.  I particularly think of gray days where it doesn't rain, as well as crisp clear days of brilliant blue sky, when I feel cold but so fresh and clear headed.  Some of my autumn memories are tied into Halloween.  There were those giant paper bags that I dumped onto the living room rug as a six year old.  It seemed like millions of candy bars came tumbling out.  There were Hershey Bars, Three Musketeers, Kisses and Life-Savers that lasted six months, along with lollipops—even loose change—and of course apples.  I had to come back and forth to my house three times as the bag got so full.  There were no plastic bags in those days.

Then there were the high school football games in Norwalk.  My father was the Superintendent of Schools and liked to go to show support.  I wanted to go to be popular and see the boys.  Finally I was old enough to be invited to a game by a senior in high school.  I thought I would die with joy.  He was handsome and smart and I was only a freshman.  We had a great time.  I was nervous but still felt entranced.  He put his arm around me as we walked.  He knew everybody.  When he dropped me home later I realized suddenly that my pants had a rip in them that was fairly large and noticeable.  Now I really wanted to die!

Today I came across a wonderful story sent to me by a guest writer, Emily Doherty.   She takes us in to her vivid memory bank, by color, by aroma, by setting and many other ways of delight.  For example, Emily captures the essence of color beautifully by letting us take a peek into her vivid childhood memories.  We really get a chance to see how she has been able to hold on to memories and bring them back to life as truly enchanted moments. 

These moments are what I call in my first book, The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy, 'Positive Fingerprints of the Mind', unique to each of us.  I hope that you enjoy her insight and joy as she recounts her unique way of connecting with enchantment.  I also hope that you experience, as I did by reading her story, that you have a real sense of having been there with her.  Even though we all experience life a little differently, there is a joy in sharing and connecting that happens when we make our story real.  Emily has done that for all of us!  Enjoy.

Please enjoy this short exercise below and stay with me next week for part two of this article where you will get to read Emily’s beautiful story about color and enchantment.

Ponderings:  What does color mean to you?  Can you play with positive memories about color, or perhaps the feel of beautiful fabric?  Or the aromas that goes with special occasions?  Give yourself a momentary treat and retreat to some pleasant sensations! 

For me right now, I'm remembering the beautiful recital dress made out of lavender organdy that I danced in when I was six.  It had ruffles and to this day I yearn for it.  How I wish my mom had saved that little dress.  There are lavender roses every year that are the exact shade.  How happy I am when I see them.

I hope you treat yourself to a pleasant reverie and be blessed by some lovely way in which at least a part of it will come back or be reinvented in some way, as the roses took on the exact color for me!

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, a positive psychologist, teaches people how to enhance their lives--and consequently live lives of meaning and joy--by reclaiming what is positive about themselves. This is different from the traditional psychotherapeutic model because it is a paradigm shift designed to help us focus on our strengths rather than our disabilities and our weaknesses. The treatment model teaches both the clinician and the client how to look for purpose and a sense of well-being in daily living. She calls this process The Enchanted Self, A State of Well Being, Joy, and Happiness. Visit her website at http://www.enchantedself.com. To join The Enchanted Self E-group, click here. To subscribe to The Enchanted Self Monthly E-newsletter, click here.

THE ENCHANTED SELF® is a registered trademark of Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein.

Copyright (c) 2002 Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein