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Monday, November 26

It’s no big surprise that we find a major source of joy in nature because nature is mind-blowing every day. What’s more, I think that the older we get, the more joy nature doles out. I base this theory on the fact that the poems, short stories, and essays submitted by all the “old ladies”—40 years and up—for publication in the college literary journal I edited were all about flowers, mountains, and things of that nature. And now here I am, right on track, swooning over big skies and paper-white birch trees, which is all to say that nature just gets better and bigger, and more majestic and mind blowing by the year. Now there is some good to go along with the achy joints and forgetfulness.
As you’ll see in this week’s assignment, it’s not just the nature-made part of our environment that has a huge effect on our sense of happiness and harmony. It’s the whole of our environment, both man-made and nature-made. The combination probably has more of an impact on us than we are aware. In the 13-minute and 39-second TED Talk you’ll be watching this week, you will get an interesting taste of how even straight or curvy lines make a difference in our underlying response to our environmental experience. Since going with the good requires knowing whether what we feel on an unconscious level is good or not good, this week were going to get in tune with our unconscious experience of good or not good on a more physical responsiveness level, like our bodies are joy instruments, tuned to the harmony of good vibrations. 
Smiling is the easiest joy music to hear, just to keep the analogy going. There are other ways the body listens, like the soaring way a body feels on top of a mountain as opposed to the contracted way it feels on a hot, crowded bus with three people crammed onto a sweaty, vinyl seat.
This will be our way to get in tune with the good on a vibe level. Equipped with this new sensory awareness for knowing better what we are responsive to and what we’re not, we can get busy figuring out what’s good about being on a sweaty, overcrowded bus.
Enjoy your bumpy, beautiful ride this week.