Hands up if you’ve ever had a traumatic experience that you felt changed you. I’ll go first: in 2010 I had my colon removed due to cancer, and shortly after that I found out I had Lynch syndrome, which is a genetic condition that makes me more likely to get certain types of cancer in the future. I’ve written a lot about these experiences, particularly about how they have affected me emotionally. I’ve also thought a lot about how they have changed me as a person, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it hasn’t all been negative. In some ways, I’ve even changed for the better. Here are three things to think about that may help you feel better about your bad experiences too, whatever those may be.
A few days ago, my daughters’ school held a special day where the kids were to come in dressed as what they want to be when they grow up. I loved the idea and was excited to hear what my girls were interested in. I was elated to see that they are indeed their mother’s daughters. They came barrelling at me with idea after idea. I couldn’t help but beam with pride. I remember having so many ideas of what I wanted to be when I grew up: a reporter, a writer, a mother, and more. My reminiscing was cut short by one of my daughters asking me a question. “How do I pick just one thing to be?”
After facing a chain of traumatic events in a short space of time and having an outburst of emotions to deal with; I got curious and wanted to look closer into how we process our emotions in the Western society. I discovered that we seem to be polarized in our approach to dealing with our feelings. We either don’t validate them and adopt the position of “I’m fine, really, I’M FINE” through gritted teeth or we’re encouraged to wallow in them and make an identity out of the story, whilst in the background we’re told to shove some pills down our throat to ease the pain.
Recognition of the effects of ‘frostbite.' It wasn’t the first time I’d seen this affliction in myself; the frostbite of the Digital Winter. I’d been suffering this disconnectedness for years sleepwalking, like those New Yorkers on the train, into the cold.
The idea of positive self-talk and the declarative statements that many people call “affirmations” have been around for a long time. Maybe you’ve even tried them yourself, but without much luck. I was in the same boat until recently, when I discovered one imperative wrinkle in the practice that changed everything for me (including my life). What I didn’t understand before was this: The key to an effective affirmation – or what I like to call a mantra – is not the words themselves, but how they make you feel. To be effective, a mantra has to make you feel good when you say it.
By Virginia Warren What are you doing with your life? Well, who wants to know? Me, that’s who. Which “me” are we referring to here? The real me, or that... Read More...
Every morning, I look at myself in the mirror and repeat my mantra “You are loved, you are beautiful in your own imperfection. Go outside and shine.” That may sound cheesy, but it has helped me to at least to get out of bed and start a new day without feeling like a burden. The choice is yours.
As a law student and lawyer, I tried to think my way to a better life. I tried to think my way out of my depression. I failed completely. By the time I realized I had to stop thinking, I was mired in student debt, working at a job I hated, and taking pills every day just to get by. I still take antidepressants, but the other things have changed. How? I had to let go of my ruminating, overthinking rational self, and let intuition guide me to the answer. When you listen, the small voice of intuition speaks wise words.
I’ve spent a part of my summer fulfilling my dreams of exploring the Far East. While in Tibet, I took the plunge and committed to a seven-day silent meditation retreat. It was a rollercoaster of emotions and a journey of discovery that awakened me to myself in a way I never believed to be possible. Here are some notes from my diary on the experience...
How do you relate to food? If your relationship with a friend was anything like the way you relate to food—extreme, inconsistent, punishing–you probably wouldn’t invest too much energy or time with that particular person, would you?