Hey there everyone!!
Last night in the deep of winter I was trying to find a particular street address. Suddenly, I find myself in the middle of a lingerie shop. How do I get myself into these situations? (I say yes to everything.)
See, my friend Morgan Toombs (sex and relationship expert), had asked me to meet her there to record our interview (without telling me that the venue was actually a lingerie shop). Get excited, but not too aroused, because the interview is part of her Symposium for Cancer Survivors.
Process of Adversity
I’m not a cancer survivor, although I have several disabilities and have endured a tremendous amount of adversity throughout my life. Although born with albinism, the discovery and understanding of that condition—just like any condition—is a lifelong process. Coping with limited functions of daily living, explaining our circumstances to others, and dealing with social stigma, are just a few of the challenges that we share in common.
Shocking, painful, and unfair, we still strive to find lotions, potions, solutions and any remedy that would take away the misery. While the healing arts offer great paths to shift our physiology, the personal development industry brings health down to the power of the mind.
What thoughts do you have on an ongoing basis? What words do you use when you’re talking to yourself in your head? The words we use to describe our reality become our reality.
Step #1: Becoming Conscious
Some people are on automatic pilot with their thought habits that they don’t even realize what they are saying all the time. Are you saying something to yourself right now as you read this?
Awareness by itself can sometimes be curative. Do you swear a lot in your head? Do you carry an underlying disgust of your illness? Make an intention every day to become more aware of your own words. Start a regular meditative practice where you don’t get clear, but rather aware of how you think by simply noticing your thoughts as they occur.
In our eagerness to change our state, we may forget that the first step toward peace is acceptance. What we resist persists. Will you resist trying on this discipline for at least one week? Have the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Step #2: Controlling Inputs
What has played a major role in which thoughts come up for you in your head? It may be the words you have heard throughout your life (parents, teachers, friends, media, ads). The good news is that you can reprogram your automatic thought patterns by altering these inputs.
We need motivation regularly, just like we need to bathe regularly. Participating in ongoing personal development programs is a great way to start altering the language that we hear, and shifting the language that we speak.
Have straight conversations with your close circle of friends about your needs and how to support you in an empowering way. While some personal development programs may be out of financial reach, we can all subscribe to a free weekly newsletter, or Like pages on Facebook that share inspiring content on our newsfeed.
Step #3: Using Transformational Vocabulary
How are you? How do you usually answer that question? As you become conscious of this ritual, and start hanging around people who ask the question authentically and listen attentively, you will notice the wide diversity of words you can choose to describe your reality.
You can be truthful and real, and still be positive and fun. Even through humor, we can lift people’s spirit (including our own) with phrases like “I’m better than I’ve ever been, but I’m not as good as I’m going to be.”
Do you really “have to” do certain things? Or do you just use those words to describe something that you could do, ought to do, or want to do. Why create a sense of obligation and pressure when none needs to exist? Everything in life is choice, including the choice to choose our words wisely. This is just one example in my best-selling book, “A Dictionary of Distinctions.”
What’s your favorite word? Use it more often. What’s your life story? Share it more often because others need to hear it. Color your thought with vibrancy and explore the landscape of your own consciousness.
Life doesn’t have any meaning except for the meaning that we give it. What’s the meaning of your adversity? Be playful. Try on different themes. Query your community. This is co-creation because we are all in this together.
Let’s love the world together…
[)anish /|hmed, blind visionary
P.S. The Morning After