To Affirm or Not To Affirm – A Question

lens18041543_1307890912question_mark_purpleSo, after 31 days of affirmations, are you feeling empowered? Reassured? Are you on the way to relinquishing your fears and purging your anger, predicting your own future and living up to your potential?

Or (and be honest) did you find yourself reading the affirmations and feeling all sorts of angry? Feeling forced into positive thinking?

Okay, so it doesn’t work for everybody: it floats some people’s boats and, for others, it has more of a torpedo effect!

Megan Bruneau, from MindBodyGreen, has created a list of reminders (call them whatever you wanna call them), that actually help her live her own best life:

  1. I’m imperfect, like everyone else, and that’s OK. My self-worth is not dependent on an accomplishment, number, or status.

  2. Life is filled with sadness, pain, illness, death, and loss. These are universal human experiences.

  3. Pain is out of my control. Self-compassion is in my control.

  4. I am constantly changing; my world is constantly changing; everything I experience (physical, mental, and emotional) will come and go.

  5. Being perfect is not what connects people. Vulnerability brings us closer together.

  6. If I knew I only had a week to live, I should ask, “what would be important?

  7. There are no “bad” feelings; however, there are unhelpful reactions to difficult feelings. Experiencing uncomfortable feelings doesn’t make something wrong with me, it makes me human.

  8. Playing is not irresponsible; in fact it’s the opposite. Fun is necessary for happiness.

  9. The longest relationship I’ll have in my life is the one with myself. Other people will come and go, but I’ll be with myself from birth until death. The sooner I decide to start being kind to myself, the longer I have to live life supporting rather than undermining myself.

  10. Whatever it is that I’m going through, chances are there are thousands of others going through a similar experience. We’re all in this together.

  11. To ask for help is not a sign of weakness; on the contrary, it’s actually a sign of strength and courage

  12. What’s the worst that can happen? Consider that question. Then ask: “What do I need to survive that?

  13. Things come together and fall apart, and come together and fall apart again. This is what life is.

  14. There are no objective truths. How I perceive myself and my world is flexible and can change.

  15. Acceptance is not about liking, wanting, or condoning. Acceptance can liberate us.

  16. Humans are resilient beings. I am programmed to heal.

  17. We have the ability to find meaning in our suffering. Sometimes it just takes creativity.

  18. What serves another person might not serve me, and vice versa.

  19. Realistic expectations mitigate unnecessary pain, disappointment, and frustration, and my energy changes from moment to moment. I put 80% in everything I do, sometimes more and sometimes less.

  20. I don’t have to “reach my potential” but I will do my best not to sleepwalk through my life.


Basically, you need to do whatever it is that works for you. I will NEVER tell you what to do. I WILL try to give you some ideas to try: maybe some things that have worked for me, or even some things that haven’t. I love to hear what you have to say (although it may be difficult in this forum) and I always welcome your input here, on my Facebook page and with articles in LIVING WELL with FIBROMYALGIA.

I hope that you have all found something that is giving you, at least, a little relief this year; and I look forward to discovering new ways to help each other next year.

fibromodem xmas

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everybody!

Once again, it’s time to start again: clean the slate and hold onto our resolutions (for as long as we can!)

Hopefully we won’t just suffer with our pain; maybe we can find a positive side:

Someone once said ‘just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.’

In much the same way, when we are faced with a crisis (and we are definitely in crisis!), we must search within ourselves to find new resources & greater inner strength.

Banksia_coccinea_AD_MBIn Australia, we have a type of plant known as the Banksia.  An interesting characteristic of about half of the species of Banksias is that the seed-bearing follicles only open with the heat of a bushfire.

A bushfire is a catastrophic and destructive event. However, the plants can only release their seeds during a fire.  The fire then, is the catalyst for the Banksia to procreate and grow new young plants.

So, as far as the Banksia is concerned, the fire is a good thing.  Without the fire, the very existence of the species is in jeopardy.

Like the caterpillar trapped in his cocoon & like the Banksia plant enduring a bushfire, we all experience the inevitable setbacks in our life that could potentially serve as springboards for our personal growth.

Let us all believe that the struggles we withstand awaken our inner giants – and make this year, a year of fulfillment and personal growth. Happy New Year to you and your friends and families.


Happy New Year!


Hi All!

I’m home (not happy about it, but here). I have taken a couple of days to get over the return flight and lack of sleep; and, today is the reason why Mommy and I had to return (at all? this particular weekend?)

It is Rosh Hashanah – literally “head of the year”, the Jewish New Year. This name is somewhat deceptive, because there is little similarity between Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the year, and the midnight drinking bash of December 31st.

Our Rosh Hashanah begins with a small dinner for 26 people (just one side of the family. Tomorrow we will do it again for the other side.) I have left early because, as you might remember, I am on a 5 day codeine/anti-inflammatory withdrawal, and 26 people make a lot of noise and produce a lot of heat.

Traditional Rosh Hashanah foods: Apples and honey, pomegranates, wine for kiddush

There is, however, one important similarity between the two new years – it is a time to plan a better life, making “resolutions.” It is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year.

A popular observance during this holiday is eating apples dipped in honey, a symbol of our wish for a sweet, full new year.

So, whatever your religion, I wish you a full, sweet new year – we all deserve it!