Virtuosity 11.11

Where words become worlds…

Take a meditation moment


Meditation is not something mystical or difficult to do. Like most things, it just takes practice. However, PhD students are workaholics, and it’s hard to escape that persistent, “I should be writing,” mantra constantly echoes in your head. Meditation is a way of teaching your mind to hush, even if it just for a moment. However, your mind, like the rest of you, needs time to rest and recover, too.

I share a very short video that may help you get started with meditation. The key is to tell the monkey mind to focus on breath. Simple, right?

It will be!


Fail better

Failure only happens when you quit. Otherwise, it’s just like any other step toward progress and success. My colleague and blog co-writer, Aubrey, has written two posts on failure that say a bit more on the subject.

When you fail at something, you must reflect on three things: (1) what do you do differently to fail better, (2) what does it take to try again, and lastly (3) should you try again. Failure is a wake-up call that the things you are presently doing are not working. However, it isn’t a sign that you should quit. Instead, it may be a sign that you’ve got to do things differently. The question is, what are you going to do that is different?

Speaking from personal experience, failure is a bitter pill to take. It implies that you are not good enough. However, my many attempts and failings have also taught me that failing is one of the best ways to learn. You learn, you fail, you stand up. Repeat. Eventually, you will be good enough and better than before. That’s the ultimate point.

In graduate school, be prepared to fail a lot. It humbles you, it tempers you, it teaches you how to persevere and persist. More importantly, when you fail enough times, you stop being afraid of failing, and getting up becomes a little bit easier. I won’t lie, though. It still hurts, but it is necessary.

Take a deep breath, and get back up. GET UP. Shake out the sting, and brush yourself off. Then, take a deep breath and begin again.




Get started

It doesn’t have to be a big step. But, you must take a step.

Just one.

Just get started. You can do this. I know you can!


Black dog days

A few years ago, the girls from East High decided to make a video on depression. The experience gave me more understanding and empathy – I had no idea that so many people suffer from it. Today, I want to share a video that, in my eyes, describes depression pretty accurately. It is not an illness that you can see on the outside. Yet, depression deeply affects millions of people every year.

The thing is, depression is not something people should be ashamed of. If you suffer from depression, and that black dog seems too big and overwhelming, you can get help, and people DO want to help.

And, if someone you know has depression, read about ways to help and be supportive. This is one of my favorite articles on that subject.

You will get through this. I know you can!



Not broken, but beautiful

In order to become a tree, a seed must break. For a while, everything looks like chaos, until we see the tree emerge out of the ground, and sprout its first leaves. Until then, nothing may look familiar.

Our society often tells us that we are broken. We have broken hearts, broken minds, and broken souls. I disagree. We cannot grow, and we cannot shape ourselves to be the people we aspire to be unless we break the structures that hold us back. Even with broken hearts, if they are given permission to heal, they become stronger and more resilient.

Breaking is identity work. The difference is whether we choose to stay broken, or we grow from the experience. In either case, we will never be our old selves again. Let go of the things that tie you down, and grab your destiny. It is waiting for you!


Find your fury

The best sort of motivation is revenge. By revenge, I’m not talking about the negative kind, that harms another person, or poisons and eats you up inside. You can get stuck in a repeating loop of reliving past events and past pain this way, and it helps no one – not even yourself.

I’m talking about a different kind of revenge. You can “rememory” the events that made you feel so angry or so small. Take that anger and use it to fuel yourself in powerful and productive ways. Use it smartly and motivationally to build you up and get you to your goals.

The best revenge is the power of success by being bigger and better than you ever thought was possible.

I share one of my favorite videos that may help you unleash your fury:

You will see me, and I will be a force to be reckoned with. I will be a force that you never saw coming. I am the force that is unstoppable! YOU NEVER STOPPED ME.

Get enough sleep and rest

Some of my posts are just daily reminders on ways we must take care of ourselves. Like most things, success is about balance, persistence, and moving forward. Sleep is part of that balance.

Sleep is essential for us to think clearly. It keeps our emotions in check, and our bodies need the rest. Make sure you are sleeping enough, and if you aren’t, please try to get a full night’s sleep tonight. After all, you have a busy Monday coming!


Take care of yourself

Taking care of yourself is one way of loving yourself. Today, do something special for your mind, your body, and your spirit.

It is easy to think that we must be the glue that holds everything together. However, my father reminds me often that in order to take care of others, we must first take care of ourselves. Otherwise, what we offer to others is not the very best of ourselves. Thus, taking care of yourself is necessary if we want to take care of the ones we love.


24 hour love challenge

First, I want to challenge the idea of love. Love is not a possession (you cannot have love and you cannot have a person), it is not a “being” with something (being with the thing you love is not love), it is not fulfilling someone’s need (it is not your responsibility to make someone happy – that is not love), and finally, it is not something someone can give to you (someone or something else is not responsible for making you happy). Instead, think of love as a state of mind. It is a state of joy, of happiness, of contentment, and of being grateful. Love is freedom and it is freeing. Love is about building up, and about well being for yourself and for the things you love.

So, for the next 24 hours, practice the art of loving. Feel it, appreciate it, work on it. Practice the art of loving things – starting with yourself. Love the things you do, and think about how you love them, and how you express your love. Then, express it!

Pink clew in shape of heart and word "love"on vintage wooden background



Love yourself

So many things I can say about learning to love yourself, but perhaps the most important thing is making an effort to do so. Think about all the things you love about yourself. Don’t let the flaws, the “I wish this was like…” get in the way. Loving yourself could start with even a simple action that you love to do, and the ability and appreciation that you are able to do that action.

So, for today, love yourself. And if you haven’t started doing that, begin that practice. Love yourself today.


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