I don't usually pick up the O magazine. I did start off this new year with the January 2009 issue. One reason is that when I leafed through it in the store a number of things caught my eye and noteworthy for further reading.
In case you didn't get the issue and if you can't afford it you might check out your local library. They often have current magazines available for people to read and back issues for you to check out.
I'm always interested in any article that talks about creativity. I was surprised to find some helpful hints in an article about being poisoned by Anthrax. Like most people I had forgotten the details of the Anthrax scare about a week after 911. The article centers around a desk assistant at NBC Nightly News that opened letters and ended up in the hospital with cutaneous anthrax. After a painful illness and treatment she still suffers from post-traumatic stress.
Here's what is really interesting to me. "Reaching out to other anthrax survivors is key to Casey's ability to make a life for herself after terrorism ripped away her sense of stability."
There is another story right next to this one about a young mother that worked as a realtor, paid her bills, bought her home and then ended up losing it to foreclosure. The young woman said that the months leading up to the foreclosure had been so stressful that when it finally happened she felt a sense of bittersweet relief. Her pastor reminder her that what she needed was a home not a house.
Again, here's the interesting thing, she still works for Caldwell Banker and with foreclosures. Today, she's the person that knocks on the doors to deliver the bad news. But, she shares her story with them. She has empathy with their situation. She's proof that they can relocate and get through it.
In the first story there isn't going to be closure. Research shows that MOVEMENT THERAPY like walking, yoga or dancing can help LINK THE MIND TO A MORE PEACEFUL RHYTHM of the body.
In the case of the first story, if she insists on closure she isn't going to heal. She has to envision new options and that's difficult because when we are hurting, anxious or depressed and studies show that our creativity shuts down when this happens.
So, even though she might want to curl up on her couch and feel terrible the only way she is going to stimulate her imagination is to get up an move around. Take that walk, go out and be with people, talk to people, dance, listen to music everything that she, at that moment, leasts wants to do.
In the second story her case is true of a lot of us for different reasons. We often get stuck trying to fix what can't be fixed. Learning to live with less than perfect outcomes is hard but necessary. There's an exercise called "both/and thinking" which helps you get there.
"Instead of an all or nothing attitude you embrace the paradox that two states of being can be true, such as I am both distressed about my lost hopes and dreams and confident I can find new ones."
Yes, the young woman went through foreclosure but she is still a good and responsible person.
So, my message to you, my creative friends is NOT to get stuck trying to fix what can't be fixed. Turn up the music in your car and DANCE, DANCE, DANCE until you smile and the Mexican farm workers in the pick up truck next to you, at the light, smile too.