We could be heroes
It was Heather Small, the 90s pop sensation from M People who first told us to search for the hero inside yourself. These are hard times and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, scared and frustrated. Stress has a horrible habit of bringing out the worse in us and the people we love can often get the brunt of it.
With Christmas fast approaching, many of us put up our trees earlier than usual to bring some cheer into our lives. Work, health, education, social life and family get-togethers have taken a battering this year. It’s been a long road to get to this point and the news of a vaccine brings hope to billions of people around the world.
The struggle isn’t yet over and we need to dig deeper and place one foot in front of the other every day. I recently listened to author Gabby Rivera on Brene Brown’s podcast speak about her latest book, Juliet Takes a Breath. Gabby describes herself as a ‘Bronx-born, queer Puerto Rican author on a mission to create the wildest, most fun stories ever.’
When she was 29, her friend died in a very public way and her world was obliterated. In coming to terms with her death, ‘after much love and much healing’, she decided to honour friend in the best way she knew how – she must honour her joy, to survive and to thrive!
To combat all the misogyny, homophobia, racism and widespread hatred rattling through the US, Gabby decided it was time to put joy front and centre of her life and her work. “…we desperately need it, because joylessness, it’s its own pandemic right now, and it creates pain and then we discharge pain on each other.”
As she calls it, ‘joy is an act of resistance’. We must cherish it, and love each other. I don’t mean “…unicorn, rainbow love, but gritty, real, get shit done love.”
Over the years, many writers and musicians have invited us to be the heroes of our life. In times like these, it seems ever more critical. We are billions of people on this planet, and there are heroes all around us. I like to discover them, and learn about them, because they inspire me to rise above my own fear, frustration, hurt and shame. They remind me that we can keep moving forward, choosing how to be, no matter whether the barriers are big or small.
Take care and keep finding the joy.
Here is my weekly round-up of ideas from around the world to help you work, love, play and feel better.
Openforwards Weekly Round-Up
- Gabby Riviera on Superheroes, storytelling and joy as resistance.
- His epic message will make you want to save the world: Winner of Connect4Climate program 2016…don’t miss this!
- How to succeed every moment even when you’re feeling: a brand new tedx talk from the brilliant Jill Stoddard
- Love, Connection, and Beauty in a Time of Isolation, Tension, and Change – A short video from #BLM on #BlackLoveLetters.
- The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Self-Esteem – An amazing self-help book new on the shelves this year from my dear friends Joe Oliver and Richard Bennett.