SMW’s Diva Digest: Viva la Vida

I am an avid reader. Every time I get a recommendation from someone I respect I run out and pick up a new book. I picked up one particular suggested book about six months ago and it has since languished on my shelf. Then a few weeks ago I picked it up and started to actually read it. A few days after I started into it, I was skimming an article about Anne Hathaway in the October Issue of “W.” The interview was discussing the actress’s personal problems being played out in the tabloids right now. And would you believe she said in the article that she’s reading the same book? Coincidence? I think not! The book is Pema Chodron’s “When Things Fall Apart.”. It’s not often that I feel synched up with a celebrity. However, with the economy in peril, the upcoming elections, and all the other uncertainties we’re each dealing with it seemed like the ideal time to read Chodron’s book.

The message of the book is that by experiencing our pain, fear, etc. instead of pushing it aside or running from it – we can actually heal faster. The book also teaches the idea that suffering is universal, so when we are experiencing some form of suffering we can tap into the unifying nature of it and feel more connected to humanity. I can definitely feel the wisdom behind this concept. I always feel more connected to a person who’s honest and open about their battle wounds. I think everyone’s had a broken heart. That’s universal. Everyone’s also been in love at some point. That’s why we all love reading the great love stories. It’s why every one of us probably cried watching The Notebook. It’s universal. Love is a great truth. Unfortunately, so are sadness, doubt and fear.

I have really felt, especially over the past year of my life, that it is essential that I really experience all that is happening in my life. I won’t tell you it’s been pretty. It’s been a lot of growth, but it hasn’t been a lot of fun all the time. I feel like I limped into this year a caterpillar and have spent the majority of the rest of this year as the goopy, misshapen, mush being reformed inside my little cocoon. I’m optimistic I’ll come out a butterfly after all the rearranging happens.

By being open, by learning to practice acceptance (remember last week’s challenge to get rid of should and shouldn’t and experience what IS) and by expressing gratitude for whatever we can, we learn to cope and thrive in times of uncertainty. So whether it’s the economy, the stress of the elections, a health problem or a wounded heart just remember the great and always true wisdom that “this too, shall pass.” Life is a pretty beautiful thing. Even during the uncertain times.

Jill Brown - Duchess GuideJill Brown is a Los Angeles, California based Life Coach and Writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: