Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Mindful Monday: Choose Three Things That Inspire You

When I’m caught in the net of a depressive cycle, few things can bring me relief. Laughing, hands down, is the best medicine … but there are days even my sense of humor has ran away with my happy thoughts. Being around people seems to work sometimes. Because it’s harder to ruminate when you’re technically engaged in conversation. Any kind of distraction is a bonus.
But when I’m alone … trying to work, be productive, and fighting the intrusive thoughts, I’ve found that keeping something on my desk, or in my pocket, or next to my bed–a piece of artwork or something that inspires me–gives me a little gas on the harder days.
Here are my three things … situated throughout the house to inspire throughout the day.
anya brave.jpegIn my bedroom, I keep right by my bed a painting that Beyond Blue reader Anya Getter designed after reading one of my posts. When I received it in the mail, I was totally blown away. The painting is called “courageous” and it says, next to a lady who looks resilient and self-confident (my dream!): “Do one thing each that scares you,” a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. I look at her as I’m folding the laundry and the thoughts come to give up … on everything … and I decide to write my blog for one more day and to not cancel the publicity gig for my book. I look at the woman in the painting and am inspired by her, which means my laundry gets done sooner, too, because I’m not stopping to research new careers after pairing up each sock.
therese of lisieux 2.jpgOn my desk, in my son’s bedroom, where I work most of the time is a framed original holy card of St. Therese. I’ve mentioned in a few places, that I have a strong devotion to St. Therese for many reasons: she also suffered from mental pain, I love her mission of doing good from heaven and sending us roses, her vision was always to do little things with great love (and since I don’t feel capable of doing great things right now, her “little way” is comforting), and, well, I was named after her and have witnessed her intercessory power in my life. In the frame, I have tucked the card that came with six red roses from my college friend, Libby, who introduced me to Eric. It says, “Thank you for putting your story out there for the people who need to read it. Hope you enjoy the roses. From St. Therese and me!


The Magnificat 2.jpgAnd then finally, right next to my printer, where I go to fetch paper at least a dozen times a day is the beautiful page from an original Liturgy of Hours with the Magnificat, Mary’s song of praise. My friend sent it to me with a card that said my soul also rejoiced in the Lord and that I need to keep inspiring people just like Mary.
Do you have three things that you can place throughout your house to inspire you?

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  • Sheilah

    It is obvious that you have been struggling the past several months. I have a friend, after the death of his son, in the same lifecycle. All I know is to be there when his chat icon pops up, to help serve that distraction from the pain and also to let him know that someone cares. I don’t know any other way as I am fighting my own demons. I so often have the feeling that no one cares and I need to pull out some of the cards I’ve received over the years from friends to prove me wrong and use as my pieces of inspiraton. It’s just one day at a time and I thank you for all of your suggestions and your writing to help us make it to the next day.

  • Lisa

    I just finished your book, therese and it inspired me to keep going. I found it funny, poignant and truthful and I appreciated it. You were one of the first who inspired me to “come out”. You and Dr. Jamison and I’m glad I’m now an “activist” if you can call me that, for mental health in my own little world. If you can do it, I can do it too. Thank you. Thank you for sharing and for your courage.
    With Love,

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  • Therese

    I’m also named for St. Therese and have a chronic depressive disorder kept in check with medicine. Your site is a blessing. I want to share an article that was in Parade magazine this past weekend.
    The artist who restores statues is a close friend of my sister and he has done my make-up / cosmetics in the past. The slide show of his photos calm me. Also, the words “this too shall pass” when I feel awful.

  • Kathy

    Theresa, My backyard is my inspirational thing that keeps me going. At least in the summer. Winter is another story. I began reading your column about 4 months ago, and it is also another thing that keeps me going. Each day I look forward to reading it. I sense you are having a rough time right now and I try to tell myself “this too shall pass”. Somedays harder than others to think of. Keep the spirit and you are in my prayers.

  • Minnie

    Just yesterday I googled these words, ” Do novenas work?” Because my strong Irish catholic upbringing has been slipping away as of late. I was super distracted googling, doing housework, making lunch, rushing around to pick up my two small boys. But two things struck me an Infant of Prague devotion, and someone posting about how powerful St Therese the Little Flower has been in their life and how she sends roses…and I flash-backed to the times in my life where I called upon her and yes roses arrived, and not always prayers answered how I wanted them..but a push in the right direction, yes! How have I forgotten her? Oh yes, depression, and the stress and worry of my oldest son..who has so many ambiguous health and developmental issues So yesterday I clicked the x’s on the pages I googled and said to myself..”Novenas don’t work” And today..St Therese and an image of roses in my inbox ( on the day of my deceased dad’s birthday) well as your story of devotion to her. This is interesting. Maybe another St. Therese push? Today I shall have a chat with her. Thank you.

  • Minnie

    Oh one more thing she and I are both the youngest of nine children. St Therese and me.

  • Deb

    I have only been getting BEYOND BLUE in my email for a couple of weeks now but already I look forward to reading it each morning as soon as I get up. St. Therese of Avilla is also inspiring to me. I am not Catholic. She is the first saint I was ever introduced to by my first spiritual director and when I discovered that St. Therese and I have the same birthday exactly 400 years apart, I knew God really wanted me to study her life and pay attention. What impresses me the most about her life is how much she accomplished in the short time she was on earth while I can’t even get out of bed sometimes for days at a time. She is an inspiration as are you, Therese!!!

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  • Osazee Osifo

    tahnks for shering your home work expireance with your friends brothers and sisters. it’s always good to lean from others: mother Therese is a great mother her inspiretion makes a big impart to the lives of many peopel.

  • william zuk

    you know what I keep around my apt, desk etc.?
    plants, pets, special chrystals, bhuddha art, bhuddist literature, bible
    do you know what I keep on my person ?
    my strongest crystals, an open mind , a loving heart, sometimes my car keys

  • Shelley

    One: On a plaque that is in my bathroom so I see it everyday is a quote from Maryanne Radmacher Hershing that says, “Courage doesn’t always roar…sometimes courage is a the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow’.”
    Two: Crystals that are hung in the window to make rainbows all over the walls. So very helpful in the wintertime.
    Three: A phone message on my answering machine from my granddaughter when she was four. She is now eight. No one is allowed to erase it. I love to hear her voice when I am sad.

  • Artie

    Personally, I never thought about keeping inanimate objects or “things” around the house to inspire me or give me a lift when I’m depressed. However, one of these things would undoubtedly have to be a copy or plaque containing the “Serenity Prayer” which as many of you already know goes:
    God, grant me the serenity
    To accept the things I cannot change;
    Courage to change the things I can;
    And wisdom to know the difference.
    In this day and age, especially, I can’t imagine a better mantra.
    Otherwise, when I’m trying to get out of the doldrums, it certainly helps to have pets (hardly inanimate objects, of course). My two little dogs always put a smile on my face and often make me laugh. And, as the old adage goes “laughter is the best medicine.”

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