Monday, November 12, 2012

Find Your Strengthening Medicine with Pj Schott

You know, sometimes even the biggest of extroverts (yes, that’s me), needs some down time.  This week, I wanted to extend that to my dearest Pj Schott, yet she turned her overwhelming moments into something for us all to learn from.  Yet another reason I adore her and her spirit.    Pj Schott has lived in several U.S. port cities, Europe, Greece, and the Middle East. A marketing professional, mystery writer, and futurist, Pj is known to those with whom she works as a problem-solver, an innovative thinker, a top-notch communicator, a visionary, and the soul of a group. She is the owner of the Boston, Massachusetts based company GENIUS and is the woman behind the new Facebook page and blog, Survival for Blondes, where Pj is entirely surrounded by imagined disasters and learns to rise above.

Find Your Strengthening Medicine

In which Pj is dragged to the depths of despair and is saved by a virtual hug

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh?" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. "I just wanted to be sure of you.”

Researching dire global situations and imagining how to prepare for them should they hit home is part of what I do on a daily basis. Most of us know the world is a mess. Who wouldn't get depressed and overwhelmed by the daily bombardment of seemingly hopeless images from around the globe. All of us have experienced the occasional feeling of powerlessness. But we take it in stride. We count our blessings, say a prayer or two, and carry on.

Last week, when calamity struck my home town of New York City, and its surrounding area, I suddenly had nothing but trouble on my mind. That I was nearly in the direct path of Hurricane Sandy made me thankful disaster preparedness is a passion of mine. But my heart still ached for those who were not prepared. And when a Nor'easter suddenly landed on these folks, compounding their suffering, I found myself searching for a reason to get out of bed.

Even people who know me extremely well would find this hard to believe. But the most capable and intelligent of humans sometimes find it difficult to cope with anxiety and depression. Count my legs. My reaction was completely normal.

My turning point came this morning when our beloved Jen Tucker told me not to worry about coming to visit you all this month. Her kindness and compassion humbled me and gave me the gentle prodding I needed. "Now is the time to ask the obvious question … What Would Pooh Do?"

A master of the art of living in the Here-and-Now, Pooh didn't dwell on the past or worry about the future. Even in the face of disaster, he would have remained relaxed, balanced, and focused. When faced with thoughts of despair, the Zen-like bear would no doubt remind himself that "Some people care too much … it's called love."

Winnie and his friends were always there for each other. When little Piglet's worst case scenario – a bath – had him sprawled on the floor sobbing with his head in his arms, Rabbit said, "There, there, Piglet." And Owl added "Baths don't last forever." Little Piglet sat up, dried his eyes, and replied, "But afterward comes … the Strengthening Medicine."

One thing that triggers anxiety and depression is not feeling "connected." The problems in the world, and all the news that plays on our fears, makes us feel isolated, and distanced from each other. But by the miracle of technology, we have been given the gift of what I call our Astral Family. People we have never actually met, but with whom we feel a tremendous bond.

My Strengthening Medicine, the kindness of someone, who in the not-too-distant past would have remained a total stranger my entire life, suddenly bridged a gap in time and space and made me feel connected again. Now filled with inspiration rather than hopelessness, before this day is over I resolve to reach out to another person and urge them to take a small step in the direction of healing.

I recall something Charlie Brown (no doubt inspired by Winnie the Pooh) once said:

Listen, Linus, friendship isn't about who you've known the longest. It's all about the friend who comes and stands by your side in bad times.

And this group hug is dedicated to all my dear friends in Cyberspace. May the Pooh force be with you all.

Does Pj know how to make me tear up, or what?!  I love you Pj, and am so thankful you are a part of my life.  
Bless and be blessed!

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