Days of Change: You Get To Be You, Mindfully.

There are a lot of people who teach or practice a positive psychology but have never suffered, or felt a crisis, or experienced hardship.

I don’t want you to suffer hardship, but then … I sort of do.

Schitts Creek Gif

There are also a lot of young, wealthy (or financially secure) people who have financial backing who spent some of their young twenties, maybe a semester, living a minimalist life. Some as a monk? I wonder how the monks feel about that?

These young explorers also knew how to align with powerful older influencers. Or, visa versa.

They are out there telling people who have lived through incredibly painful things, how to be happy. Never, ever having experienced the hardship. ~ and that shows.

The nuances one carries into a whole, healed life are vastly different than those who simply vacationed in a suffering life for a while.

Experience is the best teacher.

If someone has never fallen to extreme lows, how are they going to know how to help those who have?

Some people in the helping industry more sincerely approach this than others.

I HOPE that writers who experienced hardship will keep writing. That sharing of the hardest times in life will wash out all the synthetic happiness going on in the world today.

There’s a gigantic difference between teaching as a survivor, then teaching as a money motivated Ted talk hopeful with no life experience.

I watched a keynote speaker offer up some random story of childhood that didn’t actually involve anything hard, but he spun it like it did. He clearly, had no hardship stories of his own. His entire platform is synthetic. Survivors can see right through him. He can not see through himself. A few years with a different environment or culture would do him good.

When I went to Alaska, we learned from the Tlingit Tribe that when kids were about two years old, it was common to be raised by an aunt or uncle. They also told us that they teach by experience in many things. Including holding on to their heritage. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life. In fact, their teachings all those years ago, seeped into my own work teaching.

I was going to teach only long enough to get my PhD before going into private practice. Then life said, “ReWrite!” several times over the course of life, as many lives often do.

I of course, lived in an environment where people where shamed and blamed for the things that happened to them. I lived that experience, which is why I’m so against it now.

Living through extreme pain or abuse? 1-Star. I don’t recommend.

1-Star Review from Goodreads ~ and living as a survivor

I’m a qualitative researcher because of living through incredible hardship, then, being blamed and shamed for it. I believe that many people in the helping industries turn toward helping others because of this personal experience. **check out tag words on TikTok, you’ll see**

Dr. Nicole LePera ~ The Holistic Psychologist online, is one of them. She is a brilliant young psychologist who is changing the dynamic of how we deliver our expertise to the world.

Dr. Nicole LePera

I know that if I had had a better support system, better mentors, and better guides in my field, I would have lived a completely different life throughout my 30’s and 40’s.

There is a powerful truth in having great mentors. Get a GREAT mentor that you can trust. Their age doesn’t matter. Their wisdom and experience do. Align with someone you aren’t going to question and who doesn’t demean or devalue you.

There was a kid who took several of my classes, but openly hated the way I taught. I had no idea why they continued to take them. Four in total. Did they learn anything?

See, I taught through a Socratic method. Sort of. I liked dialog. The requirement was ALWAYS to read the chapter first. About 20% success rate w/that one. When teaching, I always had the future clients in the back of my mind. I also had a heckler in every class. Years in, I learned from students that they were intentionally sent INTO my classrooms by a couple other faculty, purposefully, to dismantle my mojo.

I was teaching more than material. The unwritten lesson was building compassion, empathy or emotional intelligence, things that only worked when the entire department also did this.

Statistics are important. So is the art of being a human being.

You learn from your successes, but you also learn from your mistakes.

Answering questions with questions gives the student the challenge of realizing they have the answers.

Vomiting up facts at them, then saying, “memorize this” followed by absolutely NO introduction about how each topic can and is used in real life, is useless. Okay, not if you’re a statistician.

Unless you also don’t care about what they learn or who they will be in the future.

What I didn’t know was that adjuncts didn’t matter to full time faculty (I taught 2-3 classes, for years) in a system that was evolving, then imploding, then having an academic takeover rebellious change of the guard all while I just wanted to do my job and go home ~ yeah, that was fun.

I also didn’t know that academia … that’s pretty normal. I was already a working adult w/kids when I started teaching. It was a long time after that I found out from other full time, tenured professors from around the country ~ thanks to social media ~ who warned me that it was totally normal.

Today, there are two social media platforms where thousands of academics are members. The story of my being devalued, disrespected and sabotaged (particularly by one truly awful soccer mom assistant professor who was just a horrible person to anyone in her way) ~ was NORMAL!

Walk away if you’re EVER treated like that. No job is worth your mental health. Nobody has the right to abuse you. ~ that’s what the great resignation is all about.

The day a Dean told me … ahem … “encouraged me” to give an “A” to a girl because her parents complained about MY classroom …. was the day I decided to leave academia. That girl came to class stoned, or hung over, daily. She copied every note from the girl sitting next to her. The other student complained about her. She was overtly rude to me and her classmates, but part of a gaggle of girls who were also rude to everyone across three classes.

She cheated on every test. She also never handed in any paper until the last week of school. These girls were favorites of other professors. The outlier students often cried, or complained about them to me. They needed to vent and realized quickly, I wasn’t a “cool kid” either. I’m still not a fan of elitism.

The department “encouraged” me to bump her “C” to an “A” because … well, let’s face it, I was the lowest paid salaried faculty member and her parents were generous donors to the college. The “C” was me being generous. OH and the school told me I was NOT allowed to talk about how I was treated.

Today, people are on TikTok, and Instagram, YouTube, Blogs, and Linkedin, plus Reddit …. sooooo many on Reddit, talking about the nightmares they experience at work. Not to mention Glassdoor, Indeed and

I hope the 20 and 30 year old professionals today can appreciate that sometimes, when karen complains to the manager, it’s to make life a better place for our daughters ~ ’cause the way we were treated back in the day was bullshit.

The censorship era ended long before I realized it ended. There are even lawyers and HR professionals who now share what’s legal for an employer and what’s not.

I lived silently with the pain of being abused at home and at work for so long, I had forgotten that it wasn’t normal.

When you live a silent, private hell of whatever kind, you also don’t talk about it.

Getting out there with talking about it is the BIGGEST step toward healing.

Understanding your “why” is another layer.

Relearning how to be a whole person who is entitled to your life, your opinions, your decisions, and your emotions is an enormous step toward healing.

I’ve always believed that philosophy is part of psychology. We can’t understand ourselves until we’ve learned how to think about how we think, let alone learn without experience. It’s part of my pedagogy and purpose.

When someone is breaking an ingrained pattern ~ asking yourself how you WANT to live, then giving yourself permission to walk away from anything that isn’t working for you ~ is powerful.

“The unexamined life is not worth living” ~ Socrates.

Be Mindfully your own human. Stay focused on your here and now. Love yourself as if you are your own best friend. Be so incandescently excited about being a full human, that not a single person can rock you out of living your own life.

Those are the pearls I took away from living in painful moments.

I hope they help you to realize your own narratives in order to be truly happy. Not just … ya know … social media happy.

This was a long chapter so if you’re still reading ~ thanks.



I’m trimming my social media and focus ~ doing what I love ~ letting go of what doesn’t work for me. HenryHealing is my calling card for now.

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