How do we “right-size” ourselves and our problems? Is there a way to recover a sense of proportion when very bad things happen in our lives; especially the things we can’t control?
After an accident in college that left him missing three limbs, Dr. BJ Miller let possibility determine his future (not limitations), and today he teaches us how to re-frame our relationship to our imperfect bodies and all the things we can’t control.
And what about the unfortunate smaller disappointments and surprises in our daily life? Can we handle them creatively, and even playfully without letting them constantly turn us on a dime and collectively lead us somewhere we didn’t have to go?
Lots of good questions today, and many wonderful answers!
We’re going to share two wonderful pieces with you that both tend to focus Dr. Miller’s insights in a slightly different way: first a podcast, then his amazing TED Talk.
For us both pieces seemed to draw us to new places of thought, like slowly and yet comfortably tumbling, and then finding yourself with new ground below your feet. In fact, there are so many pearls of wisdom in these pieces that you might miss many, when your mind is stuck on one that really hits home.
I must have listened to both of these three times.
On the things we can’t control…
What does it take for us to come to a beautiful, creative place when sitting beside our hardships?
The answer to that was never made more insightful, and even fun, than in a podcast I discovered recently. Get a favorite beverage and curl up with this amazing conversation with Dr. Miller on one of our favorite podcasts, On Being.
(Even if you only listen for the first 10 to 15 minutes, you will discover a way of living with your challenges with a grace you never thought possible. What an extraordinary person!)
Dr. Miller turned to art for the rest of his college years, at Princeton, after the accident. The notion of learning about design and art helped find some insights about perspective and gave him a new way to “see” the world differently.
Is there some completely new topic you could dabble in to open up some unique perspectives?
“Let death be what takes us… not a lack of imagination.” – Dr. BJ Miller
Now, Dr. Miller helps people at the end of life find meaning and peace. He changes lives at one of the most precious points, when their bodies are failing them in their final days.
With his obvious experience with tremendous disappointment himself, he raises important questions about suffering. Is there such a thing as “necessary suffering?”
Dr. Miller has a very famous TED Talk about his “awakening” to his relationship with death. In this TED Talk, he shares his thoughts on how to construct a life, and “design” the end of life, much more positively.
Again, some great food for thought here. See what you think!
So much to consider. Is there a bottom-line here?
I suspect Dr. Miller gets to that when he challenges us to consider whether he was the least lucky person in the world on the day of his accident, or the luckiest person in the world that day?
How about you? Right now, even with all your own challenges, what do you have to be grateful for as a twist of fate?
Do we all have that same thing to consider, even on our worst days?
Hmm…Worth thinking about.
Meanwhile, stay open, curious and hopeful!
~ Dr. Lynda
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- “B.J. Miller – Reframing Our Relationship to That We Don’t Control.” On Being. 28 Jan. 2016. On Being. Web. 13 May 2016. <https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-our-relationships-are-made-by-the-words-we-say/>. ↩
- Miller, BJ. “What Really Matters at the End of Life | BJ Miller | TED Talks.”Youtube. TED, 30 Sept. 2015. Web. 13 May 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apbSsILLh28>. ↩