Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Make This Year Yours

“Another year is coming to a close. How will you make this year stand out? Be kinder, more joyful and make this year yours.”

The holiday season is here and we have to make every effort to be joyful in the wake of this time of year. It is hard to believe but it truly does feel as though it goes faster year after year. I have to tell myself that I am good enough, and that we all deserve to enjoy this festive time of year. It is time to get gifts for family members and celebrate the changes that we see in the children year after year. Now that I am older you truly see that the season is really about the children. I am fortunate that I see my niece and nephew quite often but the other family children I only see on an annual basis. The grandparents get to see the changes in the children as they grow up. Many things will come to light this year and I am still trying to find a place to live of my own. This is a bit of a challenge given the expense of the area in which I live. Regardless of where I am I will always have my state of mind. We have to take our state of mind with us and remember to enjoy who we are and the things that we share with people.


I challenge everyone to realize the good that they bring to the world. Every one of us has talents and gifts that we bring to the world. I know that my biggest challenge is for me to speak positively and kindly to myself. Being critical and speaking negatively about oneself is easy and tempting, but I need to make it my largest ambition to not do so. We have the power to make ourselves whatever we dream of. Following an injury my life is certainly very changed from the easy path that I was on, yet there are so many others like me. Every survivor that I meet is living a life different from what they would have envisioned, but we are still here and we have to remember that we are important and that we can inspire others. We need to celebrate the fortunate aspects of our lives. There is always so much to be thankful for. Children model their behavior based on how the adults in their lives conduct themselves. Every one of us has to know that the children are watching and we have to know that we are influencing how they live their lives. I actually enjoy the responsibility and will work as hard as possible to always shine a light of positivity towards the children. I have struggled with depression since my injury but this year I am going to make sure that it doesn’t negatively affect my holiday season. We are each capable and strong and we have to not allow the “ants” or automatic negative thoughts to take away from how we engage with people. At the end of the day we control our own lives. Try not to be a passenger, drive and steer your own being.

Thank you so much for reading!

~Noelle 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Never Doubt You Are Enough

“Never doubt. Each one of us has to know that the things that we do are enough.” 
- Kamaldeep Singh

Daily we all go through struggles always wanting more for ourselves and often feeling that our contribution to the world is not sufficient. I think that we need to step aside from our daily struggles and realize that the only person that we need to prove ourselves to is us. I have to tell myself this often. People put pressure on themselves and often feel that they are inadequate. At the end of the day each one of us has to know that we are doing the best that we are capable of right now. I tell myself everyday not to put myself in the same category as everyone else. I am not “everyone else” and the hand that I was dealt is different from everybody else. Every one of us has our own unique strengths we just have to keep working until we find a purpose. Perhaps we are living our purpose and our place in the world is not in the role that we envisioned.

It is often difficult but we must try not to compare to other people. I try and network with others to hear the ways in which they are contributing. It is imperative that people identify rather than compare with the lives of other people. It is always tempting to try and compare salaries with others of your generation but it is crucial that each individual takes into account the fundamental differences that we have all had in our own life’s journey. We cannot allow ourselves to feel insignificant or as if we do not have a purpose. Each one of us is doing our best to contribute to society. As the holiday season is upon us, many holiday shows are available for us to see. In the wake of my accident, I am not able to be an acrobatic member of a cast for a holiday show. I have to know my value; my ability is to provide comforting support to an individual that has been injured. Each one of us has a different gift that we bring to the table. We need to be open to the opportunities that present themselves to us. Surely there will be times that we compare and pass judgement on ourselves yet it is important that we recognize them as fleeting thoughts and that we are enough in how we conduct our lives. It is my hope that we all know that we are exactly where we are in life for a reason, and we each have gifts that we are able to share. Always remember that it takes a variety of people performing different tasks to make the world go round. I thank you very much for reading and welcome any responses that you may have.

~Noelle 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Stay Focused. Stay Grateful. Stay Positive.

"Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, you don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it."
- Michael Jordan


Thanksgiving is fast approaching and many of us are nervous about the family get-togethers that are frequent at this time of year. I think that we all need to focus on making ourselves as secure as we can be. We are each dealing with our own obstacles. It is so important that we do not let those obstacles stop us. Challenges must be taken in stride. I would encourage all to step away from their challenges and try and be thankful for what you do have. Everyone can find something to be grateful for. We have to work on our state of mind so that we can focus all of our energy on being positive. Often times when I find myself longing for more, I will come across some sort of an affirmation on just how fortunate I am.


Perhaps we can each try to focus on others this holiday season. This Thanksgiving I am going to reflect upon how fortunate I am to have my family near me. We all live relatively close to each other and we are all getting the opportunity to watch the children of the family grow into their personalities and who they are going to be. I don’t have children of my own but I love to get the chance to watch my brothers kids grow into little people.

I see my brother’s heart swell with pride and joy when one of his kids acts particularly kindly to another. My nephew stood up for another child who was being bullied in his school. The bully hit my nephew. My sister in law was told by the school what had happened. She was so proud of her son for what he did. Kids don’t have it easy and I was so proud of him for standing up for what’s right. He is still very young but he has a great sense of values. My brother and sister in law were glowing with pride at this occurrence. I will be especially thankful for the way that my nephew behaved on this day.

 I thank you all for reading and hope that you can be truly be thankful for all that you have on this Thanksgiving! I thank you so much for reading.
 ~ Noelle

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sharing Blessings, Gratitude for Every Holiday

“The time is now to wake up, appreciate your surroundings and celebrate the subtle gifts in life.” 
- Unknown

Today is Halloween and I choose to celebrate the good weather and happy children that will be all around this afternoon! We should all put a smile on our faces and hand out candy to the many trick or treaters that we will encounter later today once school gets out. I am going to get myself to the gym after I finish working. I can recall there have been many Halloweens where we had inclement weather but thankfully this year is not one of them. I know many people with children including my own niece and nephew that will get dressed up and parade around neighborhoods asking for candy. Social media has many parents posting their children in costumes for their friends to see.

Halloween means that Thanksgiving and Christmas are approaching and thus another year coming to an end. The temperature today is beautiful, but inevitably it will begin to get colder. I will continue to take part in social activities and begin going to watch Rutger’s basketball as I do every year. Before we know it, Christmas will be here and another year will come to a close. There will be numerous celebrations where families will get together and everyone will observe as the children are another year older. At this time of year it is my prayer that everyone who has sustained an injury can step away from his/her own issues and take part in the joyous celebrations around them. My brother’s favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, while his children like all children will be awaiting Christmas! My support groups that I am a member of share experiences and things that present challenges to each one of us that has sustained a brain injury. It is very important to remember that while we may feel overwhelmed in whatever is troubling us, holidays should be about the joy to those around us. I am choosing to celebrate good parts of each holiday and truly trying to celebrate the joy that each holiday represents. I would love to hear what any of you are doing to celebrate the holidays. Who will pass out candy to trick or treaters on Halloween? We need to realize that we need to be joyous to celebrate the holidays with our families. Every Halloween I remind myself and others that we do not need to disguise who we are. Halloween is about kids and fun it is important not to internalize the costumes too much. Step away from your own internal issues and celebrate the joy of the costumes and the candy! I thank you very much for reading and I would encourage any responses that you may have!

- Noelle

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Power is Yours

“The power to create a better future is contained in the present moment.” 
- Eckhart Tolle

A friend of mine opened my eyes to the incredible teachings of Eckhart Tolle. He is an inspirational and spiritual teacher that helps people to adopt a more positive way to live their lives. As soon as he was mentioned to me I went home and began researching everything that I could find on him. I have began religiously reading his teachings and am sure to reflect upon them if ever I am having a tough day. I share his philosophical teachings with whomever I feel is open to them.

I think that Eckhart Tolle teaches positive autonomy. Nobody should have the ability to change your current state of mind without your approval. For me personally I found this incredibly useful and I try to remember to reflect upon it whenever I feel my mind beginning to go dark. I do have some chronic depression since my injury and it is something that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. Eckhart Tolle’s teachings provide incredible coping mentalities that I hope are never far from my psyche. I have gotten back into working out and a cardio machine is a fantastic place to allow you to step away from your current cares and recite a positive mantra for the duration of your workout. I have found that after I have a great workout reciting Tolle’s teachings to myself I always sleep so much sounder at night. I encourage any of those reading who may understand my depression symptoms to comment and reflect because I know that I am not the only one who has these difficulties.

I believe in community and I have improved much based on what people have shared with me at various different points in their recoveries. Life is an ongoing game and we need to navigate through it and use our own positive mantras to speak to ourselves and help us come up with a good mentality to attack life with. Every day should be treated as an opportunity to better our lives. I have included a picture of me very recently. I hope that you enjoyed reading and I look forward to any thoughts that you may have.
~ Noelle

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Master Your Happiness

"Once you learn to create your own happiness, no one can take it from you.” 
- Robert Tew

I love this quote by Robert Tew and I feel that it is a quote to live by. Once again this is easier said than done, everything gets easier with practice. If a person can master their own happiness then they can truly become independent.

Happiness and peace are lifestyle choices. One can choose to not allow the small things in life to bog them down. I am trying to ensure that I am making the most effort every day to give myself the best chance of living positively. I love animals and I feel that having a pet for companionship is incredibly important for me. I am in contact with many people who live alone with their pets.

True independence would be to have entire control of your psyche. I imagine a life with pets always. I have gotten close with a coworker who is extremely into Rescue and animal advocacy. I greatly enjoy being around people who are engulfed in organizations and activities. I need to get myself involved in a cause, something greater than myself.

I would love to hear what other survivors are doing to find niche activities for themselves. I am so open to hearing suggestions from others. People often suggest getting involved with children; my migraines make large groups of children unmanageable for me. I do enjoy going to watch my niece and nephew play various sports. If my migraines are manageable I try and make it a point to go and visit the various athletic events that are taking place.

My residence I will make sure that I have a pet. I am trying to get close with people so that I ensure that my social life remains as the weather begins to get colder. Last year I did maintain my activity level and I kept up with my social life. I will include a picture with this post as I normally try to do. I hope that everyone has a fantastic week and I thank you for reading.

~Noelle

Thursday, September 27, 2018

One Person Can Make a Difference (With a Little Help)

“One person can make a difference and everyone should try.” 
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Pressing n through life you have to admit that you can’t do it all yourself. I found a great deal of comfort from understanding that humans are social creatures and that we need the input of others to help to put our mind at ease. I accomplished a heck of a lot since I was injured and at this point in my life I am terrified about finding a place to live alone. I am following my own advice and putting one foot in front of the other; it is not always easy. I feel that I need to be honest with other survivors. We are not alone. I pass my time by going to support groups and being a kind shoulder for others to depend on. I feel better about myself by being an ear for others. 

I survived to provide support to others. I am trying to gain more purpose for my life by always putting my best foot forward and being a resource for others. Last night I went to a charitable meeting for an organization in North Jersey. The organization is expanding and they are providing assistance for those with disabilities in my home state. I find myself in a bit of a predicament as I am high functioning for a brain injury survivor yet I still need some assistance when trying to live alone. My biggest hurdle will be passing the time alone. I will have to get myself a service dog. I live a life of service to others; I know that I need help right now. I have been reaching out to others that I know who have been presented with the predicament of getting a place to live themselves. Everything is better when you are with people. I know that I need to be around people tonight so I am going to check to find a support group in my area. My father has been incredible and he has stepped up and is functioning as both my father and my friend. I encourage everyone that I know to try and be a friend to somebody. We all need friends and it is never okay to be alone with your thoughts. It is my wish that everyone knows that they are not alone.

There are many  people who suffer in silence and it is a prayer of mine that people can get into psychological treatment and gain the support that they need. I will be in counseling for the rest of my life and I am not embarrassed about it. I thank you for reading and it is my hope that everyone will get the help that they need.

~Noelle