Recently, I’ve become the audio editor on a wonderful podcast hosted by Elissa Weinzimmer called “How to Speak Your Truth”. The most recent episode, which came out today, is a conversation with the actor and writer Obi Ndefo. I won’t tell you too much, because I think you should listen to the conversation, but I will say that Obi recently experienced a life-changing, nightmarish trauma. The kind of experience that you imagine and say to yourself, Well at least THAT hasn’t happened to me. And the fact that after this he is still alive, and still optimistic, and active, and generous is humbling.
Another recent activity of mine has been a meditative practice that the Stoics (Marcus Aurelius, Seneca) advocated called Negative Visualization. It’s not complicated, you just periodically imagine Your Life+Something Terrible. Like, I am who I am but I’m deaf, or My wife died, or I’m currently burning alive in a fire, or whatever, you know what Bad is. The goal is to increase your gratitude and appreciation for what your life actually is. And in some ways, it’s the ONLY way to do that. So when I heard Obi’s conversation with Elissa, my first thought was “Welp, here’s my Negative Visualization.” And the remarkable thing is, Obi’s living that reality, and with grace. Again, I highly recommend you listen to it. And if you’re moved to, donate to his Go Fund Me.