Michaela S. Cox is a multi-published author and speaker who writes about a wide range of topics. Drawing on her own life experiences with disability, divorce and the death of her beloved husband, Michaela knows what it’s like to face trauma and tribulations and thrive through challenges. Her journey offers hope and a way forward to those who are dealing with challenges of their own.
What I loved about talking with Michaela is that she has dealt with a lot in her life, and she hasn’t let anything stop her. She shares a great list of tools and tactics that help her thrive through challenges in this interview.
Michaela: As much as we can't control our circumstances, and we don't always control the thoughts or feelings that are flying in and out of our brains, we can control what we do with them once they're there... whether we're going to be more optimistic, pessimistic, stay in the yucky places or decide to find our way to the more happy. Can you find a sliver of sunshine amongst the crowds? Look for the rainbow after the storm? Or find whatever you have in your life to be thankful for, no matter how hard the storm is... or seek joy, no matter how small it may be. And that's still a choice.
It may be hard, but it's still a choice. And that's not to say that you shouldn't have your feelings or your emotions or your thoughts. That's part of our humanness, and humanity. But once you've done that, you can either sit in it or you can figure out what you want to do.
Kim: What are some of the forms of self-care that you like to use?
Michaela: In times of grief or extreme stress, I've always chosen napping. You get to go to sleep and you don't feel nothing, and the world goes away for however long you're sleeping. I think there's a lot of forms of self care and I think what's interesting.
I think it's a conversation that has been hard for a lot of people. And I think one of the silver linings, and maybe blessings in disguise of the pandemic, is everyone started talking about self care because everybody was going through it. It wasn't just the stressed out and the overly overwhelmed people. The whole world was going through it and finding need for attending to yourself in this very hard situation.
Whatever form of self care that fills your soul and makes you feel like you've stopped taking a breath and refueled and replenished and rejuvenated... then you're doing self care.
Kim: I want to talk about something else because it's also one of my favorite things: the beach and going to the ocean. You have a book about living the beach life. Can you tell us why you wrote that and what that one's about?
Michaela: I was actually at the beach when I got the idea, my daughter and I love the beach and she's my wave girl.
My son prefers to be on the ocean on the shore and that's fine. You know, he can enjoy the beach on the ocean, on the shore. I want to be in the water. Nine times out of 10, I'm going to be catching those waves.
We were off the North Carolina coastline somewhere, and I was just on the beach just taking it in... kind of relaxing, chilling out. It just makes everything wash away from me. And my head was very clear and I started thinking about all these things, observing that I was seeing... asking myself what can we learn from nature at the beach?
It was just little tidbits that I was thinking that came when I was at the beach and thinking of how living a life at the beach would probably make life better.
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