The 3 Things in Life that are Certain

Three things are certain in life:

  1. You will never have enough time to read that list of the 40 best ____ – what fills in the blank doesn’t matter. The list is still four times too long.
  2. Your earbuds will always become tangled in your pocket or purse or backpack.

And

  1. Your life will be a journey of discovery.

The focus of that discovery: Well, first off, the end of those tangled ear buds. But, more importantly, you. (You know, just something kind of completely fantastic.)

No matter where we are in life – our mid-life crises or our eighteenth birthdays; our Bar and Bat Mitzvahs or our twelfth Hillel Shabbat dinners – we are continuously blooming. Every person we meet, every experience we have, every sunset we witness becomes a part of us.

The conversation you had with a neighbor last night opens your mind to something more that you are. The journal entry you wrote last week touches a part of you that you hadn’t yet seen. The new flavor you tried at brunch widens your senses to a world and culture you can’t wait to know.

Every moment of presence is a moment of growth – if we allow it to be.

Which also means, at any moment, we are imperfect. We have yet to experience every aspect of life and we have yet to interact with every person who is to cross our paths. Rather, we are open, our hidden parts simply awaiting the right moment and encounter to emerge.

But what does this mean for today?

Everything.

Because, in accepting the journey, we open our minds to the possibility of each moment. And, we start to live our lives with three vital changes:

  1. We take no moment for granted.

If every moment and every interaction becomes a part of us and blesses us with growth, then, logically, every moment is of value. We have all heard the advice to ‘live in the moment,’ but it’s time we do more than just that. It’s time we appreciate the moment, no matter how small, and allow that moment to fill our hearts. Because that moment is now a part of us, it’s ability to help us grow only limited by our own resistance to change.

  1. We open ourselves to the world.

We grow from experience. Which means, if we avoid experience, we limit our own potential. So instead of accepting the comfort of a couch and Netflix show, or following the routine of taking the 5:10 bus and sitting in the window seat of row 12, let’s challenge ourselves. Go outside your comfort zone. Try something new. Welcome new friends and new experiences, and soon you will find, in each day, you discover a little more of the fantastic person that is you.

  1. We live and breathe authenticity.

Something magical happens when we realize we are forever growing: we start to let go. If we understand that we are never quite perfect, we can never fall short of what we think we ‘should’ be.  If we recognize that, in error we learn, we start to embrace those errors. In embracing the truth that our interactions with others can help others grow, too, we start to give ourselves more fully to the world. We can’t be perfect, but we can make a difference and welcome growth just by living each moment as our truest selves.

And, yes, if your truest self is still untangling those ear buds or working through number 26 on the list of 40 best books of 2017, you are, in that moment’s way, still experiencing growth.

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Congratulations. Another moment has passed, and you have beautifully grown!

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

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Take That Back: A simple game to refresh your life

I come to life

on a comedy stage, with a suggestion, and a promise of a good laugh. I come to life on a dance floor, with country music, and a group of new or old friends. I come to life at home, with a pen and a paper, and too many words to decide on just one to come next. I come to life in a clinic, with a child, a few stickers, and a toothbrush in hand.

But do I have to be in those specific situations to feel alive, to feel energized by life? Am I less alive through the rest of my days?

No way! 

Because it’s not the place or the situation that brings light to our eyes. It’s our own mindsets. It’s our willingness to free ourselves from restraints and to gift ourselves the joy of life in every moment. It’s the decision to let the worry, stress, and clutter of life pause so that we can just be, and just breathe.

And it’s the forgiveness we offer ourselves when we choose the wrong path and end up locked in a challenging moment.

There’s a game we play in improv comedy called ‘Take that back.’ Essentially, when you say a statement, the coach, at any moment, can demand that you ‘take that back.’ Say you just exclaimed your love for fried fish. Well, take back that love … so now you commit to a love of rolling chairs. Say you just whined about your character’s lost keys. Well, take back that emotion … and now you are overjoyed about your character’s lost keys. Standing in an objective position, the coach can see what helps and hurts the scene, and can guide you to success with just a touch of ‘take that back.’

And with practice, you can do the same in your own life!

Start noticing how you feel throughout the day. Check in with yourself when you wake up, when you are on the bus. Check in with yourself when you have work sitting before you. Pay attention to those moments when time just feels like it is dragging through mundane and tiresome tasks, or when time is lost to ‘spacing out’ of the moment. Pay attention to each moment.

After noticing for awhile, letting the awareness grow more natural, start to ‘take back’ your experience. Say you woke up with the thought, “It’s Monday morning. Ugh. The early alarm, the trudge through traffic, the full week of work ahead.” You feel tired and weary. You’re already counting down the days of the week. Sure, you could try to let that thought pass, but your body has already responded to the negativity. You’re already feeling weak.

Which is the perfect time to tell yourself, ‘Take that back!’

So you start again, opening your eyes, thinking, ‘It’s Monday morning! Yes! An early start, a productive day, and so much I can accomplish. This will be great!’

Already, you feel energized. Already, you feel hopeful. Already, you are wondering what great things will come of the week instead of reminiscing about the past weekend or anticipating the next. Already, you are more alive and free of your thoughts in the moment.

It’s not an easy exercise to use on yourself. (There’s a reason improv teams use a coach!) But it’s an exercise you can learn and build into your life, and, if you try it right now, just for kicks and giggles, I guarantee* you will experience a momentary transformation in the experience of your day.

*Restrictions apply. Must have your own capacity to set back time in order to complete the guarantee refund of reading this post. And if you have that capacity, YOU JUST INVENTED TIME TRAVEL. DO SHARE, PLEASE!

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© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

A Life at Peace, and an anniversary

Today marks my two year blogiversary here on WordPress! And more importantly, two years spent with all of you ♥

Admittedly, though, I forgot about this date. Writing, blogging, sharing inspirations and bits of experience from medicine and dentistry, engaging with all of you … it’s all become such an integral part of my life that I can’t even remember a time before this blog. And for years to come, this blog and all that it offers will grow and thrive on!

Good news, though: WordPress didn’t take my forgetfulness all that hard. He just sent me a polite nudge and a morning reminder that I better get on my anniversary post! So here it is.

Thank YOU for being a part of these two years. I can’t wait to see what the future brings on Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey To Share … perhaps a name change away from ‘student’ in the next two years …?!

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For now, though, this moment is just where I want to be.

 

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Where Have I Been?

Hey there! It’s been awhile.

And I know some of you may be wondering … where has Mirissa been?

The simple answer: Dental School.

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The real answer: home.

In my absence from blogging, I have been

  • Learning to drill.
  • Meeting with my very first patient (where I was the dentist!!)
  • Volunteering as a pediatric dentist for the greatest of kids ♥♥♥
  • And studying oral health, systemic health, mental health, and everything in between. You can’t separate a smile from the rest of the body and mind!

In a nutshell, life’s been busy. And I’m going to be honest: I didn’t always stop to take the time for myself. I was:

  • Tired
  • Overwhelmed
  • Perhaps a little bit driven 😉

And I let excuses carry me away from my writing!

To be fair, though, I still made time for:

  • Friends
  • Laughter
  • 5 am sunrises
  • And the walk around Cambridge

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And I have had the most fulfilling, incredible time working with my patients, and learning a new set of skills. The challenge is never-ending and the reward is so amazing! 

Every time a patient sits before me, I think, “Wow. What an honor to work with this individual – child or adult – to bring a healthy smile to his/her life. Could I be any more fortunate?”

But life isn’t getting any quieter…

In the next few weeks, I’ll have a new schedule of patients, a new course on my calendar, and a new journey in drilling. Things will get busy – they never stopped! But stick around, because I’m still writing through this journey, sharing my inspirations along the way, and reminding us both that self-care should never get the back-burner … but occasionally, it will have to take a side-burner when a patient’s health and smile is in my hands and the drill is moving at high-speed.

Feel free to share what brings you joy and purpose in life … but first, set your cleaning with your dentist. It’s the greatest gift you could give the both of you!

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

 

 

7 Liberating Steps To Empowerment

Some days, life can feel out of control. Some days, everything seems to happen while we are still busy making to-do lists.

And some days, we remember a simple truth: life is in our hands! With these 7 Liberating Steps, we can find our way back to a path of empowerment. 

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CLICK HERE to read more of this latest article on Thought Calatog and have an empowered Wednesday!

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

This Just In: 10 More Reasons To Smile

Have you seen the latest and greatest from Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine? That’s right! I’m talking about a music video parody of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling” that is bar none, the best parody of the year!

There are so many reasons to love this gem of a video, and this Huffington Post article shares just 10 of the reasons you are sure to smile with this video.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE HUFF POST ARTICLE

The Harvard goal: 1,000,000 youtube views! Help your future doctors get there and share this video with your friends and family!

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Pulling The Shame Out From Beneath The Foreskin of Rape

On Friday the 13th, so long ago, a girl was shot at a high school. A concert was playing at Red Rocks. And I was the victim of a rape.

As a writer and medical student, I have had the honor of sharing so many stories from patients and friends. I have written the human experience from perspectives so distant from my own. But in a time of need, when I turned to Google for understanding and for a voice of reason, I didn’t find what I was seeking.

Instead, I found responsibility, and I found a pen; I found myself tasked with writing the voice of reason and humor, compassion and understanding that I so desperately sought that lukewarm December night.

The following article is the original submission of my story to YourTango, unedited to remain authentic to my voice. Please read forward with humor and care, and remember how brightly a survivor now smiles this Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

41 Thoughts You Have After A Sexual Assault That No One Ever Talks About

Because it’s time we pull the shame out from beneath the foreskin of rape.

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‘If you are a victim of sexual assault, you are not alone.’ Or so I heard about ten too many times after my sexual assault. ‘Others have been through worse.’ ‘So many men and women overcome this trauma.’ ‘You survived.’ As if rape is a rite of passage into womanhood! 

Newsflash: IT ISN’T!

But what I didn’t hear, what no one would talk about, were the thoughts that come after the assault. And I’m not talking PTSD, panic in the mind and body after. Yes, those exist. Yes, they interfere with sex and self-esteem and life in general. And yes, so many people are out there sharing guidance for those issues, myself included. But what about the sexual thoughts that follow rape? And the thoughts of empowerment? What about every single aspect of life that this criminal has just thrown upside down as carelessly as he threw my body against the car door?  Where are the advice columns for that?

Because, guess what?  What he did to me was NOT okay; in fact, it was a crime! And yet, in losing control, in seeing sex through a demon’s eyes and from behind the blade of a knife, I came to be empowered. I came to speak my mind. And I came to a decision to finally share the 41 thoughts you have after a sexual assault that no one ever talks about. Because, let’s face it: the crime and not the reaction is the real shame.

1. They’ll call you a ‘survivor.’ They will say you are ‘so strong’ for fighting back, for getting away.  They will say ‘there are so many who have been through this kind of trauma.’ And ‘you will get through.’ But they won’t know how to make the ‘getting through’ feel safe. They won’t leave space for thoughts that feel weak. Or dirty. Or gloriously wrong. They won’t acknowledge the part of the assault that wasn’t sexy but made you grow in sexuality. Because, thought number 1, you did grow in sexuality.

2. And listen, you don’t need to hear how ‘so many’ men and women have been through this kind of experience. It’s not a shared gateway to adulthood. It’s not a rite of passage. It’s a crime, plain and simple.

3. Because if rape is a rite of passage, a human experience, where does that leave sexual assault? A half-rite of passage, a half-human’s existence? You are almost a woman, but sorry, you escaped a moment too soon. I mean, seriously.

4. Though, sometimes, you do think about the people who went through more, who dealt with more.

5. And, let’s be honest. You’re selfish. Because you know how hard it is to explain to someone that you are a virgin, but you have been sexually assaulted, but no, you have not felt a penis inside you.

6. Not that it matters, because when you do finally land naked on tossed sheets, you’ll forget where you are. You’ll go back to that night with that rapist with his penis.

7. His penis never really does leave your body. Every stroke of your skin, every touch of a man. Your body remembers.

8. And sometimes, that memory feels good. Too good.

9. So you just say it: an assault isn’t something to ‘get over’ or ‘through.’ It’s over. And you and him are most certainly through. But he never leaves you, or your bed, or your sex life.

10. You have never told your partner, though, that you’re in a threesome– you, your lover, and your memory of a rapist.

11. As long as you feel safe. But when you feel weak, when you feel tired, that’s when the memories matter. When the memories hurt.

12. And you have to be honest.

13. And you have to grow strong. Because of your rapist. You have to.

14. Remember, he called your body beautiful. You are beautiful. He called you ravenous. You are ravenous. And why the hell shouldn’t you believe him? Whatever his motive, you choose to believe he was honest.

15. With his feelings. With his needs. Even when you pretend to not understand what went through his mind, you know every crevasse of his needs.

16. So, despite the lies you told to escape, despite the lies you told to protect yourself in the moment, in the aftermath, you choose to be better than your rapist. In EVERY way. You choose to be even more honest.

17. And release the secrets verbally. Because they really do harbor shame, much the way the foreskin of his uncircumcised penis harbored STIs.

18. Not that you were brave enough to get tested for STIs.

19. But there is victory. In remembering. Even though your assailant may have taken your body from you, he didn’t take your memory.

19. So now, there’s a girlfriend who knows every detail of this sad little man’s dick. And you have to wonder if for every rapist, there’s a therapist or friend who knows the details of his dick (or her vulva to be open to options).

20. And, if so, can we make a dick-tionary so police can help find these demons. Or, at least, as a reference guide so women can know one when she sees it.

21. Not that rapists can’t change. Because people can change. You sure have changed.

22. I mean, you still put on the same clothes from that night. You liked the top too much for a slimeball *no pun intended* to ruin it for you. And it was on sale.

23. But, oh boy, has your mind opened to what sex is. And what it isn’t.

24. And why ‘sexually active’ and ‘sexually protective’ are two very different things. When you go asking a doctor for birth control.

25. “I’m sorry, but ‘I want to be ready for when I am raped,’ wasn’t on the intake form as an option, and sexually active doesn’t quite cut it.”

26. Not when the first penis you saw was on a cadaver. Cold and pale, devoid of blood. Sliced open, straight down the urethra.

27. And the second was on a rapist.

28. In fact, calling rape ‘sexually active’ just has a bad aftertaste. There is nothing active about it. There is nothing intentional about lying helpless with a man’s grip around your throat.

29. But you often choose to keep those thoughts to yourself. Because a victim is supposed to be strong. A victim is supposed to move forward. A good victim is supposed to be quiet and meek.

30. And forget that! Here’s the inspiration you needed to hear back in the days after: Speak your mind. Say the truth. Accept every and any little thought you may have.

31. About rape. About sex. About your sexuality.

32. Oooh, but to put yourself and sex in the same sentence. It takes a long time to return to that place. Just a long enough time.

33. And when you get to that place, you know so much more about yourself.

34. And just how much of a right you have.

35. To say no.

36. And say no again.

37. And shout no to the world.

38. Until you are ready to say yes.

39. Not that rape is inspiring. Or glorious.

40. But you know, surviving can be just a beautiful thing!  

If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual assault, please do reach out to your local authorities and support system for help. And never fear putting pen to paper to share the words you needed to hear!
You can find the wonderful edition drafted in collaboration with the editors of YourTango by clicking HERE. Please share this piece with those who need it, and carry forward with humor and care.

Mirissa D. Price is a nighttime blogger and sometimes poet on a mission to spread pain-free smiles. She offers tips for wellness and sprinkles of humor at mirissaprice.wordpress.com, and has publications in The Huffington Post, KevinMD, and more. Though a doctor once said she would live in a nursing home for life, confined to a wheelchair, crippled by pain, Mirissa instead chose to live passionately. Now, as a 2019 DMD candidate and a future pediatric dentist, Mirissa is, in every way, spreading pain-free smiles, writing through her nights, and, once again, walking through her days.

Stay up to date with Mirissa’s writing at mirissaprice.wordpress.com and be sure to follow @Mirissa_D_Price on Twitter and Facebook. You won’t want to miss what she says next!

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

This article was originally published on YourTango.

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You Can Live A Valued Life!

You can live a valued life by simply living in accordance with your values. So go ahead: take pen, paper, a stack of values, and spread your values out for the world to see.


Can’t wait to start sharing your values? Comment with your top three on this post, and take the first step in letting the world know!

Your values matter, and you, my friend, are a truly valued beam of light in this beautiful world!