Success is really this simple

I’m a doctor – a dentist. And I’m an impromptu dancer. I’m a fan of being playful and silly and smiling just because. I’m a fan of living in the moment and letting go of the worry that clouds out creative energy.

I wasn’t always this way. It took nights of tears and stress in high school, studying for exams because I never was perfect enough. (FOR WHO?!?!?!)

It took realizing that all the energy I wasted worrying could have been used to take steps forward.

It took letting go of that need to be perfect and accepting that hard work and self improvement were enough. It took realizing I was enough.

It took making friends who let me dance in the middle of a crowded room just because. Even if they don’t always join in.

It took a lot of time and self growth to believe in the magic within myself. And it was worth it.

So how can you get to this joy?

Let’s start – all together – with a healthy smile in this very moment.

And GO! 😁

Happy isn’t normal? Say what?! Let’s fix that!

So I lost my wallet. And I heard twice now, in searching for it, the reply, “But you seem so happy still.” Well, yeah. And also, why is this surprising????!

Did I get worried? Sure. It’s hard to be without ID or money just as business hours are ending for the week and I am beginning my call at the hospital. And it’s a hassle. I doubt anyone loves losing these sorts of possessions.

But I can’t change what has happened. In fact, I get how it happened – have you ever been a much too tired resident/student/parent/human? If your energy goes to your patients or other responsibilities, less is left for, quite simply, you.

And I can’t worry it to appear. It is somewhere in this universe and for some reason, it’s not meant to be with me 🤷‍♀️

Accepting what is relieves a lot of stress. Forgiving yourself handles the rest.

But truth be told, in so many other ways, I am happy. I am having a good day. I am safe.

It’s lost opportunity to smile if I let something I can’t control affect me.

So yup. Hey there Neighbor and Friend. I did lose my wallet and I’m not letting even that keep me from all the reasons I have to be happy today ☺️

Here’s wishing you a weekend where you can let those little things go. For joy in the moment!

(And some clever input I received in sharing this story:

I love learning through creative discussion!!!! What creative discussions have inspired you lately?

Simple Tips to Live the Mindful and Present Life of Your Dreams

We are surrounded by the message to “live in the moment.” But sometimes, the moment just seems too hard to manage. Our breath shortens and muscles tighten, and all we want to do is break free from the present. But with some simple steps, we can learn to live in the moment, and experience the present life of our dreams.

I Want You To Shine was just published on PsychCentral and offers fast and effective tools use can use to build a mindful, joyous life.

CLICK HERE to read the full article, and share this uplifting reminder with loved ones.

I want YOU to shine.

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© 2018 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

When you remember, life is simple

When you close your eyes and take in a deep breath, you are met with a moment of peace. Life really is that simple.

But I don’t expect you to believe me right away. It’s just too modest a concept to be true! In fact, even now, I have to pause to remember this important lesson from my past. It gets lost so easily in the complexity of thought.

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So instead of asking you to listen in blind faith, I’m going to share with you a story of how I came to this wisdom. In the end, you can decide what you choose to believe. All I ask is that you make that decision after taking your own deep breath:

 

When I was ten years old, I had a medical condition that required constant medication delivered by epidural. We relied on a local compounding pharmacy to deliver the script, and eventually, there was bound to be human error. That error came on Halloween night.

 

Sewn into a witch outfit made specifically for my swelling and casts, I began to feel nauseous. I wanted to trick-or-treat, to join the crowd of ghosts, witches, and cats, but I could feel my head sway from side-to-side. Sweat dripped from my hands and onto my pumpkin candy bag; my palms were shaking in my lap. My flesh was burning and aching with the constant feeling of being stabbed with a flaming knife. Somewhere between nausea, anticipation, and pain, my mom had readied me for bed, deciding my sister would just have to get my candy. She pulled my thin, pink blanket to my chin, careful to keep my swollen leg uncovered, and wished me a good night.

 

The next thing I knew, my mom was screaming at my bed, her body turning to run down the hall. My consciousness faded as I lay mumbling without words, still holding my hand as though I were grasping the pumpkin candy bag. Clicking my tongue to my lips, I nestled my head in my pillow, my body into Egyptian cotton sheets. The peaceful comfort of my bed extended for miles, and I just couldn’t understand what all the yelling could mean.

 

My head began to shake back and forth, but all I felt was wonder. If something was wrong, I wished my mom would just talk to me. When I tried to scream for her attention, though, my attempts were detached, my vocal cords too remote for my brain to control. Everything, even the worry, seemed so distant.

 

My mom ran back into my room almost immediately with two men and a gurney, her voice swallowing dry tears. I felt like I sat up in bed in response, though I know now I didn’t. With the injury and medication, not to mention the seizure, I physically couldn’t. Whatever they were doing, I lay there invisible. They moved at double-speed, while I watched as though the world were moving at half its pace. For every word they said, I could whisper twelve. Don’t worry, I thought to myself, sitting in a silence more vast than any silence I’d ever heard. Slow down.

 

The weight of my inflamed body melted from my bones, and I rose, floating from the bed to the bay window. I had worn a white, ankle-length pajama to bed, one covered with smiley faces on top and an old Egyptian cotton sheet on bottom. It was an original, sewn together by my mom from my two favorite materials that I just wouldn’t throw away. Staring from the window seat at the body in my bed, I wondered how that girl, too, had one of my pajamas. Her hair was the same strawberry blonde as mine, her leg just as swollen and cheeks just as sickly pale.

Realizing what I was seeing, I felt like the proper reaction would be to gulp. But I had no need to react. My mind was at peace.

 

Everyone in the room looked so worried, jamming the gurney to my bedside, calling out numbers. Everyone seemed so frazzled.

 

Don’t worry, I called out, unseen at the window.

 

Looking behind me, I could make out ambulance lights swirling in our driveway. It was all so interesting, so curious.

 

I’m okay, I thought, fading out of consciousness.

 

You’ll be okay.” A man at the head of the gurney stared into my face as my body convulsed in violent thrashes. Tension wrinkled through my forehead, my eyes staying only slightly open as I gasped for more air.

 

I remember worrying about my nightgown – I didn’t want them to tear it. I remember seeing the popcorn acoustic ceiling as we moved from the hallway, through an arch to the living area. And with a final thought to not worry, I forgot the convulsions and let the world fade away.

 

When moving through my days since then, I often forget what I felt sitting separate from my body. But the opportunity to know that feeling is a gift I keep near.

 

When we think life is rushed, I know now, perhaps it isn’t. Take a step back, and we have all the time that we need. When we worry about the worst possible outcome, I think now, to choose to feel calm. Just maybe, the anxiety will fade away.

 

We all have a tendency to complicate matters. We build stress into each day. We look to the future with fear and anxiety. We look into our past with regrets and what ifs. We complicate our lives until we forget that we have the power to take a simple, deep breath.

 

So pause with me a minute. Take a deep breath.

 

And hear me out, because I’m not pointing fingers. I do the same ‘complicating’ thing. But then I remember the girl in the window seat, the girl who chose to sit apart from the worry. I feel her weightlessness and calm. And I ask myself, ‘Girl, what are you doing?!With a simple choice to just breathe, life will always unveil an extra sliver of peace.  

© 2018 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

 

The Words You Need to Hear

A moment can change everything. May you find the power to uncover so many beautiful little moments in this day.

Today, may you laugh with freedom over a silly little play on words.

May you sit on the bus, without headphones in your ears.

May you accomplish a hurdle at work, with all your wisdom and all your strength.

And may you choose to let go – of those you miss, and your past mistakes. They are over. They are gone. No amount of writing and rewriting will cause that to change.

Still, may you choose to write. And read, and breathe beyond the confines of the story that you tell. We all have a story. We still have many a blank page.

May you rise with the joy of knowing what it means to be alive. May you set your intention to just live your life.

Today, in this moment, may you take a breath in, easing the tension in your forehead. Letting the wrinkles fade to calm, may you begin a beautifully crisp and fresh day.

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© 2018 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

The Key to a Magical New Year

The year is coming to an end, and you have done so much! You ARE amazing! Just take a tally of all that has happened – the goals you met, the goals you still can to achieve, where you started, and where you now find yourself. There is so much you have achieved! There are so many smiles you have shared.

After all these successes, we have a right to feel pure joy. Yet, many of us may find ourselves stopped, staring at the one challenge we have yet to overcome, or the new challenge that has just presented itself in the past few weeks. Perhaps it is a work problem or a personal issue, a family dynamic or a negotiation among friends. Whether it is big or small, frequent or a one-time issue, let’s give this challenge the space it needs … by filling in the blank:

My challenge today is

 

______________________________________________________________________.

 

Now, there’s no magic wand yet invented to remedy life’s challenges, but there is mindset, belief, and the power of positive thinking.  And, those come pretty darn close to a magic wand!

 

So, flick of the wrist and douses of magic, let’s turn that challenge into opportunity.  Take exactly what you wrote above, and fill it in the blank below:

My opportunity today is

 

______________________________________________________________________, and I can’t wait to see what I’ll make of this experience!

 

When your challenge starts to get the best of you, repeat the opportunity sentence to yourself.  Better yet, stand in front of a mirror, say it aloud, and announce it to a friend! The more volume you put to these words, the more your body and heart start to embrace your words’ strength.

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May you have a day blessed with true, rewarding opportunity.  You WILL find your way to the other side, and to a marvelous and magical new year.

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

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.

Because You Deserve a Healthy Smile

Chances are, every single one of us reading this post either has or knows someone who has dental anxiety. The fear is real!

More importantly, the fear is manageable.

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Working with your dentist and these five simple tips, you can start to bring that anxiety under control, because nothing should come between you and the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve.

CLICK HERE to read my latest dental article on The Huffington Post, and be sure to share it with that dentist or anxious family member/friend in your life!

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