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With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90  days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.

14 October 2014

Shame Resilience, Part 3

This is part of a short series of posts on 'shame resilience.' The concept is Brene Brown's, and I'm simply making written ruminations on an interview published in Spirituality and Health.

At the end of my previous post, I said I'd write a bit about how I imagine shame resilience, meditation and awareness go together. I was using Brown's thoughts on the characteristics of people who are shame resilient, only recasting them as steps in a process.

The first step is to gain an understanding of what triggers our feelings of shame as persons with a chronic illness (mental or physical) and/or chronic pain.

The second step is to use this new understanding to practice critical awareness.This is where I believe meditation or prayer or deep reflection -- whichever suits you -- comes in.

What is critical awareness? The word critical in that phrase does not mean to criticize or to be critical in a judgmental sense. It's a matter of simply being aware -- without judgment or frustration and without rushing to 'fix' ourselves -- of when our feelings of shame are triggered. And my own experience has taught me that regular meditation is a wonderful tool for becoming self-aware without becoming self-judgmental.

There's an article I love about this in a magazine I rarely read: O, The Oprah Magazine. The article is called "Boost Your Self-Esteem With Meditation."

Photo by William Marsh
It begins with some rather generic encouragement and information about meditation and self-esteem, which is helpful mostly for setting up the final section of the piece, about how to meditate for self-esteem. And since I'm trying to get over a migraine right now, I'll just refer you to the article and take up this series when I feel better.

One final thought: meditation is not a magic, one-time fix. I have said before that these kinds of inner and spiritual changes come about only in the context of a life that includes regular practice of meditation or prayerful reflection.

Thank you for reading my blog. You can leave a comment below, or email me at carold.marsh@gmail.com


  1. Thank you for reminding me that we must be purposeful in making time each day for prayer and meditation. Also it is not a quick fix or a fad like the latest diet craze. It takes time to nurture our inner spirit and in doing so will enable us to reach out and accept the gifts of the Holy Spirit.