Changing Your Perception

A few weeks ago, I went to a class called “Forget Your Fear & Trust Your Truth – A Personal Growth Workshop” held at Happier Valley Comedy in Hadley, MA by Pam Victor, and it empowered me to unleash my potential and stop holding myself back. Three hours at this workshop learning improvisation fundamentals has changed my perspective on life and MS.

When we first got to the class, we were asked to choose an intention card, and I chose one that said, “Take risks.” I was taking this class because I wanted to challenge myself and to live outside of the safety bubble I had created. After we all introduced ourselves and stated our intentions, we split up into pairs and played our first improvisation game called 1, 2, 3. All we had to do was take turns saying 1, 2 and 3 and if either one of us messed up at all, we both had to raise our arms in the air and shout, “Yay!”

It sounds simple to say 1, 2, and 3 over and over again between the two of us; however, there were several times where I and/or my partner would forget where we were in the sequence, and we would have to raise our arms high in the air and shout “Yay!”

Ultimately, what we learned from this exercise is that it’s OK to mess up and not be perfect. We actually had more fun when we messed up because we got to celebrate and become much more accepting of ourselves in that moment. Although at first we were scared to make a mistake, we quickly realized that being scared was a belief and not a fact, and that we had the power within us to change our definition of failure and the power it had over our thoughts and actions.

As we got through this first exercise, I started to realize that my feelings of being alone, having no control and not fitting in were all in my head. They were just fears and not facts at all. Instead of focusing on myself, my mobility issues and how I was being perceived by the other people participating in the class, I stayed in the moment and tried to live in a judgement free zone. The results were amazing. For the first time in a long time, I felt free from my negative thoughts and knew that I could achieve anything that I set out to accomplish. Since that class, I have given my first motivational speech, and I have started blogging again. Don’t get me wrong, I still have self-doubts, negative thoughts and fears; however, they have lost a lot of their power, and I am able to acknowledge them and move in a positive direction.

So many of our fears regarding MS are exacerbated by our own unhelpful thoughts and judgments. The only facts we know for sure about MS is that it is unpredictable, and it’s a “disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body.” That being said, everything else is a belief because all of our stories are different. Whereas, I have mobility issues, I know of other people with MS who are out there running marathons. We are all challenged with different symptoms, even though we share the same disease; none the less, we should never feel alone, out of control, or like we don’t fit in. We are all special. We are all a work in progress. We weren’t meant to fit in; we were meant to stand out and connect with others through our stories.
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Dee DiFatta

Ever since Dee DiFatta was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 25 years ago, she has been searching for something humorous, positive and/or uplifting about this disease. She has finally found all of these things within herself and is sharing her stories with others on her YouTube channel “A Dose of PositiviDee.”  By keeping things in perspective, Dee has managed to maintain a positive spirit amidst her daily challenges with MS.