Want to change your life in 2017? Want to discover your life purpose?

Want to change your life in 2017? Want to discover your life purpose? Feel things through daily short stories, connect to these stories, take actions to make changes in your life, each day for 30 days, in 3 minutes or less each day. See immediate benefits as you discover ways to unfold meaning, as well as a personal calling through tasks that you can fulfill, relationships that you can strengthen and enrich, and attitudes that you can develop and cultivate.This practical, inspiring, and potentially life-changing program will take you step by step through a process towards a more fulfilled and enriched life. Sign up at Calming the Storm on Avanoo

Image by Carol Knox.



PHD Update: Research Proposal Approved

PHD Research proposal approved by the Psychology Department Ethics Committee of University of South Africa, (UNISA)! My thanks to my supervisor Professor Teria Shantall for inspiring me in the first place and for her patience and invaluable advice and to the Department of Psychology for all their help, support and incredibly quick responses. So next year looks like it might be a GO.

“From frozen space to meaning: A psycho-educational intervention among a group of PTSD and/or trauma sufferers based on mindfulness and the work of Viktor Frankl.”

My journey in all ways is towards uncovering/discovering the “great perhaps”. I wrote about aspects of my personal journey here:


See also here: https://meaningunfolding.wordpress.com/…/i-go-to-seek-a-gr…/

In the words of Viktor Frankl meaning is unique to you: “…meaning must be found and cannot be given.” It waits for you to unfold it.

#ViktorFrankl #PHD #Trauma #PTSD #Mindfulness #Meaning #Existential #Western Cape #SouthAfrica #Logotherapy #Psycho-Education #UNISA #Psychology

sunrise one morning

Top Twelve Posts from November, 2014 to February, 2015

“May all beings have happiness…” | Buddhist Quote
An Ounce of Home Mini Buddhist Altar Travel Kit
Dream of a Tsunami and a Tornado | Interpretation?
13 Self-Reflection Tasks for a Viktor Frankl and Logotherapy Workshop #Longreads
Sloughed Off | How I Grew a New Skin Such a Magical Thing
Happy New Year 2015 | Mindfulness Project Free Resources for You
“I Go to Seek a Great Perhaps” – Attributed to François Rabelais
The Normal | The Fallacy of Normalcy | No Wish to be Normal
Depression and Hope – The Danny Baker Story
Belongings in the Sand
The Unfurling of my Heart | A Young Woman’s Journey with Ayahuasca in Peru and the Amazon

Image taken by Carol Knox on #FishHoek Beach, in #CapeTown South Africa.

Feeling Down? Focus on Something you can Do, a Project or a Task that you can Accomplish


When feeling down, depressed or blue, something that characterizes these feelings, is that nothing seems meaningful, life seems colourless and bleak. According to Viktor Frankl, one way to get out of this mind set, or to change these feelings, is to focus on creative things that you can do, uncovering meaning through tasks that you can fulfill. By thinking of a project or task that you can accomplish, you orient yourself towards the future and have something to look forward to doing. If you happen to be feeling down or depressed, try to think of something that you can do, no matter how small. Then throw yourself into action to do it.

Photo by Carol Knox of the valley taken from Trappieskop, Kalk Bay, Cape Town.

How Finding Meaning and Helping Others Helped a PTSD Sufferer


How Finding Meaning and Helping others Helped a PTSD Sufferer

A post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sufferer, had a sense of doom, of no future, but as a result of getting help with finding meaning and helping others he said:

“I never thought I’d look in the mirror and see a 52 year old staring back. Never dreamed I’d live this long and I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time just waiting for the ax to fall. I think now that if I continue to practice doing that one thing every day that I know in my heart is right, maybe my life will have meant something. Those kids I tutor have taught me a lot about my own family and myself. They know when I’m supposed to arrive and they can’t wait to see me and now I’ve got that with my grandkids. What’s most important for me now is to be there for them, not let them down.”
Logotherapy as an Adjunctive Treatment for Chronic Combat-related PTSD: A Meaning-based Intervention by S. Southwick, R. Gilmartin, P. McDonough, P. Morrissey (AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOTHERAPY, Vol. 60, No. 2, 2006, 2 p. 172)
Sunday family swimming photo taken by Carol K

Shaking Up and Giving Up | A New Life


Having encountered Dr Viktor Frankl in studying the Introductory course in Logotherapy at the University of South Africa, (UNISA), in  2012 and meeting Dr Teria Shantall at the workshop, I discovered my own vehicle to unfolding my meaning. At the time I was not sure how this would unfold. I really wanted to become a Logotherapist, but was not in the financial position to continue with the other courses offered at UNISA. In the time since then I have been in the process of paring down, which began with the letting out of my home. I moved in with my sister and then into a tiny “cupboard” as I put my house on the market, sold it and waited for my funds to come through. During this time of waiting and paring down, I worked on a fictional short story: Belongings in the Sand: The Tale of the Red Heeled Shoes, and a small How to Guide on How to Reduce Stress, which I learnt how to publish as an ebook through BookBaby, which is nearing completion and due for submission to BookBaby for distribution.

As I struggled with the confines of the small space and many disruptions and lack of peace and quiet while living in my “cupboard”, I came to the idea to do a PHD to work with sufferers of trauma and PTSD. The underlying inspiration for this came from my relationship with Brett Pelser, who suffered so from depression and what I feel was PTSD. Finally and tragically he committed suicide. The idea also is deeply inspired by Logotherapy and Viktor Frankl. I really feel that trauma sufferers experience an existential crisis, their world no longer makes sense, they have no language to speak this senselessness, this schism in their very being and at the heart of their lives. My journey has taken me across the country to the Western Cape, which has the highest trauma statistics in the country. I have been accepted to do this PHD through UNISA and the Psychology Department. Things are uncertain for me in terms of creating an income to support myself and this study. I am staying in the moment, being positive and looking forward to new opportunities. A new life, a revealing and unfolding, the time is now.

Image of the beach five minutes from my new space. Courtesy Carol Knox.

Work? Optional! – Writing and Trauma Work – Out of the Rain and the Dark and into the Song

singing and triumph


Work? Optional! – Writing and Trauma Work – Out of the Rain and the Dark and into the Song


If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?

Yes, I would work. I would spend my time writing both non-fiction and fiction, especially short stories.

I would also establish a Trauma Practice and work with those who have experienced life traumas of various kinds. Cape Town, South Africa has the highest levels of trauma experiences of various kinds, including PTSD, in the country. I would like to be able to travel to areas that have experienced trauma or disaster and give assistance there. I would use coaching and Logotherapeutic techniques. I would focus on finding meaning and meaning making. Mindfulness and meditation would also be included.

Stress reduction techniques would marry very well with the above.

I see this as my future work.  Out of the rain and the dark and into the song.

Images from Imagicity

Long Exposure – Epiphanies and Meaning Unfolding – Lived Experience

Long Exposure – Epiphanies and Meaning Unfolding – Lived Experience

Among the people you’ve known for a long time, who is the person who’s changed the most over the years? Was the change for the better?

ambs 3

My daughter Amber. I had a call from her this morning. She talked about the incredible challenges she experienced in B. She is one of the organisers of a debating tournament. She explained how she really felt a deep spiritual understanding of how the world works. How she got through immense problems while feeling she was: “just able to keep standing in her skin”. She talked about how she was challenged as an individual to the very boundary of her being, her exhaustion, pushing through and becoming far beyond what she thought was possible. She learnt what she is capable of as a human being, while actualising the following Franklinian values and sources of meaning, achieving a self-transcendence: the creative value, doing something in the service of others – “we experience meaning only when we make use of our gifts and fulfill our unique calling in contributing to society” ~ Paul Wong. Goals or projects that are future oriented; experiential value, relating to other people, life and nature with openness and appreciation, strengthening herself, others and her personal relationship. Finding meaning through love and loved ones; attitudinal value, which applies to finding meaning in times of suffering – in helping others and becoming what she had to become when confronted with very difficult circumstances, including helping someone who was seriously ill – transforming suffering, revising life goals, positive meaning and lessons, spirituality ~ Paul Wong.

In Amber’s own words:

“…i love you all, and i am proud of you all, and i can’t wait to work to move forward with this as the foundation that has spread so strongly among us through the toughest of circumstances.

you have changed how i view debate, and the world, and myself, and i cannot thank you enough…”

She is very blessed to have had this opportunity to really work on a deep level in her experiences in this situation, which when confronted with it, she became for others. How extraordinary to have had this opportunity to really extend herself. I am deeply happy for her, to have had these challenges so young and to learn so much about herself. She talked about how the spiritual teachings she has been exposed to at a young age, (Buddhist teachings from Geshela’s and teaching in India when she was 13), had given her a kind of inner bedrock of strength to work from. I wept when I realised that the teachings I have exposed her to, have had a profound impact on her life, in ways neither she nor I could have expected. I am grateful to all my precious teachers, thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for enabling me to be a vehicle to bring the Dharma, (dharma is the universal truth common to all individuals at all times, and it is regarded as one of the primary sources of Buddhist doctrine and practice), to my daughter, who has brought it to her partner, through lived and challenging experiences. She was protected.

Image courtesy of Carol Knox.

Let’s Be Present – The Five Components of Mindful Presence ~ Paul Wong


According to Paul Wong, there are five components of mindful presence: “openness, compassion, empathy, acceptance and non-judgement.” He also emphasises the importance of the self-regulation skill of mindful awareness.
From Wong in: From Logotherapy to Meaning-Centered Counseling and Therapy.

Header Image purchased at Creative Market – Huge Nature Photo Set. One license only. View cool stuff to buy.