Finding Meaning in Suffering ~ 30-Day Online Program

Calming the Storm Program 2.jpg

See this Scientific American article on finding meaning in suffering, highlighting useful insights from research on “post-traumatic growth” by Kasley Killam: http://www.scientificamerican.com/…/how-to-find-meaning-in…/

By searching for good in something terrible or painful, Killam points out how this adversity can act as a “…catalyst for advancing to a higher level of psychological functioning.” These struggles can be a springboard to reach “…greater meaning and transformation.”

Check out my online 30-Day program, recently launched, which takes you step by step through a process to discover meaning in difficult times: Calming the Storm: How Discovering Meaning Can Change Your Life here. Use the following coupon code to get the 25% launch discount US 75 ~ coupon code: carolknoxcalmingthestorm1: http://www.avanoo.com/carolknox

Calming the Storm ~ 30-Day Program

calmingthestorm

I am delighted to announce my new partnership with Avanoo Avanoo (pronounced “Avenue”) comes from the words Ava, which is Finnish for “Open”, and Noo, which is Old English for “now”. So Avanoo means being open to all of your potential right now! It is also a road we travel as we move forward in life.

In 3 minutes a day, Avanoo offers dozens of personalized 30-day programs ranging from Happiness to Productivity from renowned experts on those topics.

The 30-day program has been launched on 19-11-2015 called: Calming the Storm: How Discovering Meaning can Change your Life.

See the link below for three previews. I would like to thank the amazing team for all the hard work in bringing this to fruition: Sara Dickinson, Daniel Jacobs, Prosper Nwankpa, Morgan Stanfield, Laura Forman, Jason Waldron and everyone who worked on the program.

Introduction

A lack of meaning might be called a malaise of our times. When we encounter challenges in life, oftenwe discover that we can’t find a center, a way to cope. What is it all about?

Studies measuring meaning and purpose in life have found that meaning in life mediates uncontrollable stress and substance abuse, depression, anxiety and self-derogation, among others. This meaning or deepest human value, this WHY, points us to reach beyond ourselves, to enrich our lives, and to unfold a deep fulfillment in our work and personal lives.

Calming the Storm

What’s Inside

Day 1.
This Too Shall Pass
Day 2.
Finding Something to Live For Is Critical
Day 3.
The Question of Meaning in Life
Day 4.
Love Can Come to the Rescue
Day 5.
Putting Your Focus on a Project
Day 6.
The Power of Your Mindset
Day 7.
Finding Meaning from Suffering
Day 8.
Turn Suffering into a Challenge
Day 9.
Is Fear Holding You Back from Your Calling?
Day 10.
Learning Self-Compassion
Day 11.
Suffering Can Be an Inspiration
Day 12.
Appreciating Life Right Now
Day 13.
Your Watershed Moment
Day 14.
We Are Whole as We Are. We Are All Right
Day 15.
The Call That Beckons Us to Find Our Destiny
Day 16.
Filling Our Unique Life Space
Day 17.
What Is Your Choice of Response?
Day 18.
Finding Something to Live For
Day 19.
Life Questions and Light in the Darkness
Day 20.
The Experience of Love: “The Salvation of Man”
Day 21.
Are You Your Own Best Friend?
Day 22.
Is It Ever Okay to Give Up Hope?
Day 23.
Going with the Flow
Day 24.
Good News! You Do Not Have the Heart of a Mouse
Day 25.
It’s Time for Self Transcendence
Day 26.
Igniting Humor
Day 27.
Access a Power That Is Uniquely Human
Day 28.
Relieve Your Loved Ones from Suffering
Day 29.
Do the One Thing That You Know in Your Heart Is Right
Day 30.
“I Broke My Neck, It Didn’t Break Me”
Photo by Carol Knox.

Upcoming Program Launch ~ Calming the Storm: How Discovering Meaning Can Change Your Life

calmingthestorm

Upcoming 30 day program launch on Avanoo

Title: Calming the Storm

Subtitle: How Discovering Meaning Can Change Your Life

Categories:

Courage, Life Purpose, Mindfulness, Resilience

Full Program Description:

Introduction

A lack of meaning might be called a malaise of our times. When we encounter challenges in life, often we discover that we can’t find a center, a way to cope. What is it all about?

Studies measuring meaning and purpose in life have found that meaning in life mediates uncontrollable stress and substance abuse, depression, anxiety and self-derogation, among others. This meaning or deepest human value, this WHY, points us to reach beyond ourselves, to enrich our lives, and to unfold a deep fulfillment in our work and personal lives.

About This Program

This program offers daily ways for you to overcome difficult situations, to help you to find the WHY that will energize and animate your life. In finding your own WHY, in discovering your meaning and your purpose, your pain will be lessened. You will 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 working and personal life.

Long Bio:

Carol equips individuals to overcome challenges and life difficulties, guiding them to greater fulfillment and enrichment in their work and personal lives. Her work is designed to help others reduce their stress through meditation and mindfulness. Carol is a long-time trainer, lecturer, and business soft skills coach, focusing on: Train the Trainer, Stress Management, Conflict Management, Negotiation, Diversity, and Achieving Consensus, among other topics. She is a university tutor for training teachers in Life Orientation and Adult Basic Education.

Carol has a Master of Education, cum laude, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Psychology at the University of South Africa. Her research focuses on trauma and post-traumatic stress, and on the benefits of discovering meaning and practicing mindfulness in improving life circumstances. Carol has completed several courses on mindfulness and meditation, and has practiced meditation for more than 14 years.

Carol is the mother of three daughters and currently lives in a small town in the Western Cape in South Africa. She loves animals and likes to spend her time exploring the beauty of the West Coast. In her spare time she likes to write and has recently published her first audio short story: Belongings in the Sand.

Short Bio:

Carol is a long-time trainer, lecturer, and business soft skills coach, whose work is designed to help individuals reduce their stress through meditation and mindfulness.

Keyword Bio:

Mindfulness Coach, Writer, Teacher.

 

 

How and Where to Publish an Audio Version of your Short Story – Part 2

Here is the feedback that I promised in Part 1. I made use of services on Fiverr in order to develop my audio story: Belongings in the Sand: The Tale of the Red-Heeled Shoes.

My voice over specialist was James Blackburn a UK voice over artist, who was fast and an absolute pleasure to work with. For any voice over work you might need, I would highly recommend James. Here is a sample audio on Soundcloud, where I have also made use of the buy button.

My cover art for the CD was created by Sabrina Gennari from Fiverr. Her work is fantastic and she also redesigned the cover for my ebook on Amazon. My collaboration with Sabrina was great, with open communication and she was responsive to suggestions and requests. See the images below:

Front12x12_300dpi (1)

back15x12_300dpi (1)

I then began looking around for ways to publish the audio and where this could be done as an independent publisher. This was very difficult. Audible is not available in South Africa, so I had to find other ways. Many sites are now no longer accepting submissions from independent publishers. So I looked at distributing it through music sites, as spoken word. I looked at CDBaby and Tunecore.

I chose Tunecore. My audio story needed to be distributed as an album, because it is 27 minutes long. This will cost you US29.99 for the first year and US49.99 for the second year. It cost me in total  45US for distribution to the following stores, plus Facebook Audio Recognition and Youtube Music Key revenue gathering:  YouTube Music Key, iTunes, (not available in South Africa), Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, Rdio, Deezeer, xbox music, eMusic, Symfy Africa, iheart radio, Mixradio, medianet, VerveLife, Tidal, Gracenote, 7digital,  Juke, JB HiFi, Slacker, Guvera, KKbox, Akazoo,  Anghami, Spinlet, Neurotic Media, Yandex, Target Music, ClaroMusica, Zvooq, Saaven, 8tracks, NMusic, Amazon on Demand.

See my screen shots below:

tunecore screen shot 2

tunecore screen shot1

Here are screenshots of the other stores I have found the audio story in:

Deezer:

deezer

EMusic:

emusic

Yandex:

yandex

Amazon:

amazon mp3

I have then published the audio story myself on:

Gumroad a very easy interface and user friendly site.

Sellfy easy to use.

Ambling books they were fantastic and uploaded quickly after only one query:

ambling books 1

ambling books 2

I am monitoring the other stores for the distribution of the audio story. I will keep you updated in another post.

I am inquiring into Scribd and this is in process, since they now accept audio stories and books. It was not possible to use Selz in South Africa. Big Cartel and Pully were confusing. EJunkie requires a US 5 per month fee for 20 products or less. I am also exploring TeachOutLoud, but this is not final yet.

I hope that my experiences are of use to you in your quest to publish your audio story or book.

MY STORY OF A KAROO FARM, ANIMALS THE WAY THAT THEY WERE AND EATING ~ AN INTERVIEW

800px-Point_Buchon_Trail_sheep

S: How um you’ve spoken to me about this story before, but relate it here.

C: Um, well look if you, if you, if you think about what my experience was like spending my days like in the sunshine, in the lucerne fields, which were so lush, and feeding the pigs, and you know, noticing how sensitive the pigs were, and uh, how friendly they were and they would come up to me with their little snouts, and they’d investigate me. And uh, uh I always have had a very strong connection with animals from the time I was very, very young. It was never taught to me, it was just a natural connection that I had. So I was spending my days with the living creatures that I encountered on the farm and it was nothing complex, it was the pigs, it was the, the ants and I remember playing with little leaves in the stream and watching the sheep and the lambs gambolling, and the little lambs I remember how amazed I was, they had these little, little long tails. Their tails hadn’t been docked yet.

And then, one morning, we were walking towards, this sort of corralled off area. You know, and I mean the Afrikaans families they didn’t really speak to you as a child. You know, you were seen and not, you were seen and not heard. And I don’t know how much you were even seen. I mean they knew I was there but they didn’t really notice me, except when I was running off with animals and causing havoc. But I remember, we were just walking along, I don’t know why they didn’t warn me or have the sensitivity to think I’m a city child, I’m, I’m young, I must have been nine, maybe ten, I can’t remember, quite young. Um, we were walking towards the sheep and I remember that feeling I had of happiness seeing them, I, I loved their wooliness and um, the way that they were. And they went in and grabbed one and dragged it by its hind legs and I remember just feeling such a sense of brutalisation, it was just I, I was literally riveted to the spot, I couldn’t believe that I was actually witnessing this kind of, I regarded it as extremely brutal to grab an animal by its hind leg and drag it, you know.

And then, the next thing, they took out a knife and they, it was literally next to me, I mean, I don’t know how they actually could have done that, but anyway. (pause) And I remember first of all the mouth struggling to breathe, and the shock in the animal’s eyes I mean, literally next to me. Was, (crying) so overpowering, the shock of realising I’m dying, you know, this is, I can’t breathe, and seeing it struggle and the, the blood is flowing and then just watch the, hear the sounds, the gurgling sounds and watched the light go out of its eyes (crying). (pause) It’s (sigh) it was terrible. You know and it was so bizarre because, look they grew up on the farm for them it’s normal. You know they slaughtered for the table, they slaughtered for commerce, to make money to live. I suppose, so…

S: You said it was the moment that kind of changed your life?

C: Yeah it did, it made me question everything. I mean I suppose I was too young to be questioning things like that, (laugh). Life, and death and animals and their place in the world and human beings and how they interacted with them. It was terrible. (crying)

S: Can I get you a tissue.

C: No it’s OK. I’ll just (laugh) And I mean I remember them taking it to the back of the house and they hung it up. And I saw some parts of that I don’t know why I even looked. And they stripped it and, and then the worst horror is, it was presented on the table. And now what must you do?

S: Did you eat?

C: No.

S: You didn’t?

C: But I had to. Because it was a very strict household and you were expected to clean your plate. So I had a dilemma. And that’s where I learnt to be sly. I cut the meat into little pieces and I fed it to the dog under the table, which was the only way I could survive that moment. I couldn’t eat it. And I never ate (pause) lamb or mutton ever again.

Image Wikimedia: “Point Buchon Trail sheep” by Teddy Llovet – Point Buchon Trail. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/…

Poetry of Perception ~ “Artistic Ruminations on the Nature of Sensation”

I discovered this amazing channel on Vimeo on the Poetry of Perception. Eight parts, four of which are online here

“How do we perceive the world? This is a question that neuroscience has long sought to tackle, but which poets and artists have pursued even longer. HarvardX’s Fundamentals of Neuroscience (fundamentalsofneuroscience.org) presents 8 artistic ruminations on the nature of sensation.”

Here is 2, all are worth a watch:

Words by Emily Dickinson
Animation by Hannah Jacobs hellohannahjacobs.com
Narration by Anna Martine
Sound + Music by Oswald Skillbard skillbard.com
Produced by Nadja Oertelt fundamentalsofneuroscience.org

A Valley Existing for it’s Own Sake ~ Piketberg, West Coast, Western Cape

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SEEN ON THE DRIVE BETWEEN LAMBERT’S BAY AND PIKETBERG.

Coming through the Piekenierskloof Pass on the N7 tonight, at around 6:25pm, from Lambert’s Bay, the sun was setting on the Piketberg valley below. Awash with golden light, the grasses and farms shone in shades of yellow, brown and gold, with touches of red. The warmth of the light created a glow, seeming to suggest that the valley existed purely for its own pleasure and not for the farmers who had created the fields. There was a kind of vibration of peacefulness and perfection, as if nothing painful could touch such beauty, in that moment unsurpassed. The rounded forms of sheep, grey and moving, walking with direction and pure purpose, created eddies of dust, stirred by their feet, in the otherwise undisturbed and silent valley, interrupted only by the occasional windmill. A moment of breathtaking beauty, so sweet.

I attach the eerie sound of the windmill half forgotten from childhood holidays, spent on karoo sheep farms. City girl, listening, with eyes wide open, to the singing metal whine, in the cold and pitch dark:

“A recording of a metal windmill. You can hear the resonant sounds of a metal pole slowly going up and down, lightly rubbing on a metallic disc, changing in tempo, pitch and volume with the slight breeze that was powering the windmill.”

Here is a Vimeo video with the sound and the wind:

Listen to the windmill here from Freesound.org just as I remember it.


Image from Pinterest Kansas by Mary Sue Sander 

The Ineffable – somewhere I have never travelled – e. e. cummings

The ineffable, unspoken, unspeakable, beautifully filmed by fabnor and spoken by Kamal. The poem of e. e. cummings, just beautiful.

// Shot in Copenhaguen
// Model : Annie, thefashionmirror.blogspot.de/
// Poem by E. E. Cummings, read by Kamal

“somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully,mysteriously)her first rose
or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands.”

How and Where to Publish an Audio Version of Your Short Story – Part 1

ride the bicycle

Some time ago I learnt how to self-publish an ebook through Amazon, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). It was surprisingly easy. I had trawled websites for weeks trying to find the right system. A lot of information was out of date and some very difficult to understand and achieve, in terms of formatting requirements. Most were cumbersome and stripped all formatting out of your document, or required document formats that I did not have access to, so of course the KDP word option was like stumbling on a diamond. My short story is entitled: Belongings in the Sand. The Tale of the Red-Heeled Shoes. I found purchasing a template from Joel Friedlander from the Book Designer most helpful for the inbuilt easy layout. I had felt I needed to write this story and my main motivation was and still is, to “get it out there” and to find out how to do it. I needed to write this story.

Then I came to the realisation that audio is a wonderful way to make the story available to busy people, who need some light adventure reading/listening. It has been a long hard road to discover, not only how to do this in a cost effective way, but also, where to sell it once complete. The Amazon and audio option of Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACE) and then Audible, is only available in certain countries. Finding alternatives has been a depressing scour. Further, I needed to find a voice over specialist who could do the narration for me and I wanted to add background music. I was despairing at the high cost of this until I found Fiverr. Here you can find an ideal voice over artist for 5 dollars, with the option of adding extra services. I was elated and found the voice I needed. I wanted a male, with a British accent. This is in process.

Then I searched for someone to design the cover. This is still in process. I have found someone whose work I love, but we are still negotiating. I want an original, eye catching design. This I have also found on Fiverr. It is very exciting and I can’t wait to see the final result.

Here is a link to a Fiverr How To video:

I will cover further in a Part 2, what the CD cover design worked out like, my experience, how the voice over has finally worked out and where to send your audios once done. I hope that this will be helpful for you. So get on the bicycle and give it a try. Best of luck!

Image from Creative Market where you can also find great stuff.

Song of Reminding Oneself – Bardo Song

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Here is an amazing song about the states of the Bardo, that I came across today, I just love it. It is about life and death. It reminds us to use everyday situations and experiences to improve and liberate our minds. I highly recommend the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

“Tibetan buddhism refers to the six Bardo’s as transitional states; the bardo of this lifetime, the bardo of dreaming, the bardo of meditation, the bardo of dying, the bardo of dharmata, and the bardo of becoming.” See VajraSound

This is also beautifully expressed at Levekunst where you can read the transcript of the audio.

Picture of spring flowers taken just outside of Porterville West Coast Cape Town September 2015.

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