By Stephanie Taormina
Founder and CEO of Have Some Fun Today
Chronic pain sucks. It sucks the life out of you. The fun out of you. It sucks to hurt and have your whole perspective tainted by physical pain. And lots of people have it. For the last two years, I've been living with excruciating pain in my hips. And for two years I've been on a quest to understand what it is and how to stop it.
I fully believe that the physical body is an expression of the spiritual, emotional and mental body. My chronic pain, it turns out, is arthritis. Through mindfulness and learning to be present, I'm learning that it's less about stopping the pain and more about being the best expression of myself. With diet, exercise, awareness and openness, my pain is pushing me to be a better and stronger and me.
My arthritis is a blessing. It's brought me to a completely new consciousness and awareness about myself and my place in the world. When it hurts and when I can't sleep at night, I've found myself digging deep. I have a whole new level of appreciation for my body, wellness and my life.
Finding Joy Through The Pain
It may sound strange, but this pain has brought me to a place of bliss. I'm so inspired and motivated to learn, share and connect with people who are the same path, and who work to be better every day. I want to be strong again. I will be strong again and this journey is putting me on the road to something greater.
What I'm coming to realize is that every day, our challenges in life are the biggest opportunities on our path to finding true happiness. Think about that. Things that may seem like obstacles or road blocks to getting what we want, are actually things that can help us. My arthritis has been a challenge but it certainly isn't my first and won't be my last. What I do with this opportunity and this new found awareness is what counts. I think that's why I'm inspired to share it with people and talk about it.
Something My Dad Used To Say
I started a brand almost four years ago based on something my father used to say. Have Some Fun Today. I design cool t-shirts, bags, totes, a whole line of products with those four words. I think about my Dad everyday and why he said that to anyone as they left a room.
I think what my Dad was really saying was, "Hey, take a moment today and enjoy your life. It goes too fast and you'll miss the good stuff if you're not looking. So look up, take a beat, and soak it in."
That's mindfulness. My Dad was talking about being present and aware and looking for a moment to be grateful. And so now, more than ever, I am living that every single day.
That's the beauty. It's taken the pain to show me the pleasure. It's the days I feel good that give me the greatest gift and reminders of how much I have to feel grateful for. And even when it hurts like hell and it's my darkest, I'm still going find the joy and the light. I'm going to work that much harder to Have Some Fun Today.
Peace and Love,