Monday, February 27, 2012


What do you do when you're feeling tapped out of strength? Are there any particular things, places, movies, quotes, activities, rituals ... anything that you do to motivate yourself to keep going through a tough time? Where do you find motivation? What helps you to not give up?

I'm collecting these for a possible future project. And, selfishly, I could use a little boost right now. If you have something to share, please post a comment. I appreciate your suggestions and advice as I continue to push through and up the next set of peaks.


  1. My husband went through Medulloblastoma treatment and wrote and recorded this song while in recovery...
    It is a constant reminder to both of us that when times get tough We Will Get Through It.


  2. I have a few songs I turn to - "Beautiful World", Colin Hays; Breathe, Alexi Murdoch; Daisy's Song, Dominic Balli; Rise, Eddie Veder; It's Only Fear, Alexi Murdoch...and when I'm mad I turn to my punk rock.

    My quotes I hold dear: "This too shall pass" and "Omnia mutantur, nihil interit" (Everything changes, nothing is lost).

    My wife is my motivation, my heart and my soul. When I feel I can't do it for myself, I do it for her.

  3. I like these movies: Rudy and The Blind Side!

  4. The song I will survive from Gloria Gaynor. Pick a theme song that feels right for you and play it alot!

  5. I agree with Stephen above and plan to check out the music he suggests. Music that really moves me gets me out of my funk. I opted to not have a lot of visitors during my hospital stay, but I was so glad I let the music therapist in. It took me a long, long time to engraft and one day she came in and played the guitar & sang that old Jimmy Cliff reggae song, "I can see clearly now", um...the lyrics go "I can see clearly now the rain is gone...gonna be a bright bright sunshiny day." Whooosh....I FELT that song. I mentioned this to a woman I know whose mother was at a low point & they had a violinist come in to her mom's hospital room. Whatever moves you.

    I also compiled a list of motivational sayings and lyrics from many cultures. I think of them as the "wisdom of the ages".

    I sat with my parents one night and asked them to review with me every incident they could recall of my extended family members bravery in times of crisis. I learned a lot. I used that info to tell myself, "I am made of tough stuff- we are a tough and resilient clan".

  6. “You must do the thing you think you cannot do” Eleanor Roosevelt

    “Dum spiro, spero (Latin), "While I breath, I hope"” Cicero

  7. A few months ago I wrote a quick blog post about this. Check it out

    Hope things are going well! Sending warm wishes from Ontario, Canada

    (extended family of the Chapmans)

  8. Besides praying, I just remind myself that "we will because we have to." Sometimes knowing that there's just no other acceptable choice is motivation enough.

  9. I think really hard about the people I love, that I want to be there for them and that they want to be there for me... Then I visualize how wonderful that could be

  10. If ever I am in a funk (and it seems to be quite often these days) I find my motivation from the ever eloquent LL Cool J's "Mamma Said Knock You Out". I'd like to say it's from finding peace and love but for me I need to kick myself in the pants - and the words "I'm gonna take this itty bitty world by storm and I'm just gettin warm" pull me up every time.

  11. Music of course, and I like today's songs that are full of pep like Pink's Raise your Glass, or Katy Perry's songs and of course Lady Gaga. But also, do things that you really enjoy--is it a massage, spa day, a mani pedi or just reading a good book for the 10th time? (I re-read Pride and Prejudice just because it is my favorite book).

    You don't say why the funk is happening now--I mean, besides the obvious d'uh reason. Is there anything you need or want? I am sure people would be happy to oblige you!

    the other Karin Diamond

  12. The Beach! Walking with my toes in the sand, sun on my face, and wind thru my hair....clears my mind and helps give me positive energy. Just listening to the waves coming ashore and searching for shells, beach glass, or that perfectly white stone. The best place for letting go of stress and recharging for strength! Soon you'll be in California - the beach is waiting for you :)

  13. There is a poem by Richard Lovelace that I love so much, I keep a copy in my wallet so that it's always handy. It kind of puts things in perspective for me.

    Stone walls do not a prison make,
    Nor iron bars a cage;
    Minds innocent and quiet take
    That for an hermitage;


    If I have freedom in my love,
    And in my soul am free,
    Angels alone that soar above
    Enjoy such liberty.

    1. How about giving yourself a great freaking big "high five" for all you have endured and all you have accomplished and a deep breath for what is ahead. A great big round of applause to you dear Karin!!!

  14. Through my 9 years of dealing with being sick on and off I found several ways to get out of my funk.
    One was my ipod. Music is great therapy for me!! Songs such as Journey's Dont Stop Believin, Better Days by the Goo Goo Dolls, Don't Give UP by Peter Gabriel, I can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nah, I have a cd that is the soundtrack from the movie The Persuit of Happiness and all the songs just put me in a good mood and get me out of my funk!!
    Also walking on the beach... You can clear your head and relax.
    Take one day at a time enjoy each day!!!

  15. I wanted to share a few quotes:

    Fear can hold you prisioner, Hope can set you free.
    From The Shaw Shank Redemption

    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
    From the Shaw Shank Redemption

    100% of all the shots you don't take don't go in.
    Wayne Gretzky
    Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed no hope at all.
    Dale Carnegie

  16. Dear Karin,

    I agree with all of the above suggestions (especially movies about overcoming the odds/adversity!!!!). However, one thing that really helped me was to try (and i mean try, i was not always successful!) to learn to let go of the outcome through zen/buddhism/meditation and learn how to be at peace with external factors beyond my control, and enjoy my life in each moment. That way I didn't have to go up and down with each visit, but could just take each event as it happened. This is a super ambitious, but I found it more comforting the more things went wrong with my treatment, because I stopped relying on my body to react to chemo and instead worked on my mind's reactions (much more in my power!). Some books that helped - Zen Living for Dummies (I swear!) and Transformation and Healing (Thich Nhat Hanh). Actually any of Thich Nhat Hanh books would be helpful. I am only suggesting this because I know you do yoga, and the focus on breathing and moving in the moment is very similar.

    All my good vibes to you!!

  17. I can see the "high fives" coming in to you from all over the world and I think...... if I listen really closely.... YES.... there it is.....I can hear the applause for you too!!!!!!!!!

    Lots of love and best wishes to raise your spirits- beautiful girl!

  18. When I'm tapped out of strength I try to treat myself really extra special well. Extra sleep, extra good food, extra reading time, cuddling time with the dog, extra stretching and walking time, time to read. Giving myself the gift of time to get off the freakin treadmill of daily life and take care of #1!!

    Once the above is accomplished and I am feeling refreshed, my motivators are simple - nature, animals, friends and family. I look around my world to appreciate the organic wonder of the world. Sometimes its as simple as looking out the window and watching a brilliant red cardinal perch on the branch of a snow covered tree - wow! I think that I'd like to see the sun, the waves, the trees, my beautiful partner and my dog for many days to come....thats what keeps me going. I think how lucky I am to have this moment.

    As for sayings, its almost cliche now, but I do think its so true and poignant for those affected by disease or illness that we can't change yesterday, can't predict tomorrow, we only have today.

    Luck and Love to you!

  19. Nature and Family always picks me up. Going away for a trip in the mountains soon!

  20. Thank you for all of your thoughtful comments and suggestions, everyone!

  21. I just finished reading Gabby, A Story of Courage and Hope, about Gabrielle Giffords. It was truly an inspiring story!

    Other than that, I love to sing bad 80s music really loud!

  22. Karin, I find motivation in a gift you gave me for my graduation, a magnet that is now tacked above my desk with the following quote:

    "Happiness is a journey, not a destination...for a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin- real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on my that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one." ~ Souza.

    This quote is particularly special to me since you gave it to me, but you have no idea how many of my clients have also noticed it and copied it for themselves, also finding inspiration and motivation in it. So thank you for sharing this message with me and indirectly with many, many others. Now I give it back to you ;)
    Lots of love,

  23. Praying to the Holy Spirit is most powerful;"we groan inwardly until our souls are redeemed". Trusting in God gives you inner peace which quiets our souls. Then, and only then, can the Holy Spirit enable our humanly body to overcome insurmountable obstacles.

  24. Hi Karin!

    I stumbled upon your blog when searching for pics for a completely different site (with completely unrelated search terms, minnesota+tree sap! Erh...)- my personal pep-up project: a blog designed to lure my friends and family to visit Minnesota, the state I've been transplanted to. I used to have a communications-related job and am interested in tourism so I thought, what the heck? I might as well start working on a future career while I'm busy trying to stay alive!

    In a few weeks, I'll be going to make another stab at auto-transplant for non-Hodgkins (ALCL), and the whole thing is starting to get at me. Today, I don't like to be asked how I'm doing, because, you know, I'm having to face my own mortality a little more than I care for. But today I watched BRIDESMAIDS and it was hilarious and real and I was so elated afterwards. I looked at myself like Megan looking at Annie having a little pity party and telling her to just power through. Self-pity is OK for 20 min a day, you know, like in Tuesdays with Morrie. Then you gotta get off it. Seriously.

    I hope the radiation is treating you well. I haven't read much of your blog yet; have you discussed Brentuximab vedotin woth your doctor, as they say in the commercials? It's the new wonderdrug for Hodgkins and ALCL.

    All the best,

  25. I agree with all of the above. But the one thing helps me most is self hypnosis usually combined with meditation. I attended hypnotherapy about 5 years ago and learned how to do self hypnosis. I can go to deeper, calmer places than I ever could with meditaton alone. Not only does it relax me but afterward I feel that I am mentally clearer.

    God be with you.
    Chris M