Just two months after he was released, Coss won first place in that competition for the business plan he initiated in solitary confinement. With his award money, he opened Coss Athletics in 2014, a fitness studio on the Lower East Side that specializes in a prison-style workout. The workout he created relies exclusively on body weight and is designed for small spaces, like a prison cell--or an urban apartment. When I first spoke with Coss in 2014, he had 350 clients and was working full-time at Goodwill to support himself. When I followed up one month later, he had doubled his client list and was hoping to raise money from private investors. By 2016, he had attracted over 5,000 clients and raised $125,000. He rebranded the company ConBody, and he left his job at Goodwill to run it full-time. I always wanted to have my own business and step away from drugs, but I was stuck on making so much money, he told me. These days, he is focused on using his talent to create a product that contributes positively to his community. Coss's clients are mostly young professionals--the same people I sold drugs to, he said. Feel the texture of things. Dig your hands into the earth. Stroke your pet. Caress your loved ones. Feel a sculpture. Rub your hands along a tree's bark. Look at your world with fresh eyes. Notice things you don't usually pay attention to. Look at the many shades of green that nature paints. Watch the clouds manifest and dissolve.
The recovery physically was still difficult but mentally I felt in such a better place. I can't believe that two similar situations can end up being so different and I have Siobhan's course to thank for enabling me to experience something so special and for turning my worst experience into one of my best experiences. I have completely come to terms with my labours and what I achieved in having both my sons. How lucky we are to have them. Birth is amazing no matter how it happens. Caesarean birth preferences Even if a caesarean isn't on the cards, I still recommend undertaking a little inquisitive research and outlining your preferences on your birth preferences document, in case a caesarean should become necessary. I have had three babies, all vaginally, but have always included my preferences for a caesarean. Remember, there's a time and place for everything, including intervention. Pregnancy and birth can be unpredictable and it would be naive of us to assume none of us will ever need any assistance. FOR BIRTHDAYS Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest. Store them in a box to present when the child heads off to college. Take a picture of the birthday girl or boy and glue it to the bottle over the old label. You'll create a whole new vintage. For a grown-up party, blow up a picture of the birthday girl or boy and pin the tail on his or her picture. This game will bring lots of laughs, I promise. Have the balloons filled with helium (at your local party store) or blow them up yourself. Invite your girlfriends to come over (and bring pajamas) for a night of princess delights.
But now, he is touching their lives in a very different way. Coss's story contains an important insight: living purposefully requires self-reflection and self-knowledge. Each of us has different strengths, talents, insights, and experiences that shape who we are. And so each of us will have a different purpose, one that fits with who we are and what we value--one that fits our identity. The famed twentieth-century psychologist Erik Erikson described identity as complex and multifaceted; Someone who has a solid grasp of his identity knows his core beliefs, his values and life goals, and how his groups and communities have shaped him. He is able to answer the central question that emerges during young adulthood, which is: What kind of person am I and what kind of person do I want to be? And yet identity isn't static. At every stage of life, he must actively revisit these questions. Toward the end of life, that means asking not What kind of person do I want to be? Go to your local art museum and walk through the galleries. Really look at the faces of the people in your life. Taste things as if for the first time. Bite into a tart apple. Savor the flavor of freshly baked cherry pie. Pop a clove bud in your mouth. Taste your lover with a passionate kiss. Drink a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice. Delight your taste buds. Notice the aromas in your environment.
So, for that reason I have always included my preferences for a caesarean on my main birth preferences document, even though I have always planned for a natural birth. The likelihood is that you won't need to use them, but if you do then you have them ready. Better that than be in a situation where you've made the decision to go to theatre for an unplanned caesarean and you're desperately trying to think back to what you read in some article (this one! That doesn't bode well for a calm and relaxed birth experience. So, take the time now to give it some thought, note down your preferences and then go forth focusing on the natural birth you want (if indeed, that is what you want! If you're planning a caesarean then the focus of your birth preferences document will obviously be on how you wish for the caesarean to be done. You might, however, consider including a small paragraph on what you wish to happen should you end up having an unplanned vaginal birth. Because, like I said, pregnancy and birth can be unpredictable! Using your hypnobirthing techniques in theatre In addition to the elements that form part of a gentle or natural caesarean, you also have other options in theatre that are worth giving some consideration to and including in your birth preferences document. Arrange to have a massage therapist, psychic, or tarot card reader, and a manicurist. Indulge, have fun, laugh, tell secrets, and play with your friends. Have a breakfast of Belgian waffles, whipped cream, and strawberries. Glue a photo of the birthday gal or guy on the front and write a great quote inside. Here are some fun suggestions: And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age. The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
A person who has lived according to his values and accomplished his life goals will feel ego integrity, as Erikson put it, instead of despair. Researchers at Texas A&M University have examined the tight relationship between identity and purpose, and they've found that knowing oneself is one of the most important predictors of meaning in life. In one study, a group of psychologists led by Rebecca Schlegel had undergraduates list ten traits that best represented who they were deep down, their true self, as opposed to the inauthentic self they sometimes presented to others. About a month later, the students returned to the lab to complete the second part of the study. As the students performed random tasks on a computer, the researchers flashed the words that the students had used to define their true selves on the screen for 40 milliseconds--too fast to visually register and consciously process. The students who were subconsciously reminded of their true selves subsequently rated their lives as more meaningful than they had before the study. Being reminded of your authentic self, even subconsciously, makes life feel more meaningful. There's a reason for that. Our culturally shared sources of meaning are dwindling, Schlegel said, so people have to turn inward to figure out how to best lead their lives. Knowing your true self is the first step of that journey. Breathe in the fragrances of your garden. Sniff the smells of dinner. Inhale the scents of your loved one. Go outside after a rain and smell the earth. Notice how closely smells are linked with your memories and emotions. EXPAND YOUR IMAGINATION The energy and information of the world is translated into subtle sensory impulses that are experienced on the screen of your consciousness. These inner impulses are known in Ayurveda as Tanmatras. We can think of them as mental quanta, the subjective equivalent to the subtlest units of matter in the physical world. Awakening the Tanmatras through active imagination creates a youthful mind.