Use Your Secret Power to Get Through the Pandemic and Other Gifts of 2020

yourlifestorymatters May 21, 2020

“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”– Marcus Aurelius


At the beginning of 2020, I had trouble getting things done. Even though a few years ago I stopped watching the nightly news, suddenly chaos and uncertainty crept into my life through every possible means from notifications on my cell phone, email, social media, and every phone call from friends and relatives.

What seemed at first like a distant problem that I was sorry to learn about but not directly affected by, had made its way around the globe and seeped into my life causing fear and stress. Now I felt my life and that of my loved ones were in peril.

Pandemics do not discriminate.

Every group and organization of which I was a member, customer, or subscriber sent emails changing the way they conduct business and giving instructions on how to stay engaged with them. Some shut down until further notice.

Did that happen to you too?

That’s it, I thought. I can’t focus right now.

In addition, many of us know someone who has been infected, has passed or lost someone as a result of COVID-19. My heart goes out to you and I send healing energy to surround and comfort you.

This is all too scary and disconcerting.  I considered halting the planning of my life story workshop because my potential students were afraid and trying to readjust to lockdown and canceling of social plans.

But you can only consume so much Netflix, pant through so many romance novels, and complete so many jigsaw puzzles before tedium sets in. Besides, those activities are supposed to be a break from purposeful work, not the main pursuit.

Then, the social unrest and election drama added additional layers to my stress.

I needed to rethink this.

After all, I’ve lived through sad times, the death of loved ones, uncertainty, and fear before, although not on a global scale.

I had also attended segregated schools through high school and been affected by other evidence of systemic racism throughout my life.

How did I get through those?

A realization emerged.

That’s it. I went through them.

In her book, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,” Susan Jeffers says we’re unlikely to wake up one morning and find that we’re suddenly fearless.  But when we learn to face them and take steps to work through our fears, we grow in confidence and resilience. We figure out what we can do to help the situation, and even help others.

Then I realized that this was the perfect time to proceed with offering my life story workshop. 

As a Guided Autobiography Facilitator, with a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, Professor Emeritus from Fullerton College, mother, grandmother, and author of 13 books, I know that writing, though not therapy, is therapeutic. 

We are in the midst of a historic time like we’ve never experienced before.

As eyewitnesses and participants in living history, we must not miss this chance to chronicle what is happening in our own words, feelings, and actions.  

Our fear, when used for good is a gift. It puts us in charge of our minds, rescuing us from feelings of helplessness. That which makes us scared now makes us resilient.

A solution is born. 

That’s when I decided not to worry my way through this crisis, but write my way through it.

I invite you to join me.

Your mind is already writing a story about the pandemic.

You can’t help it. It’s what humans do.

For it to serve you and others later, however, you must write it down.

The most compelling details of the past come from people who lived it day by day and made time to share it in diaries, journals, letters, slave narratives, memoirs, and life stories.

If you’re ready to write your life story in a supportive and safe space, join me in the upcoming 6-week workshop, “Use the Secret Power of Scary Times to Write Your Life Story in 6 Weeks." We will meet online each week for two hours beginning Wednesday, Jun 20, 2021, 3:00 - 5:00 PM, Pacific Time, and continuing weekly through February 24, 2021. We will write on themes like turning points, family, and values as we incorporate ways to build resilience. We will complete memory-triggering activities, practice mindfulness, and discover stress-reducing techniques.  

Get the details and enroll at

If you’re on the waitlist, congratulations because you'll learn about the coupon code for an Early Bird Special before everyone else. Don't miss the strict deadline for this great deal.

Those of you who attend all six weeks of the class, complete all assignments, and share feedback on your class experiences will be invited to a 90-minute bonus webinar on ways to prepare/publish your book to distribute to your family and loved ones.

Class size is limited, so act now. I look forward to having you join us. 

Got questions? Just email me at [email protected]

Flora M. Brown, Ph.D.


 P.S. Did you download your free copy of 7 Reasons You Have Trouble Writing Your Life Story? If not, you can get it at



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