A single word. A moment of silence. Introspection. A deep breath. A heartfelt smile to brighten the eyes and smooth out frown lines.
Those are the goals of two women determined to help those around them — and themselves — navigate a troubling world. And the online format they are using is one that many blame for fomenting discontent, unkindness and internal and external unrest.
Four weeks ago, Avon Lake resident Kathryn Eyring and her friend Michelle Payne of Bay Village started a Facebook private group called 12 Secrets. The name reflects what the two have learned and now teach in a 12-week seminar that fosters a methodology to inner peace and, yes, happiness. By the third week, the free group had 500 invited members. Several times a day, either Eyring or Payne posts a question or a thought meant to get members to pause, think or rethink an assumption.
“What is your most favorite thing about life right now?”
“Do you try to be better today than you were yesterday? How do you work it?”
“Leave a word of encouragement.”
“What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?”
“The mind is so powerful,” said Eyring, who is known in Avon Lake for her local TV show “Aging Gracefully” and for teaching yoga. Her family’s business, Eyring Moving and Storage Service, has been well-known in Northeast Ohio for 100 years. “Use your mind as a tool.”
If a thought or a worry is torturing you, try and separate what is real versus imagined concerns, she said. “Take your mind back to a happy place.”
Eyring said she and Payne, an occupational therapist, connected several years ago and realized that they both were bound by their approach to happiness and a desire to not let negativity rule their moods and actions.
I have found the postings and responses in 12 Secrets to be comforting, thought-provoking and, yes, fun diversions from a non-ending stream of horror and actual fear.
Like Facebook, the app Tik Tok offers a similar respite. One of the Tik Tokkers has named himself @manfromsomewhere. He is an unnamed, middle-age hiker traveling through forests, mountains and fields. He pauses, turns to his phone, and speaks a few sentences of wisdom before moving on. His voice is soft, his demeanor comforting. He has nearly 536,000 followers.
“There comes a day,” he crooned one day, standing with a snow-spotted field behind him, “when you realize that turning the page is the best feeling in the world because you finally realize there’s more to the book than the page you were stuck on.”
And, stopping on a mountainside: “Hey listen, you’ve done it before, and you can do it again. See the positive possibilities and redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.”
On self-worth: “Stop that! It’s time to remember who you were before you were convinced that you were worthless. When people treat you like they don’t care, believe them and walk away. Because you matter.”
Yes, I know. This all sounds very hippie-dippie. But I’m telling you: Try it. Listen to the 12 Secrets and the (actual adorable) ManFromSomewhere. Stress, self-doubt and bad moods will slowly slip away and you will be more confident and happy.
What’s wrong with that?
Contact this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 440-871-5797.