An experience of music and mindfulness to relieve anxiety

Photo by Samuel Ramos on Unsplash

The room was white and cold. Slightly impersonal. It felt like the interior of a spatial hub with astronauts moving around in slow motion. I was lying there, naked and nauseous. They were busy prepping their tools, reviewing checklists, and controlling sophisticated machines.

They were adorable to me, asking how they could make me more comfortable every other minute. Still I felt like a piece of meat. A disembodied thing they were going to fix. My participation in their party wasn’t much needed.

All night, I had been pondering what kind of music would help to travel through this moment…


Exhuming a silent trauma helped to set me free

Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

Infertility is a silent trauma that stole a part of my life. I call the price I paid to become a mother the angels’ share, like this fraction of whisky that evaporates from the cask over the years.

The journey came with a cost — pains, doubts, missed opportunities — that can’t be fully recovered. It also led to discovering dark sides of myself and feelings I wish I had never experienced. Anger, shame, sadness, desperation, disgust, lack of hope, emptiness, lack of sexual desire, and exhaustion, to name a few.

Six years ago, I welcomed my daughters after years…


And other life lessons I learned as a wheelchair tennis player

Photo by Kevin Mueller on Unsplash

Yesterday started as a lucky day.

I was working on a personal essay when I began to travel in my books and the web. My minds flew through every sky, it felt like visiting, to land far away, on an inspirational quote. Welcome to Serendipity World.

I was browsing references about grief, collateral grief, and co-dependency when I docked on an interview with Yannick Noah. The former tennis player answered to a confidential YouTube channel for students. How did this land in my feed? I don’t know, but the title pulled an inner trigger.

The journey is what matters, it…


A poem

Photo by Irina Iriser on Unsplash

You speak me loud, stand me up,
Anchor
Make me swear not to give up
A soil to nest
A steady ground to fly
A serenity to harvest

You’re an heaven, my haven
Harbor
Where you are belongs my anchor
A land to fall
A liberty to fail
A light morning to rise again

When in my arms you whisper
Encore
The world blooms wider, jumps further
Til dull midnights,
Til time to live bigger
Til beauty blossoms everywhere

You’re my life’s Anchor
You’re my life’s Encore

I am a writer, speaker, Paralympian, mother of twins, and a constant dreamer…


Don’t wait for happiness season. There’s none

Photo by Lars Schneider on Unsplash

Today is Friday. For the last seven days, life has only got worse. Not horrible, but not great.

Last Saturday, one of my twin daughters complained about headaches. She had had a running nose for a few days and started to experience taste and smell loss. We tried her with Camembert — very French indeed! She swallowed a cube of cheese without a single frowning.

She is a hyper-sensitive kid who cannot stand vinegar or cheese fragrances within her nostrils reach — a fair 10ft range. That day, she ate a full piece of smelly cheese. Scary! We proceeded to…


And why I want this to change

Photo by Josh Howard on Unsplash

Are you multi-resilient?

One of these individuals whose journey has been made of many hurdles, failures, griefs, and recoveries. And life is a long-haul struggle prompting physical and mental pain, streams of silent tears, and tight jaws hidden behind smiles. Are you one of these strong characters who seek respect in their boundless ability and apparent facility to bounce back?

I am one of them.

My life is full of bloody stories, painted in haemoglobin-red.

What does not kill me makes me stronger
Friedrich Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols)

I am alive. I am strong. However, not sure how…


And enjoy the journey

Photo by Ma Yao on Unsplash

My Grand-Father would turn 98 today. He has been gone for four and a half years, but I keep celebrating his birthday. I miss him.

I miss his heartfelt wisdom, one of an old man who’s survived a lot in his life. He was a prisoner in Poland during WWII, in the camps first, then as a compulsory worker. He scoured German battleships’ oil tanks in Gdansk, thousands of miles away from his French hometown. He would never mention what happened there. He was ashamed. And shy, in his own way.

I miss being a little girl by his side…


A plea for understanding and support in managing irrational fears

Photo by Luca Onniboni on Unsplash

People never talk upfront about them, but everybody has fears of some kind. Soft, mild, or severe. Aware or not.

My list of phobias is weird and long. Most times, nobody believes me. I get mocked. My Phobia is Not for Your Enjoyment tells me I am not alone.

People think I am exaggerating when I mention my fears and their symptoms. Wanna bet?

Hall of Fears

Here is my list:

  • Arachnophobia (fear of You Know What) — quite common, shall you say. 48% of women dread spiders just like me. …


I am a compulsive buyer who can’t — and won’t — change

Photo by Michael Durana on Unsplash

Last Friday, I was strolling downtown Bordeaux, my French hometown. My husband and I were completing a three-days trip around the vineyards of Saint-Emilion, my favorite by far, with a short visit to the city of Alienor d’Aquitaine and Montesquieu.

Masks were COVID-ly mandatory. Hands dried out of excessive hydrogel washing. Temperatures exceeded 100°F, for the fourth consecutive day, which was not settling me in a buying mood, till I landed in the Cashmere shelves of my department store.

End-of-summer sales lived their last hours. Sweaters and vests were 50% to 70% off. They called me as if they were…


When performance, fear of failure, self-doubt and pure joy meet up on the tennis court

Photo by ponyfizz on Unsplash

On Sept.13th 2008, I climbed on — I mean, rolled to — the third step of the Paralympic Games tennis event in Beijing. Twice! I nailed bronze in singles and doubles with my French teammate. A significant achievement pairing with reaching World #1 in doubles and #2 in singles back in the years.

I played at all four Grand Slams. I won all of them, except on Wimbledon’s treacherous grass, which never let me win a single set.

Not bragging, I have been an accomplished wheelchair tennis player.

I hated tennis for a large part of my life
— Andre…

Florence Alix-Gravellier

Writer in The StartUp, Illumination, Scribe, Inspired Writers | Wheelchairtennis bronze medallist (Beijing 08') | https://florencetalksus.substack.com

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