You are alive…. You are here. So why not be grateful for that. The world has not ended by some asteroid from outer space. Or what a minute did I just see that asteroid in the sky coming down for us. No one can predict when we end. But we are alive and most of us are still well. Show gratitude for what this is bringing you. Think of other things to be grateful for a well like your family.
As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Mondia.
Andrew is an actor and speaker who has lived and traveled intuitively around the world over a ten-year period on a budget. He has worked with award-winning actors/directors and inspired 100’s of people from different walks of life to live a passionate life sharing his story of overcoming challenges from childhood trauma of bullying and abuse to attempting suicide.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
My greatest inspiration for what I do today stems from the love of my paternal grandfather and his encouragement to me in singing, dancing and having fun. He enjoyed playing a few musical instruments; the accordion, mandolin and harmonica at parties and even was in an orchestra in Switzerland. He taught my dad and my aunt to play the accordion when they were young. My grandfather came from an artistic family which passed down the line. He and my grandmother took care of me as a toddler while my parents were busy working/studying when I was a toddler living in Switzerland for a year. Through their love for me they would sing and dance to entertain me plus showering me with love. Despite this strong bond I have with my grandfather; I never saw much of him growing up that I can remember except for the summer I turned 7 in 1982.
I grew up with the influence of music in my life since and even started going to operas with my mom. I have always been drawn to helping people and raising their spirits when their low. I have been in entertainment from an early age performing in front of friends, family and strangers whether it is singing in a choir, taking a ballet class where I was the only guy in the class or performing on stage. My grandfather died when I was 14 and made a conscious choice to pursue this career path but along the way have learned to tap into my intuition more and work more on understanding myself on a spiritual level. Personal development work has helped further shape of who I am today in order to help those that seek my guidance. I am your light in the chaos bringing a message that different is fun!
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
The Magicians Way by William Whitecloud. I was so drawn by the story presented and was one book I couldn’t stop reading. The way it was presented in a fictional setting but gave lessons that apply to everyday life was amazing. Very inspiring. The main character goes through a journey of self-discovery and in life we all go through a similar journey. What transpires and what lessons learned is amazing. Inspiring to read and makes you think about your own life and what you can do to make it better. It’s not just a fiction book that you can read and forget about but a journey you live through vicariously!
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons to Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
We are all in this together. Remember that you are not alone as the whole world is going through this. Everyone has these feelings of strangeness as well. It’s how you deal with it that matters most.
Focus on the positive. When you focus on what you can do proactively for yourself and the things you want do. For instance, look at positive news even from other countries of what is going on. Some have even started to slowly get back in business. My mother lives in Switzerland in the Italian region of Ticino. An area hit really bad as they border Northern Italy where it was hit really bad. Almost 300 people have died. The week of April 27th was when they started to slowly allow businesses to reopen. Slowly life is returning.
Faith… it is important we have faith in what is happening. Just as there is a beginning there is an end. If you have faith then all will be well. Remember to breath in and out letting in a calmness to your body to relax in the moment you are in.
Gratitude — You are alive…. You are here. So why not be grateful for that. The world has not ended by some asteroid from outer space. Or what a minute did I just see that asteroid in the sky coming down for us. No one can predict when we end. But we are alive and most of us are still well. Show gratitude for what this is bringing you. Think of other things to be grateful for a well like your family.
Extra Time — For some people who do not work due to not having the luxury to work from home. Use the extra time to catch up on reading or watching that particular documentary, movie or tv show you have wanted to watch. Catch a comedy!
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
- Connect — just because you are in isolation does not mean we cannot communicate. I have tapped into a community on a daily basis that was started by a friend. She did it so people have a way to connect. Pick up the phone to call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile or write to someone even.
- Volunteer — there are people in your area that can use help like those who are vulnerable to going outside. Offer to assist them in their food shopping and getting essentials they need. When you do something for someone else you will feel good about yourself. I know being of service to others brings me joy.
- Share your journey online with the world to complete strangers using social media. You never know where or what can happen from doing that. Who knows something new and exciting could happen for you.
- Just be there for other people… Just to know that you are there for someone who needs it can be assuring in itself. Offer to be a support person. When you focus on someone else in helping them the less you will be in thinking too much. I know for a fact as I can tend t worry myself and find that putting my attention on something else helps. But even better if it helps in a positive way.
- Laughter… when you laugh and there are people around you… they will laugh in turn. The release of tension will help not only you but others as well. After all laughter is contagious and one of the better bugs to get. Laughter is after all a great cure for the blues!
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
When I am anxious, I reach for the things that are nearby first to help. Sometimes depending… a nap will do the trick if I am tired. Afterwards you are calm cause you have a chance to rest the brain. Our brains overwork a lot and when we worry, we can get anxious.
Meditation is another great tool to use. There are various forms and depends as I ue a variety. Some are guided and you simply close your eyes and follow the voice as it takes you in a journey in the wherever it you are going. Other meditations require you to be silent. You sit and close your eyes and let the thoughts wash away. Breathing in and out and go within yourself. Looking in from an outside perspective can help.
Listening to music that relaxes you is what I used to do but now I enjoy the silence around me. But what music do you like to listen to. Put it on and just relax and let the music take you away for a bit. Almost like in a meditation really. Just enjoy the music and where it takes you. Usually classical music is best when you want to feel peace inside. I know it helps me greatly especially Opera.
A fourth options is to watch a show or movie. Or even read a book of interest whether fiction or non. Distracting the mind is a great way as you probably noticed to distract from what you are anxious about. When we distract and move away you are able to focus on what is important to you than what thoughts once creeped in that made you worry.
Now most people may do this and that is to talk to friends and family about whatever is eating you up. It’s “What’s eating me up?” and the need to just vent to someone that will listen. Often times a friendly ear will help especially when as individuals we cannot think clearly when we are anxious and our thoughts run wild. Sometimes that outside voice from someone else can help. If you have no one then speak to your doctor or seek help from your community. I know where I live there are support places and am sure if you look where you are there maybe too. Ask around and am sure you will find support. But just acknowledging and recognizing you are anxious is a big step in first dealing with it.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt
I have always done things differently. Never followed other people even though there were times I wanted to. I move through life with trial and error really. There were times I wondered if I was right and questioned it. Sometimes felt inferior too. The more I live each day and since hearing this great quote when I watched “The Princess Diaries” … I realize we make our life and not other people. Important to be strong inside and out. Live each day to the fullest.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Different is Fun movement
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
Most social media channels @andrewmondia or visit my site www.andrewmondia.com
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!