Archive for November, 2018


Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Carrie Writes
Published in the republican 2018

Carrie Barrepski

One way to deal with the holiday rush is to remember what is important. One way to accomplish this is to have a mindful practice in your life. As a student of spirituality and Buddhism, I am always looking for ways to increase serenity and peace, while connecting with Buddha.
There are five simple daily tasks that can be completed every day. The first step is to create a daily meditation practice, creating an altar to meditate in front of every morning. Secondly, one thing that reflects Buddha’s teachings is to make kindness and compassion a top priority in your everyday life. The third step is to be mindful of everything around you. Next, it is important to recite the metta prayer. The main point of this prayer is “May all things be happy, well, peaceful and free.” With this prayer, positive energy and good wishes are being sent to all beings. Fifth, just like yoga, Buddhism sees everyone as interconnected as one. It should be a practice to treat everyone equally with love.
As a yogi and unofficial Buddhist, I use the five above principles in my daily life to cultivate a sense of peace, love and happiness in all areas of my life.

Chain of kindness

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

Published in Springfield republican 2018

Carrie Writes
Chain of Kindness
Carrie Barrepski

One of my favorite quotes is from the Dalai Lama is, “When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.” Research has proven that kindness can increase happiness and peace. More importantly, it improves interpersonal relationships and building strong support systems.
One amazing situation is a story that started on social media about how a 15-year-old girl, Clara Daly, helped a deaf and blind individual, Tim Cook, on a plane flight. It was observed that the flight attendants were having difficulty communicating with him, despite their best efforts.
Eventually they asked if any passengers knew American Sign Language. Clara responded since she had taken sign language classes for approximately a year. She had chosen ASL because it is an easier language for dyslexic individuals to learn. She immediately volunteered to communicate with him by signing into his hand to ensure that his needs were met. A fellow passenger gave up his seat to assist Tim and Clara.
Later on, Tim asked for Clara merely to keep him company, and they talked for half an hour to an hour. Clara said she blushed when the passenger asked if she was beautiful, and another passenger answered the question yes. Clara felt she was meant to there to help because her original flight had been cancelled, while Tim said it was the best flight he had ever had.
Kindness really does have an addictive effect. It doesn’t matter in what shape or form it comes in, but it is rather the thought that counts. The Dalai Lama has also said that “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Psychology and disability

Monday, November 12th, 2018

Published in the Springfield republican 2018

Carrie Writes

Psychology and Disabilities

Carrie Barrepski


In October, I was asked to speak to psychology classes at Springfield College about living with disabilities.  I have always enjoyed speaking in front of groups, sharing my life experiences.

I spoke to a group of students majoring in health sciences, occupational therapy and physical therapy.  I started off by talking about the history of disabilities, using the medical model where a disability was viewed as something to be fixed or hidden away in an institution in the 1960s and 1970s.  After I was born, my parents were told by a doctor that my disabilities were severe enough that I should be institutionalizedbecause I would ruin their lives.

I also touched on the stigma of living with a disability, where people treat you differently and only judge you by your disability instead of focusing on the person rather than their disability.  I also talked about the importance of being your own person being in charge of your own life and being independent.

I always like to share the story of how I learned to be my own self-advocate.  In high school, I had teachers and paraprofessionals making decisions and making accommodations for me, leaving me very sheltered.  When I went to college, I had to quickly learn how to arrange for my own note takers, talkingto teachers about accommodations and speaking up for myself.

One of the most valuable lessons is I have learned is the importance of being a self-advocate, while living my passion and purpose.