Stoicon-X Women: Practical Paths to Flourishing

Stoicon-X Women: Practical Paths to Flourishing

Following the success of Stoicon 2020 as an online event, Modern Stoicism have gone on to organise further virtual conferences which have proven just as popular.

The Marcus Aurelius birthday anniversary event for example had over 1,850 registered attendees making it their largest Stoicism gathering to date.

Another upcoming event worth checking out is Stoicon-X Women: Practical Paths To Flourishing.

The conference is for everyone, whether you have already embarked on a path inspired by Stoicism, or you are curious about Stoic philosophy as a way of flourishing.

“Practial paths to flourishing” being the theme, the conference speakers have shared their own #PathsToFlourishing stories, some of which you can read below.

The team are also inviting you to share your #PathsToFlourishing story so if you’d like to submit one you can do so here.

Conference details

Date: Saturday 5th June

Time: 10:00 am EDT / 7:00 am PDT / 3:00 pm BST / Midnight AEST

Duration: 5.5 hours of talks (Including a 30 min break)

Tickets: Tickets are for donation amounts. Pay what you can.

For more information on Stoicon-X Women check out these links:

#PathsToFlourishing Stories

Kathryn Koromilas

A few years ago, the Google algorithms presented me with an interesting online course. It was Donald Robertson’s “The Stoic Contemplation of Death.”

From there, I learned about the importance of contemplating one’s own death and death in general. I learned that it was important to accept that death is natural and that noone should be taking it personally!

From Donald’s course, I went on to read Marcus Aurelius and started a daily death contemplation practice. Just a quick morning ritual (reading and copying a meditation) and a regular stroll in a cemetery for added memento mori points.

There’s a cemetary right next door to my Scottish garden. Yes, my neighbours are very quiet. And I know that I’ll be just as quiet one day too. That’s not a morbid thought at all. The Scottish novelist Muriel Spark said that “there is no other practice which so intensifies life.”

Sharon Lebell

I flourish when I am inside of a book.

I flourish sitting among the 70 meter tall Douglas Fir trees that surround my home.

A long time ago I read Epictetus’ Discourses among those trees and thought: “This is good stuff.”

Brittany Polat

During a difficult time in my life, I was looking for wisdom and came across my first book on Stoicism (William Irvine’s A Guide to the Good Life).

The more I learned about and practiced Stoicism, the better I felt.

I kept going and never looked back.

Now I love sharing this life-changing philosophy with others who are looking for their own path to a good life! 

Dr. Ranjini George

My journey with Stoicism began with the gift of a Roman bust in Dubai, various editions of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations as a graduate student in English Literature in New Delhi and Illinois, and my reading of Donald Robertson’s How to Think Like a Roman Emperor in Toronto. 

An early draft of my memoir Miracle of Flowers: In the Footsteps of an Emperor, a Goddess, a Story and a Tiffin-Stall, won the first prize in the Coffee Shop Author contest.

With the Meditations on my study desk and a portrait of his adoptive father Antoninus Pius before me, I’m currently engaged in revising my memoir and teaching classes on Stoicism, Meditations and Creative Writing. 

PS: I recently asked Antoninus what he thought of Marguerite Yourcenar’s Memoirs of Hadrian. A. Pius said in that dignified quiet way of his that he liked the book. There were, however, some things left out from the “memoir.” I guess A. Pius knew Hadrian better than any of us do. 

Lydia Scratch

My path to flourishing was a hard-wrought one, I guess. My mom had a debilitating, but not fatal, stroke when I was almost 14. My parents died when I was under 30 and both were better off without the world’s earthly cares.

I learned the lesson that “shit happens.”

I learned to remember that death is around a corner.

Two days after I met my husband, we drove to see mountains and spun out on black ice. As we coursed toward the ditch I put my hand on his shoulder and said “just relax, just let it go.”

We were married less than nine months later.

I learned to accept the gifts of the present.

I had been a practicing Stoic since I was an adolescent. And without knowing it, Stoicism had already put me on the path to living a good and meaningful life.

Almost 20 years later, I learned about Stoicism while reading a Mark Manson book.

This book led me to the Big Three and more contemporary Stoic authors.

And I was home.

I have been a practicing Stoic since I was an adolescent. And without knowing it at the time, Stoicism had already put me on the path to living a good and meaningful life.

Today, I fall and I get up. And I will fall and I will get up. But the path is there, always waiting for me to get back up and on track.

Kasey Pierce

My path to flourishing didn’t begin until my late 20s. After repeating a series of self-destructive patterns in my health and love life, I realized that I was only making decisions based on what other people thought I should do.

Hesitant to trust myself, I lived in irrational fear of failure because, What if I made the wrong decision? Surely it would be detrimental, right?

But after an honest conversation with myself, I realized that the only thing detrimental to me was a life lived for other people.

From then on, I decided I was going to face fear and criticism head-on, grabbing the snake by its head and really taking control for everything within my power, something I would later learn and reaffirm from the Stoic teachings.

Each decision going forward would be made with only the grand scheme in mind because I realized that even if I failed, it wasn’t the end of the world—and I would rather live a life of trial-and-error than a life of wondering what might have been had I not taken a risk.

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”

Epictetus

Losing 115 lbs. would be my first step into a life that was truly mine. I went into that journey with the intent of losing the weight solely for me, not a lover or anyone else. I felt like a powerful magician after that, and my next trick would be writing a book.

Despite having little experience and continually criticized for taking my “hobby” too far, I wrote a book.

This would lead me to a comic limited series deal which, in turn, led me across the U. S., Canada, and Europe. The girl with no degree in writing, business, or even sales experience, went on to sell-out of books internationally and give seminars on direct sales in indie publishing to industry professionals and newcomers alike for over five years.

There was a lot of hard work involved but, at the end of the day, it was my willingness to learn, perseverance, and vanquishing my fear of failure that got me where I am today.

During the pandemic, when conventions came to a screeching halt and book sales were down, I decided to pursue freelance editing. Thankfully, I became successful at that too.

Also, during the pandemic, I would discover there was a name for my grand scheme and my “do or do not” perspective: Stoicism.

When I discovered and downloaded Donald Robertson’s “How to Think Like a Roman Emperor” on Audible, I read about the view from above” which helped me build emotional resiliency. I realised that all along I was a Stoic.

Today, I’m blessed with the opportunity to edit for Mr. Robertson on his much-anticipated graphic novel, “Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius.”

I’m also the editor of the upcoming “365 Ways to Be More Stoic” for John Murray Press.

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