Pin Cushion Challenge

M.G. McIntosh




  • Voice in the Wind Magazine Inc.


There is a world of hurt out there right now. It seems as though the suffering of the people is at an all time high. The real pandemic is pain. Emotional trauma comes in different ways. For some, the trauma is felt in one, life-changing incident. For others, the pain happens as many incidents add up to a life-long affliction. Pain is like accounting. If someone steals $1000, one time then it’s larceny. If someone steals $100 per day for ten days, $1000 in total, then it is still larceny. The difference is that it is cumulative. When emotional trauma is cumulative, it is like death by 1000 needles. Sometimes, we just need to walk away from those who are striking us with needles. To that end, my proposal: the Pin Cushion Challenge.


The Pin Cushion Challenge is really quite simple. One only needs a pin cushion and some coloured pins (blue, red, yellow, green, white and black). Each time you hear someone (be it a media outlet, celebrity, co-worker or stranger) saying something that you find hurtful you stick a pin in the cushion. This simple exercise will show you how much hurt you have taken on and who is responsible. The colour coding can be used anyway you like, so try different ideas. A possible starting point would be by politics (blue = conservative, red = liberal, yellow = libertarian, green = green party, white = independent and black = unknown). This might help you decide which media outlets and celebrities are the most toxic to you (and you might be surprised by who they are!). Another possible starting point is by connection (blue = family, red = work, yellow = friends, green = community, white = church, black = business). You might find certain people in your life are more toxic than you first believed. And maybe it’s time to leave them behind – time to walk away.


  1. Pin Cushion
  2. Coloured Pins


  1. Better mental health
  2. Less toxic people in your life
  3. Improved happiness


In case you don’t have a pin cushion handy, I have another way to complete this challenge: a piece of paper and some coloured pencil crayons. It’s the same idea, but less visual. The pin cushion really creates a stark picture of your situation, easily taken in at a glance. A piece of paper is more subtle, but it will work. Either way, I hope this will help you find peace and happiness.


As I continue to write my blog, I’m sure it will become more and more obvious that I value mental health quite highly and that I am an advocate. I have often said that if you don’t have your mental health, you don’t have anything at all. Peace of mind isn’t a choice – it’s a right. You got this.


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