Day 82: Community

I decided to take a break from social media today to get a little reset and to connect with me a bit and really dig deep into what I was feeling without all the noise from the outside world.

I can see really clearly the capacity that this situation has for good. No, I am not discounting the devastation and the loss of life. Not in any way. But…. I am choosing to focus on the positives.

When I went back online and my awareness was focused on the good that was all I could find.

People are coming together in a huge way. Communities are popping up to bring things to people in need, neighbors are reaching out to neighbors to lend a hand, we are supporting our elderly and immunocompromised communities with special store hours just for them. This. This is what life is supposed to be.

Community. People coming together in love and support.

It sucks that it has taken a global event to make this happen, but it is mother nature moving back in balance.

We are supposed to thrive, together. We are supposed to feel safe with one another and be collaborative and cooperative. We are supposed to love and be loved.

Spread joy. Be a light in the world. ❤ ❤

Day 81: Letting Go… Again

Letting go.

I would like to think it will get easier the more it is practiced. Right now I am not so sure.

We let go of things, jobs, people, places we lived, lovers, friends.

Letting go means taking your hands off the steering wheel, taking a deep breath and just accepting what is. Without fear, without judgement. It means to stop grasping for control.

I talked about this a while back within the context of a relationship and me letting go of Mr. X (still a work in progress). And now I had the same conversation with myself today about this virus situation.

I woke up this morning feeling like utter shit. Not physically, but emotionally spent. It is really taxing sometimes to have to go out in the world, put your feelings and safety aside, council clients and tend to patients all the while having an air of authority and decorum. Sometimes I want a day where there isn’t life and death and where responsibility is nil. I don’t have that luxury in my job and now people are acting even crazier than before. I get it. I hold space for them. I listen to their fears, their stories of people they know who are susceptible, people they know who have died, I hear stories about their animals, their grandchildren, all of the happenings in their life… all within a 3-4 foot radius, and under five minutes? No… that’s not a thing. I have had to consciously put my own safety aside to allow these conversations to happen. Maybe that isn’t right. Maybe I should be looking out for myself more.

It is an interesting phenomenon being a vet. People tell you EVERYTHING about their life. Way more than what we need to know. We act as therapist, social worker, confidante, priest and anything else a client needs. We are in the unique position of not just caring for family members but actively participating in life and death scenarios. We have authority. And as such, clients assume we also have some sort of concrete evidence on the virus.

It is exhausting. Sometimes after work I come home and I just cry because it I have to release all that I heard and witnessed from the day. I have to let go of all of my walls and protections so I can find some calm and peace within me.

In this time of need in our society, letting go is critically important. As I sit here thinking about what tomorrow will bring and already feeling the pull of tired on my mind and heart I realize that I am resisting all of it. I am resisting talking with clients, seeing patients, putting my own safety needs first, the anxiety that I feel about the unknown, the fact that we are experiencing a pandemic.

It is the resistance that creates suffering and panic and hysteria.

The more I am focused on how much I don’t want to deal with any of this, the bigger it all seems.

Here’s the part about letting go. Have you ever been told that if you are in a car crash in those moments before it happens, that flash of time when everything slows down, if you can relax yourself the impact and bodily damage will be much less? Same principle applies.

Every moment of today was about letting go. It was about accepting there is a new normal. It was knowing that there is a virus and it is here and if I am going to get sick I am going to get sick. It was letting go of the resistance to the fact that I may not have a job in a few months, that people I know, or myself, may not be alive.

I took a few minutes today and sat with a friend of mine. He is a really powerful intuitive. We took a moment and he helped me connect back to myself. Not the self that feels overwhelmed and scared and tired but the essence of who I am. The part of me that is love and tenderness and kindness and compassion. He helped me breathe it back into my awareness and when we were done I found that I was able to relax into this new normal a little bit more. I was able to come out of my own flavor of haze and look around and see what was really happening for me in that moment.

I saw sunshine and mountains and flowers and people smiling and laughing, and as my heart filled more I realized I would be okay. We will all be okay.

As we battle the river that rages in each of us, grasping for rocks and trees to cling to we become battered, bruised, exhausted in our effort. It is only with the letting go, the becoming one with the river that we are able to flow with the water, and in that moment find the space to breathe. ❤ ❤

Day 80: Self Love in Times of Unrest

In the last week or so… man, I can’t believe it’s only been a week… so much has happened. People are literally getting swept up in fear and panic. And I get it, I truly do. Fear has a place here.

When we go into survival mode we resort back to base instinct. Food. Shelter. Water. Toilet Paper (goodness, we will never live that one down). We end up in fight or flight mode against an enemy we cannot see. People aren’t meant to live in fight or flight. We are meant to react to an event and then for our body to go back to a homeostatic state. When we live in crisis mode we change our biology and these changes set up shop in our nervous system, adrenals etc.

The real enemy here is panic and fear. Yes, the virus is real and fucking scary, but the panic and mass hysteria is even worse. People who are feeding into the fear… that is all they see. There is no other perspective.

Self love in this moment looks like grounding yourself, bringing yourself back to reality of the present moment so you are not caught up in negativity and what ifs. Self love is choosing to focus on happiness and joy and all of the things we have to be thankful for. Self love is reaching out to your friends and neighbors and extending a touch of humanity to elevate the collective.

Right now self love is not fluffy, feel good, sunshine and roses. It can be… but for the vast majority it isn’t. For me right now self love includes focusing on my business future and finding ways to be creative as creativity and fear cannot exist in the same space. It is about slowing down my breathing, feeling into my heart, recognizing where the panic lives, acknowledging it and setting it free.

I have no idea where this pandemic is taking us. I don’t know what is real information vs fake. I don’t know if quarantine is justified or not. What I do know though is how my body is feeling and that me panicking and causing fear to breed in the hearts of others is not helping anyone and only adds to the problem. Each one of us has the capacity and ability to reach so many others, to touch so many lives. If there are enough of us spreading messages of hope and love and care we will shift the tide of panic that is occurring and we will come through this stronger than before.

Be a light in the world. It’s okay to feel scared and unsure, but feeding and fueling those feelings creates mental and emotional chaos that spills out and effects even the steadiest of souls. We have a responsibility to our fellow men to rise up and share love just as much as we do to wash our hands and keep our distance. ❤ ❤

Day 78: Cultivating Hope

It would be really easy to get carried away right now with the fear mongering surrounding the Coronavirus, especially where I am at which is the epicenter of the virus in the USA. People here are generally keeping their heads with the exception of sold out grocery stores.

I am usually oblivious to things like this. I am aware it’s a thing, but I don’t watch the news in any capacity. I chose, many years ago, to cut those things out of my life as I think they are hugely biased and based in fear. Fear is an amazing driver. If you get enough people confused and scared, they stop thinking rationally and start acting from instinct. Breakdown in communication and humanity start to happen. This is when powerful people and entities can come in and shift things to their agenda. Do I think that is what is happening with the Coronavirus? I have no idea.

I know there is a flu going around. I know it is most heavily effecting the older populations. I know that people are scared and going into survival mode. I know that now is the time that we need to keep our heads and cultivate hope.

This can seem an overwhelming task when the daily anxiety of the safety of friends and family is at stake, but it is crucial to getting through situations like this gracefully.

How does one cultivate hope??

It starts with a decision. Fear is a choice. As I always say, choose different. Once you shift from fear to findings all of the wonderful things about this life you will be amazed, but suddenly the news coming in won’t be so scary anymore. Your awareness will begin to shine on positives and I guarantee your mood will be elevated.

Start by looking at the evidence. Whether we are talking about a pandemic or an issue closer to home it’s crucial to remember that everything runs its course. We have seen this time and again through history. Humans are resilient as hell and will rise up above this.

When we are talking about things like hope within one’s life it’s the same concept. I know depression and apathy and fear can all seem like they will never end. Realizing that you’ve been through worse or a similar hardship and come out on the other side is sometimes all the evidence needed to derive comfort and tenacity needed to continue forward motion.

Another good way to cultivate hope is to keep an eye on the positives. Find all the shit you appreciate in your life and really FEEL the appreciation. It warms the heart and brings healing. Look to the future and picture all of the really cool stuff you are going to do and find the excitement in those things.

One of the hardest parts about a situation like coronavirus is to not let fear take hold. It’s so difficult to know where to turn for accuracy in reporting and the news and it’s super easy to let fear in. When I am feeling like that I like to take a minute and do a body scan and go through each system feeling how good or off it feels and then asking what can I do to make that system stronger. When there is a feeling of proactivity people can remain in themselves and it makes decreasing stress levels a little easier.

I come back to the teachings of my buddy Mike Kemski. Highest Energy Wins. If we choose to let fear be the highest energy pretty soon panic will ensue, but if we can shift that to something more useful… it’s a whole new world.

Keep your heads, people. We truly are all in this one together and losing touch with humanity will only breed chaos. Focus on the fact you get some time off of work, you get to spend some time with family and children. For me, it’s proving to be a mental reset.

Much love to you all, stay safe out there and wash your damn hands. ❤ ❤

Day 75: Small Acts of Kindness

Sometimes the best thing to do when you are feeling a little out of sorts is to extend your hand to another.

I had a coaching call with a lady who told me something really simple and profound. I’ve heard it before but the way she told it to me, the energy behind it, shifted something in me. She told me I was enough. And that I was worthy.

She told me to write it on my bathroom mirror, so I did.

Then when I went to the coffee shop I put a post it with the sentiment in their bathroom mirror.

I did the same at the other public places I went today.

I have no clue if it effected anyone’s life, but it felt like sharing a little love to me. And it warmed my heart.

The best thing to do when you are feeling the darkness in your world is to remember you have a light and shining a little of it out through little acts of kindness may be just what you need to remember your purpose, amplify your light and be the change you seek. ❤ ❤

Image by Mr vo from Pixabay

Day 74: An Empowered Woman

I felt it only fair after yesterday to talk about what I feel an empowered woman looks like. I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot today.

So what is an empowered woman to me?

An empowered woman loves herself. She may not like all of her traits but she knows she is in complete control and can change them at any time.

An empowered woman embraces her independence and knows she doesn’t rely on anyone, but also sees the value in a partnership and when in one embraces it as such and treats her partner as an equal, and helps shoulder the load.

An empowered woman knows her strengths and weaknesses and can use them to move through life in a fashion that suits her. She moves with the confidence of knowing intimate familiarity with her darkness and her light.

Empowered women treat others with kindness and love but have boundaries in place so there is never any question of her own value.

An empowered woman claims her space in the world and does so by standing on her own feet, not by beating down the shoulders of others.

An empowered woman knows how and when to be soft and gentle and when to be firm and unyielding.

An empowered woman knows she isn’t right for everyone so she lets those go that no longer fit in her life, because she knows her table is small and reserved for a special collection of souls.

An empowered woman knows and understands her beauty, sensuality, sexuality and knows that those are tools of pleasure for her and her mate, not boxes that she has to live within.

An empowered woman speaks up for the things and people that she values, even when it doesn’t flow with popular opinion.

Empowered women celebrate their successes and the successes of those they love. They are humble in doing so and give credit where it is due.

An empowered woman knows how to be kind, nurturing, protective, supportive, soft, light, goofy, hard, dark and firm all rolled into one.

Empowered women know their values and continuously course correct to stay in line. Even when they are exhausted with this life.

Empowered woman know that there is an inherent responsibility to aid in the betterment of the collective, a part of which can only be enhanced through a feminine energy.

An empowered woman shows up. Authentically. Fully. Unabashedly. How they want to show up.

As Gandhi so eloquently put it, “be the change you want to see in the world.”

Be better. Find your power and go forth and shine your light in the world so damn bright that no one will ever question your presence again. ❤ ❤

Image by adam1762 from Pixabay

Day 71: Holding Space

For a long time I have been really confused about the concept of holding space.

Space, space for emotions, space to process, space to just be.

What the fuck does that even mean?

I don’t love all of the terminology that makes up the therapy and coaching world. It all feels so scripted to me, and in that way, not super authentic.

So what is holding space?

It basically means just being present with someone, not judging them or trying to change the emotions and feeling that are coming up, but just sitting with them and allowing them to show up how they need to.

This is really hard for people to do. In fact, if you have someone in your life that will do this, hold on to them for dear life. I’ve met one person who has been able to really effectively do this for me. Everyone else that has tried either puts their own experience into the conversation and gives advice, or tries to change the emotions. When I am mad, I want and need to be mad, I don’t need someone to cheer me up! It is really hard to hold space for people if there isn’t mindfulness and presence. Sometimes this means knowing when to keep your mouth shut and just let people talk. It is a huge gift that you can give to someone, to just show up and listen.

The concept of holding space for someone, truly doing this, is that each person is capable of discovering their own path and their own needs. It is a place for them to process events and come up with whatever next steps they need to.

The thing about holding space for someone is being confident and secure enough in yourself to just let them say what they need to. This is much easier for me to do with a stranger than it is with someone I am intimately connected to. Those intimate connections, while I may listen, I still take in what’s being said and try to figure out how to fix things. This is one of the hardest things that we can do with our partners and friends, but also one of the most rewarding. When someone knows that you are listening, without judging or distraction, it opens up this whole arena for vulnerability, trust and compassion that may otherwise be lacking.

I challenge you to try it this week. The next time a friend comes to you to chat, just let them talk. Listen actively. Don’t worry about how you will respond or how you can help them. Listen, repeat back what they said, drop in some support and let them have their own emotional experience. I guarantee, people will love you for it.

There is nothing as loving as a friend who just listens. ❤ ❤