I just read this message - Action conquers fear. Taking action puts us in motion and allows us to be and feel purposeful. I was having a conversation with client who experiences anxiety, but uses that anxiety as a catalyst to propel her into thoughtful action. That action moves her out of anxiety into a productive space. It can be scary to take that action, but thinking about it and dwelling in the what if's are often far more frightening.
When the time is upon you, start and the pressure will be off.
I'm moving more slowly these days. I am walking vs running. I am making bread vs buying it in the store. I'm not rushing. I'm waiting in line. I'm taking baths. I'm taking my time. I'm giving myself space. I'm reading, listening, sharing. I'm settling into a new way.
This morning, I listened to Brené Brown and David Kessler's discussion on Grief and Finding Meaning and received the much needed permission to cry.
I cried tears that I know I have been swallowing for the last several weeks as I have kept up, felt optimism, gratitude and hope, taken action, checked in with others, withstood pressure, had (& tried to have) patience and understanding, felt confusion, anger and concern, listened as others shared their worries, hopes, sadness, anger and grief, observed our shifting interactions and the loss of physical connection and community, and how things were. I miss being with others.
I recently wrote about surrender, yet I realized listening to this podcast that I have been resisting allowing myself to feel deeply into loss in an effort to be strong and brave, and to keep moving forward. The reality is, it is strong and brave to be vulnerable and to have these feelings (thank you Brené) and to express and share our experiences with each other. My world won't fall apart because I cried as I walked this morning or because I admit that I am grieving. Instead, I have the opportunity to live more whole-y as I allow myself to experience my full range of emotions which allows me to have deeper compassion, connection and understanding with myself and others.
I highly recommend giving this 45 minute podcast a listen. Perhaps you will find that it helps to normalize how you have been feeling and maybe it can open the door for you to have a vulnerable conversation with someone in your life.
Here are my 4 biggest takeaways from their discussion:
What are your takeaways from this discussion? Where are you experiencing grief and meaning in your life?
I was out walking this morning and I realized that I'm finally starting to relax into this new way of being. As I reflect on the last several weeks, I can see how my typical response to uncertainty - being serious, striving for perfection, not wanting to disappoint or let others down - has permeated my being, my teaching, my life. As I write this I take a deep breath and release tension from my body. A tension I have been carrying likely since the beginning of the year. I exhale and let it go.
One of my goals for this year was to engage in regular self care habits and I have utterly failed so far! I have been waking up in the mornings with my jaw clenched shut and the memories of weeeeird dreams. Not a good sign so last night I recommitted to my self care intention and began what I intend to be a new routine. I'm starting small with a two week timeframe and will re-evaluate at that time and share what I'm up to. We are almost half way through the year (can you believe it?!) so now is as good a time as any.
"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." ~ Carlos Castanada
Traditionally on this last Saturday in April, my community gathers for an all day meditation. It has been a highlight of the year for me since I began going back in 2008. This is my first year not attending and while it feels strange, I find myself feeling grateful for those experiences that I had and excited about an event we have planned instead. I have been craving community and gathering together for meditation and today we have such an event planned. It's amazing how you may not realize how much you have missed something until you get to experience it again. I find myself filled with joy and enthusiasm and excitement and am looking forward to seeing everyone online. What and who are you missing? Perhaps it's time to reach out and schedule some time together.
How can you use this time to take risks? Perhaps a risk is asking for what you need, or asking for some space or time to yourself, or asking for a conversation and time together. Perhaps the risk is going out to run your first mile or to take a 30 day challenge or to improve your diet. Perhaps the risk is reading that challenging book you have always wanted to read, reaching out to someone you haven't talked to in awhile, trying a new recipe or clearing out your closet and letting go of what no longer serves you.
There is so much we can do with this time. Take a risk, take an action and serve yourself.
When COVID started ramping up so did my desire to bake. Strange for me since I have not considered myself to be much of a baker. Thankfully, a few years ago, a dear friend taught me how to make bread. I don't make it often because it's time consuming, but when I do, it's always well worth it.
I have been wanting to make sourdough for the last several months, but didn't have a starter. I remember when I was in Junior High, we made sourdough starters in Home Ec and I made many sourdough rolls with that starter. It was so satisfying to have those warm rolls slathered with butter. Too bad I didn't maintain it, that would have been a 30 year old starter! Fortunately, I recently acquired a starter and then found out that sourdough is a trend right now.
It's no wonder. This bread making is a deliciously nurturing and therapeutic process. There is nothing like kneading dough. It's heavenly to me. And I love seeing the bubbles forming in my starter, the dough rising, the smell of it baking and slicing into it to observe the crust and crumb. When we make sourdough bread, we get to witness this living food, it is breathing, growing, feeding - alive. We get to experience this process of ingredients - flour, water, yeast, salt - transform from their separate-ness into this cohesive, soft yet firm ball of dough. And we see that dough grow and rise and turn from a soft ball into this crusty, airy delicious loaf of bread. When things feel uncertain, we have the satisfaction of nurturing this process and seeing it through until the end. And even with the uncertainty of baking bread (let's face it, it may not turn out), we know we will have something useable. There's always breadcrumbs!
Grace, patience, undestanding, tolerance.
Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, let go of the frustration you are currently feeling with your partner, kids, co-workers or boss. Everyone is feeling pressure right now and managing changes that were inconceivable before. Some can manage change with aplomb, but we all have our days where that pressure, anxiety, resentment, worry or loss of control creep in.
Love, compassion, reflection, beauty.
What do you see around you that you may not have noticed before? How many conversations and tender moments have you had because you have more uninterrupted time with your loved ones? How will you continue to build on this in the future?
I have really been into the quotes lately. When I need inspiration I love to grab a favorite book of the shelf and open it randomly or google a topic and read quotes or even reference some of my favorites like this one:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson
I am an animal loving-Vegan runner, I practice and teach Kundalini Yoga and I love to cook and eat flavorful plant-based food.