It has been a long emotional week for this mama.
Not really anything in particular, but then again, who needs anything in particular to be exhausted from life.
I guess if I really look back over the past month, I can point to some things that stirred up all the thinking.
First off, I’ve been knee-deep in a few stories that have been working on my heart. Stories that make you think and make you want to do and be better. Whenever I write about someone other than myself, I learn a great deal from their life. I take great responsibility in not messing up what they have lived and what they know more intimately than I do. I am instantly drawn to the transformation piece. The pivotal point where they made a decision to change something, do something, surrender something.
I love transformation. Probably because I see hope in it. I see that despite cards being stacked against us we can make a decision to change something. The beauty of transformation is that it doesn’t always have to be a power lift. We don’t necessarily need to go knocking down walls or barging through doors or puffing up our chest to have a breakthrough. Most of the time, our transformations come from the still, subtle and often heart-wrenching moments of surrender. Our surrender is the power that fuels the transformation. To put it simply – surrender is power (my favorite hashtag #surrenderispower)
Second, the news. I don’t actually watch the news. I just see whatever is posted on social. So basically, I watch opinions.
I know enough about myself that I keep the news off most of the time. There are instances where I need to be more informed and I choose to sit and marinate in whatever story is the top story, but for the most part it’s off. The news makes me feel manipulated, anxious and downright angry (which really means sad, because anger is a secondary emotion so no one is really ever “angry”). But I’ve seen your opinions, I’ve felt your anxiety, your sadness, your helplessness, your hopelessness…I’ve seen it all.
I’m a middle kid too; so that means when I’ve seen the opinions or the rhetoric, I have also contained it. That’s what middles do. Middles are great mediators and conflict resolution people, but we are also containers. So unless we are keenly aware that we are containing, we can begin to get full of everyone else’s “dumping.” Thankfully, I’ve been through enough therapy to know when the container is full.
Third, I hurt my back. Not enough to keep me in bed all the livelong day, but enough to discourage me. I’ve had to scale way back at the gym and I’ve had to swallow some hard truth. I AM FORTY.
Whenever I feel like this, I immediately go to my favorite fixes: serving, giving, listening.
If I can get myself out of my head and out of my thoughts and focus on helping, serving, listening, giving to someone else, I stop focusing on what seems difficult or bothersome in my life and I begin to offer the gifts I have been given to help someone else. I begin to slowly step out of the self-absorbed, ruminating cycle of me and take in the amazing connections we have as human beings. Connection builds relationships. Relationships build bridges.
So I served, I gave and I listened. The result is hope, joy and peace.
If you need a way to refocus your energy this week. If the news and life has exhausted you into non action. I encourage you to get outside yourself and do something for another human being. Something with no strings attached. If you need some ideas, here are a few places to get you started:
The Healing Hunter Foundation: My amazing friend and former teammate, Lenore Davis started this foundation in honor of her son Hunter. If you’d like to participate and gift an iPod to an amazing cancer warrior, it’s a $200 donation. You can donate online, send in a check, or send in an actual iPod!
The Jason Fine Foundation: I’ve never met Jason, but as soon as I heard his story, I began to see places where I could extend more kindness. I started at home, with my family. Kindness can change everything in an instant. You can read some of Jason’s story and “Project Kindness” here:
Tucker Arnold Foundation: I met Jen Arnold at a Healing Hunter Foundation event in Oregon. She is one strong mama who has turned her energy and passion into honoring her son Tucker. The foundation gives birthday gifts to children who are receiving treatment for pediatric cancer. You can donate or give here:
Of course, there are many other ways to give, serve or just listen, but just choose to do something today. Send a note, encourage someone, help someone carry their groceries to their car, pray with someone.
One small little something could mean a great big something for someone else.
Categories: All The Rest