Shore Up Your Heart
Want to get your bother on starting now?
Read the first chapter from my new book for a jolt of fresh perspective and possibility, and a radical reframe on what to do when you are feeling lost, blah, unmotivated, or burned out, in any area of your life or for any reason — even success!
Are you feeling beaten down? Worn out? Stretched tight and ready to snap?
I’m right there with you. I go for a run, and am thankful for my mask and sunglasses so I can weep and nobody sees my tears.
It’s so hard these days to do what usually I’d have no trouble doing: skip the news and meditate instead, exercise first thing and then actually shower, take hourly breaks from work, skip the 5 o’clock cocktail, keep the phone out of my bedroom: the simple stuff that makes it easier to do the hard stuff.
We resist self-care when our threat defense system is on high alert. We default to shadow comforts, things that leave us numb or feeling less than great because shadow comforts stop us from feeling bad in the moment.
Because of how our brains work, we forget we are the same person who will be all jacked up after reading the news, or who won’t sleep well after the cocktail.
We want to feel better now. Damn the future.
I have plenty of ideas on how to turn toward healthy self-care (some are in my new book Why Bother: Discover the Desire for What’s Next), and here is a new one I learned from my friend and writing client Lisa.
Lisa recently turned 50 and, because of the pandemic, her plans to travel around the country to see people from different times in her life was a no-go. She did something brave and beautiful instead: she asked everybody to send her a favorite memory of an experience or adventure they’d shared.
She ended up with cards, pictures, emails, videos — a glorious celebration of the relationships and important times in her life. A glorious reflection of her heart.
Why wait for your birthday? Why not remember and celebrate your connections now, as a way to shore up your heart and mental well-being?
Then, the next time you are reaching for a less than nourishing comfort, you could revisit what your friends and family send you to create a soothing pause for your brain and nervous system.
ARE YOU THINKING, “WHO WOULD I ASK?”
Look, I’m terrible at keeping in touch with people, and I often tell myself nobody likes me or they would have kept in touch with me (I know, circular logic). This exercise of reaching out could be healing for all of us who think nobody remembers or likes us. It’s scary, for sure, because some people are not going to respond to our request for a memory or reflection, but other people are going to surprise us.
You don’t have to ask people from long ago; ask your closest friend, your neighbor you walk with, your cousin. We don’t need a hundred, or even twenty-five responses. A small handful will remind us: we are good people who deserve kindness and self-care.
Will you join me in gathering love and good memories around you, and returning to these memories and connection when the pandemic insanity, horrific racial injustices, financial stressors, and everything else presses too hard on your gorgeous heart?
Thank you for reading my words, and for allowing me into your life.