Live and Learn. What else can we do? This Fall was a rough one. I won’t bore you with the details; it wasn’t dramatic and who wants to hear someone else’s stuff when everyone has their own fish to fry? But let just say that “fry” is the key word – at times I felt like I had gone from the pan to the fire. For me, the heat was even higher when I knew I was smart enough to do better…and yet, I couldn’t.
Lathering on the metaphorical balm last weekend, I spent Sunday in bed, napping, watching TV and re-reading old journals, looking for ways to bring perspective back into focus. Lucky for me, I have some very wise friends, have read some helpful books along the way and was able to find advice that I had jotted down in old journals, for just these times.
In Judaism, 18 is the number associated with “Life.” When I found our house on Zillow, one of the things I noticed was that the zip code was 80218. Re-reading some of my journal entries brought me back to “life” and so, given this is the season of lists, I thought I’d share my 18 Gentle Reminders. I am splitting them up between this MindFULL Monday and next. May you glance them over and feel as if you are sitting by a warm, cozy fire… and not in it…
- Notice people, numbers, sayings, songs that send you a message at just the right time (I call mine Binky Blinks. You can make up a name for yours). When you pay attention, they will appear. Promise.
- Sometimes we assume something about the other person that just isn’t true. Funny thing is that chances are both of us are experiencing similar things in a different way. We all try and be right and can miss what we need to hear and learn from.
- Gratitude is the best medicine. Everyday write down 3 things you are grateful for. If you’re sad, try best to come up with 10.
- We all have “soft spots” – parts of ourselves that are tender. One of mine is “not enough.” Sometimes folks “hit the spot” inadvertently and then we tend to “go South.” Best advice I’ve gotten: When an event is happening with someone, you have to decide if it needs to be solved or just let it pass through you. The moment the chatter starts, lean away from it (most people lean in and get involved). Get some space and give it room to pass through (from The UnTethered Soul).
- How people act is because of something in THEM. It’s not you, even if it feels like it is! Really. (Tough to remember but oh so true, whether you are 17 or 53…)
- “There’s another possibility of how to look at that…” Pretend the situation is a pie, cut it into slices and write all the ways you can imagine it could be (Special Thanks to Rena Tobey for teaching me this technique).
- We all grapple. It’s human nature. There’s nothing wrong with us. Try and shift from damning (y)ourselves to finding nurturing ground.
- Ask yourself, “What brings me peace in the most healthy way?” Make a list so you can take kind care of yourself during trying times. For me it’s re-reading excerpts from helpful conversations, warm baths and walks around my favorite park with my friend and her dog.
- Learn and know your strengths and weaknesses. We all have ‘em. There is no shame, just understanding. Understanding helps us re-frame, and re-frame can equal ease.
Check back next week for 9 more MindFULL Gentle Reminders! How do you MindFULLY turn down your heat? Let us know!