Life feels a bit weird lately, eh? More and more folks are feeling the shift.
I know it can feel unsettling when change like this occurs. Whatever else was happening in your own life is mixed into the cultural transformation soup. It's good and hard in equal amounts as folks are finding their voices but with a lot of anger and pain behind their self-expression.
I can relate, personally. Can you?
The greatest spiritual teachers of all the major world religions will tell you that this is nothing new. For as much as we might think that things are worse than ever, they aren't. I mean, we have it better than what happened to the dinosaurs!
I'm kidding not also not. Yes, it's tough to stay aware of all that's happening and try to keep your head above it all and remain positive. It's hard to find that place in ourselves when there's so much fear and negativity swirling around us.
But no matter what's happening around us, today or any day, we have control over a few key things. We can control what food we eat and how much. What we eat from want versus need. How we think about what we're eating and the games or tricks we play with ourselves that says a lot about how we feel about ourselves. Like this person I know this past weekend who said, "I had a good week. I'm allowed to have this." And when I tried to invite her to see that we're always allowed to have good food that feeds us, she batted away what I said. She was pretty fixated on thinking of food and GOOD or BAD and this was a BAD thing she was having to "reward" herself. Hey, I know how it is. I've been there myself. And not everyone is up for deep thoughts about their relationship to food let alone transforming it. I let it go.
We can also control how many glasses of water we drink to hydrate our minds and bodies. Best guess is 8 glasses. Watch your urine and when it's almost clear, stop drinking. Front-load it early in the day so the need to pee doesn't keep you up at night.
We can control how much sleep we get, even if it's interrupted like mine has been lately. I know my sleep is suffering from all the change I've experienced, my lack of arduous exercise, the temperature in the room and maybe I just didn't eat enough dinner and I'm hungry. So many different factors affect our health so it's important to know how to troubleshoot. Do you feel like you have a good handle on how to do that?
We can also control how much we isolate or put ourselves out there for connection with other loving, supportive and safe human beings. This is really poignant for me right now, as I have to have a real come-to-Jesus moment with myself about the kinds of relationships I've nurtured and won or lost over the past two decades. With all my moving around, and just because of the nature of how we change over time, many people have come and gone from my life.
Right now, I'm focusing on filling my life with people who bring as much good into my life as they take. The ratio was off for too long and I'm determined to rectify that. And my needs have changed so that means making tough decisions in this department. This is something I've been writing about and exploring and working on since I became a coach in 2009. I bet if you search the Archives of this blog, you'll find how long I've been on this path. It's a process. Not something that changes overnight.
We can also control how much negative self-talk we heap onto our weary minds. We can turn the volume down on the inner critic and manager that constantly wants us doing more, better and faster. My new therapist reminds me that's all trickle down from the bullshit patriarchy that is projected for us day and night via social media. Watch for it. Words like "hustle" "grind" and "muscle through the pain."
Yeah, no. Those words don't go well with self-compassion and the gentle hand that actually helps us thrive and sustain ourselves. As a social experiment, I dropped myself into a community like this, several of them actually, and I quickly retreated. I am not giving up my assertion that the tech and innovation communities can embrace wellness and well-being and radical inclusion. In fact, I'm sure I'll find the right communities that will benefit from my work. I have a few dear people here who are trying to help me and I'm so grateful.
So, for now, focus on one of these. Maybe two. Think about all that's going on and what you can and can't control and remember there are a few things you have 100% control over. I hope that thought makes you feel a little bit better. Do you know the Serenity Prayer? Here it is as a reminder.