I wasn’t quite ready for today.
Which is weird because I woke up after a solid 8 hours sleep and as I do every morning, I set my intention for the day before my feet hit the floor. As I closed my eyes to clear my head, what came to me was self-care. Okay, cool, let’s go with that one.
I went about my usual morning routine which consists of a green smoothie, debate over having a coffee (which usually wins, sometimes a tea trumps though) then I flip through a magazine or Facebook or whatever calls to me as I ease into my day.
Thumbing through ‘O Magazine’ I become absorbed in an article about Equine Therapy and become excited at the prospect of adding this to my life coaching tool belt. I hop online to research it more and become even more intrigued as I learn about how horses mirror our deepest emotional state. And how true healing involves letting go of well, everything, and the sweet art of surrender. Reallllly fascinating stuff (check out Koelle Simpson’s TED talk here).
While on my computer researching I decide to check out Facebook. Unceremoniously scrolling through the newsfeed I come upon a friend who has announced the funeral plans for his wife who died suddenly from a stroke. Shocked, my heart immediately goes out to him as I read his heartfelt and somber note. They only got married last year, the pics of them from only a couple of weeks ago are full of life, love, and laughter. And now, in an instant, those pictures will encapsulate their last vibrant moments together.
The tragedy of this impacted me in a way I wasn’t ready for. As I put myself into his shoes I was overwhelmed with grief and sadness for a woman I had never even met. I suddenly felt nauseous and then I started to cry.
Soon after I decide it was silly to grieve that hard for a friend who lives across the world in Australia, so instead I decide to move on and see what the rest of the Facebook world is up to. I stumble across a yoga article on ‘Surrender’ and click on it. Perhaps it will delve deeper into what the horse article was talking about. Nope, it’s about death and having to surrender when diagnosed with a debilitating disease.
Not what I was ready for.
Another post is by a comedian who is doing stand-up (or in his case, sit-down) comedy because he’s terminally ill. My efforts to use Facebook as an escape instead mirror my deepest emotions (much like a horse) which in turn does NOT lighten my mood. I debate going outside for a walk to reconnect with nature and even the weather outside is extremely foggy which is rare here in Toronto.
Then I remember my intention I set this morning….self-care. Pushing these sad feelings aside is just my feeble attempt to resist pain, so instead of running scared I chose to feel them fully. I let all that deep-seated pain, grief, fear, and sadness all come up to the surface. I cry. Again. Hard. I ‘turn on the taps’ and feel these emotions fully knowing that only when you do that can you let truly let them go (thanks Morrie Schwartz!) I remember other lessons of ‘reaching out’ instead of isolating in moments like these (which I would normally do because, well, you should never let people see you at your weakest right?!). My inner gremlins pipe up and tell me reaching out is a stupid idea because again, I didn’t even know this woman and I hadn’t even seen the friend that wrote that post in YEARS! But thankfully, my quiet-yet-knowing heart whispers to me about how important it is to reach out because what I need right now is comfort and care. And wouldn’t you know it, two of my dearest friends message me within moments of each other. The door was opened, so I followed my heart and walked through. And being the truly amazing friends that they are, they don’t question my pain they just empathize with me and provide me the comfort I was craving.
So today I remind you to take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself. Always. Don’t judge your action, reactions, and emotions. Instead give them room to breathe and process them in whatever way feels best. Follow your heart and reach out to those you trust and allow them to help you shoulder the burden.
I’m now ready for whatever else this day brings (and and am off to yoga, because that’s ALWAYS a form of self-care for this gal). xo