Still, as I try to be as ruthless as possible with deciding what to store until we find a new house, what to bring with us for the month or two we'll be staying with my mother, and what to sell or give away, what I remember is all the ways Mom helped Grandma find comfort and a sense of home in a house that wasn't hers, and I thought I'd share them here, because it's something many of us will experience as our own parents age.
Your mind is a powerful tool, and the more you 'feed' it with racing or negative thoughts, the more you fuel it to race even more. Energy creates energy, good or bad. So, by reacting to your inner voice by yelling at it to STOP! only ramps it up—Tempting reaction perhaps, but never a great solution.
As we engage in various situations in our home and work lives, there may be situations that occur that bring a sense of heaviness. Though our days as adults may not be filled with such simple moments, I wonder if we might be able to map out time to have similar ones? Whether it is the list of things that need to be done or the emotions that are circling us, clearing a path is important for our own energy and that of those we encounter.
None of us knows what the future holds, and one thing that this past year has brought into even more focus for me is being in the present moment. Where you have power is NOW. Stop speed dialing through your to-do list and pause. Stop replaying what has already taken place and move forward. The wrangling during the night about conversations you wish had gone differently, the chances you didn't take, the flashback to years ago, none of these are events that can be changed.
But what exactly does it mean for light to overcome darkness? So much of this season seems focused on connecting with the positive and celebratory states of happiness, joy, and abundance, from the music played and parties planned to the meals prepared and gifts given. Yet, these states of mind and heart can be hard to connect to for individuals who may also be experiencing hardship and difficulty this time of year.
Though often unrecognized, fear stands in our way like a brick wall. It blocks us from conversations and leads us to assume the worst possible outcome. Which fear is it? There are several: Fear of the unknown? Yes. Fear of becoming the same man himself later in life? Very likely. Fear of his father dying and then turning back later wishing he had done something differently? Absolutely.
The holidays are upon us, which adds yet another layer of responsibilities. Whether it's baking cookies or coordinating a gift for your mom from the family, this time of year has its own pressure. Or perhaps it's navigating the grief of a loved one no longer with you. All of this can have an additional impact this time of year. Speaking to a friend about this recently, we referred to this as "emotional whiplash." You might feel emotions and deep-seated feelings that others won't understand, side by side with the demands of what needs to be done.
We are continuing to create a ripple effect of change! When asked why I started Breathing Spaces, my response has always been, "I don't want others to have to go through this alone. I know the ups and the downs, the fears, and the heartaches very well. Knowing that you have emotional support is critical. All of us understand because we've been there."
I started a practice back then that I continue today; I keep a gratitude journal and every day I write down at least five things that I am grateful for first thing in the morning. It helps set the tone for my day to walk in with grace rather than…oh gosh, today I’ve got to…….”.
All of this can chip away at your emotions over time. The emotional outcome might be feelings of failure, worthlessness, hopelessness, or any other emotion. Perhaps your head ends up filled with thoughts like, "I'll never be able to…" or "If only I had…." It's understandable. All of it. And the things your mind keeps chattering at you only serve to distract and exhaust you.