There’s a special kind of joy that happens in groups. We find our greatest times of happiness in moments of collective effervescence. It’s a concept coined by the sociologist Emile Durkheim to describe the sense of energy and harmony people feel when they come together in a group around a shared purpose. Human beings aren’t meant to be alone. Community is critical to our health and well-being.
Are Your Emotions Spinning? It's Okay to Reach Out for Help Some days are more challenging than others, but we can find bright spots if we open ourselves to them. When we focus on events that bring us down, we tend to perpetuate a negative spiral, while stepping away can give way to light.
Our relationship with our mothers may shift over time, but the love remains the same. Some of you may be caring for your mother now, as she once cared for you. Others like myself have lost our mom, and this day can be difficult. What can you do for such a special woman, guide, and warrior?
Letter-writing is often considered a lost art, but it shouldn't be. Texting is great for immediate information or a quick thought. Email is fantastic for exchanging timely thoughts. Letters, handwritten or typed, sealed into envelopes, and sent by mail are textual portraits, freeze-frames of specific moments in time that capture thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams and put them all down on paper.
There is more than one right way. Sometimes we get stuck following a method or practice for doing something because "we've always done it that way." But sometimes trying a new way of doing something helps give us a new perspective and better results. In my case, I knew one way of turning my boat, which was to paddle only on the side opposite of the direction I wanted to go. What my teacher showed me, was that I could also turn the boat by pushing the paddle forward on the same side I wanted to go.
What if I challenged you to try something new today? Disrupt the cycle. Pay extra attention to the tiny details: the flowers popping up seemingly out of nowhere, a smile on a child's face, the older man giving his wife a smooch. Noticing those simple moments can slow your racing heart and mind by creating a positive shift.
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.
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…….”.
A strong, loving woman that gave so much to life and others told me two days later that cancer returned with a vengeance, and she had less than six months to live.
When I was a caregiver for years for my mom and brother, I realized I was in uncharted territory, but the moment I connected with other caregivers, my life shifted. Whether it was hearing about emotional issues or discussing navigating healthcare, the connection piece became a powerful lifesaver. That experience is the core of why I started Breathing Spaces years ago. I wanted to offer a connection for others from a place of understanding, and the knowledge that voices must be heard, and stories must be told.