In what feels like a single moment, the world has completely changed. The slow fires of a virus started spreading months ago. By now, we’ve all been impacted in some way. My world also changed in February 28 when my Dad, surrounded by his four children and wife Jane, left the plane of this Earth.
It’s time to learn to sail this rough ocean. I’m not ready. Neither are you. And that’s okay.
When the pressure is high, we can crumble or we can grow.
In the last few weeks, I’ve learned the value of my regular practices by throwing them out the window. After all, who needs this s@$t when my world is shaken? What better justification to get off the wagon than losing a parent?
For three nights – THREE – I tried eating chocolate cake to cope with my grief and fear. All it got me was 30 seconds of a happy mouth and a headache in the middle of the night. And the yucky feeling of having let myself down. On the third night, I knew better. Yet I watched myself choose the cake. (It did have cream cheese icing after all.) When I put the cake on my plate, I also decided to take an aspirin before bed. Take that, you pesky headache!
Outside of crappy eating, I did choose to stick to my regular morning routine of meditation, prayer and stretching - mostly. I continued to practice patience and listening and kindness – not perfectly but enough to feed my soul – mostly. I allowed people to support me and help me – mostly.
It’s in the midst of the pressure that we become stronger and learn to choose our response to THIS situation based on what’s called for in THIS time – mostly. And mostly is enough. We just keep calibrating and testing and living another day.
As I’ve come to recognize the world as we know it has forever changed, I sat down and made a list of some things I’m going to be working on to make myself a better sailor in these rough seas.
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Example: In addition to the breathing series, here’s a practice that take one minute to completely change how you feel. Take a deep breath and hold it as you simultaneously clench all your muscles. Make a fist, curl your toes, squeeze your thighs and buttocks and stomach and arms as tightly as you can. Count to 10 and release your muscles and exhale and let go as you count to 10. Repeat for a total of three times.
We have no idea what’s coming – much like our ancestors through all the many times of turmoil in history, we will do our best to make it through. The greatest generation came out of the Great Depression.
Do I wish we were sailing in smooth waters right now? Yes! But we’re not. I’m not. Now is the time to grow and learn and become a stronger, better sailor. So I’m going to show up the best that I can. I learned the most from my Dad by watching him. This is how he would do it.
Tell me in the comments what practices you are using that really work for you. And if you know someone who would love this article, please share it with them!
Inspiring new ways to look at learning, growth, and reinvention, whether in leadership, athletics, art or life.
Once you have subscribed, you will be sent a confirmation email. Please go and check your inbox, if you do not see a confirmation email, it may have gone to your spam folder.