I admit I’ve been feeling the pull lately.
I’ve been spending too much time on social media, listening to the news a lot, quickly reading and sharing an awful lot of information. It’s gotten to me, pushed me over the brink a little. And truth is, there’s plenty going on in the world every day about which we could justifiably feel pushed over the brink.
The thing is, my being in that space doesn’t help. It doesn’t help me (for sure – I’d hate to see where my stress hormones are registering these days). It doesn’t help others if I lose my head and fail to think clearly, receive with compassion, respond with reason and love. It doesn’t help my clients if I’m distracted. It doesn’t help my family if I’m not present. It doesn’t help the world if I read the 10th version of the same piece of information. All I’m doing is inflicting repeated trauma on myself. I found myself in this position this morning. I had planned to do some writing work, putting together some programs and packages, but my Facebook feed got in the way. And then I stayed there, chained to my screen, reading what was basically the same thing over and over and over again; reading, sharing, reading, sharing. It was a bit of a mess, and so was I. And we both know it doesn’t take national turmoil to have this kind of reaction to trouble. We get sucked into messes of all kinds on the regular.
Kind words from a fellow coach made me look up from my scared little screen huddle. I was sort of startled to see that the sun was shining and that my dog was completely unmoved by my state. It was nearly lunchtime, so I decided that the best thing to do was to treat lunch like breakfast and start the heck over. I ate my lunch in quiet (no radio, no laptop), and it was glorious. I took an extra long extra hot shower to wash off the ick – also glorious. I took my canine companion for an extra long walk through our sunny neighborhood. I left my ear buds out. No podcast. No phone call. No nothing. Just me, the dog, the sun and a few neighbors who stopped to chat. I focused on noticing all of the trees, feeling the breeze on my cheek, hearing the birds, a mini-sense meditation to get my overburdened and totally freaked out mind to just settle down.
After our walk, I finished my exercise with a few weights, and then I sat down to work. And in that state, of having pulled myself out of the frenzy, I was able to finish every single item on that list in about half the time I’d allotted for it. I felt rejuvenated, ready for action. Ready for all of the action. Ready to do my part in the world, which is only partially satisfied by calling Washington and signing petitions. Ready to do all the parts of my world, all of which are important. My mantra for the rest of the day: “I am in it. I am on it. None of it is all of me.”