We’ve been rocked by a global pandemic that's left educators and parents alike scrambling to figure out the future of schooling with no clear direction and seemingly little support.
Social unrest is gripping our nation in response to the murders and injustices imposed on our Black brothers and sisters. Protests have erupted with people desperate to have their voices heard on everything from Black Lives Matter, to inequality, and even corruption.
Entrepreneurs are finding themselves pivoting their entire business models, and some small businesses have even been forced to shut their doors for good.
I don’t know what life has been like for you lately, but I know what it's been like for me. And I know what it's been like for the people I am close to - my family, dearest friends, and amazing clients.
We’ve been going through the wringer, and we’re desperately trying to keep it together. But lately, I’ve found myself asking WHY?
- Why am I trying to keep it together?
- Who am I trying to keep it together for?
- To what end?
- What is the price I am paying to keep it all together?
If you are anything like me, then you hold a lot in because you want to be strong for the people you love, the people who look to you for guidance, the people you serve and pour into - your family, your friends, your students, even your dogs, chickens, cats, or fishes.
I’m a single parent with two young girls. The lack of closure at the end of the last school year and the uncertainty about what starting would look like this fall has taken it’s toll on them at times, and they’ve heavily leaned on me for support and guidance.
They don’t need to see me fall apart, right? They don’t need to know that I’m just as lost, worried, and sometimes even as scared as they are...or do they?
I’ve got clients whom I get to be a positive force for love and light and transformation. As educators, for many this summer has been full of concern and uncertainty about the school year. Not to mention, things were constantly changing, making it damn-near impossible to come up with any sort of plan. Despite it all, throughout the summer I continued to encourage them to remain living in alignment of their visions, to continue pushing forward towards their goals and dreams.
I can’t possibly have them see me fall apart, right? Or... is it a benefit to them if I do? If I allow myself to hit a low, and be vulnerable and transparent enough to share that with them, will that help them or hurt them?
Since March, in my home and with my immediate family, we have processed serious depression. We’re talking suicide notes, sexual harassment online through social media, we’ve witnessed a very traumatic near-death accident with a family member, worked through major racially charged conflicts, are healing through surgery for my daughter, are feeling the environmental affects of the west coast wildfires, and we’re now trying to get acclimated to being back in school in a completely unprecedented way.
I’m not telling you all of this to gain sympathy. The truth is, this story is not uncommon. I bet if you and I were sitting on the couch right now (or chatting on a Zoom happy hour), chances are your COVID life experiences would sound a lot like mine. The same goes for your friends, your family, and your colleagues - we’re all facing challenges that, at times, can feel like they’re more than we’re equipped to handle. And there’s not exactly an instruction manual for 2020, is there?
So if you are anything like me, you've been feeling like you are on the verge of a breakdown.
I always say “there is no growth in comfort” and lately this has been ringing true like crazy. I have been uncomfortable ALL the time. I’ve been trying to keep it together until I finally realized that keeping it all in is doing more damage than good, and I needed a damn good cry!
Well, to be fair, it’s not like I realized that I needed a cry and then had a cry.
It went down more like this:
I went over to my mom’s next door (yup, she’s my neighbor!) to make some coffee and have our morning chat. As the coffee was brewing, she looked at me and asked, “Honey, are you ok?”. That’s all it took for me to completely unleash.
- not being a good enough mom because I haven’t yet made some fun, creatively gorgeous pottery barn style classroom set up for them (you actually should see what their desk spaces look like right now...scary!);
- not being a good enough CEO because I haven’t quite figured out how to manage my time with two kids home full-time who until very recently were still on summer break;
- not being good enough to myself because I am not genuinely giving myself time off and I’m about to lose my shit. (Oh wait, I just did!).
This lasted maybe 5 minutes tops - probably not even that long. But then, all of a sudden, it was like I could breathe again.
All in the time it took to make a cup of coffee.
My mom had received a call and so we were done. It was over. I took another minute to breathe and stopped by the bathroom to check my eyes before heading back up to our house. When I looked at my reflection, I was shocked. My eyes were crystal clear. Seriously, it was like I had just finished a 10-day cleanse.
A good cry is like a good cleanse. It's a way of purging. When we purge, we make room, and when we make room, we get to choose what to pour in - IF we choose to pour anything in at all. Or instead, we may choose to remain in the emptiness, where we can feel into the expansiveness and embody possibility. It is in the emptiness that we see a path, we can see what's next, we can see answers, and more importantly, we can just BE.
- I get to feel the full range of emotions
- I get to live stress-free
- I get to release any expectations, the need to compare, and all attachment to a certain outcome
- I get to trust that everything is happening FOR me, and that it will all unfold exactly as it should, and all I have to do is receive the goodness that is waiting for me to just reach out and take it! To accept it, to receive it with gratitude and grace.
So...let's all just have a good cry, shall we? Let's purge some sh*t out so we can feel good about where we're going! Because where we are going is GREAT!!
If you want to dig into this concept on a more personal level, or just need a (virtual) shoulder to have a good cry on so you can realign your focus to maximizing your professional impact and personal growth, let’s talk! You can schedule a call with me here.