5 Tips For Picking Yourself Back Up Again.

5 tips for picking yourself back up againI sat with my head in my hands and I thought “I don’t know how to write anything today, but people need me.”  I said that yesterday too as I did the brief healing Live chat.  And I thought it the day before right as I went on to be interviewed live from my business mentor in England.

Last week my feed was up and down on social media (when is it not, really?), and I said to myself “Aimee, don’t get involved with this stupidity.  Move on.”  I don’t listen to myself because I have this inner sense of if I can help, I am going to say something.  So I just told two people to knock off the arguing on public forums, go have a coffee and a hug.  They were better than that.

So do you feel close to an emotional melt-down this week?  Have you already had one?  As we fluctuate between feeling good and then feeling low, depending on the stimulus of our environment, I want you to really step back and become an observer as best you can.  Picking yourself up again over and over can be a process that wears you out.  So how can we do it and maintain that level of balance of balance in life?

5 Tips For Picking Yourself Back Up Again (and staying there):

  1. Do the impossible.  Pause.  I know that we all wish we had a pause button, but I want you to operate as if you had a remote with you at all times.  I did this yesterday and it was right before I made the decision to go ahead and read something that would upset me, but it was time to get it over with and then feel it.  I paused knowing that I needed to just get it over with, read it, process it as best I could, and move on.
  2. Allow yourself to let it out.  So there I was, in my sweaty yoga clothes, knowing that it was time to feel sadness, but that after I got it all out, I was going to go get cleaned up and move on.  I couldn’t allow myself to stay there, make a blanket fort, and hide out with a bar of chocolate and reruns of the Gilmore Girls.  Hoping that this time, Rory says yes to Logan.  Whatever your go-to thing is, running, yoga, journaling, do whatever it is you need to do to let it all out at that time.  Then step back, take a look at your emotions all out there and think “There.  That wasn’t that bad.”  And move on.  << tips for later on moving forward
  3. Mini-goals are key.  I teach the methods of mindfulness, pausing, and setting yourself up for success by choosing small, achievable goals.  Think baby steps.  Each new month, my Club starts off with what we want to achieve this month.  So say you had a set-back that was at work.  The boss gave you a task and you just dropped the ball.  Think about what happened in terms of small goals.  Did you put dates on the calendar for when things should be done?  Did you write yourself sticky notes that you could crumble up satisfyingly (I like to do that)?  Or make a list that you could strike things off when completed?  I secretly do this as well.  How are you organizing your planner for success?  I also teach this in my wellness course as it’s important for exercise, weight loss and so much more.
  4. Give thanks.  This is probably harder than any of the other tasks because you are down there in the depths of despair and you are feeling alone, isolated perhaps, and maybe even misunderstood.  I want you to take 3 deep breaths and place your hand on your heart with each breath.  Do you feel that?  That’s connection.  You are connected to a greater purpose and you have a new chance to get back up again.  Gratitude can actually interrupt patterns of anxiety.  If you don’t know how to begin a gratitude practice, I invite you to start a journal. << tips for later on how to start
  5. Rest.  Unplug.  I know that feel like we have to stay connected to the world, but sometimes, unplugging and going to bed early is the best thing for our bodies.  Take a bath, read a book, journal, but make it a point to do something good for you.  Getting a good night’s sleep can help you see things in a better light.

In a world that is constantly sending us too many signals, some of us more than ever need to create that safe space to relax and unwind.  If you are highly sensitive, make sure you are surrounding yourself with the types of energies you want to attract in your life that will help you fill up your cup.  If you are looking for a place that supports you, helps you with daily prompts, a closed group, and 24/7 access to journaling, mindful tips, meditation and bonus yoga poses (that are chair friendly), check out the Head|Heart|Health Club << We’d love to have you.

5 Hacks to Relieve Anxiety and Blues for the Empath

I have been told that I needed to chill out occasionally on the stress…which is kind of funny considering that is what I teach others in my yoga classes.  Here’s the thing though, if you walked around like a piece of Velcro picking up the feelings of every anxious person you came in contact with, you might understand.

I am going to go over the 5 hacks that will help you relieve anxiety and help you through the blues, but listen.  I give you permission to let it all go right now.  It’s not easy being an empath. << to read later if you don’t know if you are one.  The world doesn’t fully grasp how we came into existence and they think it’s lots of woo-woo stuff that can’t be explained.  Don’t worry, that’s not your job, or mine really, to explain this to them.  I used to think I had to explain this “gift” or curse as some say, but the truth is, we don’t owe the world an explanation.  We only need to take on our own problems, and that is half the battle.

What’s happening to me?

So here is what is going on with us.  We can read other people just like they read the news, but the difference is, when they close the article they are reading, the words stay there.  With me?  When we close our reading, the words jump onto us and follow us home…or in the case of anxiety, they somewhat merge with us.  As we go about our day, we can’t help but ponder why so and so was acting the way they did or we just wish we could help them because we know they told us they were fine, but clearly they aren’t and what if they do something stupid or worse.  Ack.  What if I am solely responsible for their bad decisions because I knew what they were thinking and I didn’t stop them.   Does this sound like a situation your brain has pondered?

Now you are anxious about things that haven’t even happened yet.

Trust me, I get it.  Your stomach hurts, you get a headache, you don’t want to see anyone and your brain is replaying things.  Nothing has even happened.  Quite possibly a few days go by, and you seem to let it go.  Trying to have a great day when out of no where, feelings of sadness overtake you.  You are already emotionally worn out and exhausted and now this.  What is going on now?  How can you stop this roller coaster of feelings?

5 Hacks to Relieve Anxiety and Blues:

  1. Focus on yourself.  I get that you are stressed, but let’s stop replaying what is happening with this other person.  It is time to focus on your needs.  As we focus on them, we are likely attracting more of their “stuff” our way.  Here is a tip from my new Guide.  Take the path of least resistance and sit in stillness for a round of 3 deep breaths.  You might want to be barefoot and put both feet flat on the floor.  Feel your toes on the ground or carpet.  What sensations can you feel?  What sounds are you listening to?  Continue to breathe and focus on the feeling of the air moving in and out of your lungs.  You are in control of your breath.  You are in your body.  Visualize a brilliant bubble surrounding you as you breathe.  Only what you allow to come in, gets in, and that is only positive energy to refill you.  You have now come back to your body.
  2. Follow that urge.  Do you have that itchy feeling sometimes that you need to get away and be alone?  Maybe read a good book or journal quietly?  That is your natural intuition telling you what you actually need to refill your depleted energy stores.  Energy is always changing and when it is in fatigue, it must be refilled.  Even more so for the empath.  Sadness might be telling you that your stores have reached a really low-level.  As we learn to let go from the other person’s emotions, we start to heal.  Getting back to nature can also help this process, going by the sea, or getting yourself to yoga where the energy is really high right towards the end of class and then everyone melts into savasana.  This is the most healing part, so try to follow your intuition here.
  3. Boundaries are your friend.  It is very important that you don’t take on too much and that the moment, and I am not kidding here, the moment you start to feel anxious in someone’s presence, you don’t question it.  That is your internal compass telling you who to steer clear of and it is time we stopped questioned it saying things like “Could it just be me?”.  No.  Your body knows.  If you are unsure how to set boundaries, practice using this article.  Everything we do has to be practiced so that it becomes like a reflex to us and we move into feeling instead of thinking.  That is actually our gift, and we need to recognize it and use it.  If someone causes a feeling that bring you down, recognize that as well.
  4. Take note of your own personal feelings.  Keeping a journal will be very useful for you so that at night, you can download what is really yours and yours alone to paper.  Not sure how to do this or want direction?  I recently was asked by well let’s say everyone who knows my journal practice for myself, to write a guide that would help empaths.  You are more than welcome to check it out, but the most important thing to remember here in all of these tips is that you have to do the work inside your head in order to make it become a habit that is second nature to you.  That is where the power lies.  It’s all inside of you already.
  5. Ground it out.  It’s time to put down the burdens of others.  Take your shoes off.  Feel through all four corners of your feet and lift your toes.  Walk outside on the ground or on your carpet if you prefer, but really focus on the feeling.  Being in nature is key here, but you can also take a shower and visualize the water cleansing the stagnant energy off of you.  Use sense of smell to make you feel safe and secure.  Do you know what the number one smell is that helps clear your head?  Fresh baked cookies.  I know, I know, but it’s true.  It invites feelings of warmth.  Last, but not least, make a list of 5 things that you like to do that soothe you.  Refer to that list often and re-evaluate it if something changes.

I hope you really use these tips and refer back to it as needed.  As we start to make taking care of our feeling first a routine, we will be less likely to fall into the trap of overwhelm, anxiety and sadness.  Need more?  My monthly Club is always available with open doors.  The content changes monthly, but I know you will enjoy it!

5 Hacks to Relieve anxiety and blues

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Getting to the Root of What’s Bothering You

There’s something just under the surface that you can’t figure out.  You feel very close to making a break through with yourself, but each time you are almost there, another wave crashes over you and threatens to pull you down with it.  You feel alone, but the fact is, you aren’t.

Over the years, I realized what had to happen in order for me to get over a feeling that felt “stuck”.  I actually had to give it a bit of attention and figure out where it was coming from.  It’s uncomfortable as hell, but the fact is, if you ignore it, it will get worse.

Right now, as you are reading this, do a brief inventory on your feelings.  What made you stop and read this?  What feeling is there just below the surface?  As I was writing this, I was happy and content to help others, but now, as I am exploring the feelings someone else might be feeling right this minute, I am anxious.  How do I move forward and really help people get “unstuck” and move forward?

Self-check in time.  Are you running away from your feelings?

If the answer is yes, why? Are you afraid you will reveal too much emotion by facing what is bothering you?  What is the worst thing that can happen?  Sadness?  Tears?  Anger?  Or regret << bingo.  It might be this one that gets stuck.

How to get to the root of the emotion:

  1. Name the feeling and give yourself back the power.  I remember the first time I told someone the root of their problems was ultimately depression.  Depression is a serious thing, but once addressed, we can really get down to business and dissect that bad boy.  It no longer has the power of hiding out in the darkness waiting to overtake you.  You see it coming and you are ready to face it.  Do not freak out over that word.  It is just a word, but if you don’t face it, it can and will destroy your life.
  2. Write about it.  You aren’t a writer.  Heard that before.  You don’t have time.  Avoiding it still.  I have worked with clients who tell me all of this.  I am not a counselor, merely a wellness coach using her gifts to assist others into stepping into the life that was truly meant for them.  Write down every single thought for 5 minutes.  Set a timer.  Then close it.  The next day, re-read it.  Look for a pattern.  A word that emerges.  If you don’t clearly see it, do it again.  Write a stream of thought for 5 minutes.  Is there one word that pops out and your gut says that is part of the problem?  The next day, begin with that word.  Explore it and see what is under it all.
  3. Talk about it with a friend or counselor.  Do the work first as named above, and when you have really explored it, especially if it persisting sadness, do seek professional help.  Private message a friend and ask if they have the name of a counselor.  It is okay to not be okay…but you can’t stay in that place for the rest of your life.  It is not healthy for you and you deserve so much better my friend.
  4. Be mindful of the present moment…constantly.  I watched this inspiring story about a guy who lived after jumping off the Golden Gate bridge.  You might have heard about him, and his story.  He said the second he let go, there was instant regret.  He prayed to be saved, and he was.  One thing he does now is constantly take back control from the “what ifs” and the past thoughts.  He made people realize they have to be honest about their pain.  Here is his post.  It gave me chills to know that this is what he was called to do.  I hope this story as well as these tips help bring a little bit of comfort to your day my friends.

Hope

5 Ways to Work Through Grief

As I prepare to write this post, I want to say that grief can come over you at anytime.  Whether it is the loss of a loved one, a dear pet, or grief for something you can’t name.  It feels heavy on your chest like you can’t breathe and it stays there for a while.

The suffocating feeling lasts for a while, but after a time you notice you can take a little bit more air in and the knot in your chest starts to loosen.  Maybe you start to feel guilty about that, so you try to hold on tighter and love more, but just let it ease gradually.

Some people I know throw themselves into a million projects, classes, trips, and have literally zero down time.  They are not ready for the grief to process yet.  From what I have observed, this is somewhat like ripping the band-aid off and they are waiting as long as they can.  If that is their process, so be it.  Each person is different; however, if you are reading this, I will try to help as gently as I can.

I am on day one of a new round of grief.  Each time I feel loss it is different, yet the same.  Here are a few things that I have learned.

5 Ways to Work Through Grief:

  1. Sit with it for a while.  The first day, it is very fresh and raw.  You might want the ache to go away immediately.  Acceptance is very difficult.  In fact, we want to do the opposite.  We want to come up with a million reasons why we shouldn’t accept it.  A million “what ifs” or “maybes”.  All the while there it still is.  It has already happened.  So slow down your breathing.  If you pray, speak out your needs, thoughts and silent prayer to help you get through this first day.
  2. Support will come through…and many times it is people who have experienced a grief similar to yours.  As people begin to reach out to you, and they ask you the same thing, “Is there anything I can do?”, take them up on it if you want to just talk.  I reach out to people who I know have experienced a similar loss as mine.  For them, the loss that I have experienced has already brought up those thoughts, especially if they are reaching out.  There is something in that comfort that envelops you and hugs you close and says “I know.  I have been there before and here I am.”  It is comforting and warm.
  3. Work through it on your own time.  It is important to know that it truly is a process, but it is not the same length for everyone.  You can’t just wish it would go away…but you can write it away.  Little by little.  If writing isn’t your thing, you can join a group or speak to a counselor.  There are many online groups as well.  But make sure it is similar to your loss.  There is strength in numbers.  A quiet strength.
  4. Self-care need to be practiced.  When I say this, I mean it.  Eat food.  Make yourself take a small snack even if you are not hungry.  Hot tea.  Crackers.  Soup.  Comfort food.  Take a bath.  Get yourself cleaned up and read a book.  Watch a show that gets your mind somewhere else for a bit.  Make sure you are practicing self-care.
  5. I don’t even want to type this…because it still is raw, but it will eventually feel lighter.  Again, there is no normal here, okay?  Don’t compare your process to others.  It is said we go through denial, numbness and shock at first.  Then bargaining, depression, anger, and finally acceptance.  It is possible your process won’t even look like that, or you might skip parts.  So instead of my saying we go through 5 stages, which might not be true for you, I will say what I know to be true.  Eventually, you will feel lighter.

After some time has passed, the name of a loved one will pass through your lips and you will feel a connection as you say it, and love.  Not grief so much.  I know this is true because it took me many years before I could really talk about my grandmother with laughter again.  It didn’t matter that I knew she wouldn’t want me to be sad or any of those things that I would want for my own family…I selfishly held on to the sadness, and anger, for far too long.

So if you can start up your yoga, meditation, prayer, writing or anything you love to do on a regular basis, do it.  Feel the present moment around you and allow gratitude to come into your heart that you loved so deeply.

Sacredness

How to Cope When Actors or Musicians Die

I won’t forget how I felt after waking up the day after I learned that Robin Williams had passed away.  I was really sad.  Why did I need to learn how to cope after his death?  It wasn’t as if I knew him?  And yet, I felt like I did.  I grew up watching Mork & Mindy and felt so “big” being able to stay up later to watch it.  As time went on, Robin became somewhat of a father figure.  What a man.  What an actor.  He made me laugh so many times when I was sad…and oh The Birdcage.  I will always love Armand Goldman.

And now I must face the death of not one, but two characters I loved so much.  Any and everyone knows of my great love for David Bowie.  Not just as a musician, but yes, oh yes, as the Goblin King.  It was a special movie to me that I begged to see at the theater.  Labyrinth came out in 1986.  I knew every single line and so did my little brother.  We would dance around the house saying “You remind me of the babe…” and then he had to finish a line, then I did and so on.  Then his little best friend came over and we would sing Dance Magic Dance all over the place.  But ermmmm it gets better!  Or worse.  If you don’t love this…I wanted to get married in a big poofy dress like Sarah Wore.  Just check out my Pinterest if you don’t realize what a geek I am.

Then today, today, Alan Rickman has passed as well…at 69, of cancer just like Bowie.  I know that other people probably don’t understand geeks, but we are a strange lot.  We know him as many characters…but to me, he will always be Severus Snape.  My husband loved him as Hans Gruber as well…so please watch this video if you can.  I was the first teacher I knew of to buy the Harry Potter books and read them…for me.  Not to my class, but for myself as I taught a lower grade.  Every year, every single year, we get a piece of HP memorabilia  at Christmas.  This year it was the real film cells in book marks for my girls.  One year it was the wands.  Another year it’s necklaces from the movie.  We all process this a little differently so I am going to try and help you just a bit my brothers and sisters.

How to cope when someone you admire dies:

  1. Unlike the death of someone you know, this kind of death seems to have no support group as you feel like people don’t understand or get your grief.  I want you to know that is not true.  I completely understand.  It is like a cosmic loss…a hole in the universe that can’t be filled.  But after a while, the pain lessens and we learn to move on.
  2. You relate to what the person has died from…whether it be illness or suicide.  You feel like there was something you could have done because this relates close to home.  Just know that there was nothing you could have done, nor was it your fault in any way as you relate these feelings back to a loved one you might have lost the same way.
  3. You feel different at first almost like you are having an out of body experience because you are somewhat in shock.  In a report about Marilyn Monroe’s death, fans thought she was dialing to get help the night before she was found.  Fans always wonder what happened to this day, but it doesn’t make her come back.  After the shock wears off…let it go with peace.
  4. There is no “normal” amount of time this might last, but just know that feeling sad is normal.  Talk about your feelings with someone who you know will listen and understand with empathy.  I will always think of Robin, Alan, and David with fondness and be forever grateful for what they have left behind.
  5. When all else fails, watch their movies, listen to their songs, and laugh at their jokes.  They would want you to carry on and celebrate the magic that they created for their fans!

Snapestar

 

Fappiness…

What is fake happy?

I feel like  I need to give you permission to be honest with yourself.  So there it is.  You have my permission (like you needed it, but anyway, you have it).  If you were to be really honest with yourself, truly honest, what would you say to yourself?  I know what I would say because I couldn’t sleep last night.  That’s always an indicator that I need to write about the truth.  How I truly feel.  Without the pretty stuff.  So here it is.

I don’t feel thankful right now.  I don’t.  I just imagined a collective gasp from like 20,000 people.  In reality, you might just merely be thinking ok, why?  Or maybe you are thinking you have lots to be thankful for, why are you not thankful???  I demand it.  If you thought the first thing, you get me.  If you thought the second, I want to explain.  It’s not that I’m NOT thankful…I am.  I am just having a hard time feeling that way some days.  I know I have so much in my life to be thankful for.  I do.  I know this.  But unfortunately, there is something inside me that hasn’t been getting filled up lately and I don’t know how to fix that.

As I talked to my husband about it last night, I think he began to understand.  I didn’t want to talk about it because I felt like I was ungrateful.  I felt like the “Inspirational Page Owners Police” were going to come and take away my license to operate a motivational page.  But then he said why can’t you write about the truth?  And that seemed easier.

Two years ago when I realized that something else was happening to my body yet again, I made the decision to stop teaching.  I went to my husband and I calmly said that I couldn’t explain it, but teaching was making me more sick.  I just knew it.  The last year that I taught I was out many days until finally, I was out for 3 solid weeks.  That year started off with a breast cancer scare, and I don’t know if I really recovered fully after that.  I was on edge.  Something was coming, but I couldn’t explain what it was.

I would sing my happy songs, smile at the beautiful children, and fake smile at everyone else.  I had previously been known as Mrs. Happy.  In my head, I was now Mrs. Fappy.  Fake-happy.  The pain in my body had already been building up for years and I flinched when anyone touched me.  If the children were sick, I put them to the back of the carpet, because yes dear parents, a few of you sent your darlings to school on Tylenol hoping I wouldn’t notice, but I always did.  They had fevers and were burning up after they had already hugged me and loved on me because that’s just how I am.  I am not going to let them be sick in my room without them knowing I still love them and want to take care of them.  I did, however, have them go to the nurse.  Sometimes you came and picked them up, other times, not so much.  You were busy and had no other options…I get it, but it made things difficult.

Unfortunately, I am immune compromised and my immune system isn’t what it used to be 17 years ago.  So I knew that I couldn’t operate this way anymore because I worked in a school where some parents didn’t have the means to take care of their children and really, truly,  were doing the best they could at that moment.  It was just difficult on me.  Emotionally, it had taken a toll long before now.

I could tell you the series of ridiculous things that happened to me up to this point in my life, but it doesn’t really matter right now.  All that matters is right now, I am trying to find the thankfulness in life.  Not just go through the motions.  I also know that money does not solve problems, I get that, I do, but sometimes I wish we had some wiggle room.  I feel responsible for my decision to stop teaching full-time because there is no longer any wiggle room…if there truly ever was.  I have to weigh decisions carefully on what we spend money on, and when I make a poor decision, I beat myself up.  Even going to the doctors cost me money I can ill afford to pay when they want to see me back in 6 weeks…at $35 a trip because it’s a specialist.  All I freaking see are specialists.  With 4.5 diseases that most people have never heard of I was told by one doctor, “It’s like building a house.  You wouldn’t expect the plumber to know about carpentry, right?”  Meh.  I see your analogy and I raise it a “I am trying to be seen in one place so this doesn’t cost me ridiculous amounts of money all the time!!!” stare.  Because sometimes, I just can’t respond to people.  The words that would come out are not nice.

So, the point to this entire erm rant?  I get you Wayne Brady and your breakdown.  I love you man.  I really do.  I love you Robin Williams and I miss you.  But I get you too.  But let’s start talking about “Fappiness” more and how it’s okay to feel this way at times.  Let’s talk about this and bring this out in the open.  Stop trying to fix it.  Just let it be.  And talk about it, until it’s okay to be fappy…

Fappy

 

Turdy Tuesday…

So I missed Motivational Monday because it was 100 degrees.  In my house.  For two days.  This occurs like clockwork every other year when I least expect it.  Naturally it occurs on a weekend.  When rates are a gazillion times higher, so we waited it out.  I’m probably a pound of sweat lighter, but that’s okay.  I was more worried about my dogs because the first night I sent my kids to my parents.  As it so happens, last night was the “Night before school” and I had this totally cool post I was going to do, but it didn’t happen.

This just in, today was record high for this date.  I repeat.  Record heat.  Felt like 103 degrees.  In the south.  In the humidity.  I almost threw up.  But I mean, hey. I made it.  On top of this, I opened my e-mail and read about a family that needs things for their sparsely furnished apartment and realized, well crap.  It could be worse.  Then I watched the video a friend posted…in memory of her husband.  And cried and cried.  And cried some more.  I just realized that my problems were not that bad.  They might seem bad to me, and in comparison to other people’s problems, maybe mine are worse.  I don’t know.  But when I read about situations like what some of my friends are going through, I think to myself, put on your BIG GIRL panties and carry on.

Life is a beautiful adventure and I get to go where I am needed.  I called my husband and continued to try to get words out of my mouth around ridiculous tears about this family I don’t know needing THINGS like furniture and what could I do and then about this situation where I wanted to help ease someone’s pain, but I didn’t know how and he listened to me babble until I was done.  Which didn’t end until I mentioned I was sad about both girls being in middle school.  I don’t even know what I am sad about at this point.  It was just everything.  I remember every sad thing at moments like this and they make me even more sad.

By the way, if I had gotten a good night’s sleep for two nights, I might not have been such a mess.  Who am I kidding, I probably would have been anyway.  So to end this reflection, what I have to say to you, is enjoy doing the things you love with those you love.  Help those in need.  Reach out.  And never be afraid to take a moment just to be sad…as long as you remember sad has its limits.  It’s time to be done with sad.  For now I am grateful.  I am grateful that I have a house with things in it, two girls who can go to school, and air conditioning….that occasionally needs freon.  I am profoundly grateful for my family and my husband’s support each and every day.

So it really is Terrific Tuesday after all.

Heartlight

 

Don’t stop…believing

If life were a person, I would slap him or her.  Hard.  So let me back up.  Friday night I went out to chat with some friends I hadn’t seen in a long time.  My buddy is an awesome photographer and has worked on some pretty cool things out west and was in town.  I’d put his link here except for the fact that he is super private, and I didn’t tell him I was writing this.  Ha.  Anyway, the night before I was talking about all my old friends and it occurred to me that most of them were guys.  We were like Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch…and we rode our bikes around, well bicycles, but still.  Later on, in high school, some had cars and perhaps one in particular was old enough to pass for 21 at the 7-11.

Everyone has that one friend, ha, who perhaps buys things like ohhh I don’t know, Boone’s Farm maybe.  Not judging the 80’s or 90’s are you?  No.   Anyway, so we were sitting around telling stories and it was nice.  It was nice to see how we can change, but remain the same at heart.  I always knew they were good guys and so when I heard one of them was coming into town, I knew I couldn’t wait until the next time.  A lot can happen through the years.  As we got a round of beverages, we raised our pints to a friend who was no longer with us.  We talked a bit about how we were still kind of mad at him for not reaching out (I actually wrote about this when it happened last year).  We lost a good man to a fight he could have beat…depression was the enemy and if we had known, surely we could have changed the tide on that battlefield.

Don’t stop believing that other people care about you.

So this year my brother’s circle of friends have learned about that as well.  Yesterday, my brother lost a friend to hopelessness and surely her friends are saying the same thing.  It’s too fresh right now, but in a year her friends will probably still be mad.  Her friends will be telling the stories of things they did.  And her friends will look at each other and make the kind of eye contact that says, I’m glad you’re here friend to talk about this with me.  Don’t hide how you feel when this happens.  Get it out.  Reach out to who is left behind.  And don’t stop believing that your life is worth fighting for at all costs.  Don’t end your chapter right as your luck was about to change.  DON’T.  Because your friends will be lifting a pint to you after all and saying how much they miss you.  Instead of that, be there with them.  Clinking the glass and saying I am so glad I have you all.  I am glad I called you that day.

Cherish

Motivational Monday…

I have written this post a million different ways in my head today.  Originally I was going to tell you about this one piece of advice I read.  Then I rushed to a doctor’s appointment I almost forgot I had and heard about more killings.  Sometimes we need a mental break.  I don’t know how much more bad news we can take as a society.  So I had to pull my thoughts together again and not go down that road which becomes dark and scary with things we just don’t need right now.  I looked up a few quotes and posted them on my Facebook page for this blog and then one jumped out and said “Use me for today!”…so I am.

sadthings

 

There are no words…

During my lunch yesterday, a few teachers asked me if I heard the news.  I had not.  I briefly scanned the headlines and started crying right then.  I could not do this right now.  I had my babies coming back in so I had to push all emotion away and get through the rest of my day plus a meeting.  It was strange.  One asked if she could have an extra hug.  One hopped up on my lap to tell me he loved me.  I hadn’t said a thing, but I hugged them tighter.

When I got off work, I did not check headlines as I had plans with my family.  I headed straight home.  We were having a family night that we had planned in advance with my parents, brother, and niece.  On the car ride up to the special place known as Christmas Town, I started crying and couldn’t stop.  My daughter told me they had a moment of silence at school today and we discussed the event.  I told her of how I never stopped worrying about her.  I told her about September 11, 2001 when she was just a baby and how I had to finish the day before I could get her.  I told her about a lock-down I was once in that was real, but luckily it was just because something was happening in a nearby house.  I told her about the meeting I had just been in the day before and I started crying more.  I met with a man who started the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence.  We had just mentioned Columbine and Tech the day before.  We were talking about how to get families involved in their children’s lives and how to notice the warning signs.  I also told her that I would, should this ever happen to me, defend my students by taking a bullet if necessary.  I told her that I loved her dearly, but my job was to protect my students.

After this, family night seemed so important and yet so difficult for me.  My heart is so heavy.  The tears were pricking the back of my eyelids all night.  I would make it a little bit through, and then I would feel the tears silently slide down my cheeks again and again.  A hot toddy was pressed into my hand and I forced myself to close off the part of my brain that was thinking about this.  I made it through dinner and then we crossed the bridge.  The air was crisp, the smell of pine was in the air, lights were on every tree and the words Peace on Earth reflected across the water.  I lost it again.  The tears were silent and I turned to my mom who was also sad.  I just sat there with my head on her shoulder for a minute.  Then she said the words “What if that was your child?  Can you imagine?”  No, I can’t.  I can’t.

The night ended with a family snuggle.  Two kids, three dachshunds and one mom and dad in the bed.  For now, I am on media blackout.  I only know what I was told.  I also know that last night, every single friend was thinking about this as well.  My friends with children, my friends struggling to have children, my teacher friends, my left and right friends, my friends around the world.  Before the numbness wears off remember how we all feel now.  There was no peace on Earth last night for me.

“There’s no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.”  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower