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When you don't recognize yourself 🤷🏻
On wandering off-trail and finding our way back. 🧭
I’m not entirely sure what to write to you as I start off on this edition of Field Notes. My mind is mush. I’ve been in a deep brain fog. But as I write this poolside from La Paz, Mexico, I can feel my body decompressing, like I’m finally letting out some air that has been building for months.
It has not been my best week, my friends—the one before Mexico. I’ll keep the specifics out of this, but I think many of you can relate to the feeling of thinking you have a handle on things and then suddenly you don’t. 🙃 A phone call with bad news, more pandemic adjusting, a wild balancing act of a schedule, more curveballs… it all piled on until an episode of anxiety the other day forced me to stop and take a hard look at the state of my body, mind, and spirit. They were not in good shape.
So today I’m just going to write to you from the heart. ❤️
By way of my notes from the field, you could say I wandered off-trail. I know where I am, but what’s perhaps most disconcerting is that I don’t recognize myself.
This trip couldn’t have been better timed. It’s my first time away from my daughters for more than four days, and my first time travelling abroad without them since I became a mother. I miss them deeply but I am keenly aware of the opportunity I have on this trip to recalibrate.
To focus on me, and only me.
So far as I reflect on all this I am also uncomfortably aware that as I scan the terrain inside of me, it feels very foreign.
Has this ever happened to you before?
The lightness, the inner peace, the sense of harmony are somewhere off in the distance and in order for me to reach them, I need to navigate through many unknowns. Many FFTs (as Brené Brown calls them)… F’ing First Times.
FFTs are hard. 😔
So, here’s where I’ve landed today:
I am listening to my body carefully: when it is thirsty, tired, feeling even remotely stressed, hungry, uncomfortable. And because I only have myself to really think about (except for the two awesome women I’m travelling with), I am responding to the messages my body is sending me.
I am practising a lot of kindness towards myself. I am trying not to overthink what’s just happened to my system and instead say, “That happened. It does not make you who you are.”
I have decided I need a checklist written down of what I will do next time the train falls off the tracks. In those moments of chaos, it’s hard to think straight. It’s sometimes hard to slow down enough to make the changes that will alleviate some pressure. So, part of my “homework” while I’m away is to create that list that I’ll store somewhere very safe and obvious. Because there will be a next time.
This may not have been a message you were expecting to see in your inbox this month. But I do hope that by being transparent about my own struggles, these words will meet someone where they are at. And maybe be a key that unlocks something for them.
This pandemic has made things challenging for everyone in unique ways. It’s important not to overlook how even the most subtle changes can make for a shaky foundation. The great news is we have the tools and resources to navigate this new world we’re in, even the internal terrain of our lives. We may not know which one to grab, but there are people and resources out there to help us. It’s a rich and rewarding experience, even if it feels scary and uncomfortable.
There’s a lot of figuring things out as we go along. But you’re never truly alone.
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What’s caught my attention lately… ✨
I’m currently reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson. I’m not sure what exactly attracted me to this book in the airport bookstore but maybe it was instinctual—that what I’ve just been through is partially a product of me caring way too much about way too many things. I liked what the book description had to say about correcting our delusional expectations for ourselves and for the world.
Check these out too… 🙌
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