Reconnecting With Ourselves and Others

Humans have an incredible capacity to deal with stress and pain and trauma. What we can’t cope with is not truly connecting with ourselves and our community. Sarah Wilson, author

In an age when busy is better and technology rules, we frequently have little time for quiet contemplation or real connection with others. As much as I enjoy the connection Facebook and other technology offers, there’s nothing as rewarding as talking face to face with a dear friend. 

Most afternoons around four o’clock, I end the busy-ness of my day and take time to read in a quiet, comfortable place. Sometimes, I do nothing and just think.  I reconnect with myself and calm the beast that drives me.

Affirmation: I make an effort to connect to myself and my community.

Coaching questions: What’s keeping you from truly connecting with yourself and your friends? What’s one thing you’ll do today to resolve this dilemma? 

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Find Your “Ocean”

Go to the ocean to calm down, to reconnect with the creator, to just be happy.  Nnedi Okorafor, Nigerian-American writer of fantasy and science fiction for children and adults.

I’m taking Nnedi’s advice. I’m writing my blog today from a tiki hut at the beach. It feels good. Breathing in and breathing out, feeling the breeze on my face, hearing the voices of children in the distance. It sounds like I’m sneaking in another mental health day but this is different. This morning was planned and is purposeful. 

You may not have a beach at your disposal (I know, I’m really lucky), but you do have a comfortable chair in a quiet corner. No? Well, what about driving your car to a quiet place and just sitting there for a few minutes if you need it? Find your “ocean,” reconnect with your creator, and just be happy.

Affirmation: I know how to calm myself.

Coaching questions/requests: Are you aware when you need to take a moment to calm down or are you so accustomed to chaos you are no longer aware? Take a scan of your mind and body. What do you notice? Respond accordingly.

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Rehearsing High-Pressure Moments

There are people who seem unflappable in chaotic and high-pressure moments: the unrealistic deadline, the hairpin coastal drive, the medical emergency. And then there are the rest of us. From an article by Elizabeth Millard in Experience Life magazine.

One of our dear friends, the pastor who married us, is having open heart surgery today. This is an intense scenario that could cause the calmest among us to freak out and motivated me to consider how we can best handle pressure situations.

According to positive-psychology researcher Michelle Gielan, author of Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change, “Having certain strategies prepared in advance, when you’re not in a pressure situation, can be very helpful when those moments arrive.” In other words, she is suggesting we imagine easily merging into traffic, talking calmly with the boss, or learn all we can about a medical procedure to help calm our fears. I’m sure my friend found solace this morning in quiet prayer as well.

Affirmation: I can prepare for high-pressure moments.

Coaching questions: What causes you the greatest anxiety? What will you do to become more prepared?