Friday, March 27, 2009


Yesterday I was really stressing. I had many uncertain, scary, or frustrating things swirling around in my head, and the more it swirled, the more overwhelming it felt.

I decided to sit down, make a list of everything swirling around in there, and see what could be done about each item. When those items swirl it feels like more than it is, and I knew that by putting it onto paper I could bring it all back into a realistic amount of stuff to deal with, and make a plan.

I couldn't find any paper upstairs, so came down to my office area to look for a notebook. Then I got sidetracked onto the computer for a bit because I had a project hanging over my head that needed to be resolved. I decided to ask my friend Sue for help with a techie trouble, and quickly clicked on my gmail to send her an instant message. "Are you there?!" I quickly typed.

"Yes. I'm here!" came the reply.

And I then realized it was a different Sue that I had clicked on.

"Oops! Wrong Sue!" I quickly typed back.

"Well pooh!" she joked at me.

And then I thought about who I was talking to.

This Sue is a life coach, specializing in things like joy and peace. I wondered if perhaps there was a good reason to have accidentally IM'd her.

"How are you doing?" she typed.

"Honestly? Tired. Stressed. Overwhelmed."

And she then gave me some wonderful nuggets of wisdom:

What can you do to make it easy, fun, and lucrative?

You CAN ask for help! Ask for what you need.


What is or is not supporting my values in this?

Without hearing the long version of what was going on, she gave me excellent tools to get to work with.

Once we were winding down our brief chat, I grabbed one of the notebooks on my desk. Opened the front page to see what notebook it was, and found that I have serendipitously selected one that I had purchased specifically to do copywork along with my children during school time. My copywork only happened one day: January 5, 2009. I had copied a bit out of a book I was reading then:

Each day, we're given many opportunities to open up or shut down.
The most precious opportunity presents itself when we come to the place where we think we can't handle whatever it happening.
It's too much.
It's gone too far.
We feel bad about ourselves.
There's no way we can manipulate the situation to make ourselves come out looking good.
No matter how hard we try, it just won't work.
Basically, life has just nailed us.

-from When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron.

I typed back to tell her, "You'll never believe what notebook I happened to pick up, and what it says inside..." and then I shared it with her. I was immediately reminded of many helpful things I had learned from reading that book.

"That's no coincidence, you know." she said, echoing my own thoughts.

Maybe sometimes we go through hard things in order to be reminded that we are not alone.


After that I found a quiet spot to do my writing, make my list of swirling, scary things that had been weighing me down. And then it was clear what I could do, what I could not do, and what I could ask for help with. And now those monsters are at least somewhat tamed, I have made progress, and even found a way to make some of it easy, fun, and lucrative! (which I laughed out loud at when she first wrote it, thinking it was absurd)

A wonderful serendipitous experience!

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