We have heard this statement a lot lately. Yes, we certainly are living in uncertain times. I will also add to this personally, times of outrage, and fear. And all at the same time, I experience times of extreme fortune, joy, and hope. It can be confusing for sure, but I’m striving to acknowledge and work with difficult feelings while being sure to not miss any of the good. In order to do this, I must stay in balance and live a healthy lifestyle, which means nourishing my WHOLE body (including mind and spirit). So of course, healthy food, exercise, and mindfulness are important, but there is one thing that I believe is crucial to achieving this well-being, support! Whether it comes from your family, friends, or health care professionals, having support is now more important than ever. Often times, we as humans tend to think we should be able to figure things out on our own; that it is weak or burdensome to get help from others. I think this is the farthest from the truth. Working with a partner or team actually takes the burden off and makes you stronger. Think about that exercise sometimes used in team building, where you trust that if you let yourself fall back, someone will be there to catch you. There is no better feeling than knowing that someone has your back.
I have found throughout life that some of the most imperative support I receive is through my teachers, who have served in many different ways by being a resource, mentor, instructor, or guide. In Buddhism, the teacher is considered essential because he/she can lead us to our own inner wisdom – our own ‘inner guru’. In that sense, our teachers are like our spiritual parents; at the beginning of the path, we need much help and guidance; but in the end, we should be able to stand on our own feet and be self-sufficient. I truly identify with this vision of “the path”. I use an image of the cairn (rock pile that marks a trail) as a symbol of my health coaching work. When we sometimes get lost along life’s path, the cairn will help us find our way. I honor my role as a teacher and cairn to my clients. I meet them somewhere on their path and guide them through the processes of self-discovery, awareness, skill-building, and the creation of long-lasting, healthy habits, so that they can then take over and live the kind of life that they desire and deserve. I believe that there is a very important component of being a good teacher/mentor/coach and that is to be a generous listener. I recently came across this wonderful talk by one of my favorite teachers, Tara Brach. I would like to share it with you. I hope you find it as inspiring as do I.
Uncertainty will exist, but remember that you don’t have to face challenging times alone. As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say, you “should not” (and I do not take the “should” word lightly) face hard times alone. Connect with someone to help you through and come out stronger. You’ll be surprised how much easier things become. Reach out!
Finally, I would like to share with you a daily exercise that has helped me keep centered during this pandemic. Perhaps you will find it helpful too.
Daily Quarantine Questions
1. What am I grateful for today?
2. Who am I checking in on or connecting with today?
3. What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
4. How am I getting outside today?
5. How am I moving my body today?
6. What beauty am I creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?
Created by Brooke Anderson