Monthly Archives: February 2015

Take a chill pill

I’m on the train, on my way home from a hard day’s work in New York City. And I’m tired. I won’t say I’m eavesdropping on the phone conversation of the man sitting behind me…but maybe I am a little bit.

I’m not sure what the phone call is about. He seems to be talking someone off a ledge. “Take a chill pill,” he keeps saying. “Calm down, breathe, and take a chill pill.”

It doesn’t really matter what he’s talking about, or what he’s chilling the other person down about. I don’t need to hear anything more of his conversation. “Take a chill pill,” is all I need to hear.

Because I can, again, as nearly always, use to take a chill pill. I can (and did) feel myself ratcheting up and stressing out on the way to the train – over what, I don’t know. And even before I heard this man’s bit of advice, I took a metaphorical chill pill. I took a deep breath and refocused my thoughts on something else. Something nice. Something refreshing. Something soothing.

I’m feeling a bit repetitive, how often I’m writing here about my need – or choice – to chill out a bit more. To intentionally calm down and relax. What can I say? I keep needing the reminder. And each time I do slow down and breathe and remember something, or someone, that makes me smile, I feel better. I guess I thought that I should share that with others. That you might feel better if you calmed down too. Or that you might appreciate the reminder.

Life is too short to be stressed out so much of the time. Or perhaps even any of the time. Life is too short and honestly, the things I stress about probably aren’t that important. I have friends and family who are currently dealing with some tough stuff. Today, right now, luckily I’m not. The things that I’m choosing to use as an excuse to increase my tension and self-imposed pressure simply aren’t worth it.

I need to take a chill pill. I deserve to take a chill pill. To look around for my reasons to unwind, loosen up, and take it easy. To smile and enjoy. I’m going to use my train ride to relax and luxuriate in something. Perhaps a good book. Perhaps the family I’m on my way home to. Perhaps how well today’s work went.

I’m going to take a chill pill.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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The joy of a “boring” day

I spent all day today working, which is fine, but it is a Sunday, and I’m not supposed to work on Sundays. Not really. Not all day. But I did and I loved it.

I loved it because I was lucky enough to be working across a table from my daughter, who lives over 1200 miles – and 19 driving hours – from home. I was visiting for the weekend, and she needed to work. So I needed to work. Honestly, as she knows, I would have done just about anything that she wanted or needed to do. (In fact, just as I typed this she asked me, “How much do you want to fill up my water bottle?” Needless to say, I filled up her water bottle.)

Why is spoiling her – in any little way I can – such a gift for me? Why is spending the weekend catching up on all the work, and emails, I’ve fallen behind on, such a delight? Why is this “boring” day such a joy?

Obviously it’s because I’m with her, and I’m not usually with her any more. Obviously it’s because I enjoy being with her. Obviously it’s because I make the effort to focus on the moment and appreciate – even relish – the moment. Obviously it’s because I savor, I luxuriate in, and I adore the fact that she asked me to visit this weekend, and offered (agreed?) to spend all day with me today, even if we were working.

There is such joy in this day, and as I sit here watching the students study and hang out and play pool, I want to notice and call out and enjoy my joy. As we spend the afternoon aqua-jogging (she needs to and, as I’ve said before, I’ll do pretty much anything for and with her, even aqua-jog with a flotation belt to stay afloat), I want to continue to relish and savor the moments and conversations and experiences. I know we’ll find something to crack up about. We always do when we work out together and I attempt to keep up with her. As we take her friends out to dinner, I want to pay attention to their conversation and friendships (as I delight in treating them to a meal away from the dining hall).

There is such joy in my “boring” day of work. I am showing up for it with everything I’ve got.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Putting your heart at ease

“My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me.” Imam Al-Shafi’i

I came upon this quote today. It brought me peace.

What a concept. That what was meant for me will never miss me and that what misses me was never meant for me. This takes away all worry and concern. It’s like faith in the universe on steroids.

It doesn’t mean I’ll stop working and trying and going for my goals and desires. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop dreaming, or putting in the effort to achieve my dreams. It just means that I don’t have to try so hard. Or push too much. Or maybe even go all out…except for when I want to.

I keep reminding my clients to stop and smell the roses. To take breathers. To enjoy their days. This quote reminds me to do the same. Because if what is meant for me will never miss me and what misses me was never meant for me, I have more time for roses and breathers.

Now, one could argue that this approach is a cop out. A sour grapes attitude. A giving up. I don’t see it that way. To me it’s not giving up, but giving in. Letting go. Trusting. And trusting a bit more.

I was walking past a window just a bit ago and looked up briefly enough to notice the sky…in its brilliant sunset. I could have missed it. I could have kept going with my task at hand. I could have kept trying and working and doing “what I needed to do.” But I stopped for a moment to stare at the sky. And smile.

And felt my heart ease.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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