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What are the 'right coping tips' to help me with significant tension in these times? This really stumps me as I have been swirling in a deep stress pool for days. I will attempt to keep it brief as I am sure you are all experiencing similar and I will use Brene Brown's term FFT (F***ing First Time) from Unlocking Us. The intensity of NEW on all fronts is overwhelming to say the least. I come from strong stock, my family at its core is comprised of hard workers (blood-sweat-tears) of the old school laboring kind. The technology demand surrounding COVID-19 with 'touchless payment' has got us all exploring anew while spinning. A shorter version: learning under pressure is not fun.

So what do I hold onto?

Currently I am able to read my body pretty clearly. All the bells and whistles that erupt are easy to pinpoint. The stress builds in the center of my back, begins to expand along my shoulders and then creeps up my neck. Looks like I might be stuck in a sense of 'meantime' as I attempt to design a new system for operations on multiple levels. Feeling desperate, unsure and useless....while doing. Crazymaking. Attempting to stay grounded when I am completely frayed is quite hard. I honestly have no idea what I am supposed to do and yet here we I am, participating. The more focused I become on accepting today, as is, the less fear I seem to generate.

What makes me feel good? Giving, helping, deep listening, sharing ideas, sentiments, articles and laughter. Being is getting easier and it feels like it is balancing out some of my nonsensical doing. The practical stuff is completely understandable: the get up, get out of bed, shower, eat and begin to tackle the NEW not yet designed part of my day. My creative urges are huge, they are a welcome addition. This is a wonderful feeling.

Looks like I am finally choosing myself. Period. I feel less inclined to explain anything. Is that short tempered? How can I really care what you think right now? Nor can I care what you choose to do with your time. It just does not matter. After years of giving myself away out of a sense of duty, I am now growing a personal responsibility based on awareness: where am I and how am I feeling? Healthy boundaries. As I recognize a strong desire to hold onto what I think I know I can also discern a curiosity around what might happen if I let go.

I am also struck with a sense of opportunity, everywhere, which helps me feel better about all of it. My communication mistakes of late (sending emails to people unintentionally) offer transparency. I get to own my thoughts in a moment and choose to change my mind as needed. I get to practice having hard conversations. I am changing.

Compassion. If I can be forgiving of others and accepting in these times, I can do the same for myself. I need to generate caring and support for me, always. Getting stuck in my suffering (fear, unworthy, more fear) is such an old tradition. When I got home last night (after setting my kids up on their zoom meetings) I went for a quick swim (brrrr) and took the dog out for a walk. I needed to release the stress and I KNEW that moving my body was key. The chirping birds, the budding flowers, the stillness of the trees, the fresh air and the magnificent sky are tremendously healing. There is a cradling power to Nature. My thoughts just bounce around and then fall out. Love this.

Hold onto the JOY. Seek it. Small moments of ridiculous. Instances of delight. Let's celebrate often.

We danced to rap music the other night. My son held me as I cried after a phone conversation and he whispered "All that matters is that we have each other". My daughter smiling and giggling as she punks me, again! Vespa, our fourlegger, by my side, always. My nephew Matai turned 3 years old! We are surrounded by joy (tiny little expressions with big impact) and in honest recognition we heighten the magic.

Self-discovery. As much as I can feel the pull of dread, my attraction toward pain, I have a stronger desire to draw in the light. Time for me to break through my dark. Personal exercises to grow my understanding seem to offer a much needed distraction from wallowing, with tremendous benefit.

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