Step Back Safely

>> Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I've let myself take the next 30 minutes before class to sit and reflect on the past week or so. Someone gave me a fantastic piece of advice to set aside short amounts of time during your day, every day, like 10 or 15 or 30 minutes to feel or do something that you want or need to do. So, that's what this is essentially. There are valuable things I've seen and learned since I last posted. 

The first being that even being busy doesn't necessarily equal stress. Often times we associate stress or worry when we have a lot of things to do or a long day ahead of us or a lot on our mind. Yes, these all could potentially contain situations that may be unpleasant, but instead of looking at this inevitably busy and crammed future with the mindset of, "holy shit, how am I going to get all this done?" it feels so much better to open your eyes to each moment. Let yourself live and breathe each thing that happens. Focus on the task at hand, not the next 5 that will happen later. In order to achieve that sense of "now" it's essential to understand that each and every moment that we live through can be an opportunity for us to learn and grow. It doesn't have to be an overwhelming stressor, but rather something that we are in the process of learning from. For instance, I spent every night last week in a crammed space at the back of theatre with a lighting board that seemed about 100 years old. Not the most pleasant activity, but I made a conscious effort to step back and realize that first and foremost, I am so lucky to be given the responsibility of designing a show. Beyond that, I am learning how to use the board, focus on what I need to do, design lights, and work with other people in general. (notice the theme of gratitude creeping in) I could continue to list the things that made me feel better but essentially, all I was focused on was the show and the board and the lights. NOT the fact that had homework that needed to get done, a fish to feed, or how little sleep I might get that night. I found myself getting things done quicker, more efficiently and with less stress. So I'll keep exploring this idea of focusing on one step at a time and see where it takes me.

The second major breakthrough this week also came from a very good friend. This person revealed to me something extremely personal and put great trust in me. It was something that had told one other person in their life because they didn't want to face it or talk about it. So, naturally I explained that the feelings they were having we're normal and understandable (that's the camp counselor in me coming out) and I didn't question the subject any further. To my surprise, this person continued to reveal more and more and more or less work through some things. Now, I am the kind of person who loves to cry and wear my heart on my sleeve but I understand that some people really hate doing that. This person had a wall up for so long that the freedom to let t down was not only scary but slightly relieving. The situation was something I had NEVER experienced and I could not sympathize with them, and they didn't want pity anyways. So I simply reassured them that they were safe and I was here to listen and reflect with them. My point of all this is that safety is something so essential to us as human beings. We need to feel safe in order to live. I encourage you to not only find somewhere that you feel truly safe, but also to provide someone you love with that safety. I am a people pleaser at heart and so doing that for someone is really rewarding for me. I can only hope it brings as much comfort and connection to you as it did for me and this friend of mine.

The last little thing I want to mention is that a few days ago I subscribed to a daily email from a restaurant in California called cafe gratitude. Every day they send out two questions that are for personal reflection. Ive found it to be grounding and helpful in seeing the big picture of things. One question is normally something that is negative, like something you're scared of, or something you wish you had. The other is positive, something you love to do, something that motivates or inspires you. Ill post a link in my next blog but i just wanted to share this helpful tool with you! Thank you for reading and I hope you're feeling good today.

All that with a splash of gratitude,


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