Sometimes, life moves forward, making painful changes—work feels threatening or scary, life with our partners or children challenges us, life brings loss and grief, sometimes all at the same time.
And when all this happens, it’s easy to feel lost. To lose our own sense of self, our own sense of who we are and how we feel. It’s as if—at stressful times—it’s hardest to hold on to who we are, as we move away from self-care into surviving our lives.
At these times, we need a way to start to reconnect the rhythm of our emotion, the rhythm of our natural selves. Let me offer a simple vehicle here, a simple exercise, that you can toss into your everyday life no matter how busy and chaotic it may be right now.
Here it is, in 1 sentence: Simply close your eyes, and start to breathe more deeply, and just start to count, 1, 2, 3, 4, slowly, and repeat the count to four, over and over. The counting occupies your mind and keeps it from running away to the next worry, And the breathing brings your focus internally, allowing your body to relax, and allow you to become more aware of your sense of self, and your existence and importance in the world.
It’s just about bringing yourself back to you, in the small cracks and a small moments that life makes available to you. It’s like a blade of grass or small plant that grows between the cracks in the cement, reminding us that life finds a way, the naturalness can break through the cracks, and beauty can be found even in the midst of hard cement.