:: desperate times call for these measures ::
This is kind of an asshole question, but have you ever found yourself overworked, overwhelmed, stuck, scared and spent — ready to sell your soul for a solution that would bring some peace?
Like I said, kind of an asshole question. The answer is likely yes, and if it’s not — now you’re sitting there judging the rest of us.
Here’s the thing: desperate times don’t always call for desperate measures.
Some of my most favorite + effective strategies + supports for tough times require cultivation OVER time.
Often first-time clients will wait to book a session with me until things get so bad that they finally feel they’ve “earned” circumstantial permission to get help… instead of continuing to try to do it all on their own, like they’ve been told all their lives they must.
At some point during the call, our focus will turn to identifying personalized ways to cope and navigate — how to connect to their inner peaceful place that knows what they need, and how to re-center, realign, and re-ground to it when energies shift.
Which is a whole lot more difficult to do when you’re feeling exceptionally detached from any sort of peace.
Not that it’s impossible… But it can be tough.
And the last thing you need when you’re feeling square in the midst of desperate times is tough.
So it can be something of an automatic response to resist what feels tough and to seek more apparent ease. Seems pretty logical, right?
Except that, when you’re in the midst of those desperate times, it can also be challenging to discern true ease from familiarity.
It can be much easier to believe the familiar bullshit story that things like inner peace and calm aren’t meant for you. That you can’t access them and won’t ever be able to.
That you’ve got too much going on to feel peaceful, joyful, hopeful, whole.
That too many people need too many things from you.
That it’s selfish to want more.
That, who do you think you are? This is just what it is to be alive, an adult, responsible, mature, etc. ad infinitum.
This is what the misguided instinct of self-preservation often sounds like. And this is what it can sound like when you try to learn self-care practices that can bring seriously sustained and gratifying peace to your days when you’re in the middle of times that call for them the most.
You may give it a halfhearted try and then shrug and sigh when it doesn’t result in instant bliss. Reasons and excuses tumbling from your lips like so many let-downs serving to reinforce that old bullshit story that whatever “this” is isn’t for you.*
I’ve been there, too.
It’s an entirely different kind of energy + experience to take the time to set + protect intentions when times are tough than it is when they are kind.
And what a gift that is!
How fortunate that we have opportunities to learn, stumble, adapt and reinforce BEFORE we need to rely on them.
Whichever space you find yourself in right now, it’s absolutely the right time to consider what brings you joy and peace and makes you feel whole and connected. And to think about how you can weave more of that into your days.
If you find yourself struggling right now, please give yourself some grace and allow yourself to try out any practices or strategies that call to you.
Let yourself play — experiment with them to see how they can better suit you before giving up on them altogether. Try new ones as they speak to you rather than deeming the whole endeavor pointless.
And if you’re feeling pretty great these days, hooray! This is a fantastic time to start a practice or recommit to one you’ve let lapse.
Hold faith that the energy you devote to creating and committing to your practices of self-care will yield compounded results over time.
By sticking to them when it’s easier to do so, you create muscle memory that helps you keep at it in tougher times, as well as building a store of evidence and experience to refer to when you need to remember that this stuff really does work!
Got questions? Looking for ideas on where to start? Wondering what some of my fave self-care practices are? Like to know how I can support you in developing your own customized practices? Drop all your Qs so I can A them (here or in future posts!)
PS/Fun Fact: I started this post at the beginning of September and have been working on it at intervals since then, as called. The last time I touched it was 3 weeks ago. Then yesterday my friend Kate Stephen of Kate Stephen Jewelry (IG: @katestephenjewelry) posted about how therapeutic her jewelry-making practice was for her and asked what practices others had. As I listed mine, I was reminded that for most of mine, their next-level power lies in how I’ve integrated them into my life every day as opposed to each individual time doing them. Which of course brought me back here, ready to finish and post! Just another adventure in the beauty of trusting in right timing…
*To be clear, any particular iteration of a peace or presence practice may not be your thing. But that doesn’t peace or presence practices as a whole are not. It just means that you haven’t landed on an expression of that practice that suits you, which is a very important distinction.