By: Rebecca Liston
Heavy hearts do not always a good newsletter-writer make.
I really prefer to feel upbeat and positive when I write to you…and yet…here I am.
Many people I love are going through tough things in life right now. A cancer diagnosis. The death of a beloved mom. The sudden illness of a father. And when I add these emotional events into a pot, and add my own worries about our political climate, I cannot help but feel my heart grow heavy.
So I decided not to “fake it” and write to you with some upbeat note about sales in the summer or how to sort out your CRM.
Today is about what the eff you do when your heart is heavy and the “show” must go on.
First thing I do?
Tell someone. Heck, today I just told all 7500 of you! But you can start by telling just one person if you prefer 😉 Just reach out. Say, “My heart is heavy,” and allow yourself to be acknowledged by the one you’ve chosen to receive your truth. Acknowledging, fully, how we feel is the most critical thing we can do, even if we simply tell our cat or our journal. We’ve said it “out loud,” and in doing so, we’ve honoured the feeling. And our feelings, like our very own selves, just want to be acknowledged for existing, and honoured by being spoken of.
The next thing I do?
I run a mental list of all the answers to the question, “How can I be of service to others in this moment?” Send a text to your friend whose mom has passed. Let her know that you’re there for her, always. Ask your friend who’s been diagnosed with an illness how you can best support them in that moment — would they like to be left alone? Do they need a cuddle? Maybe you could cut their grass. Take the time to make a difference in the lives of those around you when you feel deeply connected to their pain. Acknowledge THEM by asking what they need. And then do it. Now, when your heart is heavy from the political crap that’s hitting the fan these days, you may not send flowers to your local governing office. But you might make a phone call. Or sign a petition. Or make a plan to write a letter that just may have an impact. Again, do what you can to be of service, to lighten the heaviness in any small way.
Then I ask myself what I need in that moment. “How can I be of service to me in this moment?” A cup of tea? A homeopathic remedy? A shot of tequila? (Hey, I won’t judge!) Walk outside. Pet your dog. Make a snack. Move that body of yours. Whatever it is that you do to care for you in that moment, do it.
And then comes the step that I sometimes get flack for:
I get back to work.
I have acknowledged my feelings. I have spoken them out loud and honoured them, allowing my Self to also be honoured in that process.
I have been of service to others.
I have been of service to myself.
And now it is time to be in action. To DO stuff. To get shizzle done.
Some folks will try to tell you that working in these moments is avoidance. I call BS on that. If you’ve done the three steps above, you’re not ignoring anything. You have actually dealt with what’s happening in the moment. Perfectly. You’re not avoiding a darn thing.
(But if you haven’t done the steps above, and you simply launch right into “doing mode,” well, it is possible you may be dodging the feels…so best to come back to the steps as soon as you can, because suppressed emotions are not our friends…)
Being in action will help shift that heavy-heartedness. Your brain will click and your heart will pump. And your emotions? They will move, too.
Life happens, dear ones. And sometimes? It feels kind of crappy. But knowing how to work within that is part of the dance of life…intricate…ever-changing…and delightful at all turns.
Rebecca Liston is cofounder and business intuitive at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. She specializes in anchoring folks in a clear-eyed understanding of which path is theirs for the taking. She’s got one foot in the land of the subtle and unseen, and the other foot firmly planted in the land of ruthless pragmatism. Oh, and she swears like a sailor, which makes us love her more.
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