An Unexpected Invitation to be reminded of our Values and how we are showing up and RSVPing YES!

So many invitations were to be going out this month. From birthday to weddings, from proms to scholarship dinners. The months and years of planning for one special day or night suddenly and unexpectedly came to a halt.

With the planning may have brought weekends of shopping or studying. Hours on the clock passed as we figured out what was exactly needed. Whether it was that exact taste combination for the wedding cake or the perfect ending paragraph for the scholarship essay. I imagine at the time of these events there was some internal negotiation of time. When would I fit in the tasting when we also need to meet with the florist? What time do I devote to my essay writing while studying for my AP classes?

Time. A word, a concept, a theory. Something that feels incredibly tangible and yet intangible to others. So, at this moment as I write this, I find my head hearing Cher’s song, “If I could turn back time?” Remember the video? If not, for giggles go find it! You may prefer revisiting Michael J. fox and watching, “Back to the Future.” At different stages of life, we may want to push forward to time. We all have that date that we wanted to come so desperately it was as if we watched the clock. Other times we find ourselves wandering in our minds to a time passed that we wished we knew in the past what we know today. Here’s the thing about time. The gift, the message, the true appreciation of it often doesn’t come until we sit with it.

Sitting with time. We are a fast-paced society. Ever have a daily list that some days is bigger than the lines on the sheet? I’m raising my hand! Often many of us experience pure frustration when the items aren’t crossed off. Familiar with the word “should”. If not, take out a plastic container and leave it on the counter for a week. Each time you say, “I should have ….” place a penny or a slip of paper in it. “Should” can be a red carpet to shame (look for this blog post in the future!). Until then, please let us start increasing our awareness of how often we say this sentence.

Last week after my kids came back from a run while they were cooling off, they were chatting. My daughter said, how did I do multiple practices some days of the week? She went on to say, “I can see now when my practice ended at 9pm you were so insistent to be focused to get a snack, showered, ready for bed as soon as I got home.” My son talked about his schedule changes with volunteering ended, practices canceled, etc. While they shared this what I was heard was an appreciation of not hustling. They do miss their events, peers, teams but there was a calmness as they talked about life before Covid-19 and now.

The world is crawling through this pandemic. This history making event hit us, continues to hit us in ways we never expected. For some, emotions are surfacing we may never have explored. For others, digging into our mastered coping strategies are serving us in ways we are beyond grateful. These may change daily. Some things are ever changing, and some stay the same.

Here’s one thing I know for sure. This world experience we are going through can be viewed as an (unexpected) invitation to check-in with your life and values. Not the invitation like you were running to the mailbox like we did as kids waiting for the mailman to deliver (or these days to your inbox to see if you received) kind of invitation. I mean the unexpected life throwing into a temporary tizzy kind of invitation. And here’s the thing. We get to choose, do we RSVP “YES” to adapt with life’s unexpected curve ball or do we do nothing with the invitation. To some it may initially feel as if it is too hard to explore or practice the changes. To others, adaption may be a bit easier. Some in between may need to explore or watch this be done through their community.

Do I want to scream out loud how proud I am of so many people who checked “YES”? Grab me the biggest microphone, covers those ears because “YES” is what I’m screaming till my tonsils, yup still have those, hurt scream kind of Yes! I am not saying it’s a party. During the 2-weeks of online therapy session, almost 50 sessions I have done there have been lots of big emotions. Unexpected job losses, children returning from college sadness, baby showers cancelled and with it all there has been an RSVP of “yes.” The YES to choose showing up for life even with the curveballs.

Please celebrate with me as I share 4 life areas people are saying “YES” to: 

1.Work goals/passion: I have the pleasure of working with teachers and those who are on our front lines. We are in unprecedented waters for our lifetime. These jobs, whether it is a classroom teacher, a physician, or the much-needed grocery clerk all these job descriptions changed so much and so fast. So many teachers kept whole heartedly sharing the concern they had for their students. Did their parent(s) lose their job? How are they getting food? How has it been to be in the house all this time? This past week when connection was made an exhale was seen on the screen.

Some individuals or partners have been laid off. While there was the expected feeling of uncertainty and confusion what also was expressed was a sadness and a strong awareness many truly loved their job and profession. Separating from what is occurring and the intellectual understanding why their job was cut most were able to express that they hope to go back to it or some form of the job again.

2. Family: The invitation to explore and create a new sense of play, experience more connectedness and literally being together was sent to us. School stopped. After school and work activities stopped. Travel stopped. For many, we are leaning and learning to be with almost the most basic of times for our existence. And you know I’m hearing? Things like, “I’m appreciating not running on the treadmill of life.” “I’ve seen my partner and family more this month than in moths and I want to maintain it.”

We are returning to the basics and the smiles when the stories are shared are priceless! Families returning or introducing Sunday dinners. Yes! Walks outside by couples and families. Yes! Evenings spent with family watching a movie, doing a boardgame, throwing a frisbee. Yes!

3. Time: Here’s that word again. As individuals, couples, families are experiencing more of it, the appreciation and gratitude are overflowing. Initially, for some it was uncomfortable and even unfamiliar. Others were (and many of us are and may continue) grieve the loss of what was to be in the time now experienced. Throw some confetti in the air because we are not pushing it away or hiding from it. We are slowly letting ourselves be seen. We are advocating for friend time maybe with a zoom book club or a girls Sunday coffee.

My experience thus far is with extras in life having to stop we have been giving time to feel the shift. By no means am I saying doing distance learning with kids at home, working from home, pets confused but tail wagging happy all are home is easy. The dishwasher runs daily. Our homes may look different. Siblings may have more opportunity to bicker. However, as so many are saying, we are all in this together. Somehow, that simple sentence and the looking around and in one’s homes and communities I hear and see some sense of peace.

4. Our energy: I do not know about you, but I am a recovering run life like a marathon person. I was an expert at that life! It’s a hard thing to pull away from. Those of you like me know what I mean. It can serve you well in life. But it also can cause you to pay a price as well. Times like this can pull at ones’ energy like it hasn’t been pulled in a long time. Before now, you may have noticed the internal fatigue and renegotiated a healthier, balanced way of life. Woo Hoo!! I want you to celebrate that over and over. Time, your head racing, the changes in your life may be knocking at you to do more. Go all in deep. Whether that means super cleaning and organizing, applying for what feels like 542 jobs, or overextending to make things feel just super great for your kids and staying up crazy hours on Pinterest. But here is the thing. That price you paid before may come back.

Your kiddos, partner, family, community, we all need you to look at your energy and write it the biggest thank-you card. Thank it for being restored. Thank it for et ready reminding you deserve to exist in your life. Thank it for existing when life is busy and slowing you down when you need. I am hoping you are smiling and have a sensation inside saying, yes. I remember what I did. Make a toast, a promise to nurture and respect your energy.

These times are hard. I beam up in session when people in session say “hard.” My comment is always, “I hear you say “it’s hard. What I did not hear you say is “impossible.” Almost always, people say back, “no, not impossible.” We have all done hard before. Whatever that was differs from everyone else. You have RSVPed “YES” to so many great things already. Let’s keep it going!!!

Online therapy is the best seat in YOUR house. Keep your eyes open for my website revision and blog going all in on this. After doing therapy for 20 years I did not imagine it would be going so well. I meet you where you are at. Need support during times of social distancing? Feeling as if your goals from a month ago unexpectedly were placed on the shelf and you want to give them a voice, even a whisper? Struggling to process your emotions and needing a place to do so? Reach out to me at 239-849-2022 or at www.heleneshute.com and I will literally meet you where you are at.

 

 

 

 



helene@heleneshute.com
239-848-2022

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