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The Journey

We're all on a journey. And sometimes the journey can feel heavy.

If you're feeling burned out, anxious, angry, sad, and lonely go here. I share a few ways to take care of yourself so you can keep going.


I offer a poem today. I'm a huge fan of Mary Oliver and this one resonated with me. I was compelled to share.


Why?

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice –though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations –

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice,

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept

you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do –

determined to save

the only life you could save.

- By Mary Oliver


For many of us, the days may feel dark. At times it may feel like there is little to believe in or hope for. But we are on a journey and on every journey, there are challenges. Our mettle is tested - the stuff we're made of, the strength and quality of our character.


I knew a woman of high quality and deep strength. She was tested many times over. She was my best friend.


I share Mary Oliver's poem The Journey because it reminded me of her.

It reminded me of me.

It reminded me of all of us.


I just attended her celebration of life. She left this world too soon for me but undoubtedly, it was her time. She was my hero. I watched her on her journey, cheered her on, and learned from her every step of the way.


I learned to face challenges with integrity and a cool head. I learned that voices would question and doubt my path and direction. I learned to keep going anyway.



Take care of yourself along the way.

Life is challenging for many of us right now. World events, supreme court decisions, and congressional hearings have a collective impact. There isn't one way to feel. I share five ways you might feel: burned out, anxious, angry, sad, lonely and disempowered.


Me? I've felt all of these. I share a few ways to take care of yourself when you're there.


Are you feeling burned out?

  • Respect your own boundaries: You can’t power through burnout. If possible, give yourself ample time off, use mental health days, sleep longer and get away (this requires a level of privilege that’s not always possible)

  • Limit your social media intake. To confirm, the doom-scrolling is not healthy

  • Get outside and get physical. A double whammy for burnout

Are you feeling anxious?

  • Ground yourself with stretching or yoga to get back into your body and out of your head, at least for a bit

  • Create a soothing affirmation or mantra to remind yourself you are safe and supported at all times

  • Create soothing habits, or even a corner or area of your home that brings you comfort (think fuzzy blankets, candles, soothing music, a nightly tea habit, etc!)

Are you feeling angry?

  • Try getting your emotions out with a physical routine like a short run, kickboxing, or yoga

  • Practice belly breathing. Count to three on an inhale and three on the exhale. Bring your breath all the way down to your belly

  • Journal it out. Journaling can help us to process through whatever we’re feeling and make sense of our feelings when the world makes no sense

Are you feeling sad?

  • Connect with a friend, and make it a regular thing, even if it’s a biweekly phone call or pen pal arrangement!

  • Talk about it! You’re not the only one by a long shot and voicing how you’re feeling to a friend, social media acquaintance, or family member can remove the stigma and remind you we’re all in this together

  • Broaden your social connections, maybe by joining an in-person hiking club, a virtual book club, or finding new friends using tools like Bumble BFF (yes, it works)

Are you feeling lonely and disempowered?

  • Remind yourself that change is possible by listening to a podcast or reading a book about social activists and progress

  • Connect with groups who are working toward social justice or action. There are many you can get involved with virtually no matter your location

  • Take one small action today, like donating to a cause, joining a group, signing a petition, or signing up for an event in your hometown

Keep going my friends.


Face the challenge and know deep down who you are. Know you're not alone.


Grow and learn and heal on your journey. Love yourself so that you can bring love into the world.


This is why we are here.

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