In times like this, when everyone is challenged to our limits, after the initial "fight or flight" mode, we are forced to slow down and observe. It is exhausting to fight how we feel day after day. I've got good news - you shouldn't fight it.
Embrace your emotions and learn how to channel them, live them, embrace everything you feel - and then let it go. Don't pile them up, don't hide them and don't fight them. They are a part of who you are. And, you've gotta admit, you are stronger than you thought you were.
After two years of accepting the unknown, adapting to constant change, learning to love life even when it is not picture perfect, it is time to make a cup of coffee, play some smooth music, sit down and reflect. Why is it so important? Well, if we don't take anything from all this and use it to understand ourselves and others better, what was it all for? If this doesn't make us better to one another, what will?
One of the most powerful parts of therapy is cultivating the ability to observe our thoughts and feelings, and that's what writing helps us do.
How do you start this process? Take a pencil (or your laptop), observe how you feel and write it down. Here's a little help from me - pick a question a day from the list below and write your answer. Take your time, it should feel like a slow reading in an armchair next to a fireplace. (You're right, there is a scent of cinnamon and apples in the air, too.) It should bring a smile on your face. You've got a lot to be proud of. Start with whichever question is the easiest for you.
What have you learned about yourself in the past year? Do you like the new you?
How have you helped your loved ones to deal with the challenges they faced? What worked best?
What positive shifts in the relationships at work would never have happened had it not been for the surreal pandemic circumstances?
What is your happy place when you need it?
What are your students' happy places? Have you asked them?
Who was there for you?
How do you want to spend these holidays?
What music are you playing as you are writing your answers?
What new skill have you learned?
You get the picture. Your short answers are like baby steps towards your goal. They seem tiny but they'll get you there.
Why share your stories?
You can keep them private, of course. They're your thoughts, your challenges and your successes. Yet, there are many reasons to share your stories. Help others find their happy place. Show them they are not alone. Remind them of ways to cope with whatever challenges life puts in front of them, and show them that we are there for one another. Help them help their students.
It's really easy to reach others. Send me (email@example.com) an email with the request to become a CEESA blogger. Once I assign you the role of a Writer, you can post blogs on #CEESAconnects Blog. No story is too short. Remember, few people red articles longer than a 2 minute read. This is your chance.
Write for yourself. Write for others.