Peaceful Disconnections

I’ve been struggling with some emotional stuff for several months so forgive me because it’s been a while since my last post. Apart from an ongoing pandemic, adjusting and readjusting to the ever-changing new normal, community, and social engagement, I’ve had to make some necessary evaluations to maintain my peace. Candidly, I’ve been in a funk. The heaviness of the racially intense political environment impacts me in ways that I’ve never experienced. Consequently, I wasn’t sleeping. I was eating emotionally and then getting upset about my weight gain. I was more snappy than usual towards my husband and our children. Moreover, I was highly irritated by every thing and every one. With all that was going on in my personal life coupled with the daily load of my professional life, I felt whooped. I wanted to separate myself from faux smiles and small talk, neither of which I do well, while grieving and mourning. I had to disconnect to find a small glimmer of peace.

Now, before you unplug your computer and power down your cell phone, let me explain what I mean when I say disconnect. (Obviously, I could not do either of the things I’ve mentioned because I still work a day job.)

By disconnect, I mean I had to remove myself from the noise of others (similar to being in a crowded room and zoning out). I felt like I couldn’t hear myself anymore. Everything I thought or felt was explicitly related to something I saw on the news or read on the internet and had not fully processed the information to determine what emotion to assign to what I was hearing. The numbers of death increasing, or the infection rates increasing, or the uncertainty of consumer confidence, or the debate of science versus conspiracy theory, was just too much for my peaceful soul to absorb. Contrary to what you may think, it wasn’t as easy as just turning off the television or not answering the phone. It was an exercise of mental agility and intentional, perpetual self-reflection.

It is not always easy, when wearing multiple hats, to go to a quiet space. I’m sure all parents would agree. Disconnecting allowed me to be in a room full of other people’s energy {and noise} and deflect it. I do this with my children but had never thought to do it for anything else. (I call it mom magic.) It’s the ability to be in a room full of people and quiet their voices so that you can focus. I know teachers have this ability as well. It takes a lot of practice but even practicing is calming. It requires you to find a seat and a focal point. Measure your breathing (example: inhale 1, 2, 3 – exhale 1, 2, 3) and give your entire focus to the selected focal point. Continue to breathe until you hear the voice in your head clearly and only a murmur of everything else. Be sure when you start practicing that you tell yourself something calming to hear and only things that will uplift you. And, don’t be bothered that you needed to take some time because it’s yours to take.

I encourage you to disconnect as often as you need! I’ve found it to be most helpful. Let me know if this works for you.

Now, get you some peace!

More later.

5 Keys to Get You Some Peace

If you’ve read my other articles, you noticed that I am all about inner-peace, self-reflection, and self-care. That seems a bit self- focused, right?

Let me assure you that it is not. I recognize that not everyone understands what I mean when I say, “get you some peace.” The story of how I got to this chapter in my life is also unclear, so let me explain. The year is 2020, and the world is facing a pandemic. I, like many others, have been working from home, managing two school-aged children, caring for a husband who was COVID19 positive, all while managing house chores. For a period, I was unable to find rest. My attention was all over the place, and I found myself stressed out exhausted.

Sound familiar? Please tell me I am not the only one who has been holding it together while the rest of the world seems to be falling apart.
One night, after everyone was down for sleep, I took a few selfish moments to reflect. I turned the television off, changed my bedroom lighting to a dark purple hue, and allowed the silence to surround me. It had been months since I had a moment like this to myself, and that was the problem. The local and national news outlets were full of doom and gloom. My Facebook and Instagram timelines were full of “R.I.P. messages. Coronavirus, (COVID19), had changed everything we had known to be conventional.
I used to run to the masseuse or the nail salon when I needed some self-care. One hour, every two weeks, did the trick. Now businesses were closed by government mandate, and there was no way for me to have my me time unless I prioritized it. That was the hard part! How was I supposed to get me time with a house full of people, more specifically a house full of men?
Easy! I had to show them that I needed it.

Since there is no appropriate way to ask for me time without sounding selfish to your significant other or your children, you simply must show them. You have heard the adage; you teach people how to treat you. It is that easy.
Now, before you start ignoring the people in your home, you will have to do some preliminaries.
First, determine what ‘me-time’ looks like to you. Defining me-time means knowing how much time you will need and where you plan to use the time you are taking. After you’ve decided how much time you need and where you plan to spend it, mark the date on your calendar. This makes it real.

Second, plan what to do with your time and prepare anything that you might need before you take this time. For me, it’s a candle and lighter, music, water, my journal, and my favorite writing pen. The goal is not to spend any of the time you’ve allotted for me time preparing.

Third, be strategic with how you use your time. If you’re planning to take a walk in a park, but the weather forecast won’t allow you to be great, you need a plan b. You also need to plan and prepare for a plan b and be ready to implement it if necessary.

Fourth, and most importantly, take the time and use it wisely! Coin this time as sacred. Make this time equally as crucial as going to work, going to the gym, or going to a doctor’s visit.

Fifth and finally, repeat 1-4, at least twice a week. There are 1440 minutes in a day. You give your job 40 hours a week. You can certainly afford to take thirty minutes for yourself twice a week, right?

So DO IT!

The house won’t fall apart, and the kids will not die of need. Your significant other will soon understand and learn to appreciate your newer, more peaceful self.

Now, get you some peace.

More later.

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