Overwhelmed? Nine tips for the frenzy

clownAre you too tired… too stressed …too everything?

Are you filipendulous (hanging by a thread)?

Do you frequently want to curl into a fetal position from overwhelm?

Welcome to 2014, where the pace will be quicker. Y-e-s, quicker, so, hold on, lovies. Here are a few tips to help you through the quickening:

1.  Be Flexible

Think metaphoric surfboarder here….bend your knees, breathe, relax, and enjoy the ride. You might want to remember this mantra: “LET IT IN.  LET IT BE.  LET IT GO.” The more flexibility you have, the easier it is to handle the incoming without taking serious body blows.

2.  Be Mindful

We don’t want our lives to whiz right by us. We want our moments to be meaningful, experiential, and life-giving. We don’t want our monkey-minds to send us off on mental (and, often, concomitant emotional) road trips.

Mindfulness keeps us in the present moment — the now, where our life is happening. Mindfulness helps us entrain our minds and focus. We become more aware and have less robotic behaviors … like unwittingly finishing the bag of popcorn that we were eating on auto-pilot.

Given we are all walking a path of consciousness, don’t we want to be mindful, awake, and aware?

3.    Keep Forward Momentum

We are living, breathing co-creators and needed here, at this moment in history, now. It is not the time to stop the small, large, and individual ways in which we put on our handprint on the world.

Here’s a great example:

Anne Porter (1911-2011) kept writing poetry in her 80’s and 90’s. She said, “You can’t sing anymore, you can’t dance anymore, you can’t drive anymore — but you can still write.” Mrs. Porter’s first volume of poetry, published when she was 83, was named a National Book Award finalist and she was included—along with T.S. Eliot, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Robert Frost – in the Oxford Book of American Poetry.

For Mrs. Porter, aging included using a walker, wearing glasses, and her fair share of senior moments; one of which was the discovery of a ticket in her purse that said, “Keep This Ticket.” Mrs. Porter had no clue about the ticket, but it did inspire the following poem:


I keep it carefully
Because I’m old
Which means
I’ll soon be leaving
For another country

Where possibly
Some blinding-bright
Enormous angel
Will stop me
At the border

And ask
To see my ticket.

4.    Share Your Test

Elie Wiesel said, “Whoever survives a Test must tell the story! That is his duty!”

Rooted in indigenous wisdom and practices, the power of telling our stories is one of the best things about our human experience. We are not alone and we can learn from one another what it means to survive, conquer, cope, overcome, deal with, walk through, and change.

Sharing your test is good medicine.

5.    Radical Self-Care

We are an ecosystem unto ourselves. The more loving we are to ourselves by self-talk, habits, and awareness, the stronger we feel.

You know how to do it…you have done it for others, this time do it for you. Jungian analyst and cantadora, Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, “Nurture is like psychic Wheaties.” I like that. So, let’s take the time to regularly nurture and care for ourselves as we would a loved one.

We need to practice radical self-care because our energies are being upgraded; our experiences are more complicated and complex; and we need all the juice we can garner to be our best selves.

6.    Trust

Can you trust yourself… your intuition…your loved ones…your relationship with whatever face or name you give Spirit? What stands in your way of trusting? Are you able to let go of utter control and trust — at least, a little?

None of us can go very far in our ever-changing, quickening world if we are unable to trust – at least, the everyday variety of trusting ourselves and others and, possibly, the higher plane variety of trusting something sacred.  Trust requires discernment and faith.

 7.    Take a Page from Popeye

Remember the cartoons of spinach-eating Popeye the sailor-man? Popeye had a saying, “I am what I am.” This is excellent advice for us to accept our own unique selves.

In other words, be your authentic self in all of your multidimensionality. There is no need to be shy or hiding your light under the basket. Now, more than ever, it is essential to whip off your shell and show your Wonder Woman and Super Man self. The world needs exactly what you have to offer.

8.    Create Your Own Support Team. 

We, humans are social beings. Social science teaches us that substantive social connections impact the quality of our lives as well as our happiness and stress levels. We need each other. We all need to feel connected and know that there are those special someone’s who have our backs, will tell us the truth, who know our history and love us anyway.

It is important during these fast-moving times to know you have a circle of support. Take time to create, acknowledge, and value the family of your heart, your trusted friends, your personal advisory board, and your own kitchen cabinet.

9.    Show Your Light

It is time to share our light, to open up our energy fields, to unfold into our own magnificence, and to help our planet evolve.

This from the ever-wonderful Sue Monk Kidd in her latest book, When The Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions says it all:

When my daughter was small she got the dubious part of the Bethlehem star in a Christmas play.

After her first rehearsal she burst through the door with her costume, a five-pointed star lined in shiny gold tinsel designed to drape over her like a sandwich board.

“What exactly will you be doing in the play?” I asked her.

“I just stand there and shine,” she said.

In other words, it is time for us to polish our souls and sparkle, sparkle, sparkle.

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2 Responses to Overwhelmed? Nine tips for the frenzy

  1. Na'ama Yehuda January 23, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    Some days, maybe all we can do is “just stand there and shine” … and trust that we still have some sparkle even if we are a bit on the dull end on a certain day … and that, too, is something to behold.

    Because even keeping hold and awareness of a bit of yourself as shining becomes a shine-spreading-thing: every corner of shine reflects the shine of others like a mirror, and it lets all the other shines–small, big, dazzling, partially dulled, a bit tired, hopeful, newly polished–multiply in all the other mirror stars to a bigger, lighter, mightier light.

    Keep the shine on.

    PS yeah, I noticed the roller-coaster everything-with-the-kitchen-sink-will-test-ya theme. This is one heck of tizzy-dizzy energy bend our universe is dipping all ten toes in!

  2. KATHY DIGIOVANNA January 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    OMG, you hit a home run today. In your special way, with humor and color you mapped out a survival plan that will work for me. I can hear you talking as I read your columns. Both are soothing.
    Thank you for putting it together, again.