“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” ~ Maya Angelou
Personally, I ‘throwback’ sometimes too much to the point of overdoing it and hitting exhaustion.
Nearly every day I flip through my Facebook memories and I’ve noticed a continuous theme in my posts.
Here’s a synthesis.
Busy. Exhausted. Tired. Overwhelmed.
I need (to)…
Slow down. Take a break. Daydream. Write. Poetry. Ocean. Music. Silence. Quietude. Nature.
Messages like this have been a steady 7-year repeat!
For example, here’s a quote of mine from 2016:
“I need to find that space of quiet. It’s hidden between numbers and letters and the sound of rain. I need to find softness between sky of gray and pale cotton pillows — coaxing sleep, anew. And I will, just for a day or two (maybe three!!). I need a bit of a break. I’m calling it a mini writer’s retreat; complete with peacock blue mugs and coffee and comfort foods. My kids and I will navigate through the unfolding waves of hellos and good-byes and very late nights greeting early dawn views.
The kitchen will be open, with a tiny loving sign: “fend for yourself” because you are more than capable. The washer and dryer are on a hiatus. Find a tee or jeans — I promise there’s at least three on the floor right next to you. And as for Copper (my cat), well he’s my favorite editor and companion and the most excellent bookend to keep 1/8th of me tethered to reality.”
With ease, I could have written that today.
Like most, our household is busy. For me, the flow of different college schedules, and therefore different starts for summer break, varies work schedules, sharing a car, meals, different awake and sleep cycles — at times, things can get a bit squirrely.
When we are consumed by a constant ‘on’ feeling what can happen is we feel depleted.
As a highly sensitive person and a highly sensitive therapist, I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) to make time to wonder. Take a delicious nap. Walk about and let Nature see me for who I am.
That sort of personal witnessing is self-respect. Pretenses are not acceptable. Our personal needs are truth.
Highly sensitive people have what is called a “depth of processing with deeper feelings and empathy for others. For example, most sensitive persons are unusually concerned about the suffering of others, including the suffering of animals, and about social injustices.” (Aron, 2010)
Meaning we feel everything with incredibly passion. Our entire heart and soul become porous which can lead to a flood of feelings.
Inside this vault of being our deepest self, our truest self, letting go more often from the 24/7 soul-sucking-piranha-like-newsfeed-family-work-friend needs, is essential.
We aren’t asking too much when we take time to limit our exposure of constantly being “on” and therefore letting our minds become a pillow; this refuels and nourishes our being.
So, with tremendous self-awareness and before we’ve reached that point of exhaustion, let’s build into our schedule’s — quiet time.
Time to daydream, write, art, music, garden, walk, putter.
Doing nothing is doing something; it gives ourselves space to regroup, rekindle and rest from the rest of the world.
This is your holy. Protect it.
Aron, Elaine. (2010). Psychotherapy and the Highly Sensitive Person. New York. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.