What an adjustment for many employees who so enjoyed feeling support from others across the desks and simply liked not being alone. During our Zoom chat, over and over the question of motivation landed in the room.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Get up and go outside even for 10 minutes. Look around and see something you may have not seen before.
2. Line up glasses of water in your kitchen in the hopes of avoiding opening the refrigerator. Add lemon or lime to flavor the water, but not the rind which may have pesticides.
3. Start your day doing something easy and fun, five minutes helps, then your work to do list, well unless you overslept and have no time before jumping on Zoom meeting. Congrats on good sleep.
4. Check in with yourself all throughout the day, asking, “How am I doing right now? What do I need today to feel supported? What stories am I spinning in my head that I need to stop?
5. Awareness of your critic, ” why didn’t I say something better on that call? I sounded so trite.”
6. Putting something on your desk; candle, photo of a loved place, inspirational quotation, that when you look at it, you smile.
7. Take a music break. Kick it up.
8. Be gentle with yourself. No one has a map with this unexpected change. It is natural to find your new rhythm and then lose it. You will get it again and again.
9. Some are enjoying the solitude of focus and not having to interact at the workplace. They are savoring this rare time working from home. Get to know new parts of yourself that you never had a chance to know until this stay at home arrived.
10. Take extra self-care. What is that for you, that is self-caring?
You are welcome to email me with your thoughts. email@example.com
Covid-19 is still here. In our Zoom group of MOTHERS, here are some of the wants they shared:
1. Sit outside with me in the yard, put a BLANKET on my lap, and show me a SILLY dance. I don’t care how old you are. It needs to be at least a two-minute silly dance. Yes, you can wear a costume or dress up or whatever idea you come up with.
2. Make up a song and use anything you have in the house as your instruments and then show me what ya got as I sit in the living room. Yes, the SONG is about ME. My day, and yes, all ABOUT ME; no, I am not self- centered. Just asking for what I like.
3. Of course write me YOU ARE THE BEST MOTHER IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD card, AND, make this love letter specific to why you love me versus Kate’s mom. I mean not as a comparison but as a way to SHOW how you know me.
4. Don’t ask me to do ANYTHING for you from morning to bedtime. Think you can make it through a day like that? Ha Ha.
5. Surprise me but not in the SCAREY kind of surprise.
6. Figure out delicious food for the day and night. I have COOKBOOKS.
7. Read to me, wait for it, from a POETRY book by my bed stand. Yes, read it out loud. No, you do not have to memorize it. This is not a school day.
8. And I save the best for last. Let me tell you all the things I love about BEING YOUR MOM and WHAT YOU HAVE TAUGHT ME without you being on the phone or computer or having to dash to something else.
Some of the above ideas can work if you are not sheltered in together If you only have the phone see if something above works or ask your kids to share a story, a MEMORY of you BEING with them.
I like to PUSH IT on Mother’s Day and ask something creative from them in the sense of a CREATIVE THOUGHT, not art. This year I will ask, “Share with me how you think the world will be BETTER when we move forward to our lives outside of the house?
Wishing you a happy, healthy time together on Mother’s Day.
This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.
Poetry helps me during uncertain times, so I pass this one to you.
Each day I begin looking out the window, seeing what I have never seen before…a leaf that wasn’t on that bare branch yesterday.
Each evening I look out that same window to the vast night sky and thank all the people who are risking their lives to help the isolated, the ill, the hungry, the grieving, and the depleted ones.
In the midst of the unknown, I have had people call being more vulnerable than I have heard in the past, asking for help, and needing something that gives them hope and a routine.
When given a listener, you find a way that is helpful for you. You open to new possibilities.
It is not about a permanent solution; it is about what might help you today to feel you aren’t alone? It is ok to not be productive or “on top” of your life.
Meet the part of you that is scared, can’t take it anymore, so disappointed that “the world virus” has ruined your life. Get to know that part of you, not as an enemy but an ally.
Write to that part of you,” Hello you that scares me all the time, what’s it like for you? Hello disappointed self, what do you want me to know today about disappointment?
Be gentle with yourself… Natalie
When you feel lonely or disappointed a day and night feels like a city freeway, too fast and unpredictable to drive.
In our women’s group, each shares their uncertainty, their needs, and the hope of a better feeling day. They share their GOOD ENOUGH and their joyous feelings that arrived. Each shares a dream, a NIGHT DREAM they remembered. We are in the moment and support for each other.
When the day is empty here are some things that may help. Begin your day looking out the WINDOW and noticing what you didn’t notice yesterday. Welcome the day in whatever words come to you. “I see your beauty and I pray for the world to come TOGETHER as friends, even for an hour. I ask you to help COMFORT me from this unpredictable dark day.”
When the day is empty, discover your RHYTHM for that day. Maybe you know it is a good idea to get outside right away and maybe you know today you need the blanket for one more hour. Each day is different so routines may not always work for you. Ask yourself, “what do I need right now?” Keep asking yourself that question through the day and night. CHECK in with YOU.”
When the day is empty, send a love email, “thinking of you today and REMEMBERING that fun walk on the beach.” A shift of giving may help in that moment.
When the day is empty, BELIEVE in yourself, which means, some days just have no impulse to do, some days you aren’t at your best, some days are better than others and always you are GENTLE with yourself.
Life, as you have heard, is complex. You may be the person who today just can’t do much but MUDDLE through when most of your life you have been the cheerleader. You may be the person who today can push past what holds you in a flat way and round up to do something LITTLE for a lift. These are what some shared that they do: make collages, cook, turn up the music, write, call a friend, look for something online to participate in which would be something to look forward to doing, binge watch tv series, stretch and conscious breathing for ten minutes, ask for help, go to the park and watch the kids and dogs, do something outside and then reward yourself with a latte.
We NEED each other. We need to have the uncomfortable conversations with ourselves and to let it be when the energy is not available for insights, lifting, doing, and trust a shift will arrive. You can trust because you know you have, as have others, had days where nothing seemed to matter much. You are worn down, or as a woman in the group says, “in a bad mood, irritable”.
Maybe you want to get to know this part of you that is visiting you and make friends with it rather than push it away or judge it. “Hello you, I am not comfortable with you and the way you make me feel. Is there something you want to share with me about you right now?” This is a dialogue and yes feels odd. This is a practice to get to know parts of you that you haven’t had the time or way to meet. No one is watching so start the chat and be open to what you receive.
When the day is empty remind yourself what you have GIVEN and what you have overcome. You are loved.
Take good care,
“Give a compliment to a stranger, or someone you know, and to yourself.”
A woman called today sharing how the words DISASTER RELIEF (Tennessee Tornado) unexpectedly dropped her into tears about her wanting relief from her disasters. She was SHOCKED this emerged in her thoughts. Weeping she said, “I don’t like when feelings immobilize me, and I am heading out the door. Well, I don’t like them anytime.”
The gift of UNEXPECTED feelings is an invitation to enter feelings that lay DORMANT. The curse so to speak is how one can beam too far out with all the WHAT IF’S that these feelings surface.
Sometimes past losses rise up, and sometimes images like the tornado in Tennessee can open you to, as she said, your own disasters within or around you. Disaster is a strong word and she discovered it was a calling for feeling and seeing she is human, despite her priding herself in being able to problem solve. The MIND wants answers always. The HEART is a rhythm within that won’t betray you.
Her personal story is private. Her sharing of unexpected feelings is common in all of us. From my working with thousands of people for decades across the world, I am GRATEFUL that people are willing to feel and that they ask for help to access more feelings that includes their fear of the never ending tears, their fear of, “I don’t want to feel that AGAIN,” their thoughts of, “I am all ALONE with my self-feelings, I can’t trust people because I have been so betrayed, I just want ANSWERS to why-why-why.” The shares are long and familiar, as each of us, honestly, has times we suffer. We just feel SHAME around sharing because we have a thought that says, “I should do better by now. I should be OVER this.” When we hear ourselves TALK about our fears, this vulnerability is precious, and also a gift to you in bravely saying what is surfacing.
Today, I INVITE you to write, talk, sketch, walk in a quiet place, light candles, play music, etc. Whatever helps you to know YOU better and care for yourself. What helps is to remind yourself to breath (deep in and deep out), pause, notice what you see right in FRONT of you in order to be present with yourself and ground to present moment. Do this over and over. It takes PRACTICE. It doesn’t mean you have to say it all or write it all at one time. You know you and you know where you want to go.
BEGIN. Be gentle.
“You are finding your rhythm over and over. What worked for you one day may not work the next and that is “normal.”
More than a decade ago, Natalie Caine went to a meeting at her daughter’s high school. The headmaster wanted parents to think about the fact that they “were all about to become empty nesters,” Caine said.
That reality knocked her back on her heels. “I turned around to my friends and said, ‘If I start a support group, will you come?’”
Read More at Captrust.com
During a transition, meaning you are no longer where you use to be and you don’t know where you are headed, a bud of an idea to lift your spirits is worth watering.
A woman shared with me that she knows it will take time to decide what’s next for her, but that doesn’t ease her pain. Many times, she has felt left out, disappointed, and that nothing is working out for her.
Most of her life, she views herself as a woman of independence and perseverance. Today she feels immobile.
I think we can relate to both parts of her. My suggestion, after allowing her to hear herself speak, was that she start with what might seem to help TODAY.
For her that help was to write what she needed and name one person she feels safe with to ask for help? Then I suggested she read her list of needs out loud right before she falls asleep and to ask for a dream that might help her with something on her list.
The mystery of life is that one day an idea you have for “self-care” will work and another day it might not.
The practice is to not judge yourself for feeling the way you feel, meaning, “Oh here we go again, I felt great yesterday and today I am collapsed.”
Day of Calm Retreat
WHEN: Saturday, February 23
TIME: 10 am to 3 pm
HOW MUCH: $150
WHERE: THE GATHERING: 665 Swarthmore Ave. Pacific Palisades
INCLUDES: Morning and Afternoon Guided Meditation, Yoga, and Life Transitions Workshop. We will also provide a delicious and healthy lunch and snacks throughout the day.
Meet Our Retreat Leaders: we are excited to bring you some of the top instructors in the industry.
Life Transitions Workshop taught by Natalie Caine M.A
Natalie has shared wisdom, tips, and comfort with thousands of people across the world as they deal with happy and challenging life transitions and has been a top speaker at resorts and spas like The Golden Door, and Rancho La Puerta, as well as conferences, private and corporate settings.
Her workshop will help you find your new rhythm over and over as you collapse and surface. Natalie believes we have a full orchestra inside that goes dormant and wants to surface. Often out of habit, one only uses the “violin” or “drum” energy. Natalie easily teaches how to access the full range.
Hypnotic Yoga Class Taught by Sherly Sulaiman
Sherly Sulaiman packs 20 years of international yoga, mindfulness and hypnosis knowledge, practice and teachings into her own fascinating blend of “Tranceformative” yoga. This 75-minute experience will not only relax and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit, but goes a step deeper. Sherly uses her distinct, hypnotic voice and draws on her set of multidimensional skills to turn a yoga class into a remarkably tranceformative experience that is as captivating as it is relaxing.
Morning and Evening Guided Meditation Taught by Nora Plesent
by Nora Plesent
Nora is an attorney, award
winning business owner and certified meditation instructor. She has been
inspiring women to live their best life for over 25 years. A recognized leader
in entrepreneurship, Nora has been shifting her focus from external to
internal success and satisfaction and is eager to share her love for meditation
I have been through floods and fires and earthquakes and riots…
Natalie was interviewed for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article “Period of adjustment: ‘Empty-nesters’ look to tears — and travel” by Len Barcousky. Here’s an excerpt:
Natalie Caine says tears — shed by both fathers and mothers — are not unusual during such transition times. Ms. Caine leads workshops and counsels couples and individuals as they face a variety of life changes. She is a native of Wheeling, W.Va., who now bases her practice in the Toluca Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. For the past 15 years her areas of specialty have included “empty nest” support services.
Ms. Caine has had personal experience with this particular life change. Her only child, a daughter, selected a college in New York City, 3,000 miles from California.
In a recent phone conversation, Mrs. Caine emphasized that each family situation is unique. Do not measure yourself and your “empty nest” reaction to those of your neighbors, she advised. Each family and each parent within that family likely will deal with the transition — which she compared to a grieving process — differently.
Natalie was interviewed for the AARP article “How to Cope With an Empty Nest” by Sarah Elizabeth Adler.
Here’s an excerpt:
That said, if you’re distraught, you’re not alone. Natalie Caine, the founder of Empty Nest Support Services (which she started the year before her own daughter left for college), says that grieving is normal, whether you’re launching a first child or the last,
“Be gentle with yourself,” she says. “What you’re grieving is that the role you had as a parent is different now.” And just as some parents experience more grief than others, Caine says it’s entirely normal for your feelings about different children’s departures to vary.
Natalie Caine, M.A. firstname.lastname@example.org | 10061 Riverside Dr., Suite 1002 Toluca Lake, CA 91602 | 800-446-3310