Could I ask you something?
Are you looking at the world and feeling frozen and stuck?
If so, I want to give you a secret.
How so? Well, I’ve wanted to do my online conference for awhile now, but I keep putting it off and putting it off. My friend Tracy sent me a link about being in cooperation with your body, your spirit, and the outside world by not FORCING things right now.
As more fresh horrors happen, as people start to see what’s wrong with the sector, and do their own online conferences-
I have been wondering- what do I say now?
What do I do without screwing up?
I attended the Willamette Writers Conference over this last weekend, and a psychologist author gave us some food for thought.
Here are some tidbits that might help you in this moment.
–> When we hesitate, it’s because we’re afraid. Anxiety is anticipation of one kind or another.
–> At the core of vulnerability is the problem of shame.
–> Our internal narrative is, I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough. Utterly false but so convincing.
–> We are hustling for our worthiness- striving to alleviate feelings of inadequacy.
–> We forget that failure is enlightening.
–> Trauma brings up 2 main fears.
–> 1. That the feeling will never end
–> 2. That the trauma is always around the corner- and you have to be always vigilant.
I was reflecting on this with a friend recently. How when we both went to college, we felt so grateful to leave our families, like breathing for the first time. Like finally being able to get out of the prison of domestic violence.
We didn’t realize how good life could be, away from the constant re-traumatizing.
Sometimes it feels like the news can be re-traumatizing us. Which leads us to fear, and frozenness or at the least, hesitation.
How can we live in this chaos, where everything is so uncertain? How do we come out of this feeling of frozenness or stuckness?
We can do 3 things.
1. We can say: “NO!” whenever we find ourselves going over and over the self attack or trauma in a trauma loop. It is not present, and it is not real.
2. We can remember 1 thing to appreciate about ourselves. How resilient we are. How good we are about resting.
3. The third response to chaos is stillness. Stilllness is what lies in awe, in meditation. Meditation is a fancy word for sitting with yourself. Shame and unworthiness cannot compete with awe.
Even if you’re not hesitating right now- I hope this gives you compassion with people around you who ARE feeling stuck, frozen or hesitating.
I was working with an executive director client a couple weeks ago, and I challenged her to take action on some of her event that she was putting off. She reared back and we left the call abruptly.
I could tell I had said the wrong thing, having no idea she was having health issues, and was struggling with the heaviness of everything going on.
I apologized to her, and realized that my own frustration with myself, my own inertia, was making me lash out at her. She gracefully accepted my apology, but it gave me pause.
Here are two questions I will leave you with.
- How much am I doing harm to others, by not looking inside, by not resting?
- How much am I re-traumatizing others, when I do not sit with the simple understanding that we all need to rest now more than ever before?
If you are a nonprofit leader, please remember that you are not capable of the same level of work you were before the pandemic, and neither are your colleagues.
Please, please, be gentle with yourself and others.
Come into stillness. Take a nap.
You will feel better, and they will too.