Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about my son and his future. Well, technically, I always am thinking about his future, otherwise I’d let him eat all the damn sugar he wanted and wouldn’t teach him to brush his teeth. What I’m talking about is the stuff of soul grinding, life living, clench your butthole because you’re nervous – stuff. Of course every parent goes through these thoughts, but I am a product of my environment. My childhood has taught me to have anxiety. I figured I should address my childhood so I can help combat anything my son may face. I want to look at my son’s upbringing without any tainted views and blinders from my own childhood. I want to do what is best for my son, not what I think would have been best for me. You feels that?
As a lady who had 9-11 happen in the midst of her adolescence and who had her young adult life riddled with domestic terror attacks and Unsolved Mystery reruns, it is of no surprise to me that my generation lurvs criminal mind show and is infatuated with killers. Give terror a rhythm and a reason, give death a name, it is now something we can sit down with our therapist and talk about. It is how we cope. That, and we are given a healthy dose of anxiety. Ever notice that lately, everyone seems have an underlying nervousness about being in crowds? You best believe my sweet ass was a-runnin out of Austin City Limits the second Paul McCartney was done with his act. We have been conditioned that crowds are where the bad shit happens. Which is true, just not in every crowd. Anxiety mixed with fascination of murder equals nervousness about the future. Righteous as it all is, we need to learn to combat this.
Needless to say, each generation is a product of their reality at the time. Dooms Day-ers, the Lost Generation, the wave of Feminism – I get it. I may not understand what you are going through exactly, but I understand your moves after. Especially as a parent, this feeling is compounded. You want the best for your babe, always. It is in my opinion that to give them the best, you need to make sure you’re doing the best for yourself.
I often think of a quote I read recently allow me to give you some background. I began my 30 days of kindness challenge (found here) right before the terrible synagogue shooting. At that time, I lived down the road from a synagogue and wrote the congregation a letter. I stated I was sorry for their loss and that their community would rally behind them. The result of this letter was I get to be part of the newsletter. I love reading these weekly reminders and the stories they say. One news letter was about the Night of Broken Glass. In which a lady took a photo of a Menorah in front of their window and wrote on the back of the photo “so the light answers”. I cannot describe to you the cheerfulness this brought to my heart. Simple, precise, and optimistic right in the face of all that hate.
All this to say, recognize and embrace your anxiousness, your strangeness, your differences, and make them work for you. Do what makes you happy and let that happiness ooze from you. Your children and loved ones will embrace it. Spread the love. Answer anxiety, hatred, darkness with unwavering light. Find the ways and situations that can and will draw the shine from yourself. Get your glitter on girl.
- Start a gratitude journal. The only difference is that in this journal, write down the things that cause you to have positive emotions. Whether it’s finishing a work out, meal prepping for the week ahead, shaving your legs, write it down. I love this one – The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You In Five Minutes a Day
- Do something that makes your heart race. Endorphins, adrenaline, need I say more?
- Meditation. I’m not necessarily meaning sitting cross legs humming to yourself. Anything that makes you feel zen. Whether it’s taking a walk through nature, reading a book, soaking in a bath, dancing – find what makes your heart feel peaceful and stick with it.
- Eat less sugar. Eat food from the Earth. You’ll be amazed how much better you feel when you cut out the processed food.
- Find friendships that make you grow. I have one friend who has a lovely podcast at Nourish Your Soul Radio (nuf’ said), but she also helps hold me accountable. She sends me recipes that help my nourishing goals and sends me sound advice when I vent.
- Have unique experiences. Another amazing friend and owner of Commonroots Boutique, allowed me the pleasure of wearing her clothes in a presentation of her new line for Instagram! How fun was it to pretend to be a model for a day!!
- Tackle that list of things that are giving you anxiety. Been meaning to send “Thank You” cards? Carve out two hours to write them out. Wanting to find a new church? This Sunday – try it out. Wanting to lose a few pounds? Go get that gym membership today. As you cross things off that list, your anxiety will decrease. That I promise.
- Be present. While at work, be at work. While with your kids, be with your kids. Put away your mental blocks, your phone, your timelines, and focus. You will feel more productive and will achieve more at the end of the day.