Sometimes there’s nasty stuff going on around the world. Sometimes work is so overwhelming and the clutter threatens to overtake every bit of space in the apartment. Sometimes I mess up and say or do something that hurts myself or someone else. Or sometimes I feel hurt by what others have said/not said, done/not done. Sometimes I just feel helpless. I’m human that way.
When these feelings creep up, and sometimes it’s without warning, I try to remember to treat myself with extra kindness for not being perfect. I find my soft place to land.
Do you have your soft place? Remember when you were little and nothing was better than snuggling up to your mom and her soft bits. Or your favourite stuffed up bear or tiger? Throwing yourself onto your bed into your pillows and crying because the (fill in the blank here).
Carole King wrote about going up on the roof when the world starts getting her down and she needs a place to get away from the noise, the bustle, the stuff, that interferes with her peace of mind.
My park bench by the river is a place I go to when I want to daydream, focus, tune out, gaze at the moon. I consider it an extension of my living room. My whole self just slows right down when I’m sitting there, swinging my legs and whatever burden I was feeling softens. And I remember to forgive myself, others, the world, and to feel my heart refocus on what matters. To be honest, sometimes it takes longer than at other times, but it usually brings me around.
What do you do when you need that place? Give yourself permission to fluff that pillow, to ask for a shoulder, to give yourself a soft place to land. It’s your birthright to have it. Whatever it is, whoever it is. Just remember that you need it and deserve it. We all do at some point.
I learned this strategy from a brilliant coach friend:
Find a picture of your four-year-old self (or whatever picture shows your vulnerable babyness). Keep it with you and when things are rough for you, think about that lovely child that still lives within your heart. Take that child you in your arms and provide the love and hugs that you deserve – even as an adult.
When we mess up or say something stupid or inconsiderate or when we don’t follow through – picture your young four-year-old self and what you say to her? How would you comfort her? Do that for your adult self. Don’t beat yourself up! You wouldn’t do that to the child in the picture.
Give yourself a soft place to land. A soft little cloud and (many) gentle and tender loving hugs.
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