Just recently this Nine Cent Girl was feeling down on her luck… You know the why me? why now? kind of stuff… Murky, sticky, and just plain yucky stay in your pj’s kind of mood. Luckily I have one person in my life who never lets me wallow for too long; as I lamented my unfortunate state she listened through the tears, the eternal why me? why now? loop, and then reminded me of one indisputable truth, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall…” Hard to deny that ancient idiom, still, I struggled over how to stand under what felt insurmountable. Thankfully, by the weekend’s end, I had a plan: a three step plan (clearly I’m still on a numbers kick). Nothing miraculous, but a plan that made a shift.
First compassion. Lending a bit of sympathy to ourselves isn’t as simple as we think, in fact, most of us are our own worst enemy. But I am reminded by Victor Hugo’s classic Les Miserables where he states:”there is a point, moreover, at which the unfortunate and the infamous are associated and confounded in a single word, a fatal word, les miserables; whose fault is it? And then, is it not when the fall is lowest that charity ought to be greatest?” That quote has marinated in my mind for several decades, especially the last part of the quote, especially as our culture fixates more and more on material success. So what about those who fall the lowest? What about when “those” are ourselves? I wondered, why not extend a hand to ourselves? In fact, might this be a better way to help those around us? Modeling the effort it takes to face the shame of defeat, the guilt of wrong doing, or just the gumption to improve our own lot despite the unfairness of life, despite where to lay fault, are all recurring themes of this novel. Victor Hugo, champion of the downtrodden, reminds me to be a kinder me; so I started with me.
Second meditation. Coincidentally the all fabulous Ms. Oprah recently collaborated with Deepak Chopra on a 21 day FREE meditation challenge. They titled their program “Perfect Health” which promises EVERYTHING to suddenly shine brighter, a bit over-the-top, but they had me at challenge… (yes, I am competitive!). You provide them with your email and every dawn you receive a message in your inbox, directing you through a 16 minute guided mediation. Simple. I hopped on that train and signed right up. After one short week, I’m finding meditation to be a new sort of struggle, but a delicious respite from much that ails me too. Deepak gets me, I mean, sure a few hundred thousand others also receive his sage wisdom, but every day he eloquently expounds on exactly what I need to hear. (BTW it’s not too late for you to sign-up, they have a plan for late-comers!) Even after the challenge, I imagine I will add meditation to my daily routine.
Third help. We all need it. Funny how asking for help is too often the last step we take… even as we are falling… But look around, and you will discover help can be found in any direction you want to head. This time mine came from two sources: one predictable as the seasons and the other straight from the heavens. Predictable one? Well, for a decade I have been a client of an Ayurvedic practitioner, Dr. Pratima Raichur, (who has been the topic of many past blog posts). Her intuitive care is heightened by her medical knowledge, and as the seasons shift, she gently prods me along to a more balanced place. I am beyond grateful for her guidance, and very lucky that she was only a phone call away. The other helper who fell from the sky is a Life Coach: Angie Richmond. As I am only in the early stages of my work with her, I will save the details for a later post. But for now, I feel honored and lucky to have reached out and received this valuable help in my corner.
Three. Easy. Steps. As I’m upright again I’ll let you know what I discover peering over the vast horizon…