The sun was rising over the mountains as I hiked up to the Muir Beach Overlook to center myself and ground into Mother Earth before a full day one-on-one session with one of my Visionary Mentoring Program clients. The ocean was serene, still and waveless, after many stormy days of high winds. The air was silent, pregnant with promise. A few weeks had passed since my mother had been diagnosed with an “incurable” kind of stage 4 cancer, so life had been heavy for some time. Yet something about this morning felt light. A calm quietude fell over the sea.
As I shared with you yesterday, my beloved mother was just diagnosed with a rare and aggressive kind of leukemia. (If you missed it, you can read about our shock and our magic stories here.) When life throws you a curveball, advice is often the last thing you need. You need permission to be emotional. You need room to be with what has happened. You need . . . whatever YOU need. It’s so individual. That said, I thought I’d share with you some of the things that help me when life throws me curveballs.
We’ve all seen this famous image. Is it two white faces looking at each other? Or is it a black vase? See how you have to shift your lens to see one or the other? It’s almost impossible to see both at the same time, isn’t it? But if you pull back far enough, you can almost see that both are true at the same time. It’s two white faces, and it’s a black vase. You can’t quite see them both at the same time. You can flip the lens of your perception back and forth faster and faster until they almost collapse into both at once. But you can’t quite do it.. When you focus on one perspective, it’s hard not to lose the other. Such is the mystery and wonder of holding a paradox.
Stuff hurts right now. A lot of stuff hurts. If you’re not feeling at least some pain right now, you’ve probably numbed out with an addiction, psychiatric medication, dissociation from your body and your emotions, or maybe even some form of spiritual bypass, like meditating to transcend your human pain. If you’ve numbed out, that’s understandable. You’re human. That’s what humans do when they don’t have the emotional resilience to handle a broken heart. Whether chemically or emotionally, you’ve closed your heart, so it doesn’t have to feel so much pain. But it also cuts out your capacity to feel joy, to play, to love, to laugh, to feel gratitude, to cry at the heart-opening beauty of a sunset.
I have a Comfort playlist on my iPod, which I listen to when times are uncertain, and I’m craving comfort. Several of you expressed gratitude when I shared one of them—Kacey Musgraves "Somebody To Love"—on my last blog "Give Yourself Permission to Seek Comfort Right Now" . So let me share with you a few more songs from my Comfort playlist, in case they help you navigate uncertainty, trust in a benevolent universe, bolster your resilience, and survive life’s inevitable times of transition with a cracked open, humble heart.