My heart is broken into a million little pieces. Tragedy, a 200,000+-acre fire has struck Ventura, a seaside town that’s near and dear to me. Friends live and work there. A lot of my important business connections were formed there. If Thousand Oaks is home and family, Ventura is a close first cousin.
It takes me a while to process but to doesn’t mean I don’t grieve. I grieve in private. I help in private. I put pen to paper.
Processing all this while dealing with an unrelated personal loss is a double whammy. Where does one even start? I remember what a loved one once told me – “baby steps.” When it’s tough to get out of bed, put an appointment on your calendar. When the tears start welling up, reach out to a friend. When your mind starts going on overdrive, do something. Keep busy. Take many baby steps. Just keep taking them.
In the past, I’ve taken the following baby steps:
- Heading outdoors. It’s a cliche but a walk, a hike or a short workout can really do wonders.
- Reaching out. Pick up the phone to call a friend or a family member.
- Making plans. So you have something to look forward to daily.
- Volunteering. Helping others and thinking outside of yourself and your troubles can lift your spirits. Trust me on this one.
- Just being still and mindful. Some pray, meditate or practice yoga, We live in a fast-paced, noisy world that we miss out on some subtleties around us. I was just reminded about this the other day.
These fires have put some things in perspective. Our troubles are but little embers in this gigantic, fast-spreading fire. In time, they too will be reduced to embers.
“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” – Caroline Myss