Yesterday as I was winding my way through snowy and sort of slippery roads, I listened to Brene Brown’s podcast. Now, if you’re not a fan of her, we need to chat because that’s like saying you’re not a fan of Betty White. But perhaps you’re like me. I was a little bit jealous of BB. I know. I said that. How is that even possible? I have 101 friends I could envy but I chose Brene Brown. I’m sure her and her sisters would have a field day with that one. Anyway, where was I? That’s right. On that windy, snowy road. And yes, sort of slippery. In case you are wondering what that means let me explain. You know how when you’re driving on a large pass in the winter and you see the other lane? The one going in the other direction and it’s clear and not dry, but clear and you think, “I wish I could drive on that side of the road” but you know you can’t because that would only cause lots of problems. Yep. That sort of slippery.

Anyway. BB was talking about feeling overwhelmed and I wasn’t feeling particularly overwhelmed which is probably why I could hear it. I’ve been overwhelmed. Of course I have. I’m not a weirdo. Of course I have I just wasn’t in that particular moment. And she was saying that in that moment of true overwhelm, not tiredness, not disorganization (cause I know those ones too) but true, “I am so overwhelmed” fashion, she said when you feel that and when you say that, you’re telling your body something. You’re essentially saying, “time out”. She didn’t say that. I made that up. She said, “I’m so blown” which my inner 12 year old boy sitting in the middle of social studies laughing with my friends in the back row can’t handle that so I prefer, time out”.

She said when you feel this, you need nothingness. And she quoted my favorite Buddhist man Jon Kabbat-Zinn too. He also said something about nothingness. I mean, talk about a homerun. Brene and Jon in the same sentence. Bam. And I know you’re not supposed to have favorites¬†in Buddhism but you know what I mean. And when you think of nothingness, it’s not like, “I’m not going to do nothing (which is weird grammer). I’m just going to catch up on my favorite Hulu show.” It means doing nothing. Absolutely nothing.

In the first months of the pandemic, I was the designated grocery getter in my house. No one drew straws or anything, it’s just that it’s sort of my jam, pandemic or not. So off I’d go, mask in hand, swaddled in a liquid shield of Purell. And then I’d get to the store. And people were cranky and scared and acting so weird and so rude and so not civilized that it completely OVERWHELMED me. Now, if you’re getting caught up in what I just said and thinking, “Now, Cheri. People were scared. That’s not very nice.”, save it. I get it. But people were cutting lines and scowling at me. I don’t do well with either one of those things. And then I’d get home and it only happened once but someone said, “Wait, you forgot to get…” And I was more than OVERWHELMED. I felt angry. They couldn’t possibly know what it was like to find half of Trader Joe’s gone. Just gone. Like, no eggs, no pita bread, no peanut butter…it was strange.

So, I got into the daily habit because I think I felt OVERWHELMED daily in those days, of doing two things; one was a meditation practice offered 5 days a week by 10% Happier and the other was to lay on the ground. I would literally say to my family, “I need to go lay on the floor” and that was my way of doing nothing. I’d walk into my bedroom and lay on the cold, hard, fabricated and cut to fit, wood floor. And it wouldn’t take more than 5 or 10 minutes and there’s something about a mom laying on the floor. No one talks to her. No one asks anything of her. No one even dares to come into the room. It makes people feel uncomfortable to see their mom laying on the hard floor doing nothing. It’s like being a teenage boy and walking in on your mom in her sports bra. Gasp!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, whether it’s an all-caps type moment or not, just go lay on the floor. And stay there until you feel better. Or take a nap while you’re there. That works too.

P.S. If you see a typo, let me know. I’ve got to make a healthy, snazzy, never been seen before on social media, type of breakfast so I don’t have time to edit.

Song for the day

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