A thousand tiny humble things

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creative nonfiction, Growth and Transformation, Life, medical, self-care, spirituality, wellbeing

When I was younger, I was overtaken by premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in a way that sometimes made me nervous to get in the car for fear I might do something impulsive when PMS was behind the wheel. I made an appointment with my OB/GYN but he was out, so I talked with another practitioner instead who suggested I eat more sweet potatoes. I was enraged. I was worried about driving my car off the road when PMS was onboard and she’s offering me sweet potatoes?

I thought of that sweet potato a couple of weeks ago after writing the column on 528 Hz, the so-called healing frequency. A co-worker wrote, wondering how something like listening to high frequency music could possibly heal the kinds of serious and even life-threatening wounds that so many more people are suffering right now. It is a very fair question. But it begged a bigger one: how do you recover yourself in times when your mental health has dropped seriously low?

I came to discover that for myself back in 2008 when a workplace bullying situation* so systematic and webbed in its design shattered me. During those winter months while on medical leave, I found my way out of the hole by doing a thousand tiny, humble things. There was a guided meditation I played every day, allowing the kind and gentle voice to take me on a walk through the woods, out into a clearing and onto a beach, all the while suggesting soul-affirming things about who I was and the sources of strength I had within me to call upon. I, myself, took myself on so very many actual walks. I went to therapy. I went to group. I watched comedy, exclusively, because even so much as the sound of a siren would send me into despair because a siren sounded like despair itself. I immersed myself in water every single day because a shower can make life feel very different, disproportionate to what a shower would seem to be able to offer. I read everything I could about how the brain and the mind worked. I did yoga. I spoke to God, a god I hadn’t formerly had a relationship with. I called the crisis line when I needed to. I wrote it all out, pages and pages. I took medication. If I had heard about the healing potential of 528 Hz I would have given that a try, too, because by then I was coming to understand that my healing was going to be comprised of a thousand tiny humble things. Maybe it would even include a sweet potato, as long as that sweet potato didn’t get the idea it was the whole dinner.

My mission every single day since that winter is to practice my new thousand tiny humble things that keep me out of the hole and to try to bring forward for others things that might work for them. There are no promises to be made here in this column. Only options. Only a thousand, tiny humble things, ideas and reflections that might have a place in someone’s healing because in that experience so many years ago, I came to understand that healing is an elegant synergy among all our systems, biological, environmental, and spiritual and requires a diversity of healers. And that nothing should be dismissed out of hand, which I didn’t find to be much of a problem. Openness is one of the gifts of being broken open.

Life is a lot. A thousand, tiny humble things aren’t just how we reclaim our health when we have come apart. They are how we hang onto our wellbeing at all.

Take care of yourself out there.


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