Full disclosure: I have just watched this Ted Talk from Andie Mitchell who went to my high school. First, let’s say the obvious: She is kind of a big deal and also has a killer blog and a book coming out. #whoa
To say watching that video brought up a lot of stuff would be an understatement. Majorly awesome vulnerability.
Andie’s point about committing to something just for a day…just for right now reminded me of a really significant experience I had in college with my therapist. I have never typed the word therapist on this blog before or ever spoken in public of having one. It feels refreshing.
During my senior year of college my grandfather died and I broke up with my boyfriend (first love, high drama) within one month of each other. For the most part, my ex was not well liked amongst my friends, and my break up with him and the tail spin it sent me into was not pretty. The “I told you so card” came into play, and to say I was crushed was an understatement. With so much in play at once, I could feel this shifting of my life deep down at the very foundation of who I was, and it was FREAKING ME OUT.
I believe it was my mom who decided I needed to see a therapist when it became clear that I wasn’t really doing well trying to “focus on the positive” and “move on.” I was in this perpetual state of choking back tears. I was RAW.
Here I was trying to confront all these grown up challenges like finding a job after graduation, mending a broken heart and trying to process my first grandparent’s death. I had what Brene Brown would call “gremlin” thoughts because I knew how lucky I was to be at this fantastic college and to have so many opportunities at my fingertips. I knew it was a gift that I’d fallen in love, however tough it ended up being. I knew the lessons I’d learned from my grandfather were things that I would treasure for a lifetime.
But how would I heal?
So in I walked to my first therapy session totally ashamed and embarrassed that I couldn’t “get my shit together” and just “be normal.” I came armed with one thing that I knew was making everything better: yoga. I’d started going on campus oftentimes six days a week. It was the only thing that made me feel like my life wasn’t completely falling apart.
It’s interesting looking back because it seems so clear to me. My therapist chose this concept of trying to cut off my run-on anxious thoughts with a one day at a time mentality. And that’s what yoga does…it calls your mind back into your body. Right here, right now.
Therapy taught me to trust that woman who stepped on to her yoga mat a little more. Therapy taught me to speak up for myself and to make my own decisions. Therapy made me realize that no guy was going to fill me up, and I’d better stop trying to pretend otherwise. Therapy taught me to live one day at a time instead of letting them get all jumbled together and overwhelming.
Hearing this same lesson in a new way from Andie reminded me of this: Imagine how many goals we could chase and how big we could dream if we focused only on one day at a time? It’s staggering isn’t it? All that potential. We don’t have to commit forever, and in some instances we won’t need to but we have to be willing to do the work until the work’s done. And then come back to the work again, and again, for the rest of our lives live by the “just for today” principle.