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Do you ever wake up with a tickle in your throat? Unable to clear your airwave? Maybe you have a spiritual hairball!

I do well for days at a time. Then, one day I will wake up freaked out. It’s like overnight someone came in with an Electrolux and sucked out all of my faith in life.

Somehow without warning, I am choking on an existential dilemma.

This may sound deep but it isn’t fun. I am good one day and the next I am regretting and fretting.

And my worrying does no one any good. Especially me- when I fixate on that which I have no control.

And that list of things I have no control over is long these days.

These are serious times.

Some days it feels like instead of a mask I need a triage nurse to sort out what to worry about first.

Health care, insurrection, a mother with dementia, no hugs, uncertainty. Take your pick.

Well, I am sure you have your own long list of symptoms.

And this list has made all of us a lot more over-sensitive.

We are all prickly. On the verge of a tantrum.

Some days it feels like the whole world has PMS. And, just like when we women had PMS, we often would deny it:  “No it’s just not COVID. It’s you!”

True. Not all problems we have are because of COVID but our emotions are exaggerated because of this plague on all our houses. Things we could gloss over seem extreme at times.

It’s often ridiculous what bugs me. This week I found myself edgy about people using certain words.

Like if one more person says the word “pivot” or uses the phrase, “the new normal” I might scream.

And the other word is the word, wave.

I used to love the word wave. The wave pool, the wave as people drive by you in the car. Even that wave that crowds did at a ball game. Oh, what I wouldn’t do to see a crowd do that wave at a sports event. There was the first, second and now third wave! Third wave? Who agreed to a third wave? I didn’t see that in the fine print.

So yes it’s easy to start looking for things to be annoyed by.

The government. The doctors. People othering people in green zones othering people in red zones. Watching people overtly hate those that don’t share their political, religious or sexual beliefs.

It’s hard not to think we are changing becoming more tribal. When our health and finances are threatened it’s easy to see things in black and white, instead of seeing the complex grey zones.

Yes, some days we will just wake up choking on the hairball that faces us.

And I live alone. So no one is going to give me the Heimlich maneuver. ( unless they can reach me from six feet away)

So I guess we all have to find our own ways to breathe easy again.

For me, I need to make it simple- get right with myself, first.

If I don’t manage my own fear it will come out sideways.

(I will blame you for something that isn’t your fault.)

Luckily for a few years, I have some good disciplines in place that keep me sane.

I like walking. But, during Covid, I walk longer.

This week it was so cold I danced instead. ( To dance click here).  Music and movement can change your mood!

I do a gratitude list every day. Being I know being thankful raises serotonin.

And I do something creative: Believe me, when I say doing that which you love can help you feel better. I see this in my classes how people write their stories and they feel this relief.

And I don’t feel like doing these things. But, I do them because I know those actions will change the way I feel. The way I look at the day.

And because I have found this second wave harder than the first I set a positive intention for the day.

My intention of late is the first line of the St. Francis prayer,

“Make me a channel of peace.”

I’m not religious. But I like the St. Francis prayer. Neither am I ambitious because I don’t even say the whole prayer.

“Make me a channel of peace”.

Just that one line. I can’t handle the whole prayer.  That one line is enough of a challenge for me.

When I feel blocked, it helps me clear the passage of hate, fear, grief that wakes up ahead of me in the morning.

When I think about being a channel for something peaceful to come through me: I feel I can be a bit helpful to someone.

If I help someone I am not thinking about myself. And that is a good thing. Because by nature, I am a fretter and regretter.

I know people who are still out working or have a family at home don’t have to look far to be of service. The demands are ubiquitous.

But I am on my own a lot.

And so there is a lot of me-time.

And I find trying to be a little bit of service helps. And the way I do that changes daily. Some days it’s to create comedy. To be of service to those needing a laugh. Other days it’s reaching out to a friend to see how they are doing.

Now there are some days when I can’t do anything at all. Luckily there are friends to help me on those days.

When I was younger, I heard a great expression, “Happiness is the by-product of good action”.

But these days it takes more consistent actions for me to keep my equilibrium.

I need more inspiration.

This week, I got this email from the podcast On Being whose special guest was author Krista Trippett Becoming Wise.

One of the questions she asked was what are we being called to do? She had many choices but the phrase  that stuck out was this one:

“Some of us — many of us — are called to be calmers of fear. This calling is so tender, and so urgent if what we truly want is to coax our own best selves, and the best selves of others, into the light.”

I love the idea of being a “calmer” of fear.

It’s easy to be the creator of fear or at the mercy of it. For chaos is easier than peace because it makes feels like you are doing something. And there is always a mess to clean up. But to be a calmer of fear takes a certain tenacity.

But I am tired of being tossed around by the chaos of the world.

And so I am going to be able to bring even a modicum of peace to the world I have to keep clearing out the things ( or remove the spiritual hairball) that I am choking on.

Take a moment to reflect if you are blocked about something.

Is there something you can do to clear the channel of fear?

Comment below if you feel like it!

For there is much to be grateful for. As I was preparing my writing session this week, I found this poem.

And it really hit the mark for what I was feeling.

I thought I would share it with you below.

Be well, Deborah


The Peace of Wild Things: Wendell Berry.

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world and am free.

Writing stories is how I earn my money. If you would like to contribute to the work I do to make folks laugh, here is my tip jar.

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The next 6 Week Writing in Your Pj’s Session starts on Sunday, March 28th and runs till May 9th, 2021–Six weeks, Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. We laugh, we dance, we write and share our stories with like-minded creatives.