Weekly Reading Topic for July 11, 2020:
Well, good morning, love! I just opened a Reading for you, my newsletter subscribers and here’s what I heard in answer to the following:
What do my readers most need to hear this weekend? What is the most important message to send to my beloved readers?
The answer was: “overwhelm management.”
What follows is your weekly reading, dear one.
Weekly Reading │ Overwhelm Management
Q: What do we need to know about “overwhelm management?”
A: In every generation, humans make a really big mess that they have to clean up. Every single one! We are mess-makers. Why do we do this?????
It looks like we do it because we kind of like solving Big Impossible Problems. So … how is 2020 different than other years?
That’s right — we’re cleaning up dozens of messes, all at once.
Some of these messes are ones we have created only recently. Others have been quietly muddying up our habits for decades, centuries, millenia.
It’s like every problem we’ve ever created is rearing up and biting us on the collective butt.
And a LOT of us are experiencing overwhelm as a result.
Overwhelm is a broad term, and it can be used in several ways:
- To feel uncontrollable emotions, or too much sensory input.[Check! How many of us have broken down in tears, or raged, or felt so overloaded we get jittery?]
- To charge someone else with too many tasks, so many that it’s impossible for them to succeed. [Check! No doubt, there are multiple examples of people feeling this way, from the ICU nurse tending to Covid19 patients to the teacher who’s also trying to homeschool her own wee ones to the grocery clerk who now has ten more responsibilities than they normally do.]
- To flood something in some way, to cover it completely, so that it can’t be seen. [Check! Some of us have been inside our homes and out of touch with others for months now. It’s easy to feel invisible, even when you’re “out” on social media.]
- To overcome with sheer force. [Check! Again, in multiple ways and in multiple fields we are seeing institutions and ways of life crumble as a result of inexorable forces that we can’t control or check.]
- I don’t know about you, but I get positively spacey in this environment. I lose track of time, find it hard to focus, and generally drift about until something catches me. I’m like a leaf in a river, swirling around, trying to stay dry on the top side so I don’t dive. I’m helpless in the current, and every once in a while I get caught on a reed, which feels like a respite until the current overwhelms me again and I swish back out into the river.
So how do we start managing this overwhelm, people? Because it’s not going to get better over the next few months. In fact, it might not get better until well into 2021. [And we might not find a new normal until 2023.]
Transitions are swirly and nebulous, and it’s easy to feel the pull of the current and feel like your time in the river doesn’t really count, because you’re not in charge, and you can’t control it.
It feels like you’re just at the mercy of this time, right?
And in a Very Real Way, you are. None of us can make certain plans right now and know for SURE they will turn out the way we will envision.
That trip might have to be canceled, no matter how often we reschedule. We might have to find a way to educate our kids at home, even though schools are scheduled to open. We may have to move, even though we can pay our overhead now.
Our industry might be in collapse, or about to. We might not see the particular current that is going to grab us, that may not grab anyone else.
And so how do we manage this?
We stop trying to control the uncontrollable. We stop trying to imagine. We start paying close, intense attention.
We don’t stay on the surface, trying to keep dry. Being a leaf on the top of the water is never going to last for long. A rogue wave can capsize you, or it can start to rain, letting water pool in your dry, papery cup of a body, until you are soaked through and sinking, still caught in the current, sodden and sullen as you are pulled along.
It’s time to start learning the current, folks.
Stick your head up and watch the water as it pools. And realize that you’re not in a river. There’s no starting point upstream that leads to an inevitable endpoint downstream. Or rather, you’re so far downstream that you’re right at the mouth, you’re puddling from the river into the ocean, where the currents get Truly Deep and if you stay on the top, you’ll for sure see major waves.
Ocean goers know that when you’re in the water and you can’t get out — when you’re way out there, and the shore is not attainable, and the boat is just as tossed as you are, it’s best to work WITH the water, not against it.
Float if you can, sure, and kick with the current, not against it. And most important, WATCH the water. Watch the waves and study how they run together, where they separate and run from each other. And if they are getting big? Don’t try to ride them. Instead, dive INTO the wave, so that it crashes behind you, not on you.
Go TOWARD the tower, because the peaceful water is in the center, not on the top of the big ones.
Breathe every chance you get, and rest every chance you get. When the waters are churning, you may not get to stop. You may have to just let yourself be tossed, loose-limbed and wild-haired, for a while.
Staying stiff and stark in your attitudes will only cause you to break. The tallest masts on the biggest ships are slightly bendy, so they can take the brunt of the wind and the rain and, yes, the really big waves.
So loosen up, study the waters, and dive down when it’s too rough. Don’t be ashamed of hiding for a while if it’s weird out there. Take the time to be calm, and rest, rest, rest.
There is so much change afoot on our planet, and in so many ways, that EVERYTHING is coming up for assessment and rearrangement. Once more people realize that things Are Not Going Back to Normal they will need solutions.
And the ones who have been studying the waves and resting up will be the ones best equipped to provide those. If you are reading this, you are almost certainly in the small group of souls who is already working on this big group project.
So if you are not currently fighting battles, if you are not actively engaged in the change, but you feel a looming feeling of doom-y-ness, it’s because you are in the second wave of change, the ones who have fresh ideas and new ways of doing things.
New ways based on the Reality We Are In, rather than the Reality That Once Was.
The Before Times are already solidly in the before. The After Times are coming, and the more rested and well-stocked you are (in every sense of the word) the more likely you are to be part of the solution, a Calmer of Waves.
Believe it or not, this is not a message of Doom. It’s a message of Get Your Sh1t Together and Rest Because Things Will Get Even More Real.
Start engaging more with the water, and you’ll see the way you can contribute, stay safe, and Create The After.
And remember that we always make messes to clean up. Every civilization, every new idea, every business, every religion, every movement … they all solve a problem while creating new ones.
It keeps us busy and engaged on Planet Earth. That’s what we’re Here For.
So suit up, get in the game, even if you aren’t sure what Your Game is, yet. Stay alert and make notes of your great ideas, and don’t worry too much if you forget them by noon tomorrow — as long as they’re written down you’ll find them later, when the waters are calmer and you can focus better.
Until then, stay strong, hydrate, and rest, rest, rest.
There is no such thing as Too Much Sleep.
I am always here to serve in any way I can.
Much Love to You,
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