“Life has got to be lived – that’s all there is to it. At seventy, I would say the advantage is that you take life more calmly. You know that ‘this, too, shall pass!’”— Eleanor Roosevelt
Confession. I have been dreading this weekend. It’s a long anatomy weekend in our 300 Hour program. I love anatomy! We have a fabulous guest presenter, and I don’t even have to do that much work. I get to learn, absorb, and experience being a student.
So why dread? Because I need a freaking weekend OFF. Hell, a day off. And I live my life in a way that doesn’t often allow that luxury. By choice, I fill my calendar. Don’t get me wrong, it’s filled with amazing things, and people, and goodness. And it exhausts me.
This morning in the shower, I was giving myself the usual pep talk. Come on D, you do these long weekends all the time. Look…that last one is in the past. They go fast in hindsight. This too shall pass. Stop whining. Enjoy the moments.
Do you ever do this? Looking ahead at something…a class, a workout, a hard thing. And your pep talk is looking back at how fast time goes by, and reminding yourself that it all passes?
A student recently shared that when she signed up for teacher training, she couldn’t imagine being in a room for 10 hours. And how she did this pep talk thing, saying this too shall pass. To her surprise, the 10 hours fly by, and she can’t wait for Thursdays now. Phew!
It’s an effective technique. Looking back at a hard thing we have done in the past, as a way to get through the hard thing on the road ahead.
So here’s the thing. It’s all temporary. The good moments and the not-so-good moments. Whether it’s a long day, a difficult conversation, pain in the body, or a panic attack. This too shall pass. We know because we’ve been here before. And the way around, is through.
Try on this simple (but not easy) trick. The next time you find yourself in pain, discomfort, or dread, take five slow deep breaths. Observe your body. Observe your emotions. Observe your thoughts.
I put this to the test in the shower. I do often. 5 deep breaths, feeling the warm water on my back. Smelling the bath bomb. Noticing. Observing. And just like that…I felt a shift. First, gratitude. Then, calm. Then, excitement and eagerness for this weekend. A complete mental and emotional shift. A new narrative.
I will do better about scheduling time off. But for now, it feels good to be in a fleeting, wonderful moment, that is about to pass.