“Everyone needs a hug.” - David Smith - Olympic Gold Medalist, Cancer Survivor and paraplegic
Today I don’t think any words could be more true. Did you know that a twenty second hug with your weight over your own center of gravity is one of the human connections that completes the stress cycle? This was one of a thousand fun and interesting facts I learned in the book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle. But when was the last time you hugged someone for 20 seconds? I hope for your sake it was this morning, or at the latest yesterday, because it feels so damn good. But it wasn’t just the notion of the hug that I took away from this little piece stress cycle wisdom…what do you make of the importance of maintaining your own center of gravity? We have to take care of ourselves first, maintain our own sense of self, and be responsible for our own lives. Only then we can form the deepest and most secure bonds with the people we want to hug.
At dinner on Thursday night, Matthew was complaining about having to learn history before his quiz on Friday…it’s boring, what’s the point he says? Bring on the discussion that what we don’t learn from history we are doomed to repeat, and that isn’t just true in big heavy text books, it’s the same in our relationships and lives on a day to day basis. My baseline motivation for writing has always been to take the journey into my own state of mind and sharpen my self awareness. When I started my blog, it took on the purpose of passing on through story, things that I wanted my kids to know so that they could both understand their innate worth and recognize the patterns of codependency that ran through our family, so that little piece of history doesn’t repeat itself . Through these conversations, we have learned to handle stress and challenge with vulnerability and humor, and while we are still working through a lot of questions and newness, there is an emerging strength that I see in the conversations, the laughter, and the connection we have built.
I see the world in concentric circles now. We start with ourselves and what we have the courage to acknowledge and learn. Then we can embody it and pass on to the people closest to us. From there, we can take it outward into the world. It takes confidence, courage and self love…the themes that I observed as I took inventory of my blog and put them into my book 365 Days of Optimism.
Life as a single mom is stressful. Sometimes it feels lonely, like you will never have someone who truly understands what it feels like to be in this world with these kids you love so much. But in the next moment, it is empowering, and you have never had a better reason to work through every obstacle to reach the next peak. Knowing I have support from people who love me, the tools to complete the stress cycle and live not just in my mind, but step out on that court or onto my mat and live in my body, and belly laugh with the people closest to me, helps me know that it’s all going to be ok, no matter how much newness is coming at me on any given day. Fluid, flexible, and flowing…this is what I’m aiming for. Believe in your ability to adapt and become your own hero. Stand squarely on your own two feet and be the next great 20 second hug that someone needs. Here’s to interdependence, not codependence and many more 20 second hugs with our weight planted firmly on our own two feet.
With Love & Optimism,
Music is another great way of completing the stress cycle…songwriters get it in the best ways. Heard this at the Listening Room in Nashville sung by the writers. What we can’t acknowledge, we can’t heal. Powerful.