I just ran into a colleague who stopped by to loan me Michelle Obama’s new book, “Becoming,” and found myself walking away with a lighter step and – and a lighter heart.
It made me think of conversations I’ve had recently with my 11-year-old about stress and anxiety and how to cope with feeling overwhelmed. I don’t know where I came up with this particular piece of advice, like so much of my advice, but this is the gist of what I shared:
We all have stress. And worry. And anxiety. And not in equal measure or on all days. But they’re always there, even if they’re taking a break and sitting behind the curtain. The key is first to sit down the burdens of the past you no longer need to carry, recognize those that remain — and then consider how we carry their weight. We can’t ignore them or spin our wheels wasting precious emotional energy to get rid of them, but we can redistribute their weight. Adjust our posture, our attitude, our perspective for carrying them.
“No one knows the weight of another’s burden.” George Herbert
When I physically carry something heavy, I adjust for the weight in my body. I might squat or hunch, or I might need to stand straighter. I may need to balance it on both sides of my body, or sometimes just one. And sometimes, I ask for help.
And on days like today, help comes to me.