Friday night, after spending the evening in Los Angeles with friends, I got sucker punched by a cold. I’ve been pushing hard the last few weeks, working to get Picking Up the Pieces out, switching the website over, planning a celebration for the 1st anniversary of Ben’s death, being mama, wife and caretaker of my own heart and soul.  I have never launched something so deeply connected to my core, and the steepness of the learning curve has my heart pounding. I’m feeling sucked into old habits – long to-do lists that don’t get completed, staying awake late into the night when I know I need sleep, feeling dissatisfied with myself for what I’ve yet to accomplish instead of glowing with pride at all I’ve done.

My head and heart are facing off, the taskmaster and the compassionate lover.  Build Momentum! No, take care of yourself. Work harder! Work longer! Work smarter! Breathe. Rest. It will all be okay.

My head tells stories about how hard things are, and how I should be doing them the right way and wonders when I’m going to earn the big bucks.

My heart asks me to play, to dance, to meditate, to remember that there is time. It reminds me that I love what I’m doing and that anything is possible.

I’ve got a big week ahead, full of things that will pull my focus away from this space. I can feel the pressure of that, the fear of both success and failure standing squarely in my way. Wisps of the way life used to be swirl around me and my eyes cloud, my forehead creases into its permanently deep lines. I find myself losing touch with the present moment, with the simple joys. I think of Ben, of how his death has changed me and I vow to choose lightness and joy. I vow to live in trust that I am where I need to be, right now. I vow to honor the pain in my heart, smoothing it away with love and acceptance. I take steps:


I book a massage.

I crawl into bed before midnight.

I dance.

I step outside into the sunlight, stretch and walk to the ocean.

I ask for help.

I cry.

I put my smart phone down and walk away.

I laugh.

I write something that lights me up inside. Something that no one else will ever see.

I put the to-do list away and ask myself what I can do today that will make me feel better.

I make salsa with the heirloom tomatoes from my garden.

I pray.


And the lightness comes. The joy is easier to find. Love makes its way to my front door.


And you? What are you doing for your heart today?

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6 Responses to Pressure

  1. Roos says:

    Tomatoes from your garden? That’s on top of my wish list: a small veggie garden in my own backyard! But where to find it in Amsterdam?

    Thanks for posing the question. My day has just begun, but you reminded me to think of my own heart too – instead of running around and ‘working’ for everybody else…

    Thinking of you this week!!!!

  2. Stereo says:

    Such a wonderful lesson. We have to make sure that we are kind to ourselves, to let ourselves breathe and to delve into happiness once in a while. It’s so easy to forget when life takes over. As for me; I am writing and reading and curling my toes into my duvet and eating pilau rice with spinach and sugar snap peas. Bliss.

  3. Cynthia Burbage says:

    I am trying to laugh more today!! And allow some silliness in….I’ve been taking life sooo seriously and need to lighten up!
    PS thank you for taking a moment for me yesterday…i also wanted to tell you Sophie is so excited about the party…I know it’s okay but she’s excited for cake and celebrating….she told a little play mate yesterday about Ben’s party. It is so pure I want to remember that more too.
    xxoo Cynthia

  4. debbie says:

    telling myself it’s all going to be ok. It’s always going to be ok ….

  5. Laura says:

    So wonderful to have this appear in my inbox. For the last week grieving has felt like a gruelling full time job but last night I was worrying myself silly about having taken time off work, what job should come next and all the things that don’t really matter – so thank you for a timely reminder!

  6. Liz says:

    I came over to read your words.
    I am going to write more.
    I may eat some ice cream.
    I will cuddle as much as I can tonight.
    You are amazing. Thank you.

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