Normalizing all that’s NEW. . .

3.30.20

Today I listened to Brene Brown’s new podcast, Unlocking Us, available at: https://brenebrown.com/podcast/brene-on-ffts/

In this initial broadcast she talks about HER discomfort with being “new” at things and this is a sentiment I absolutely share.  I mostly hate being new, unfamiliar and bumbling with technology.  Every semester, there’s been some new technology to master and that has, for me, been the most uncomfortable part of being back in the University as a student. 

Right now, we’re all dealing with being “new” at staying home alone or in the company of our household members and for many of us this is a very uncomfortable new normal.  None of us likes the discomfort that comes with being “new” – we feel embarrassed, incompetent and, unfortunately stuck.  The discomfort of doing new things is, according to Brown, the Secret Sauce of living! She says plainly: “Learning how to stay standing in the midst of feeling unsteady and uncertain – that’s the beginning of courage!”

Her wisdom to us all is:

  • Name the emotional mess we’re all feeling – like shame that I can’t figure out this supposedly simple app, disappointment that my friend didn’t call when she said she would, feeling clumsy and awkward doing yoga over Zoom in my ill-equipped living room.
  • Normalize the feeling/situation – recognize that everyone else experiences the same sorts of chaotic emotions that I’m feeling and give myself (yourself?) a break. Put it into perspective!
  • Reality check your expectations – Oh, I’m NOT going to crush this? Oh, okay.  I’m actually going to suck at it (not something I’m accustomed to!) and yet, getting used to this struggle with “new” reminds me that I’m so totally human. Just like everybody else.

Most of you know, I’m a 5-Type on the Enneagram – a total head-case.  Living in my head has been my life-long endeavor, a pattern I’m struggling to break.  Lately, coaching has been the place where I’ve had the best chance to practice living from my heart (not my head) and as is always the case, it is my clients who teach me exactly what I need to learn. It is for me one more place where I struggle with the feeling of being “new” at things I’d love to say I’ve mastered.  I haven’t.

The future is uncertain (that’s a certainty).  Most of us, me included, are facing a long list of new things. For me, that list of “new” includes building a coaching practice (now that school is over), preparing for the certification exam which means studying all summer, building a new office which requires construction guys in my house and launching a website that really works – at a cost that means, for me, a genuine “gulp-swallow” and trusting the Universe that the pay-off will come. 

I would recommend Brene’s podcast to everyone.  It has (as her books have) helped me figure out what’s really important for me in this new and unusual slice of life.  She reminds us that we’re living in a time that is “harder than we thought” – and for me, just learning to admit that my emotional state is unsettled, in upheaval, unstable and confusing – that’s a lot! it is terribly unfamiliar territory and at some level, we’re all in this together!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Paula

I help other caregivers – both professionals and family caregivers – acknowledge their pain and learn to practice the many small skills of self-care that can sustain them through the challenges of wholeheartedly caring for others.

Recent Posts

The words Make Plan playfully spelled out on a table

Life as a Contingency Plan – Scary! (and exhausting!)

I considered writing about Halloween given that tonight the ghosts & goblins will knock on our doors looking for the best in sweets and treats. But we really don’t celebrate this holiday at our house – so many strangers, persistently knocking on the door, simply upsets my husband too much (Alzheimer’s).

Read More →
Circle of fruits and other sacred natural objects

Unpacking My White Privilege. . .

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been engaged in an online course of sorts about the nature of White privilege. It is called a White Affinity Circle and it is a “virtual circle” conversation among a group (I think there’s about 8 of us) White women with a professor leading the discussion.

Read More →
Narrow canyon and its curves

Navigating the Narrow Place

Recently, I had a rich conversation with a friend and colleague in which we discussed the structure of the religious calendar – in particular, the Jewish year. Rosh Hashanah the holiday that proclaims the new year, which ran from sundown on September 25th through nightfall September 27this an extremely important holiday for Jewish people, a time to both reflect and rejoice.

Read More →
How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.

How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.