By Samantha Faulhaber
I think people need to think for themselves.
I also think people are looking for external saviors all of their time.
We cook, and clean, and putter around our little bubbles, blowing up bubbles of stress
and popping them again for our own amusement disguised as a sense of survival. The
tigers aren't chasing us any more. But we still want to feel alive.
So how can we? HIIT workouts? Sled pushes? Carving away little bits of ourselves until
it hurts enough to satisfy the itch for really feeling alive? We gain attention for our woes
and learn that others are both sympathetic and seek their own distractions from self the
best way they know how.
I’m convinced that everyone would love themselves if they spent more time outside,
sitting quietly, until the storm water rushed off the surface of their minds.
There’s a raging torrent there you've been trying to dam for ages, and the blocks just keep
getting knocked down.
So you try and get some new tool, a new technology, with the idea that THIS THIS! will
make everything right this time. There won’t be any leaks springing from this one.
But the water keeps rising. And until the moment you accept the things that you're feeling
they continue to rise. Even if you don't like the things you're feeling. Especially if you
don't like the things you're feeling. That's the most important time to open the gates and let the water drag you down, washing you clean in the process.
Suppression is the greatest curse we know as modern humans. We suppress because we
think it gains acceptance. We carry lead weights on our feet and our shoulders and our
hips, though mud the likes you haven’t seen since the The NeverEnding Story’s saddest
scene. (By the way, that movie stands up very well, even several decades later.)
I coach people to put one pinprick in the dam at a time. While I don't think most people
would die immediately if they tore the whole thing down, progressive loading is also one
of the most universal concepts I’m aware of, from Darwinism to strength training. Go
past what someone is capable of absorbing and risk a longer road of recovery.
So I start with asking them to sit still for 15 minutes. Just sit there. One of my favorites,
Kyle Cease, describes it that way. Stay in the room. The more this idea unsettles you, the
more you would benefit from one hour, or longer. But hey, how about proving to yourself
you have 15 minutes of time for yourself today? Then again tomorrow. And the next day.
Then when you’ve proven yourself there, go to 20 minutes. Make yourself uncomfortable
again. Uncomfortable is where growth lies.
There is a black-and-white difference between forcing yourself to do something you
don’t want to do and being scared of something you do want to do. Both may fall under
the disguise of forcing yourself, but only one is really aiming as high as you can at
What gauge are you using in life to move yourself forward?
What itches are you letting fester until you need an emergency room to cut out the lesion?
What could you stop ignoring now and change everything for yourself?
It only takes on pinprick to start.
Try this, which worked well for a client in LA: Drop one marble this week. You have a
mountain of stone, but I’m asking you to find one marble’s-worth to drop off from your
load. Maybe the first thing that pops into your head. You can do it.
And sit still for 15 minutes.
is an intuitive coach, teacher, and writer in Durham, North Carolina. She thinks of everything as energy work and all people as whole. When not working online or in-person with clients Sam is usually in the woods with muddy feet and leaves in her hair.