We generally know what’s making life hard, but how often do we take the time to notice what is helping?
Every year Anne Bogel reflects on the question inspired by Barbara Brown Taylor’s memoir, Leaving Church — What’s saving your life right now? I usually think about how I’d answer the question, but I’ve never written out an answer to share with you.
While there are things that remain constant—books, Pixel snuggles, journaling, music, exercise, nature—there are also things that I’m particularly leaning into during any given season. If we could fast-forward a few months, I’d love to be able to write about tulips and daffodils, long walks in the warm sunshine, and fresh green leaves unfurling. But at the moment my world looks more like ice and snow and bitingly cold wind.
So what is saving my life right now?
One thing that’s saving my life right now is long-distance friendship. As you may know, making friends doesn’t always come easily for me. I want to have more local friends I can talk to face-to-face. I am also aware of how valuable and supportive friendship can be, even from far away.
One of my favorite people is someone I haven’t yet met in person. (Hi, Jess!) I would love the chance to take walks together while talking about deep and interesting things. At the same time, the lack of in-person interaction doesn’t take away from the richness this friendship has added to my life.
At this point, we’ve exchanged hundreds of emails and I still smile every time a new one pops into my inbox. Even across the miles, we’ve been able to listen and ask good questions. We’ve celebrated together and supported each other when things are hard.
Recently, I met a group of amazing people through the life coach training program I’m completing. I was disappointed that no one in the program lives in the same state as me. And yet, I have been amazed at the warm, supportive community we’ve created, even as we’re scattered across distant locations. I’m excited to continue deepening these new friendships and knowing that no matter where I am and what is going on, there is someone, somewhere I can turn to.
The next thing on my list feels a little cliche. It’s yoga. I thought I wasn’t that into yoga. I have workouts that I enjoy and that have helped me learn to use exercise as a way to take care of myself instead of controlling myself.
On a whim, I decided to do a 30-day yoga challenge. It turns out it was something I didn’t know I needed. I tend to get caught up in my head and struggle to feel present in my body. I also forget to really breathe.
Yoga has deepened my ability to pay attention to what’s going on inside me and how everything is connected. It reminds me to breathe and pulls me out of my head. Yoga doesn’t replace the workouts I already love, but it helps me get even more out of them.
Another thing that’s saving me right now is a pair of cozy, plush-lined leggings. This time of year is always hard for me and the weather over the past month has been especially challenging. I’m clinging to anything that brings comfort and warmth.
Even more than that, these are leggings I made myself. Sewing is one of my main creative outlets. When the world feels dark and cold, it’s hard to feel motivated to do much of anything. Making something with my hands brings some light and joy and energy back into my life.
Enough about me…I’d love to hear about you! What’s saving your life right now?