Oh, hello weekend!
Yesterday, during our Saturday bush walk / dog walk, I was thinking about you.
I wondered what you do when you’re stressed.
All of us ‘buffer’ against bad feelings. That’s a term Brooke Castillo uses, and it means we find a way not to feel. We numb ourselves. It looks like this. I’m upset so I…
head for the chocolate
tell the same story over and over
But I have one weird buffer I’d add to that list: I walk.
All my life, since I was a little girl, my buffer has been walking. As a child on the farm, I walked for miles in the fields and country lanes. In boarding school, I walked city streets. When I moved across the country for grad school, I did relentless daily loops around Springbank Park. When I immigrated to Australia, same thing: I have walked every suburb we lived in.
I do it still.
Honestly, I don’t even do it for exercise. I do it because it helps me process.
So here’s my thought — is there a buffer switch you can make?
Drinking wine becomes drawing, chocolate becomes walking, over-Netflix watching becomes watching Youtube videos about things you want to learn?
I think the key might be what you did or loved as a child.
We all buffer, and we all need to learn to go through the bad feeling from start to finish, and not push it away. But in the meantime, while we’re learning to face our feelings, maybe a buffer switch can help.
Switch in strawberries for chocolate.
Switch in sparkling fizzy drinks in a pretty glass for wine.
Switch in walking for telling the same story, over and over…
A switch is a good place to start.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone! Have some fun, and be fun to live with.
Love, Catherine x
There’s such a funny movie, Hunt For the Wilderpeople, where Ricky Baker, a Kiwi child in foster care, writes haiku to process his feelings. (Watch the movie if you can — so funny and charming. Trailer is here!) Sometimes I think Kiwis are the most talented people on earth. And New Zealand scenery is heartbreakingly beautiful.