August 2017

For a while now I have tried to allow myself to sit in silence and just be ok….not reach for my phone, not jump on Facebook…just be. The challenge came to me after seeing a video years ago with the comedian Louis C.K. If you are unfamiliar with his standup do yourself a favor and check it out but please make sure the kids are in bed ;). I have attached the video to the end of this newsletter so you can experience it first hand. I remember feeling dumbfounded after listening to this interview because I learned this profound life lesson from a man that talks about flipping his 4 year old off from behind. Also because this video is a snippet of the Conan O’Brien Show which it also another place you would not expect to have your life changed. This just further proves my theory that you can find inspiration in EVERYTHING!
The question asked is why he would not allow his children to have a cell phone. The answer is literally 5 minutes long but genius. He begins by saying that cell phones are taking away our children’s sense of empathy. His example was that if you call a person fat to their face you will physically see the hurt you have caused them and realize it doesn’t feel good to do that to someone. However if you text that same thing to the same person you do not see the reaction and do not feel that pain associated with it. He later goes on to talk about an experience that he had when he was driving around in his car and a specific Springsteen song came on that triggered some feeling of hurt from his youth. His instinct was to reach for his phone to distract himself from the pain but decided against it. He made the decision to just feel the pain. He had to pull the car over and just cry. But in that moment of experiencing pain he began to experience feelings of joy. This made me think about my goddess Brene Brown whom you have heard me reference time and time again. Brene had said in one of her TedTalks once that you cannot selectively numb. When you numb pain…you numb joy, you numb happiness. Some people may turn to drugs as their numbing agent…some alcohol…food….shopping…cutting….and some…social media…texting…anything that takes the focus off their pain. Let’s face it….there is a lot of pain in this world…. We experience pain on a daily basis. Somethings more painful than others. After watching this again recently it made me think about how we do anything we can to keep our kids entertained every second of everyday. We never allow them to just be. By taking that away we are taking away their ability to deal with emotions. When we give our toddlers an iPad because they are fidgety and restless we take away the opportunity for them to be uncomfortable which is huge. Do not get me wrong…every parent needs a few moments every day to collect their thoughts and iPads and TVS for the kids are excellent resources for that but maybe not for hours on end. Or when our teenagers are engaging in hurtful conversations via text. We have to teach our younger generations how to have face to face conversations. Sometimes uncomfortable conversations are a must and they must be done in person. Is it easier to do it via text….HELL YEA but I think we all know that the easy way is not always the right way. When we fill our kids’ day with stuff and things…play dates, sports, music lessons, tutoring, dance, gymnastics…they never learn to just be. They never learn how to enjoy their own company. We have to get back to the art of life balance. Everything is great in moderation. The most fit people in the world can eat McDonalds every single day….Can they eat a big mac, fries, and coke everyday and expect to be healthy…of course not but if they took 1-2 bites a day of one of those things they could still be the picture of health. I think it is so important that we all just take a few moments a day to just be. Silence…feel whatever you are feeling. Maybe you’ll cry and have no idea why and that is ok. Maybe you’ll rage out…scream into a pillow….that’s ok too! Just let yourself be….sad or mad or happy…whatever your mind and body are feeling don’t push it down…don’t reach for your phone, alcohol, drugs, food, credit card….whatever your medium is. I have fallen in love with myself again just by allowing myself to feel what I am feeling. I know for certain after you start practicing this you will fall in love with yourself even more too! Here’s that video…enjoy.
Louis CK