waiting for your chance?

Good news if you enjoy a bargain. I decided to offer a few sales. If you’ve been on the fence about working with me or my previous offers weren’t in the budget or quite the right fit, please check out these. (All info in the images is also duplicated below.)

I’d love to support you, and if this resonates with you, sharing helps me to connect with other people who are ready to take their next step. You can reach me at rossandjamieadventure @ gmail.com.

Spring Sale! (expire after the equinox on Monday, 3/20/2023):

One-Off Coaching/Consulting Power Session: Know where you’re headed and want some coaching or consulting on your particular question or situation? This is made for YOU.

Includes pre-session worksheet, 75 minute session, follow-up summary w/ road map and suggestions for next step

Ex. What are the next best steps for me to take in my business? Can you help me to create a schedule that’s more aligned with my values? How can I set some boundaries so that people stop expecting me to do everything? Which of these awesome hobbies/side projects should I pursue as a business?

Regular price $179, sale price $70 (more than 60% off!)

Buy Two Months of Coaching, Get One Month Free: For new 1:1 clients, purchase two months of coaching and/or mental fitness training and receive your third month of coaching free! (I am actually not allowed to promote this discounted price publicly, so message me for a free coaching session and I’ll share all the details with you!) Prefer a group session? Reach out to me for additional savings opportunities.

Free Session & Save: New clients who book their free session with me receive a credit of $200 that can be used toward any regularly priced coaching package before the end of June, 2023.

Enneagram-Curious: Considering working with a practitioner 1:1 to discover your number and learn more about who you are and why you do what you do? Know your number, but want some support figuring out what you can actually DO with that information? I’m offering an introductory price on this new offer of only $50 for an hour of Enneagram training, or only $150 for 4 sessions.

Coaching-Curious Sampler: Intrigued by mental fitness training, coaching, consulting, and the Enneagram? Not sure where to start? This sampler includes four sessions with me where you’ll be introduced to each of these modalities and explore the roles they might play in your personal development. If you’re ready for support in creating a life you love (or in embracing the one you have) but feel some blocks and are craving clarity, this sampler is designed for you. Introductory price: $250

Sometimes, All It Takes is a Nightstand

I was half asleep on Monday, January 24th when I reached over to grab my eye mask and realized it was soaking wet in my hands. All of a sudden, my brain went to work. It computed that, in fact, the whole nightstand was wet.

(The portable humidifier had been on it. In that moment, I realized that the humidifier had leaked water everywhere, soaking everything from tissues to eye masks in its path.)

I had a brief thought about beginning to clean it up, which I knew would wake me up completely and make it hard for me to get a good night’s sleep. But then, instead, I called out to Ross, calmly and with complete control.

“Hi Ross! Do you have the spoons to come help me with something?”

Previous to my Enneagram and mental fitness work, I would have asked that question as if it was an absolute emergency. In fact, it wouldn’t have been a question at all. “Ross, come here!” I would have yelled across the apartment. “There’s a mess, and I need help!” Cue flashbacks to”‘the time I knocked an entire bowl of Chex Mix on the floor” and “the time I realized my cat had fleas”, among other memorable moments.

But this time, I recognized that it wasn’t actually an emergency. This situation was relatively stable. There was no need to introduce more stress and drama into the equation.

Ross came in, cracking some cute joke or comment about spoons. I calmly explained to him what had happened, in a very matter-of-fact way. Instead of asking him to completely handle it, I asked him if he’d go get a garbage can. Then, in my half sleepy state, I took him through solving the situation, one step at a time. I did used my handy problem-solving skills, which I excel at, apparently even when half-awake, so that I could avoid Ross feeling overwhelmed, as I know he would have navigating it solo. (You can learn a lot after 13 years of dating or marriage!) I never got out of bed this entire time. I heard myself saying things like, “Can you please go hang this somewhere?” or “Can you please go get a towel?”.

I trusted him to take care of it. I let go of the need for it to be done a certain way. And somehow, when it was done, I just went to sleep. (Yes, I went to sleep! No panic, no racing thoughts, no getting out of bed to see where he hung things…I just went to sleep.)

A good friend and member of one of my Enneagram groups asked me what was different about this time, and I shared that it was a few things.

The main difference is that there was a space before doing. Old me would have IMMEDIATELY started handling the clean up, before I even stopped to think about how I wanted it done, or what should be done, or if it was mine to do or I could ask for help or if I should wait or gather some things first. As I did the cleanup, I would have felt feelings of frustration and anger, and I would have resented doing it solo…and by the time I would have asked Ross to help me, I would have been resentful that I had to ask or that he hadn’t helped me yet.

Ross would have come into the room with his guard up, and his stressful vibes would have fed on mine and caused a “saboteur contagion”, as we call it, with him struggling so much with my energy that he a) probably wouldn’t have finished helping me before giving up and leaving the room, upset and b) whether he finished it or not, he’d have ended up a complete wreck by the end, and then I’d be upset he was upset and I’d be unable to let it go (or sleep).

Instead, there was a space. A breath. A pause as I processed what happened and held off acting for a second. Instead of acting on autopilot, going to darker and depressing parts of my mind, I had the space to breathe and ask for help, calmly and without needing things to be done a particular way. It just became an “any old situation”, not an emergency. Even when I woke the next day, I didn’t get dazed when I walked into the bathroom with stuff hanging everywhere. Again, I just let it go.

My mental muscles are now so strong that I didn’t get triggered and have saboteurs react. There was a pause and then a move into my sage/wise mind/calmer self. And I stayed there the entire time.

Another friend shared with me that she was truly impressed because with all the work she has done on herself, she knows she still would have had to have control of that whole process. She couldn’t have stayed in bed to manage and would have had ways it had to be done. My first friend suggested the two of them should join my mental fitness program. My third friend has already, so I told the other two, join the club!

If you’d like to learn the science and get the practical tools to finally, once and for all, be able to be less reactive, more happy, less stressed or fearful, more efficient and effective, let’s connect. Mental fitness has been an absolute game-changer for me, and I want you to experience it too. Book a time here for an intro, with no obligation. You deserve to be happy. We all do.

P.S. If you’ve been doing your own work and already have rock-solid mental health practices, go you! Please consider sharing this with a friend or family member (or many) if it resonates with you and you want to share the benefits of a life you love and daily practices that support you.

Anxiety: a path forward

Woman in shades of pink walks forward into a canopy of trees

I keep changing and changing and changing this title, but in truth, I know exactly what I’m going to say. The conundrum, of course, is that while I have learned that anxiety, even lifelong, chronic anxiety struggles, can get better, I also don’t want to be one of those people promising you snake oil or making you feel invisible if your anxiety proves to be way more stubborn than my own challenges have been.

So, with that caveat, here’s an update on where I’m at, how I did it, and what I can suggest for other people who are struggling too.

The Recap

Last October, I started having panic attacks. Debilitating ones, that were really getting in the way of my work and my life. While I had experienced perhaps a half dozen panic attacks while living in an RV and traveling the US, I was otherwise completely new to them. And when I’d had them, they hadn’t gotten in the way of my work or my life – I knew what triggered them, and within a few hours, I’d been able to move on from them.

But last fall was different. My husband was really worried. I was really worried too; as the current primary breadwinner in our relationship, and with a husband who was a full-time student, what if I couldn’t pay our bills? So I was having panic attacks and I was spiraling further, getting anxious about having anxiety, which I’ve since read is a sign of an anxiety disorder rather than simply anxiety (which everyone has on some level, and which is 100% normal, to my totally not clinical but still very educated on anxiety understanding).

On one particularly bad day, after a series of particularly bad days, I wanted to go to the mental health clinic. But, of course, I was anxious to go. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t quite believe they’d let me in, especially because I hadn’t received my health card yet (which is your ticket to free health care as a Canadian resident).

My loving husband took me. He sat with me patiently in the car, and he came inside with me too. And the therapist I saw was so affirming, so understanding, and so encouraging as she got me on the list for free province-provided therapy. She even believed me and took notes when I told her I’d recently realized the ample supplies of nightshade vegetables I’d been filling my diet with were apparently a huge anxiety trigger (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and eggplant were filling my diet during this harvest season), based on my own Googled research.

This began more than six months of challenges as I waited, and waited, and waited to get that free therapy. Backing off the nightshade vegetables helped make the panic attacks less frequent (think 1-2 per week rather than daily), and I finally signed up online with my first therapist since college. She went from being okay for a few months, helping me to treat the anxiety, to being completely awful, around the same time I was seeing a very mediocre (at least for me) free therapist (finally) provided by the province.

Things Began Shifting

By the spring, a few things began shifting in my life:

  • I wrapped a contract with a client that had been having a negative effect on my mental health for a very long time, giving me space to begin healing from what I later realized was pretty intense burnout
  • The work I’d been doing on myself using the Enneagram was paying off, and I was seeing the benefits in my relationship with Ross, with my family and friends, and most importantly in my relationship with myself too
  • I found a new therapist who was NIGHT AND DAY from my previous experiences; she’s still supporting me, and I am grateful every day that I didn’t give up on finding the right person for me
  • The time I’d invested in finding community on PEI was bearing fruit; I had local friends and was doing meaningful work, collaborating in multiple music ensembles and enjoying the opportunity to lead one of them
  • I created an Enneagram group and had a really successful pilot program (my first group coaching program over several months)
  • I discovered the Positive Intelligence framework and became a major advocate for the benefits of mental fitness (and subsequently, I became a mental fitness trainer and incorporated the work into my coaching business)
  • I finally stepped outside of my comfort zone into an Anti-Anxiety program offered free to Islanders (called I CAN) and completed it successfully

According to my anxiety coach, my last panic attack was in late August. I know it was a combination of the techniques I had internalized by this point (learned in both I CAN and in my mental fitness studies) as well as some of the deeper personal development I had done. Having my therapist to cheer me on was especially helpful on the days I needed someone to vent to – whether you work with a therapist as well (always ideal) or just find a friend or hire a coach or accountability partner, that safe space was key.

I’ve now realized that I’ve been battling anxiety my entire life, or at least as far back as middle school. I also realize that if I had known then what I know now about mental fitness, I wouldn’t have needed to have the stress and overwhelm in my life. And I would have made healthier choices from a sage place rather than acting out of fear or to numb or distract myself.

What I Recommend

My own personal journey to get control of my anxiety was more long-winded than it needed to be, but there were also a lot of factors at stake. If I hadn’t been overwhelmed in my work, things might have played out differently, perhaps on a faster timetable. If I wasn’t so sensitive to nightshades, the panic attacks may have been less debilitating. But what I now realize is that the gift of my panic and anxiety struggles over the past year or more is that I now have direct experience I can use when coaching my clients. I can relate to them in ways I never could have five years back. What a gift!

Also, for those of you with access to some kind of free anxiety program, or one that’s very affordable for you, do consider it, if you’ve got the bandwidth for it. While I wasn’t learning many new things in mine, the daily practice and accountability (just like I use with my clients) helped me to finally finish integrating all the things people had taught me over the years. I CAN is a great option for Islanders. Find out what, if anything, is available for you.

If you want to sleep well at night, if you want a life with less stress and overwhelm, if you want the tools to find joy and peace and curiosity again, I’d love to introduce you to the mental fitness training we can do together. I have a few spots open in a small group program that will be starting up this January. I’m also developing a new program specifically with musicians in mind, and I’m planning future groups for a) for childfree people b) for men and c) for retirees.

If you’re intrigued, the easiest way for me to tell you more is for us to hop on a call so I can give you a tour of the program and a bit of coaching and some training to incorporate when you’re feeling anxious or fearful or angry or judgmental. I include a few of my favorite mindfulness techniques that you can actually use anywhere, at any time. It’s a free call, and if it intrigues you, I’m offering my programs on a sliding scale to make them as accessible as possible as we begin 2023.

I have such gratitude to be a coach and to be doing this life-changing work. Please reach out to learn more, and if you think this might resonate with a friend or a family member, please encourage them to do the same.

Take care, and be well.

Three Steps for Times of Stress

In the past month, I’ve launched my first two mental fitness groups (using the researched-based, acclaimed Positive Intelligence program and app that I’ve been studying for more than six months), conducted a performance of “O Canada” for a Canadian citizenship ceremony, completed an anti-anxiety program, completed a three month Enneagram group, been interviewed on a podcast, performed professionally as a member of Luminos Ensemble, written most of a book, coached childfree women (and people who aren’t raising children) on ways to create a life they love, and done writing and editing for clients. I’ve also dealt with the Hurricane Fiona aftermath, attended to a variety of personal and professional tasks, and made some time for fun fall activities, including getting together with friends.

One of the brilliant things about my work in the mental fitness realm has been realizing that I turn less and less things into stress in my life now. I’ve realized that rather than let all of the things in my busy life feel like things I “must” do, AKA things that cause me stress and need to be dealt with, I can instead focus on curiosity, on navigating my to-dos with joy or at least without the extra emotional weight I had a tendency to add to them. 

My mantra, which I developed in my first Enneagram group and continue to find exceptionally helpful, is this: “Breathe. Prioritize. Do what’s mine to do.” 

This mantra won’t work for everyone. You may in fact be one of those people who don’t take on other people’s tasks. Or you may need a mantra that’s more about doing and less about stopping and prioritizing for you personally to find balance in your life. But if my mantra strikes a chord, read on.

If you’re feeling stressed, unsure how to juggle all the responsibilities, both spoken and unspoken, in your life, try my three steps on for size. 

  1. Breathe: Realizing your breathing is getting more shallow? Starting to feel overwhelmed or anxious? As soon as you recognize it, stop that thought train. Focus on your breath. In, and out. Again. Stop the “what-if” and the “must-do” and tune into your breathing. 
  2. Prioritize: Once you’re feeling a bit calmer, whether from breathing or doing other mindfulness exercises, NOW you’re in a healthy space. You’re now using the part of your brain that’s capable of navigating challenges and getting curious about what’s possible. So it’s time to prioritize. What’s the one thing that you could get done today that would make your week, or even your year? What are the deadlines that will really screw you up if you miss them? Who is more important, and what are they expecting of you? Prioritize. 
  3. Do what’s mine to do: Now, and only now, it’s time to return to doing. Since you’ve stopped the auto-pilot and tuned into what matters, you can now do what’s truly yours to do. Most things I think are mine to do are, it turns out, actually not. I make a whole lot of responsibilities up. Sometimes I think I need to do work for other people. So don’t blindly do: make sure you do what’s YOURS to do today. And always, or at least whenever you can remember to stop, consider what matters, and then move forward. 

Keep swimming, my friends. You are wonderful just as you are, truly, right now. And I believe in you.

P.S. If you want support in how to follow these steps, that’s what I’m here for. Let’s hop on a free call where you can learn more about mental fitness and how to handle life’s challenges with more efficiency and joy.

Weird vibes

So, I’ve been honest here about my recent struggles with anxiety and overwhelm and the work I’ve been doing on myself through the Enneagram, other forms of personal development, therapy, and self-care.

I wanted these past few weeks to be me getting back into the swing of things with my business after a delightful week of fun with my mom here on Prince Edward Island.

I wanted to be focused and on top of it.

And, while I think I’ve done a decent job of meeting my obligations and haven’t (I hope) missed any deadlines, I’ve been giving off vibes.

Weird vibes.

Vibes that confuse the heck out of people.

Can you possibly relate to this, or am I alone? Am I the only person who, in a state of anxiety, finds themselves making their friends and family think they’re getting the death stare when they’re actually getting the deer in headlights/confused as all heck look by someone who’s struggling to keep up?

It’s contributed to some communication challenges recently, for sure. And it’s given me plenty of fodder for therapy sessions.

But I am grateful. I’m grateful for family and friends who’ve done the work alongside me to communicate what they’re feeling, tell me when I’m bothering them, and taking care of themselves in the process.

I’m grateful for a cat who insists on all of the snuggles when I’m in a funk.

I’m grateful for a new therapist who seems like a great fit for me.

And I’m so excited for this season of concerts and my new pilot Enneagram program.

I imagine these weird vibes have something to do with my Enneagram type (I’m a 1) and something to do with all of the stress it can be really hard to avoid putting on myself.

I may not have my anxiety completely under control yet. I may have some weird vibes ahead of me. But I’m thankful for this life I’ve crafted and that you’re a part of it too.

Take care, friends.

P.S. I’m still writing a book. Any interest in getting on my email list in exchange for some previews from it? If so, please comment or reach out.

Five Things The Enneagram Taught Me About Myself

As I coordinate schedules in hopes of getting my pilot Enneagram group going soon, I’m thinking about how much I’ve learned about the Enneagram since I began studying it about two years back.

The Enneagram is an ancient tool for learning more about yourself and how you relate to other people. Unlike astrology or Human Design, someone doesn’t tell you your type, based on particular facts about yourself, like when you were born. Instead, you study the nine types (traditionally, this is done as an oral tradition, and our group will be watching videos to learn our type), and from that study and through engaging with other people to learn more about it, you can discern which type you are. Knowing your type gives you a path to follow toward a more whole and healthy life. In my case, it’s also made a major difference in my marriage, and it’s helped me to understand my family and friends better too.

Here are the top five things the Enneagram taught me about myself!

I Get Frustrated

Okay, so maybe that seems obvious to you if you know me personally. Or maybe you’re reading this and thinking, don’t we all get frustrated sometimes? But the Enneagram taught me that most of the time, when I don’t know how to put what I’m feeling into words, or when I feel angry, or a lot of other negative emotions, what’s honestly at the root of it all is frustration. And while that frustration is often directed at other people, more often than not, at least if I dig deeper, I will find out that I’m most frustrated with myself.

I Am My Own Worst Critic

Again, this might be obvious to some of you, and to some of you, you may assume everyone is their own worst critic. But as a 1 on the Enneagram, I’ve got a fun little voice in my head that likes to spend all of its time pointing out flaws in the world, but most especially my own flaws. Recognizing and identifying that voice is the first step in some major acceptance of who I am. It’s also helped me to recognize why it is that I get so critical about little things when I am tired or under stress. It’s also given my husband more compassion for me, rather than simply feeling angry or hurt, when I default to wanting things clean or fixed or put away on my schedule (rather than on OUR schedule).

I Verbally Process Things

Before studying the Enneagram, I knew I sometimes verbally processed (thought things through out loud, in conversation). What I hadn’t realized is that verbal processing is the way I like to process everything! One of my favorite tips from podcaster, author, and Enneagram expert Suzanne Stabile has been that I should end each day verbally processing what’s happened with my husband (or a friend, roommate, or even a journal or cat might work in a pinch). It’s something that I’d generally done with my husband, but studying the Enneagram made me aware of how healthy and important this is for me and my mental health.

People Tend To be Past, Present, or Future-Oriented

Before studying the Enneagram, I knew I was very aware of the present moment. I knew that some of my clients and friends struggled with looking ahead to the future or resisted spending time talking about the past, even wanting to put up a wall and avoid revisiting tough experiences.

I now know that each of us either past, present, or future-oriented. I happen to be oriented to the present, and for me, that means I have no problem supporting someone right now, but I can get easily distracted by a present task (or email or question) and lose sight of the bigger picture ahead of me.

I’ve also learned that some people (including a very close family member) are oriented toward the past, which can help explain why it’s tough for them to create goal and find motivation toward the future. Likewise, my more future-minded family members are constantly thinking about what’s next, so much so that it can be hard for them to enjoy the present moment. Of course, there are practices to help with all of this. In our ideal worlds, we’d all find balance between all three, so we can take steps to get there.

Just knowing this is a normal distinction and pattern has really helped me to understand why other people do what they do.

You Aren’t As Special, Or As Normal, As You Think You Are

What do I mean by that, exactly? There are so many pieces of the puzzle when it comes to who we are. In addition to the circumstances I experienced growing up, I am an Enneagram 1, a highly sensitive person (HSP), and an introvert. I’m also the oldest of four children, a white cisgender woman without any children, I grew up fairly well off in the Northeastern United States….

I could go on and on, of course, but the point is, there are tons of factors that come together and make us unique.

At the same time, I can find community, finding a LOT in common, in any of those groups. I might bond with one person who grew up visiting the White Mountains of New Hampshire, find traits in common with fellow introverts or with oldest siblings, or find people who sound an AWFUL lot like me who also identify as Enneagram 1s.

Some of my “weirdest” quirks I have in common with a lot of other people. And knowing that feels vulnerable and also super cool.

If you want to figure out your own Enneagram type, or if you know it, but you’d like to learn more about it and get to know people of other types as well as your own, please reach out to me and join our pilot.

And as always, if you’re looking for support in finding out what you truly want in life, and then figuring out how to make it happen, I’m your woman!


Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help further by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

an intro to the enneagram

Hello! If we don’t know each other well yet, I am Jamie Feinberg, and I help women who feel like life is happening to them, or passing them by, to figure out what they truly want – whether that’s time to pursue an old dream, a new career or hobby, or to travel – and then make it a reality.

I believe that if you never do the work to discover and cultivate a life you love, then you will never find the freedom and fulfillment that comes from pursuing a life free of regret. 

So, in essence, that’s why I’ve gotten so darn obsessed with the Enneagram over the last couple of years. I’d been pursuing my own personal development for a few years prior when I discovered it. The Enneagram, if you aren’t already aware, is not a typical “personality test”, for two reasons, as I see. One reason is that unlike Myers-Briggs, astrology, Human Design, or any of the other typing systems I’ve seen or explored, you get to type yourself! 

(If you have already heard about this program and are ready to sign up and get started and join us, please email rossandjamieadventure @ gmail.com so we can work out the details!)

Despite what you’ve perhaps read online, the ancient wisdom of the Enneagram is an oral tradition, and the way that you are meant to discern your type is in conversation with mentors, friends, family, but mainly doing your own contemplation. 

The other major difference about the Enneagram from other “personality quizzes” and the like? Once you know your type, the Enneagram also gives you a road map to follow for a more healthy, integrated, fulfilled life. So it’s not “here’s your type, here’s what’s challenging for you, have a nice life”. It’s more like “here’s your type, here are your strengths and weaknesses, and if you do these practices and keep growing in your awareness, you can keep stepping into an even better version of yourself. Oh, and by the way, here are the ways you’ll want to interact with other types and even help them become their best selves!” 

Since discovering the Enneagram, I’ve become a better wife, a better friend, a better daughter, and a better sibling. My husband has frequently thanked me for the work I’ve been doing on my own personal development, because it’s made me a better wife AND helped him to learn to be a better husband too!

We can’t control the people around us, but we can lead by example, and seeing how the work of the Enneagram has had ripple effects in my life has inspired me to share it with others.

If this interests you, head here to learn more and connect with me.

Have a wonderful week. It’s been a tough one for many of us. Stand up for what you believe in. The world needs it. And take care of yourself.


Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help further by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

You’re Not Alone (Acknowledging Anxiety)

Three weeks back, I did something I’d been wanting to do for many months – I started seeing a therapist.

If I had my way, we’d all have affordable (for us) access to a therapist. A good one, who listens and knows the types of therapy that would be most helpful for us. Someone who gives us a safe space to work through the crap in our minds and helps us sort out our stuff.

If you’re reading this and you’re feeling like you’re in a great place right now, I am thrilled for you! I can tell you that from what I’m seeing on my social media feeds and hearing about through news outlets, it sure seems like most of the world has moved on from COVID-19 and is getting back to “normal”, or close to it. And it that’s you, I’m thrilled for you, and I truly hope you’re enjoying every minute of freedom and “normalcy”.

But honestly, even though I am sick of wearing masks, and miss seeing people’s faces, and I miss eating out at a restaurant in the winter, I’m just not there yet. It feels too soon, to me, to return to normal.

Lifting a mask mandate is all well and good (for most) when there’s a mild variant on the loose. But what if a new, more dangerous variant catches us off guard? One contagious enough to spread under the radar, when we’re least expecting it?

I’d love to say I’m embracing the now and taking it day by day and not worrying about what might come next. But that wouldn’t be accurate.

So these are the kinds of thoughts that are on my mind. I’m carrying a lot of stress and anxiety around COVID. Like a lot of us are.

Add to that the stressors of getting settled in a new country and the pressures and fears of a world at war, not to mention the anger and frustration at seeing so many people’s rights being taken away in the US (including New Hampshire, where I grew up, and Florida, our adopted home state), and I’m even more thankful to have a therapist.

I’m not sharing this for praise, or for pity.

I want you to know you aren’t alone. I want you to know that whether you wear a mask or not, and whether you’re “moving on” or not, it’s okay to experience anxiety.

And I want you to know that it’s okay to have some days, some weeks, even some months or years, where you’re not okay. Where you’re going through the motions, or phoning it in. Maybe you’ve had to take some time off, or add a nap into your routine. Maybe you’re tired of saying no to social plans out of fear.

Wherever you are, I want to encourage you.

Reach out to loved ones. They’ll probably relate, maybe even more than you realize.

Get a therapist if you can, and if not, seek out a trusted mentor or spiritual leader, or find an online support group aligned with where you are. Look for sliding scale therapy or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, or many of the other free resouces that may exist in your country, state, or city.

I’ve been digging deeper into the Enneagram for the past several months, and that means I’m doing a lot of work on getting to myself – who I am, how I became that person, and how I can become an even healthier, better version of me.

I also rely on journaling, exercising, getting outside, and all of my other existing coping mechanisms for when things get tough or feel overwhelming.

Whatever method(s) you use, and wherever you’re at, I’m wishing you all the best. You’re not alone.

And if you’re reading this, you’re here now, and I’m so glad.

Thanks for reading, and take care.

P.S. I’d like to get a group together to read The Road Back To You and do some Enneagram explorations. No previous experience required, just a copy of the book. If this journey of self-reflection (in a group setting) appeals to you, please leave a comment and let me know!


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