Pressing the Reset Button
I used to watch a sitcom called The I.T. Crowd that featured a couple of techno-geeks who were managed by their boss in the small basement office of a corporation with many employees. When someone would phone for assistance with their computers, the running gag was,
“Have you tried turning it off and on again?”
My own computer guru told me – hold the off button down for 20 seconds, and then restart the computer.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if WE had a Reset Button?
Marriage not going smoothly? Press Reset.
Panic Attacks coming back? Press Reset.
Frequent flashbacks or unwelcome memories? Press Reset.
Ahhhhh….that would be great!
What got me thinking about this is that I recently experienced some difficulties in my personal life. It almost seems kind of silly that I had to remind myself of what I could do. After all, I’m in the business of helping others, and it would seem to be automatic that I would know what to do to help myself. And yet, when we are in the grip of panic, unhappiness, fear, anger, or other severe emotions, it can be extremely difficult to maintain an objective outlook…to know what to do.
So, how did I press the Reset Button?
First, I went to see my counsellor. I’m embarrassed to admit that it had been quite a few months since my last visit – and it was a reminder to me that it’s only too simple to lapse into the grey area of “good enough.” I’m feeling good enough. I don’t need to go to a counsellor right now! I don’t have time. It’s not THAT BAD. Oh boy.
I got back on board with my meditation practice.
I cancelled some commitments to events that were weighing on me.
I went to see a quantum biofeedback specialist – twice. And I’m thinking of returning. My sessions with him were extremely beneficial.
I said no sometimes. I started honouring my feelings and choices more often. (It can be easy to slip into the practice of letting others call the shots, either out of laziness, or an unwillingness to look at our own needs and desires.)
I started doing more stretching and yoga, and even attended a reasonably priced yoga session and silent hike at O.U.R. Ecovillage. That allowed me to focus on my body, challenge myself, and connect with Mother Earth. I also adored being supported by the amazing staff.
I booked a session with my reflexologist.
I continued to make time to create art on a weekly basis.
And, I talked to my partner, and a couple of good friends. We can often rely on those closest to us to provide support and helpful advice in the midst of our struggles. Part of this meant looking as some of my habitual responses when asked, “How are you?” I usually say “great," or “good”. When talking to those closest to me I started responding with “I’m struggling right now,” or “Going through a rough patch!” For me, being authentic is an antidote to depression – at least, it helps me feel less alone in the world.
I know that some of the things I’ve mentioned here can be expensive. While I have paid full fees when I can, I have also accessed services through the Victoria Health Co-op. It’s an amazing organization with many devoted practitioners who provide affordable services to its members. Counselling, reflexology, quantum biofeedback, Integrative Energy Healing, the Alexander Technique, osteopathy, and acupuncture are some of the modalities that are available. You pay a one-time membership fee, and then attend the monthly clinic by donation. It’s an amazing organization. Check it out here.
In writing this I realize that there was not one special thing that I did to help pull me out of this crisis….it was, and continues to be, many small acts of kindness to myself, with the help of others. I may have wound up here by performing many small acts of ignoring myself. Needs – we all have them, and to pay attention to them is a beautiful gift to ourselves, and to others. After all, our interconnectedness is what makes life worth living.
How do you press the Reset Button? Do you have a time-honoured method or methods? What makes you feel the most connected to others?