Brené Brown has started a podcast and her very first session last week had me laughing out loud. In it, she talks about the FFT aka the Effing First Time. It's so worth a listen. Stick your earbuds in and tell the kids, "Go play, mommy is on a conference call!"
We are all in a huge FFT right now, not a one of us have ever experienced a global pandemic. This is hard. Scary. Uncertain. So, what do we do when we are experiencing an FFT?
1. Acknowledge and normalize.
Here's mine. "I'm feeling so on edge. WTF? I'm safe. I get to live on acreage and I can be outside with all my animals. 95% of the things I love to do are right here—I can paint, I can write, I can snuggle husband/son/goat babies! And yet, I feel grief, anxiety, fear. Fear that my business will fail and we'll lose the ranch. (I tend to go down the rabbit hole pretty quickly.)
This is an FFT. Have you ever been in a pandemic Julia? Nope. This is the first time. I have no history or experience to draw from. It's day by day figuring this out.
2. Put it into perspective.
This isn't permanent. It doesn't mean I suck at business, suck at everything. In 5 days, 5 weeks, or 5 months from now, I will look back and say, "Wow, remember how hard that seemed? Here's a whole list of things that I did then, that I wouldn't do now. I learned a lot."
3. Reality check expectations.
I'm (we are all) in an FFT. This is going to take twice as long, be 10 times as hard, and I'm going to feel much more anxiety than I would normally. I'm going to be pissed off. I'm going to feel grief. I'm going to...feel. So many feelings about this pandemic and whatever the fallout might be.
After I wrote those 3 examples out, I let them settle into my bones. It was surprisingly helpful.
So, to help me cope with all my wonky feelings, I've been painting a lot. You can see a few of those paintings here, here, and here. During all the painting, I've been day dreaming: what can I give to the Mother Ranch community during this time? Oh sure, baby goat videos are super fun but what else?
What can help people slide into some peace? The social distancing had me close up my ranch to the public, so I can't offer neurofeedback, art classes, or coaching.
No, wait...oh my God!
Back when I first started my art workshops, the main thing I really wanted to do was to offer classes online. To practice teaching, I made those classes available for free here at the ranch. All last spring I taught and supported women who loved my artwork, and wanted to try it out. It was so much fun! I worked out the kinks and somehow the idea morphed into in-person workshops with the horses, with online falling by the wayside until a later day.
Guess what? That day has come! So, my plan is to offer free online art classes during this pandemic!
Hey! Online art classes will be another FFT! :-) So, bear with me as I figure it out! Can't wait to get these going! Next week?
More info to come!
Love to all from the Mother Ranch,
Let me give you a big ol' hug!
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