Keeping it casual was never my thing.
But could it become?

Hi there, 

It’s been a strange few months since I last squeezed into your inbox. 

I almost feel a different person writing this and you may feel slightly different reading it. 

Although I tried my best to get back to sending this newsletter regularly, I just couldn’t find the resources to do it. I felt guilty about not doing it, pressured by my broken promise, and also wondered if it’s any use at all, given what we’re all going through. 

It’s taken me a while, but I’ve come to a decision that helped me make peace with myself. 

Starting March, there was nothing regular about my life (except for work, which has always kept me grounded), about our lives. Besides the pandemic, I also experienced loss on a personal level. Looking back, it seems this year is littered with moments that permanently alter our lives. 

This disruption that permeates the fabric of our lives has brought on a lot of emotional labour to which I’ve dedicated the better part of myself. You’re probably doing a lot of it too, often without realizing it. 

Emotional labor is when we support others through their grief, reflecting their best qualities back at them. It happens when we hold space for others, so they can let themselves feel what they need to feel. It’s when we help them clarify their fears by giving them a name. It’s what we do when we use empathy to connect in deeper, more meaningful ways. It’s the work we do when we let others guide us around what they need instead of trying to steer the boat in the direction we think is better.  

All that emotional labour plus a lot of work left me depleted. It pissed me off that I didn’t realize it was happening while it was happening. It crept up on me because I had all this practice that made me feel equipped to deal with the turmoil - not just the one in my head, but also in other people’s lives. 

As it turns out, I wasn’t as ready for this marathon as I would’ve wanted to be. (In case it’s not obvious, I hate being unprepared because it triggers anxious feelings for me.)

While trying to keep up and figure things out, I understood that these months, this year, and whatever comes next are an unmissable chance to truly root myself in the moment. 

There are two ways I’m already doing this. 

First, I’m trying to spend less time with screens and more with the people behind them (as much as I can, with a mask on). 

I crave spending more unplanned time, I find myself needing more sleep, and more self-care. It’s time to foot the bill for all those years of pushing myself harder and harder. 

I’ve started learning Greek, something I’ve been meaning to do for a few years but never made the time for. 

I have heaps of books I want to devour and I don’t want to postpone all the things that are important to me, that replenish me, that nurture me. 

Second, I’m using the rumble to gain clarity and strengthen my mental health, which I find essential for whatever comes next. 

The rumble is a concept from Brené Brown’s book Rising Strong, which I can’t recommend enough. I’ve been consuming it in small doses because each chapter determined me to work on specific areas of my life and myself. 

Here’s how she defines it:

“The rumble: get honest about the stories we’re making up about our struggle, then challenge these confabulations and assumptions to determine what’s truth, what’s self-protection, and what needs to change if we want to lead more wholehearted lives.."

― Brené Brown, Rising Strong

The rumble is important because decisions are about weighing value (financial, social, emotional, etc.) and what we assign value to is changing - so our decisions change with it.

I’m revisiting, challenging, and reality-checking my narratives around boundaries, shame, blame, generosity, criticism, connection, and so many others. 

Maybe you too need to rethink your work, your relationships, or how you make decisions. The rumble might help you course-correct in a way that's truly beneficial for you, even if it's difficult.

So what does this mean for the newsletter?

If you want to, you’ll still get the newsletter every now and then. I’ll send it when I find something I believe is truly helpful to share with you. 

I’m not abandoning it but rather switching to a non-schedule. Just like the time I want to spend more of, this newsletter will too be unplanned

After getting really good at building and improving structure (in my life and work), it’s now time for me to explore what life looks with less of it. I still satisfy my need for keeping things organized and tidy in my work, but I’m eager to discover what I can find about myself and others when I let go of it in other aspects of my life. 

What about the podcast? 

That’s still happening as well, but on the same non-schedule. 

In fact, I have a new episode almost ready, which I’ll publish in the next few days, with a brilliant neuroscientist called Ana Iorga

If you’ve been here for a while, you can expect my enthusiastic, curious self to pop in once in a while in your inbox. 

If you’re new here, you can read through my old newsletters which are packed with evergreen resources you may need just in times like these. 

As the principle I’ve borrowed from Yoga with Adriene says: take what you need, leave what you don’t. 

I think just about the most generous thing we can do for ourselves right now, don’t you think so? 

Have a peaceful Sunday,


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