Did you freak out about August?

Newsletters flooded my inbox yesterday with subject lines like, "It's August! Get ready!"

Suddenly it felt like the summer was over and I better get it together. That maybe I was already behind. Later when I walked into a Target displaying Back to School signs, my heart beat even faster. 

Did you feel it too?

Most of us still have vacations this month, but the calendar shifting seems to have shifted something else too. It's like we're grieving the end of the freedom and fun of this season before the end is actually here. 

What to do about August

  1. Chill out.
    Take a breath. Ignore those newsletters. Stop the inevitable conversations that start with a sigh about the days getting shorter again. You have time. At the very least, you have this moment (60 seconds feels like a lot when you watch a clock) and why spend it worrying when you can look up at the sunshine. 
  2. Take control.
    Remember that YOU choose what you think about and talk about, so choose well for yourself. One of my all-time favorite rules for living is, "Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper." Most of us first heard it back in third grade, and it still works now. Whatever everyone else is doing is their thing. Some people like to freak out and be busy and grieve before it's really over. You don't have to.
  3. Make a plan.
    If the August pressure is weighing on you, set a date when you'll focus on it so you can enjoy quality time with loved ones in the meantime. When the date comes, make a list of what really needs to happen this month. It might be less than you think.

This is about permission.

Deciding what you want your August to look and feel like. Enjoying it fully, reveling in it, and trusting there is plenty of time. Because there is.

Trust also that you know what's good for you and what's really important. Because you do.

I believe in you, and your August. 


There's talking about it, and there's doing something about it

There is so much talk about what's not working right now, it's really starting to bug me. The wall, the Russians, What Happened and now a growing disaster in Houston. 

While traveling in Europe this summer, even when the headlines were in a foreign language, I recognized the angry orange guy the articles were about.  

Here's the thing. If you're talking about what's going on in the world right now, it may feel like you're getting somewhere. You're letting it out. You're letting people know.

All the likes on Twitter and Facebook can make you feel like it's progress, but it isn't helping solve the problem as much as doing something about it.

Now for the sake of us introverts who would rather get a colonoscopy than be at a rally, there are solid things you can do other than shout in public surrounded by a crowd. Lots of credit to those of you who have taken to the streets, and I hope you are doing more in the days after your marching. Lots of credit too to the journalists out there, keep doing what you do. 

Going back to the woman who inspired my #HugTour movement six years ago, Maya Angelou, "You have to give what you have to give."

Do YOUR thing. 

Some ideas to get you started:

And then tell everyone about it so they can too.

If those are hard to do, ask yourself: "What feels right to me? What can I give?" Then do it.

Buddhist leaders Thich Nhat Hanh and The Dalai Lama believe meditation puts that calming energy into our environment, helping the people around you as much as it helps you. I've seen how a smile can change the room I'm in and conversations I'm having, why can't breathing deeply and approaching difficult moments with peace do the same thing?

I'm meditating more and thinking about all of you when I do. 

I'm also thinking about you when I send emails, when we get on the phone together, when we hug and with the words I use when I speak to strangers.  

Do something about how you feel. We're better for it when you do. 

One last thing -- your career relates to this too. You can wish to be more appreciated by colleagues or for a better salary, but doing something about it will actually make things better. You'll get more confidence, power, control. You also get valued, respected, paid well. 

The fall is approaching fast around here, and so while you're doing something about our political and environmental situations, make good choices about your job too.

I'm here to help.