This past weekend, I flew up to Boston to be with my five “soul sisters” from graduate school. Planning this weekend took effort – coordinating our schedules, taking off work, and ensuring our families were well supported during our absence. We rarely get to meet like this – to gather together, be nourished, cook together, listen deeply, and abide with each other. All of us are in different phases of our lives now – single, married, with young children, with older children. Each of us sacrificed something to gather. But back in August, we initiated a “conversation of emails.” We recognized we needed to gather. We needed to be nourished like this. We needed to reconnect. We needed to be in that nourishing space.
And though it took getting up at 4 a.m. for me to start my journey, coordinating schedules with my husband, and getting things in order for my absence, it was worth it. These women matter to me. Gathering as a community matters to me.
In my forties now, I find myself acutely aware of what matters and what doesn’t – in the big scheme of things. I find myself identifying those relationships that I really want to nourish. And I’m making time to tend to who matters.
One of my soul sisters is a nurse practitioner in palliative care. She has tended to thousands of patients at the end of their lives. This weekend, she said to me, “Lisa, no matter if I’m in a patient’s home or care facility, what they take with them, what they surround themselves with, are pictures. Pictures of those who matter to them.”
I thought about this. I have fond memories of going to my grandparents’ home. Their walls were adored with pictures of family and dear ones – those I knew and those who came before me. What do my parents want for Christmas? Pictures. That’s it.
Here’s the thing: we can lead such busy, harried lives that we forget WHO matters. We put off setting aside time and space to look at our relationships and ask, “What relationships need tending to? How can I nourish my relationship with my mom, daughter, husband, friend?” We often find ourselves flopping into bed, exhausted from a day of “going, going, going” and thinking, “Ohhh, I’ll have to write that letter, make that call, send that gift next week.”
I’m big on treating ourselves with compassion. We don’t have to beat ourselves up. Instead, we can have the courage treat ourselves gently and look at our lives. We can look at how we are spending our days and take back our power to live our moments guided by our hearts, aware of WHO matters.
Next Wednesday, November 12, at 1 p.m., I’ll be facilitating this month’s Mind-Body Connections workshop, “Getting to the heart of the matter: Focused on relationships.” Come and give yourself the spaciousness of this one hour to reflect on your relationships and which ones need tending to. Often it’s in gathering with others in supportive space that empowers us to see clearly and take actions that honor the promptings of our hearts. I hope you will join us.
You can register here. We’ll be gathering at McCarthy Hall, McShain Lounge (large).
This post was written by Lisa A. McCrohan, MA, LICSW, RYT, Wellness Workshop Facilitator, Psychotherapist, Compassion Coach and Soulful writer at Barefoot Barn.