help

How my darkest moment turned into light for thousands of people

Years ago, just after a very dark period in my life, I wrote myself a poem. A few weeks later I published that poem on my blog because I thought it might help someone else too. A lot of my readers said it helped and made them feel more hopeful and less alone in times of hardship.

Almost one and a half year ago I decided to try and get an article published on the online magazine Tiny Buddha to reach new people that might otherwise not find me. Again, the poem was part of the article that was later named A first aid kit for when life falls a part. Again, so many people responded and contacted me and thanked me for writing it. People in different kinds of circumstances but with the same kind of longing for relief and community and hope.

Last week Tiny Buddha decided to share that post on their Facebook page without me knowing and yet again, it seems to have resonated. I just noticed an increase of incoming thank-you-notes in my inbox and finally figured out where it came from. The article was shared more than 9 000 times and commented on by more than 500 people. That’s a ripple, made by me sharing something I originally wrote because I needed to comfort myself.

You never know what ripples you might have in the world. You never know what move might be the one that changes everything for someone else. Be true to who you are. Share your light with the world. And trust that your love and authenticity is enough. Always enough.

And as for the poem, I didn’t even think it was good enough for publishing in the first place, but maybe it’s the simplicity of it that resonated with so many. Does it resonate with you?

To me, if I ever end up there again, and to anyone else, who’s ever been there, or are right now, in the black hole:

It will get better. There is a meaning to what you’re going through. 

You will feel like living again. 

If you can’t do anything else but breathe, do just that; you don’t have to do anything else.  

Don’t fight it. Let it be. It is as it should be and it’s okay. Just be. Don’t judge. Let go. 

Look at what’s beautiful. Listen to what gives you peace. Eat what tastes good. Do what feels nice. Even if it feels pointless right now, it’s good for your soul.  

Ask for help. 

Let other people help you. Let other people take care of you. 

Cry. Scream. Wail. Laugh. Sleep. Close your eyes. Do whatever you need to do. Let it out. And embrace.  

It will get better. I promise. 

With all my love,

Helena

Don't go looking for pain

I try to live my life according to the principle of pleasure. It’s difficult because my mind, just as most of ours, has something called the negativity bias. This means it looks for problems and threats, just because that used to be the reason humans would survive in the wild.

We don’t live in the wild anymore and most threats are made up in our minds, although our mind is not smart enough to realize when the threat is made up and when there’s an actual tiger in front of us. So we need to practice. Looking for pleasure instead of looking for pain.

No matter how many problems you have and what you’re struggling with right now, you are not obliged to constantly think about your pain points. It’s not responsible. Responsible is setting aside time for taking appropriate action towards solving your problem, feeling your feelings around the issue, asking for help, but just as much letting it go, staying with the present, giving it space and taking pleasure in life.

You know when you wake up in the morning and you actually feel fine but your mind goes on a hunt for the problem at hand. As if it’s the job of the mind to never lose track of it. Catch it before it finds it. Take charge by filling your mind with the beauty in your life, the moments of bliss, all the things you have to be grateful for. Pain will unfortunately find you, you don’t have to go looking for it.

With all my love,

Helena

What does support look like right now?

I heard one of my favorite mentors, Brene Brown, suggest this question on Marie Forleos podcast the other day.

People (read: me and you) are generally not very good at asking for help. In especially difficult times in our lives it’s also pressure added to come up with, ask for and delegate what we need help with to others. This question is so good to ask because it: 1) states that we are willing to give support 2) we take away the burden of saying yes to help.

Whenever this question is posed it gives an opportunity for the person being asked to go inward and check what is needed right now. It could be whatever; a hug, some space, help with buying food, permission to went, togetherness in silence, some advice, a lift somewhere…

Try it. Next time someone in your life is going through something hard, try simply asking: What does support look like right now? and for the extra ballsy, try asking yourself the same when you’re low. How could you support yourself in this instance?

With all my love,

Helena