Charles Starrett


Blog, links, and…

Culture consultant & social tech teacher/facilitator at SoulCo & Northeastern University. He/Him. Dad, Harvard and NEC alum, visual thinker, dabbler in ukulele, electronic music, 한국어, and TTRPGs.


First put out the fire

When a fire is raging, it’s not the time to ask, “What’s happened?” First we have to put out the fire.

It’s the same when we feel overwhelmed and pushed past our limit.

Certainly, at some point we will need to look at how we ended up there if we don’t want to keep ending up in the same position.

But it’s hard to see anything clearly when we’re already completely maxed out. To see clearly again, we have to put out the fire.

One way to put out the fire in our mind is to stop, take a slow, deep breath in, and feel the body. Noticing the Earth under our feet, noticing the body breathing, and noticing any feelings in the body. It could be a headache, or tension in the neck and shoulders, a sour stomach, buzzing nerves, or something else. How does overwhelm feel in the body right now? And as we pay attention, does it change? Do the feelings get stronger? Weaker? Do they move or change?

Once the fire is out, and our body feels more calm, our mind is probably more calm, too. They’re both connected after all.

And once the mind is calm, we can start to think about how we might move forward without getting overwhelmed all over again.

How do you calm your mind, when you find yourself pushed past your limit?

28 August 2022

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