When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

“Practicing loving-kindness toward ourselves seems as good a way as any to start illuminating the darkness of difficult times.”

Pema Chodron

My current personal development read is When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron.

Simply the title makes me think, in my best Chandler Bing voice: “Could there BE a better time to read this book?” Answer: Not likely. 

As we all practice social distancing and shelter in place there can be a connection missing with people outside our households. It may become very isolating and difficult to individuals mentally. I know, personally, I realized week one of social distancing in Pennsylvania when I became irritated and untethered when I did not meet up with my mom at a local park to walk that I needed to get some face time in to feel whole. The discovery has helped me to guide my plans for my future days, and possibly weeks, of distancing from other people. 

Practice maitri

As we cannot change our isolationist ways at the moment, and these feelings and anxieties over the current situation take hold, Chodron suggests an internal practice. It is called maitri or “developing loving-kindness and unconditional friendship with ourselves.” Quite frankly, there’s no better time to work on this than now.

In those moments where you feel like you’re going to claw out of your skin if you can’t get out of the house: Take a walk and perhaps meditate on the quote that started this blog post. Chodron, I believe, is insisting that loving-kindness for oneself is a foundation you want to check on, or even build, during these difficult, anxious times. 

Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist nun who has written multiple books!

Find calm in discomfort

Quiet your mind, listen to what your body is telling you and be your own best friend, at least that’s what I’m taking away from this amazingly refreshing and well-timed read. That means finding calm in these moments of anxiety and irritation and discomfort. 

Have you read Pema Chodron? If so, what did you think of her? If not, what does maitri or practicing loving-kindness mean to you?

Happy reading!

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March book stack

Corona-cation reading opportunity

Books read
What books are you reading during social distancing?

I have to give a shout out to my cousin, Bridget, who used the term corona-cation in an Instagram post. I’m stealing it, because, it’s a great, positive way to look at what is currently surrounding us in the days of social distancing, quarantines, plans being canceled and a whole lot of anxiety.

There’s another silver lining to this corona-cation, as some reach for the binge watching of Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu and other outlets, we readers line up a book stack and start gobbling up stories like Oreos. After finishing Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reed, my book ambitions for this time are vast and exciting. Here’s what I have lined up: 

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A few of my favorite things

I’ve been known to consume a lot of content. Part of this is because I think you need to in order to be a good writer, but part of it is also because I’m a very curious person. That said, there are some things that I will pause my day to read or videos that I will plan my day around consuming on YouTube that I’d love to share with you. So, here it is.

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