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The Sky is Not Falling

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!

Wait there Chicken Little, it’s just an acorn.

Good life lesson.  I spent some time on Saturday talking with my mother about how we all tend to jump to conclusions. To make mountains out of molehills. To assume the worse.  And by all, I mean most people in the world.  And it’s true.  Our brains jump into overdrive. We over-think situations. Anxious, we worry about all sorts of things that we can’t control, things that won’t probably ever happen.

For example, on Saturday night I had a crazy dream. I travel a lot for work. And dreamt that while I was out of town, sans computer, my purse was stolen. No iPhone. No wallet. No id. No personal debit card or credit card. No company credit card. Disaster.  I woke up panting. What a nightmare!! But why was my unconsciousness worried about this? The chances of such a thing happening are slim to none. As long as I’m smart, I won’t lose everything. And, of course, taking the dream interpretation route, I’m sure my loss of my belongings symbolized some kind of fear that someone (or something) is stealing parts of myself. That somehow my subconscious jumps to the sky falling.

Only you can control how you view a situation.  I won’t lose my grip on who I am, unless I allow myself to do so. The acorn is just an acorn, unless you let anxiety jump it to the next level. The sky does not need to come tumbling down.

Coincidentally, my fantastic yoga class on Sunday morning (if you are in Florida, check out the amazing alignment and heart-centered yoga teacher Laura Conley) dealt with the metaphor of Chicken Little. How can we let the acorn be just that–an acorn.  A nagging fear, an inconvenience, something that makes us uncomfortable. No matter what that thing may be–each action and event does not automatically translate and magnify to the end of the world. But we as individuals need to understand that and allow the moment to be–and allow the acorn to eventually be crushed under the heels of a boot, or eaten by a squirrel. The world doesn’t end unless we allow it to. And we must find the balance, the breathe, and the confidence to rest in the middle.

I learned that last week a girl I knew indirectly (a friend of a friend) committed suicide.  Although I never met her, it broke my heart.  How someone could feel that enormity of the sky falling and give up.  Not see the acorn, the bad moment, the heartache, the depression, the whatever-it-was, as a passing moment. Bad things happen, but bad things pass.  We control our emotions, no matter how we may feel that we are alone or abandoned.  The sky does not have to fall. And if we fear we’ve bitten of more than we can choose, that is the time to find a friend, see a therapist, journal, take a walk, BREATHE. Let clouds part and the find the sun up in the sky. See the sunshine up above and take it in.

I dedicated my yoga class on the acorn to the girl I didn’t know. The girl who ended her life last week.  I wish she had seen that life just has falling acorns.  And I pray that her family and friends who survive her are able to deal with her death in a healthy way.  That they can see her beauty and goodness and keep her memory in her heart, but not let her death allow the sky to come crashing down.

Faced with such serious thoughts, I did what any girl would do. I baked.  Whenever I am dealing with an emotional issue or my brain goes into hyper-drive, I bake.  When my Grandfather died, I baked the world’s worst chocolate cake.  But I poured my sorrows, my tears, and my emotions into that chocolate cake. It may not have been edible, but the cake freed me from my sadness.  This weekend, I made chocolate chip cookies. Let each chocolate chip remind me of an acorn–and that even when they are all jumbled together, instead of the sky falling, something wonderful can occur. (Or in this case, something tasty.)

Mmmmm. The best chocolate chip cookie EVER!

No matter how many chocolate chip cookie recipes I have tried, I always go back to the same one–the recipe on the back of the Toll house bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I always use organic flour, butter, and eggs and find the combination yields a delectable crunchy-yet-chewy cookie. Since Toll House is generous, you can get the recipe here. Or just look on the back of the bag of chips! I still use this recipe even when I bake with Ghirardelli, Trader Joe’s, or Whole Foods chocolate chips. What chocolate chip cookie recipe do you swear by? What do you do when you are faced with difficult emotions? Do you see the acorn, or do you find the sky falling down on you?

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