A Tiny Symbol of Self-Love

A Tiny Symbol of Self-Love

A Tiny Symbol of Self-Love

Who knew a band-aide could stand for so much?

It had been a long, stress-filled Tuesday. The clock showed 8:08 pm as I was leaving my office. I was tired, having seen 8 clients that day, with ½ hour of free time since 8 am.

I was leaving in 2 days to go to CA to stay with my mom, niece and nephew so my sister and brother-in-law could have a short vacation. In short—I was busy, with a long list of things to accomplish before I left.

A few days before I sliced off a small chunk of thumb cutting up tomatoes. I ran out of band-aides, and every time I hit the tip of my thumb it throbbed in pain.

Let’s just say I was not having a good time at 8:09 pm, having hit my thumb for what seemed like the 100th time, as I got into my car. I had previously decided to wait until Wednesday afternoon to buy band-aides because that would be the most efficient time to do it. (I am uber keen on being efficient.)

At 8:10, as I sat in my car, cradling my thumb, I made a decision. Efficient or not, I drove directly to the store to buy band-aides. As soon as I got back into my car with the purchased band-aides I put one on.

My entire body relaxed–I had taken time for a small act of self-care.

When I got home I further changed my plans and took a short walk in my neighborhood to investigate the new gardens that had sprung up this spring. I noticed the care my neighbors had put into making bare earth beautiful. I watched the sky get darker. I smelled the fragrant trees. I wrote this post.

I was in the present moment. I still had things to do, but I did them with more peace, less urgency and more energy.

Who knew a band-aide could foster such a change of attitude?

What do you do in your life that is a tiny symbol of self-love—small actions that bring noticeable shifts or gifts?

Want a suggestion? Do more of them. They make a difference.

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The Strange Ignoring of Strangers

The Strange Ignoring of Strangers

The Strange Ignoring of Strangers

When did we start thinking ignoring other people in our vicinity was a good idea?

I live in Seattle, the “land of no eye contact.” This reputation is reinforced almost every time I go out in public.

One of the places I love to walk is a wonderful, tree-filled public land called Discovery Park. It is a popular place, so I pass 50-100 people every time I venture there. Not being from Seattle originally, I frequently smile and say hi to strangers. I am amazed at how few people make eye contact unless I say hello. I am even more amazed at how many don’t respond. Note—I do my best not to appear like an ax-murderer.

The other day I passed a middle-aged man, sitting on a bench in the sun, who steadfastly stared at his phone as I walked by. (I chose not to intrude with “hello” this time.) I marveled at how much energy it took to pretend someone wasn’t there.

If you want to try this yourself, next time you are waiting at a red light, trying not to see the homeless person standing a few feet away, notice how much tension this creates in your body and mind.

Here’s the thing…all this ignoring is not natural. We are creatures with minds that constantly scan for danger. To ignore other big creatures close to us goes against instinct.

Yet that is what we do.

Why? When did connecting become so scary? When did pretending other human beings don’t exist become normal? I don’t have the answer, but I do have hope that this wacky trend can change.

It feels so good when I say hi to a stranger and they look at me, their eyes lit up by a smile. One time, years ago, I gave a dollar to a homeless man while I was waiting at one of those red lights. He reached down, pulled a flower from the side of the road, and handed it to me. I gave him a gift and he gave me one. Somehow, I think I got the greater gift. I felt warm all day from that simple, kind, gesture. It still warms my heart.

A connection, however brief, was made between two human beings.

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