These 11 rules were a popular Facebook post, from March 21, 2016. My most popular ever, from Mother's Day 2015, appears below. LIKE my page on Facebook or simply look in to see the offering of the day. Jaya the Trust Coach on Facebook
11 rules for when you're discouraged or distressed
1. Don't make any decisions.
2. Don't evaluate yourself or your work or your life.
3. Don't evaluate others, especially those close to you.
4. Don't project a future from here (it won't be pretty and it won't be the truth of what's still possible).
5. Don't tell yourself any lies, especially about who you are, your prospects, your future. Watch your thoughts to notice the lies; don't judge your lies to yourself, just remind yourself they're not true, or at least not absolutely true. If they feel tormenting or unmanageable, write your thoughts down—or do this however they feel. Look at the list to notice a) these are not 100 percent true and b) this explains a lot about why you feel the way you do—who wouldn't with this set of thoughts?
6. Be with your pain; really feel it; breathe into it. (The breath is the only balm you can apply from within.) Be with the pain separately from the story, just to meet the pain—it ultimately doesn't matter what story activated it.
7. Don't think about things you're seeking to create or open to in your life. (Do that when you feel happy and hopeful and strong.)
8. Do clean or clear. (You'll like the space you wake up to the next day or walk into and move through as your courage returns.)
9. Don't think anything is going wrong: it's okay to be discouraged, to get confused, to suffer—all part of a human life. Are you willing?
10. If you see even one small thing you can do to move yourself toward your vision, do that, but avoid doing anything from a space of contraction, criticism, hopelessness; just move something forward that's easy for you, that's manageable, that you don't have much resistance to.
11. Do nothing to harm yourself or to move toward feeling worse; do anything you see to do to help yourself, soothe yourself, nourish yourself, be good to yourself.
On being a perfectly imperfect mama
The most useful thing I ever say to mama types (sometimes bringing them to tears) is this: It's not merely okay for you to be imperfect as a mother. It's necessary, and the only thing possible. Human children must have human parents. They're living a human life, and preparing for a human adulthood. They need to go through things with their parents that will enable them to be fine when people lose it with them, try to control them, don't listen to them, treat them in any way they don't like to be treated, and so on. They will experience these things with friends, lovers, bosses, teachers, housemates, and more. Better if they go through this growing up with someone who teaches them a reconnection reliably follows any disconnection. Better if the parent apologizes for and owns what she didn't like in her own behavior, and lets the kids know it's not about them and they don't deserve to be treated that way. Best of all if the kids watch a parent grapple with something (as my kids watched me do with yelling) and actually change it: they will know, when they grapple with their monsters—and they will—that it's possible for them to triumph. When you berate yourself for being imperfect, you're off-track, and out of reality. Love yourself as a perfectly imperfect mama, and this will allow you to keep healing any rift that comes up between you and your kids, and it will teach them to love themselves as imperfect beings, and it will allow you to keep course-correcting toward love as quickly and as often as possible. Happy Mother's Day, beautiful, strong, amazing women.