6 Letters That Save My Life Everyday

GLITTR — The Acronym For Not Falling Off The Map

My soul is a free one. It’s gotten me into trouble at times but I’d rather bump into walls once in a while than stay in one place wondering what’s just around the corner. I’d rather push myself out there — beyond what’s just in front of me. I’d rather feel very alive and engaged and moved rather than stuck inside a box of doubt and fear.

So that’s me.

But there’s a price to living large, out loud, and exposed to the harsh elements that aren’t all about love and acceptance. I get rejected, knocked down, hurt. I get my heart broken.

When this happens, I do this thing. I GLITTR. Reading that out loud, you hear the word glitter. That’s a noun and a verb — both remind me of pieces that reflect light. So, yes, when my heart is broken — a lot of light is still reflected. So that lights me up. And I GLITTR to get through the pain and move on.

G — Ground — I get my bearings

I stop what I’m doing. Stop. I feel my feet on the floor. I get in touch with each of my 5 senses. I still need to do this even though I’ve been eating kale and quinoa since 1991. I still need to ground myself when I get hit and feel wobbly. I smell the air around me. I look at what’s directly in front of me. I listen to what sounds are within earshot. I feel my desk, my chair — what ever I can reach. I ground my emotional self into my body self.

L — Locate — I have a body

I locate where I’m holding my anxiety / my pain / my heartbreak. I give it a color and a shape — usually it’s a blue GPS dot. If it’s moving, I follow it. If it’s pulsating, I try to find its pattern. If it’s drilling a hole in my gut, I follow its path. That’s all do at the moment. I feel like when I locate an emotion in my body — I’m understanding that it has the (potentially damaging) power to manifest physically.

I T T- Inquire, Turn Towards.

My instinct to reach out when I’m knocked down is STRONG. But when I GLITTR, I resist going outward and push myself to turn inward. Once I ground and locate as a body/mind — I am rooted enough to do this. I give myself a scan. I go beyond locating my pain and go into the work of playing with it — as strange as that sounds. My throat is a hot spot for me. ( Most people get stomach or neck aches. I get throat aches when my heart is crushed by something or someone.) So I find as many adjective as I can to describe my physical pain. Each word I think of becomes a drop of honey for me. I name the pain “sharp” and the drop of honey soothes me. Yeah, I know it sounds a bit sweet and simple. But when I GLITTR — I always feel better. So bring it on.

R — Recognize — leash the monster

I begin to see that my thoughts and feeling are dancing together — front and center — with the spotlight of my attention fully on them. I’m not going to trip and fall because I didn’t see this coming. I’m seeing everything, feeling everything and I’m still alive to talk about it. I’m no longer breathing heavy. I’m no longer feeling so overwhelmed that I can’t see the light switch. I’m GLITTR. I can illuminate this situation.

This is what I do when life sucks. Some weeks I do it daily. Some weeks I don’t do it at all. But I know that this is a tool that works and it’s better than drinking or counting to 10.

Yes, I wrote a book about this with a doctor who has more credibility than me in the traditional sense. But we are all gurus. We all have wisdom that is woven into our DNA. I think we forget to summon it when we are blasted with ‘expert advice’ that seems once-removed from our souls. That’s why I GLITTR — to shine my own light back onto myself. It helps me find my way forward, inch by inch.