Things that Will Help #4

“You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding” - Cheryl Strayed

  1. Cheer loudly for other people. It doesn’t mean you are less positioned for victory if someone around you has found their pot of gold. In fact, surround yourself with as many lucky and talented people as possible. Celebrate them to the fullest, and begin to notice how happy you are. Your own miracles are coming too.

  2. “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis. Listen to the album in order, preferably on vinyl. If you have a front porch, pipe it out so you can sit outside and still hear it. One of our favorites in my house.

  3. Be the honest friend who says the hard things. Be the person who loves your people so fiercely that they come to you for the most clear and heartbreaking advice. Say to them what they cannot even bear to say to themselves, and then walk with them to the end of the earth.

  4. Up your intake of Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Calcium. As it turns out, almost all of us are deficient in all three of these. (Vit D cannot be absorbed effectively without taking Calcium alongside it, apparently.)

  5. Create a travel bucket list and book your next trip now, even if it’s months away. Plan ahead, and make seeing the world a priority. We just started this process, and it’s so liberating to action what we have wished for and put it into a plan.

  6. I consider us to be reasonably intelligent people. Matt and I have been homeowners for awhile now, and have owned two houses. Somehow, we both missed the common sense day when they tell you to change the air filter on your HVAC system every month or two. We had NEVER changed it (in either house), and ours blew up. So, now it’s on the calendar regularly. I feel certain that all of you reading already know this and are laughing right now, but just in case…..

  7. Wear the shorts even if you don’t like your legs. Let your face be naked even if you don’t love your skin. Put on your bathing suit even if you hate your body. Be comfortable, fearless, fun and unashamed. That is truest beauty of all.

Things That Will Help backstory:

More than a decade ago, my big brother, Benjamin, died from a drug overdose after struggling for years to survive the stranglehold of addiction. My mom and I found a small, spiral notebook next to Benjamin’s bed with the handwritten title Things That Will Help. Inspired by his, I have been writing my own list all these years. I decided recently to begin publishing them.

This practice has always been an homage to him—something that has gotten me through the hardest things in my life and has now blossomed into life medicine that I hope to keep sharing.