Who is your bumper rail?

Tom Barrett
4 min readMay 24, 2022
#258 | March 25, 2022 | Photo by Michelle McEwen

I am the bowling ball picking up speed. Misguided. Spinning. Curled up, heading towards a gutter, a crash.

Helen is the steady hand, the guiding rail. She redirects and corrects my course. Even when I am at my lowest, I am reminded of the support.

Who do you turn to when things begin to spin? How do you help others stick to the course and nudge them forwards?

One of the most common feelings we all experience is self-doubt. We’re always on edge, waiting for someone else to let us know they think what we do is a sham. It’s debilitating.

You may feel like you’re accomplishing a lot on your own, but there’s still that nagging doubt in your mind. Is this enough? Am I enough?

Friends and partners guide us forwards. Sometimes they coax, and sometimes they leave a footprint on our backside.

I have lost count of the number of times I have said, “I have a workshop today, and I feel anxious.” And the response has been positive, affirming, and uplifting.

Just enough to nudge me back on course.

“Turn towards the emotion with acceptance.”

From everything I read this week, this one sentence struck me. It was like a lightbulb moment. I realised that I needed to turn towards my emotions with acceptance.

This is my struggle. When these emotions come up, I tend to push them away or try to ignore them. You know that feeling when an emotion or response seems a mistake to suppress like something is broken. But I am beginning to turn towards them with acceptance.

Once you become aware of your emotions, notice where it is in your body. You may feel it as a stomachache, a tightening of your throat, the pounding of your heart, or tension somewhere. Sit with this anger, anxiety, depression, grief, guilt, sadness, shame, or whatever emotion you are experiencing. Become aware of it and don’t ignore it. If this is difficult, get up and walk around or get a cup of tea.

From Six Steps to Mindfully Deal With Difficult Emotions | Toni Parker

I need to accept that these emotions are part of who I am. They are not a mistake, and they are not going away. I need to learn to deal with…

Tom Barrett

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