A mental framework for easing overwhelm.

Written by Cole Schafer

I know this wonderful little boy who is obsessed with rocks.

He has hundreds of them; all in different colors, shapes and textures. He can name an unbelievable number of them and when you ask which is his favorite, he never picks up the same rock.

When he runs errands with his mother, he wants to take all of his rocks with him. He picks up as many as he can. They soon fall from his hands onto the floor. He attempts to save his fallen rocks but more rocks fall in their place.

Eventually, his mother gives him a cup and says, "Fill the cup with the rocks you want to bring––then we must go." Watching him attempt to choose from his sea of rocks is like watching a tiny philosopher contemplate the meaning of life.

I tend to collect worries like this kid collects rocks. I soon find myself with too many to carry and I become a disheveled mess as I drop them all over the floor of my mind. I become overwhelmed. I shut down. I can't hear or speak because I'm so busy warring with my worries.

I have this angel of a therapist who gently helps me sort out my life with mental frameworks. When she sees me staring off into the top right-hand corner of her office, overwhelmed with my worries she will tell me to close my eyes and reach for my cup.

She will say, "Fill the cup with what's worrying you most––then we must let go."