Things That Will Help With Buffy Barfoot

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 this, I have been writing my own list all these years. I decided recently to begin publishing them.

This practice has always been a 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.

Below are some things that have helped me.

Each has been good medicine for me in one way or another.

Maybe it will help you, too.

  1. The remembrance that the people that are cheering for me are right at arm's length, and that basing my self worth and value on the people ten rows back is toxic and destructive. This comes directly from my recent dive into Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly.” This is medicine to live and love by. I am amazed at how much energy and space this clears for much more productive endeavors.

  2. Sometimes, you just need to get new plants. You know, the crusty old ones that no longer really seem to be alive, but you’ve hated to throw out. You have been talking to them, but they no longer seem to want to be here. It’s time. Fresh, full plants that represent abundance. (Dear Matt: the succulents are dead, and I need a course before we buy any more of these)

  3. I am doing my best to cut out small talk. It makes my skin crawl, and most other people don’t like it either. If I go deep and wide right away, some people get uncomfortable and leave. Those are not my people, and it’s more efficient to honor that from the start line. It is feeling more honest, and life is flying. I want to be in great conversations.

  4. I went back to a paper planner. I bought one called “My next 90 Days,” and so far I love it. It has space for creative goals, tips to savor your days, food planning, and professional development. I still keep my digital calendar too, for the bare bones and sharing with my husband, but I am loving this vintage return to a planner that feels a little like a journal. They have multiple colors to satisfy my obsession with school supplies.

  5. Hard conversations about race, gender expression, privilege, and biases. I am finding renewed medicine in listening more than speaking, and I am committed to learning more and doing better to contribute to all people feeling both safe and celebrated. I am taking a specific look at my own white privilege and how my biases come into play in every aspect of my world. I am allowing myself to feel uncomfortable in order to understand better, and I’m listening to those who haven’t always been heard.

  6. Oat Milk- I know I am a little late to the party…But holy creamy latte! I bought a milk frother and an espresso maker~ and the coffee shops are rarely getting my money anymore. I make the best oat milk latte in Denver.

  7. Zero Market (a store in Denver/Stanley MarketPlace) has such great products. They make fantastic skincare, in the form of a blend of oils they make in house. You just take your empty glass bottle back to have refilled, and just like the name, zero waste. I do the same with my laundry detergent and other soaps. It is all high quality, has healing essential oils, and is super affordable. It helps our family and the planet.

  8. I am trying to look at places I try to control because I am afraid. Some of these places have been pushed pretty far back, covered up with a solid veneer of patterning and protective layers. I am going to need a pickaxe.

  9. Audible. I am flying through books during commutes and the spaces in between when I don’t have time to sit down with a book. Gamechanger.

Editor's Note: Buffy Barfoot is a teacher with Kindness Yoga. If you love her "Things that Will Help" she has recently started a podcast under the same name. You can listen to that here. This blog post was originally published on Buffy's website here