Oh my goodness gracious, what a week—elections, another mass shooting, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has fallen and fractured her ribs. Silly me, I thought that once election day had passed we’d get a bit of a breather, but the hits just keep on coming!
There is a lot to be upset about, no matter which end of the political spectrum you fall on. My informal reading of the collective energy is that we are all on edge and worn out, which, as anyone with young kids can attest, is a dangerous combination. It’s when tantrums happen and stuff gets broken.
I’m posting this blog today as a quick reminder to keep doing the things that make you feel good. Don’t wait until ‘things calm down’—you’ll be waiting too long.
Making sure you get your RDA of things that feel good is not silly, or futile, or indulgent. Your family, community, and the world need you to feel as good as you can muster in any moment, because that’s when you’re your most loving and your most powerful.
Also, to be clear, I’m not saying to not pay attention to the stuff that bothers you. (I wrote more about that in my post, Should You Watch the News?) I’m saying, don’t get so sucked into focusing on what’s wrong with the world that you don’t also let the good stuff penetrate. Life is a paradox. Duality is a fact of life. Letting in the ‘good,’ especially in the midst of the ‘bad,’ is how you find balance. It’s how you keep your heart open and your mind in a healthy place. But it’s so easy to forget to do!!
Let this be your nudge to go for the walk in the woods, call that friend, cuddle with your dog, take the time to make the healthy dinner. My only caveat is that whatever you do, don’t do it just to check it off the list. Savor it. Let the positive feelings that thing gives rise to soak into your cells. Sit in your car for a minute or two after the walk in the woods and just notice how your body feels now that you moved it and exposed it to nature. It will amplify the benefits; it will also help train you to turn your attention away from the stuff that makes you worry.
Do the same thing when something sweet happens spontaneously: a driver slows down to wave you across the street, or your kid makes you a drawing, or your dog snuggles up next to you when you’re lying on the couch. Whenever something gives you that rush of feel-good chemicals, notice it. Appreciate it. Let it penetrate your awareness like the magic seeds in James and the Giant Peach wriggled their way down in to the earth.
No matter how much shit is going down “out there” there are still plenty of good things that happen every day. Giving yourself permission to pause long enough to revel in them will help you remember that this life and the things you care about are worth fighting for. It will restore you and it will give you strength.