How can you relax and be grateful, when it seems like the world around you is falling apart?
It's no secret that the past few weeks have felt extra stressful for everyone in the US, from the President-elect's transition team to peaceful water protectors being attack by the very people that are supposed to protect them. So while I'm incredibly happy in my personal life, and thrilled that I've begun my relaxation 101 workshops, my gratitude for those joys in my life do not blind me to the ugly realities we are also facing as a nation.
I feel conflicted about how much of this should come into my professional life, which is when I have to remind myself, that my true mission with this business, is to bring about more Peace. World Peace through Inner Peace - that's the deep, underlying why in what I do. That is my "hidden agenda."
On a more practical note, this shit is stressful!!! How can I ignore the biggest stressor in many of our lives right now: politics! It's an emotional topic. That's why we gotta deal with it. So we can relax after.
How you can relax and still be political
As I explained in this previous post, step #1 to relaxation is letting go. But this is often confused with ignoring, suppressing, or avoiding the stressor, rather than dealing with it head on.
To truly let go, we must first face the often uncomfortable situation of ... a confrontation. Everyones favorite type of social interaction, right? This is why dealing with the very thing causing you stress, can be stressful itself.
But not all confrontations need to become a huge fight. Some could be as simple as confronting your own discomfort, having a conversation, or standing up for what you believe - peacefully.
My personal strategy for blending the two:
- Act. Give time, supplies, money, or most of all, loving attention. For me, this is how I confront the stress, by being proactive. Then I can rest easy, because I know I've done my part. It doesn't have to be huge, just sincere. There are dozens of things you can do to make our world a better place. Some examples are:
- Pray. Send loving energy. Hold the intention for peace. Feel the feeling of hope, peace, and keep generating it, especially when all seems hopeless - this is HUGE!!!
- small, conscious daily actions - like bringing your reusable bags when you shop, bringing your own water bottle everywhere, smiling more, letting someone in front of you in traffic, holding the door open, offering help to tourists you can tell are clearly lost.
- sign petitions - like this one, to end the Electoral College, or this one to help those at Standing Rock
- For more direct action, particularly to the Tribes at Standing Rock, who mourn Thanksgiving because of its true history, you can:
- Donate to the Medics treating the water protectors being attacked by police
- Ship supplies directly to them.
- Call up local law enforcement, and ask them to stop sending officers there, and stop using brutality on peaceful people.
- Call your bank, and tell them you do not support their choice to invest in the Dakota Access pipeline
- Mind your media consumption. Let's face it, the news is designed to catch your attention at any cost, and for the most part, it's not good news. I intentionally try to balance every bad news article I read, with a positive and uplifting one. I do my best to share posts that are inspiring, or ones that include solutions after mentioning the problem. But with SOOOO much news, when is it enough...?
- Recognize when it's enough. This is a tough one for most people, since many define enough as "just a little more." But if it's starting to affect your well being, you've gone overboard. Enough is enough when it's causing unnecessary harm. Is stressing yourself out really gonna help the cause you're stressing over? Do what you can, then move on. You will gain more clarity in what to do next, when you are still and relaxed.
So next time you hear someone say there's nothing they can do, send them this post! There's plenty we can do!
The media wants you to feel helpless, but I'm here to tell you, that I AM HOPEFUL!!!
I am hopeful because there are things we can do, and by each of us acting together, we become a powerful force. If you share the core values of wanting to live a healthy, happy, and prosperous life, in a way that is in harmony with our planet and all its inhabitants, try one or more of the actions listed above. Again, prayer, love, and holding space for hope are all valuable contributions as well. As for me, I'll be donating money and supplies to the Medics at Standing Rock, after I've made some phone calls :-)
Give Thanks, and also give a little more today to a cause you feel passionate about. We all pick the battles we're passionate about, and that's ok. So many causes are important, these mentioned here because I couldn't peacefully celebrate Thanksgiving without acknowledging the horrible things happening to our native brothers & sisters on this ironic holiday.
Now I will relax, and continue making preparations for the feast tomorrow. Lots of prayers and loving thoughts throughout the day.