Here at the Department of Practical Sunshine, we were hoping that September would arrive and everything would be easy-breezy lemon-squeezy. Crisp autumn air, omnipresent school buses, dahlias overflowing from people’s gardens and way too much talk about pumpkin spice everything.
Easy-breezy is now feeling like a bit of a stretch. As much as we try to keep the Slice of Sunshine, well, sunshine-y, we also value naming “what is.”
And “what is” does not resemble easy OR breezy.
We, as individuals and as a collective, have been through a lot. (Thank you, Captain Obvious.) There’s a pervasive weightiness; so many people feel angry, powerless, sad, overwhelmed, fearful and lonely.
Getting caught up in the whirlwind of these powerful emotions can often lead to us wanting to do something, to take action.
It’s not a bad instinct. But by ranting (or doomscrolling or fretting or rage posting) we trick our brains into thinking we are doing something but at the end we usually still feel unfulfilled and powerless.
One alternative is to “Keep It Local.”
Though it may seem imperative to stay broadly tuned in, “going global” with our thoughts and emotions can often contribute to overwhelm. Especially when there isn’t anything we can actually do in that exact moment.
Instead, keep it local by coming back (mentally, physically and emotionally) to where you are right now and then taking action* on a hyperlocal scale.
For some of us (Hiiii!!), that still doesn’t feel like enough. We want action, like REAL action. We become petulant: where we are is not where we thought we would be! Nor is it where we want to be! Something must be done!
If you ultimately want to affect change on a global scale, if you’re itching for action, great…you will still need to start right where you are. Can you affect positive change in your house? At work? In your relationships? Or maybe just in your mind? That’s a great place to start, and it’s hard to get more local than that.
*In the twist of all twists, sometimes inaction is the appropriate action. ?
(other) Smart People
Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
—Excerpt from Danna Faulds, Allow
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