There’s a lot going on.
If you spend any time online, you might be thinking about a lot of things these days—2020 candidates, the current president, shootings, the climate, Russia, Facebook—just to name a few. So much happens every day. Some of it is stressful and dangerous.
You might think there’s nothing you can do about it.
When our minds (and hearts) are stressed to the point of overwhelm, they do one of three things: flee, fight, or freeze.
- Fleeing means we step away from action completely.
- Fighting, though invigorating, can have a long-term exhausting effect.
- Freezing like a possum makes us feel safe, but also makes us inert.
This reptilian fight-flight-freeze response helps us survive, but it’s a threat to the democracy garden that needs tending long-term. As things get more worrisome and tension builds to 2020, we need alternatives to react-and-resist mode.
Here’s one thing you can do.
Take a deep breath if you can, then ask yourself this question:
What kind of world do I want to live in?
Notice what images, words, or sensations come into your awareness.
This question was at the top of a huge poster board at our AoCC booth at the Salem (OR) Women’s March. Hundreds of people used bright markers to write words like: Kind. Respectful. Connected. Green. Loving. Community. (One 4-year-old wrote CATS! Too cute!) Everyone longs for something.
The end product was a riot of color and life.
Every time I look at this poster, I get a little misty. It makes me hopeful. We all need inspiration as counterbalance to the day-to-day realities. Knowing what we long for reminds us who we are and what really matters.
What kind of world do you want to live in?
Ponder this for a few moments. If you feel moved, I invite you to share your response below.
My creative hour for the day will be designing a postcard incorporating these words. I will be using them to share with others, but for now, I have postings to do on Facebook……..Thanks for the inspiration.
I love this idea, Linda! I hope you’ll give us a sneak peek of the end results! ♡
Thank you, Jen, and all those working with you. That includes me, as I am doing my part and thanks to your work I am learning new ways of being in the world with making a difference.
What Kind of World do I Want to Live In? A world with people who are WAKING UP, painful as it can be to see things as they are, BEING FULLY PRESENT, AWAKE to being the best we can in each day, asking WHAT CAN I BE, AND DO TODAY to make the world better, brighter, more awake, beautiful, kinder, even, yes, gentler, and thus STRONGER.
Now I’m getting misty-eyed all over again! Yes!! Thank you for your comment!
I want to live in a world where all beings are aware of our deep connectedness.
I want to live in a world where everyone is appreciated for being just who they are. No one is judged because they don’t meet someone else’s standards of feminity or masculinity, of status, or of patriotism.
PEACE. I don’t mean just the absence of war. Not even just the absence of police brutality and daily shootings. I long for the peace that arises from justice, reparations, true equality. Peace that encompasses safety, nourishment, quiet and right relationship. So that anyone and everyone has the chance to take a deep breath, look out of their affordable home, and see a neighborhood that is quiet enough to hear the sounds of nature, safe and clean enough to hear the sounds of children at play.
That was exactly the image that came to me, too. Peaceful and safe for everyone.
I want to live in a world where all beings (human and non-human) and the Earth are cherished and respected.
Acceptance and loving
A world of peace. Peace within oneself and in community with others.
Thanks Jen for your work and your team’s work. It is important!
Thank you! You got the vibe all right! I appreciate the inspiration.
Just. Kind. Fair. Loving. Fun. Colorful. Abundant. Equal.
I thought of more! Enriching. Interconnected. Comfortable. Safe.
Thank you for inspiring, collecting and affirming these visions of hope!
Dialogue; negotiate; value one another.
A world of people who recognize the deep connection we share to all life (and even inanimate beings), thereby allowing us to nurture the earth, and make decisions in harmony with her well-being.
A Bangladeshi man in the immigrant prison told me of his suffering. A window between us, he cried as he shared his story. Of how he missed holding his 2 1/2 year old son, as they slept together every night. How he loves and misses his wife and other children. The gun placed to his head as he was demanded to leave his country. His small shop now closed. Months of hunger and fear on the journey to America to seek asylum. Swimming across the river and raising his hands as he approached the border patrol men.
Being placed into a cold cell with 82 other men in Texas for 32 days. Never coming out of that room. Sleeping on the cement floor, hunger, much cold.
In that visit, he leaned forward with tears streaming down his face. He said, “I need to feel peace. I need to feel peace.”
I want to live in a world where he feels peace, and is treated with human rights. A world that loves others. A world where when he runs to us for help, we embrace him, instead of locking in a hard to survive cell. 💗☮️
I want to live in a world that is whole-whole in accepting its diverse humanity, whole in stewarding its resources, whole in caring for all. Thanks for all that all of you do…these recent weeks have been challenging but receiving the weekly checklists, inspirational messages, and reminders keep my overwhelm in check and focus my actions. Many thanks and good wishes for the future.
“In these times, maybe a new definition and vision of hope is in order – as what we’re able to create in the middle of darkness, so long as we’re present to one another.” I want a world in which we are all present to each other. Thank you for all you do to encourage such a world.
Here is a Buddhist prayer that reminds me of what kind of world I want:
May you be safe, healthy, free and happy.
And for me right now one of the ways I define safety is a world with many, many fewer guns.
Sometimes I get so caught up in reacting to the negative that I forget to simply be. Thank you for this lovely post <3
Here’s a wish—neither lofty nor eloquent—that nonetheless animates the choices I make and actions I take everyday to help bring about the world we are all imagining together: I wish that every person alive be able to see out the windows of whatever dwelling place they find themselves in something beautiful and safe and welcoming.
Most of my efforts focus on the climate emergency action needed to keep life safe and sustainable for all living things. I spend lots of time contemplating the fastest and most fair way to encourage us to re-think what actually matters in our lives, what choices will ensure our own continuation of life on this spectacularly improbable planet. We don’t have to have more than our share or to expect to “have a great day” every single day. A “good enough day” will suffice, with purposeful work, gratitude for just being among the living, and a big capacity for having as much fun as possible.
For months I have been hoping to get the following idea off the ground: Using our networking cleverness we organize ourselves in every state to write postcards to our elected members of Congress—each brief message expressing the kind of vision we have just listed here and a few days later a postcard to the same legislators whom we know to be deniers of the climate emergency and asking a single challenging question e.g. why are you not acting to protect life on our planet?; or, Honorable Elected Official, Why are you ignoring the climate crisis? What will your children ask you? Have you no shame?; or, If we don’t have sustainable life, no other political issue matters! What keeps you from taking some responsibility? Each of us comes up with one question about the existential threat to all creation based on what? Having a big car, a big house? More money than anyone else? These things are as ashes compared to the gift of life on earth; please find your courage and resist the climate deniers. Etc., Etc. The point is to make a commitment to one official and send frequent reminders to him/her as politely as possible—but also with the full seriousness this moment in human history demands. Any ideas?
about the deepest sense of meaning and purpose and connection. It will be about living with enoughlearning to appreciate what is given an