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.