This week, I’m breaking from the LEAD ON! normal format (one Insight, one Imperfection, one Implementation), to focus on a critical, singular thought.
It’s one that comes from the heart.
I know many of you are feeling what I’m feeling of late. So many movements afoot. And I don’t mean movements of the positive-intent, change-the-world-for-the-better, kind, like the overdue #metoo or #timesup movements, social justice movements, fair pay movements, and so on.
I’m talking about movements that are weighing us down. Multiple shifts happening in The Way Things Are Now. Changes for the worse. A fast-moving, encroaching gray cloud, cloaking our optimism, throttling our ability to default to delight. Movements, moving us toward something insidious, away from what used to matter most. Things like:
• the alarming pace of climate change
• the inability to agree – even on what the facts are
• the seeming rarity of grace and kindness towards our fellow human being
• the dissolution of integrity in too many elected officials
• the increasing difficulty of living The American Dream, or any dream
• (insert major malevolent movement here that’s most discomforting to you)
Regular readers know I’m an eternal optimist – and that hasn’t changed. I’m just sharing the weight I feel at times, in hopes you draw comfort from knowing that even a sunny-side-up soul, like me, feels it at times. And I’m sharing what I do about it, in hopes it helps you with what to do about it.
I’ve taken to repeating something to myself (quite often out loud), when all that’s trying to bring us down, feels like it’s bringing me down. At those times when I feel this cloak of angst, heavier on my shoulders than I remember it being in my youth, I’ll stop, pause, breathe, and say to myself:
By moments, I’m talking about the little presents that come from being present in the moment. Noticing all the wonderful, tiny things that happen in the quiet spaces in between. Things like:
• a great song that makes you feel something worth feeling
• a breathtaking slice of nature you get to take in
• an exchange with a loved one that reminds you why you love them
• the pride you feel in the moment you finish a job well done
• the enjoyment of a great meal or relaxing glass of wine
• (insert small moment here that brings a spark of happiness, the warm flames of gratitude)
I grab hold of the collection of these moments, building a foundation of gratitude and appreciation for them, then I radiate out from there. I create my own movement, a protective force-field-like bubble that presses outward, up against the dark veil of That Which Would Bring Us Down These Days, pushing it back, and out of my peripheral. Yes, I move the movements to the side; treating them as mere observations, not encapsulations.
In this way, equipped with that mental image, I reground myself in happiness and exuberance. No movement, no matter how malicious, can dampen this truth – there is so much beauty, so many happy moments, so much to enjoy, all right in front of you, in small doses at different times, all to build from and radiate outward with. It’s this ability to push back on the shroud of anxiety, and envelop yourself instead in joy – joy in little things – that is the skill to build in our times.
I hope this helps you exhibit that skill, over time, time after time, in what can be, difficult times.