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Let's face it:  there is a LOT of shit going on in the world these days.  It's global, regional, local and in your face.  At least it is that way for me.  Every day I log on to find some asinine thing done by some politician, or another instance of racism, misogyny or hatred, or another weather related disaster of epic proportions.  Then my phone begins to chime with text messages and phone calls:  another client having a crisis, a friend diagnosed with a life threatening illness, another with a drug addicted child.  How much more can we take?

Unfortunately, no one knows the answer to that.  I certainly don't.  But I do have some helpful hints to handle it all.

Here are some symptoms which may indicate crisis fatigue:  lack of energy, sadness, anxiety, lack of motivation, anger...lots of it, or a feeling that you just want to hide under the covers until it all goes away.

Hiding under the covers may help for a little while, but it doesn't really work for a long term solution, and it doesn't look like the politicians are going to grow up anytime soon.  The weather related disasters just seem to keep on coming.  I don't know that racism and misogyny will ever go away.

What are we to do?

Here are some things that might help:

  1. Acknowledge the feelings.  Denying them isn't going to help.  Stuffing them doesn't help.  You can acknowledge them without acting on them.
  2. Talk about it with someone who won't try and fix you but will just listen with compassion.  You don't need fixing, but talking helps.  We are only as sick as our secrets, so don't keep this shit secret.
  3. Be of service.  Donate or volunteer.
  4. Stay in the present moment.  Don't project into the future and don't fret about the past.
  5. Take care of yourself. Make sure you eat right, rest plenty, and let yourself cry if that is what wants to happen.
  6. Enjoy the simple things in life, and be grateful for them.  Hug your loved ones, pet your critters, or a neighbor's critters.  Bake cookies.

And finally, remember that we are all in this together.  You are not alone.

 

Let's face it, life is full of all kinds of stuff:  some we label as good, some we label as bad.  Today I want to talk about what we sometimes label as bad:  change or loss.  Loss happens.  So does change.  Relationships end.  Jobs and careers go away.  Things happen.  So often the tendency is to somehow make the feelings as a result of those losses go away.  We don't want to hurt.  In fact, there is a judgement about the hurting itself, as if there is something shameful or wrong about it.  We tell ourselves we shouldn't hurt, to put our big boy and girl panties on and buck up.  We try to hide it, deny it, medicate it, do anything except feel it.

When we do, all we do is form ugly scar tissue over the break.  We heal it, but we don't cure it.  We don't do our grief work.  Because of this, we are doomed to a life where we may not feel the hurt acutely anymore, but all of our reactions and decisions are consequently based on that one event.  We've got tunnel vision and it is very limiting.

Here are some examples:

  • The relationship ends, and instead of doing our inner work to learn the lesson, we immediately get into another one.
  • We experience a loss, and instead of going through a grieving process, we get a prescription.
  • Something "bad" happens, and instead of working through it, we get so busy that we have no time to thing.

I'd like to propose that there is a different, gentler way to do things, and it is also more rewarding in the long run.

The difference between a broken heart and a broken-open heart is profound.  We all have times and instances in which our hearts get broken.  We hurt.  Eventually we heal, somewhat, but it is never cured.  There is a difference between healing and curing.  Healing is temporary and very shallow. Curing is permanent and goes deep.  Healing only takes care of the surface wounds.  Curing changes us at deep levels, and such change is necessary for us to move into the next greatest expression of being.

A broken-open heart can be the way to a cure.  It is a doorway through which we can live a new and wonderful life.

If your heart is broken, I'd like to suggest that you do not medicate it, jump into another relationship, make yourself so busy you have no time to think, or any of the other things we typically do to make the bad feelings just go away.

Instead, feel them.  Acknowledge the grief and allow the process to happen.  Do the inner work, because a broken-open heart is a doorway into new ways of thinking and perceiving ourselves and life.  Consider getting support and help moving through the process

 

Life is about paradox.  Surrender to win.  What you resist persists.  Give to receive.  Accept a problem to solve it.  I will never forget the first time, very early in my spiritual journey, a mentor told me that I must surrender to win.  Fighter that I had been most of my life, it was extremely difficult for me to understand this concept.  I had a bias against traditional religious language back then and in my mind I thought I was surrendering to a male authority figure that was separate from me.  I wanted no part of that.  Eventually I moved into a place of surrendering to a process that promised wonderful things if I completed it, and that worked.

Which brings up another paradox of sorts.  One must go through something to get around it.  Take loss, for example.  It does absolutely no good, and sometimes harms, to not properly grieve a loss.  Rebound relationships are an excellent example of this.

Another paradox is that we must look at ourselves with love and acceptance, not shame and condemnation.  Those parts of ourselves that we find objectionable will only change if we love and accept them.  Shaming them and condemning them just makes them stronger.

What are you resisting today?   Is it persisting?

The beauty of living a life which contains a consistent and persistent practice of compassionate self inquiry is that it allows us to be aware of what is blocking us from our good, and with awareness comes the beautiful change that that moves us into the next greatest expression of our being.

0180e093c7393c0bb2ab2ab063c7d613ed592d65dbBusy...busy...busy.

Personally, I feel a call to slow down a bit when the weather cools and the storms begin to roll in.  It is a time when I want to meditate more, contemplate more, just BE...more.  It is a time when I wish to stop doing so much.

And yet, with the approach of the holidays, sometimes it seems an impossible task to stop doing so much.  So many parties....so little time!   Along with shopping, planning menus and meals and potlucks and what to get your 87 year old father for Christmas who has everything.

And more than ever, I want to slow down and BE.  I want to snuggle in with my kitties in my sunroom and enjoy watching the weather move across my field of vision in the skylights above me.  I want to settle in and read. ...continue reading "BE rather than DO"

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