These are unbelievable times of sadness and unrest. As a mother I am finding it more and more impossible to understand the violence, intolerance, and absolute madness that is before us each and every day. To me this is not a matter of different opinions but of values, of integrity and human decency. So many of us are in deep pain, experiencing tremendous anxiety and soul crushing sadness. Unbelievably, so many others continue to be fueled by hatred and fear, ignoring those with whom they share this country. It is hard to nurture joy in this climate of madness.
In order to survive this season we must find ways to sustain our hope. It may require us to retreat for a time with intention to restore and refuel. When all is spinning out of control, it's time to find the ground.
Here are five suggestions to help you:
Cling to a passage or mantra to help redirect your mind.
Having a message that promotes peace and reassures your sense of hope is vital to control your ruminating and negative thoughts. You can train your mind to return to this phrase breathing in slowly through your nose and out through your mouth. This phrase becomes a reset button for your mind.
Reflect on the past.
Reminding yourself of the goodness of the past can give hope a boost. It is also helpful to reassure yourself that things change and that we are capable of getting through hard things. Capture a memory in your mind where you were given unconditional love and care. Use that image to anchor you in times of distress.
Place focus on the here & now.
When your mind begins to wonder too much into the fear of the future, shift focus to the present. Use your senses to move focus to something you can see, hear, and touch right now.
Practice intentional breathing.
It is your birthright to breathe. Make time to practice intentional breathing for at least 5 minutes a day. Fill your belly with a deep breath through your nose, counting in for 5. Hold for 2 and then exhale slowly for 7. When your mind begins to wonder (which it will) direct it back to counting.
Look for the lovely.
Slow down and look for the lovely things in your world, no matter how small. Take time to ponder the intricacies of a flower, the texture of tree bark, and the smell of the rain. Don't allow the ugly behavior and sentiments of others steal your happiness. Rather, find ways to nurture joy!