This year has had its fair share of traumatic events globally and there's a lot of uneasiness in the air. Spend a few minutes on social media or watching the news, you may come away with a sense of heaviness and fear. All of us are feeling it, because on an energetic level, we're all connected and because we care.
So how do we stay connected to ourselves and our lives when our environment is filled with fear, instability and uncertainty?
How do we raise our children to not be afraid of the world they are growing up into?
How do we help our children cultivate qualities like courage, resilience, empathy, compassion and tolerance?
How do we find these qualities within ourselves?
I, like you are living into these questions every day. We ask questions like these because we do get scared sometimes, as fear naturally seeps in when you hear or see traumatic things happening to other people.
These are difficult times, but when was it ever not like this? The world has always had its fair share of tragedies, wars and senseless horrors as well as incredible joys, adventures and pleasures. We cannot forget this, and we cannot lose perspective.
I, like you, feel very sad for the people who are suffering, and I would love the world to be a kinder place, but as we can't control global events, the best thing we can do is to focus on what is within our control.
This is because too much fear is destabilising and reduces your ability to cope with daily situations. Fear acts as a kind of paralysis; it blocks flow, it shuts down connection and leaves us internally scurrying like ants away from a disturbance. Think fight, flight, freeze, protect and defend at all costs. In short, too much fear leads to more separation, which leads to more of what you fear.
It's important to proactively manage the level of fear you take on and spread to others, personally and on social media. Sure, stay informed, but limit how much you expose yourself to what's happening, especially when you're feeling overwhelmed. And choose quality sources of information, not the sensationalised hyped up sources. I stay away from sensationalised publications because the minute I see a shocking image, it can paralyse me for days. And that makes me a less effective mother, wife, friend, and my closest people need me to be okay. Just as your people still need you to show up in your life.
Never before in the history of humanity until recent decades have people been confronted with what's happening in all corners of the world 24/7 whilst also dealing with their own lives. It's alot for us to manage and I don't believe we are psychologically built to hold so much collective trauma. So self-care and being highly discerning with what you let in is essential in these times.
What you can do is use your precious life wisely, and live in a way that is true to what you most value and show your kids through your actions. If that's family, make sure there's lots of quality time for family in your life because the impact you have on them matters. If that's love: then where can you spread tonnes of it?
Altruism is the quickest way to combat feelings of powerlessness.
It's important to remember in times of change and uncertainty, we can’t all scurry away like ants in all directions. We can't let fear take charge of our lives because it shuts down our hearts and now, more than ever, we need our hearts to stay open.
Community. Love. Perspective.
So please, focus on strengthening your connections with those around you, lean in and open your heart to others. Learn how to receive love. When you feel yourself getting caught up in a fear spiral, do the counter-intuitive thing, because that's where you have power. That's what will ground you back into what’s real: the simple pleasures and gestures, warmth and kindness, sharing food, expressing love. This is how you model to your own children the higher qualities of human nature and how you keep perspective in times of uncertainty.
You become a powerhouse when you feel connected to those around you.
May you stay connected to yourself and others and be a force for good in the world.
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