Thursday, December 28, 2017

Self-Care and Empowerment in Crazy Times

"Some people are like frogs in boiling water. Others blink and choose to go to sleep. Special ones dare live inside the moment. Courageous soul deep divers pave the way."

From "Alone" ©2017 Linda Marks

2017 was a year of truly crazy times. Fake news. Alternative facts. Tweets and more tweets. Russian hacks. Questioning global warming. Dismantling the tax code. Unraveling health care coverage for millions of people. The #MeToo campaign, with celebrity after celebrity, well-known political figures in the spotlight for sexual harassment and more, unleashed an avalanche of stories from the shadows. Overwhelm and overload. Every day seemed to bring with it a new low.

Many people feel powerless, voiceless and scared as critical issues are changing in ways that impact us all. Yet the political factions making the changes are out of reach, and don't seem to care about the vast majority of people who are impacted by the changes. Do things need to breakdown to breakthrough? Can our country and our infrastructure truly be taken from us and overtaken by a small group of wealthy self-interested people?

Creativity abounds even in crazy times. Matt Kiser started publishing WTF Just Happened Today?" a daily newsletter giving you a point by point breakdown of the daily "shock and awe" (particularly involving all matters Trump), providing links to the major political news events of the day. An article in Fast Company magazine calls it, "a diary of our times," and one might shake their head at the amount of news Trump et al are managing to generate every single day. I find reading WTFJHT is grounding, since Matt's summary is well-done and it's an easy way of keeping ones finger on the pulse of the unfolding news.

Another wonderful interpreter of our crazy times is Randy Rainbow, a comedian, singers and writer, who has become a popular YouTube presence with his political parodies set to the music of many well-known Broadway tunes. The 2016 Presidential campaign was great fodder for Rainbow's creative talents, and his viral YouTube videos are brilliant, funny and on the mark. "Fact Checker, Fact Checker," sung to "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" from Fiddler on the Roof, "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Korea," sung to "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria" from the Sound of Music and even a Broadway Medley of Trump's famous made up word "Covfefe," are just a few examples of Rainbow's brilliant musical satire.

So, while Matt Kiser will help you keep grounded in the daily news reality and Randy Rainbow will help you find humor in even the darkest realities, how do we keep our sanity when we don't know what to believe, what rug will be pulled out from under us next, and whether our economic future will be crumble to quicksand or solid?

I think gathering with other people and talking about your experience, your feelings overall, what you are scared of, what you can do and can't do is important to diffuse the overwhelm and isolation that so easily come from living in crazy times. Perhaps isolation is a version of the pot of boiling water we find ourselves in. And gathering together is a way to escape the inevitable slow death to follow.

Looking at where we CAN make a difference and taking action in ways that DO make a difference are important. Whether you mentor a child in your community or volunteer at the local animal shelter or even help good local candidates run for office and represent issues that matter in your community, being part of a positive change is both good self-care and empowering.

Letting yourself take space to slow down, meditate, find and keep your center, and keep working towards your vision and your values is critical. We don't need to buy in to the powerlessness the fake news generators are feeding us. Remember you are an active creator in this world and certainly in your own life. Create what inspires you and helps others. The moment is our point of power, and following our points of passion helps us direct that power wisely.

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