It is tough to face the barrage of chaos around the world every day.
I, like most people, try to be a good person, do good things, and be good to those in my life, but some days it feels like it’s just not enough.
I debate about quitting music and going to do something “worthwhile” to help solve the world’s problems.
But then I think the most useful thing I can actually do is to be true to myself and solve my own problems.
Especially the internal ones, so that I can be a clear force of calm and positivity.
I don’t know what the right answer is. But more than ever, I feel we need to be diligent. Just because there is a lot of chaos and noise in the media, it shouldn’t be permission for us to lose our bearings as individuals. Especially when are cognizant about “shock events” deliberately created to throw us off. It’s up to us as grown-ups to stay grounded and build up our emotional resilience to cope.
It’s almost too easy to get thrown off, feel depressed, angry, or totally numb from helplessness. Bell even has a mental health campaign (#bellletstalk) encouraging people to talk openly about mental illness. But let’s face it, who doesn’t experience depression on some level? It’s part of the ebb and flow of being human.
Beyond protesting and being well-informed of everything that’s going on, there’s little any of us can physically do to change the course of events happening across the world. So we sit with all this info and spin ourselves into anxious circles, checking social media more than we should, and wondering, not when shit is going to hit the fan, but when is shit going to hit OUR fan. I think a raised stress level in these precarious times is actually an indication of mental health! Your gut is telling you something is very wrong and that is 100% true.
For me the question becomes - what am I going to do about my plight?
Besides parking myself in front of a drink, obsessing over a sports team, or zoning out on Netflix, how am I going to cope with all this chaos?
I don’t think shutting down is an option.
I hope you don’t think it’s one for you either. Like it or not, the world needs you to rise up to the challenge of letting your light shine. Joni Mitchell said it best, “We are stardust, we are golden.” (song: Woodstock)
My strategy for coping involves a few things, mostly copious amounts of self-help. Over time, I’ve come to adopt the strategy of “stacking the deck”.
Alternative therapies are more gentle and slower to penetrate, so we need to work at a problem from multiple angles to get true momentum. Eventually you will experience a paradigm shift in how to cope with a problem, whether it be a physical symptom, state of mind, or healing an emotional wound.
My repertoire includes: meditation, journaling, making music, blogging, using mantras and affirmations, vision boards, and exercising.
To some that might feel like a lot of work.
It is a commitment. But it’s also a joy, and a privilege, to have the peace, freedom and knowledge at our fingertips to undertake this work.
I’m lucky that I have been doing this work for so many years. I know my demons so well at this point that I get more joy than emotional turmoil from the excavation process. It’s very similar to exercise. The more in shape you are, the more fun it becomes.
You have to commit for the long haul.
If you’re new to self-help or alternative medicine, you might still be testing the waters. Doing one retreat here and there, or one acupuncture appointment last month. But unfortunately these therapies can require consistent application for 3-9 months to start seeing benefits. It’s just not the same as popping a pill and getting an immediate result. That is ok! It’s a lifestyle shift.
You might need to test different strategies/methods and work at it every day before things start to click. Then, with a lot of elements working together, magic will start to happen. You will KNOW when it starts to work for you because everything in your life will feel different and not so difficult.
The good news is that self-inquiry builds resilience.
This is what we need in these tough times on Earth. We need clarity, hope, and inner peace, so that we can better deal with the chaos on the outside. We need perspective on who we are and the challenges we’re up against. Taking the time to reframe our own stories helps prepare us to cope with the world’s traumas.
So many of us are afraid to show our true colours (myself included). But the pain of discovering and sharing who we are is worth it. Confidence comes with experience. The more we connect with ourselves and each other the less fearful we become of the reality we’re living here on Earth.
There’s never been a more important time to make your spirit a priority. If it feels scary, that’s ok, because it IS scary, but it’s a fear that is totally worth facing. The deeper the wound, the bigger the growth.