I don’t know about you, but I am feeling exhausted from the recent onslaught of human-caused tragedy. On Friday I learned that flags in the United States had been half-mast for 16 of the last 40 days, starting with the Orlando shooting, and more specifically 12 of the last 14 days between the attack in Nice, France and the shootings of the police officers in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Plus, there have also been countless other tragic events that did not lower the flag. When the news is reporting on events caused by fear (like the events I just mentioned), it can feel as though a part of that fear is transferred through the newspaper and into our lives. Yet, it is one thing to read the news, and another to carry it fearfully throughout the day, allowing it to affect our mental state and the way we interact with other people. The last thing our world needs right now is a ripple effect of fear.
In considering this problem, I realize I cannot stop the events from happening, I cannot stop the news from reporting, but I can stop the cycle of fear from perpetuating through me. I can read the news like a responsible world citizen and current US resident (or at least read summaries—the New York Times morning briefing is excellent for this), but then I can lay it to rest, focus gratefully on what is good, and purposely send extra love into the world. I can turn the cycle of fear and disconnect into a reminder to be loving and foster Connectedness. Alone, this can make a difference in my life and the lives of those with whom I have contact; however, if we join together, there is potential for something exponential 🙂
If you have methods for living this balance and sending out love, please share! However, in case you’re struggling with ideas, here are three of the tools I use:
1) I replace spiraling fear thoughts with the repetitive phrase, “Love, love, love, love, love.”
2) I take time to listen to inspiring songs, like the epic “Man in the Mirror,” by Michael Jackson.
3) I dance! Usually in the morning, in my pjs, right after reading the news. What better way to shake off the negativity than by dancing to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”?? If you need some inspiration, check out my Spotify playlist “Dancing at Breakfast,” which includes Pharrell Williams, Queen, Steppenwolf, Bruno Mars, and many more 🙂
Other tools include hand-lettering positive quotes for friends (an idea inspired by my friend Alexa), doing Pay It Forward activities, smelling the flowers, and expressing gratitude to those around me!
I hope you find some of these tools inspiring. Here’s to creating an exponential ripple effect of Connectedness, joy, kindness, and love ❤