So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s a chance you’ve heard about the most recent string of mass shootings. No doubt you’ve heard about other countries warning their residents against the dangers of traveling to the US. I’m also confident that you are devastated by what has happened, and likely, a little fearful as well. (I considered calling my mother on my way to Wal-Mart yesterday, just-in-case I didn’t make it back out.)
While Crystal and I are absolutely not, I repeat NOT dismissing or diminishing the seriousness of our current situation (we both believe that as a country, we are past the point of “needing to do something” and having a full-on national crisis) we would like to offer a few suggestions that may help us move forward with love.
In case you happened to wake up alive this morning, here are some ideas to celebrate the beautiful and precious life you get to live today.
Tell someone you love them. Not your partner, your children, your dog, or other immediate family members that hear it all the time, but someone who won’t expect it. Even if you’re not one to throw the “L-word” around, telling someone you genuinely appreciate something they’ve done will make them feel good. And then you’ll feel good for making them feel good, and then everyone will just feel all happy and warm and fuzzy.
Eat, drink, and be merry! We don’t get nearly as excited as we should about the abundance of food that is available to most of us. There are places in this world, in this country even, where people do not know if they will have access to food. Those people would be elated to have the leftovers or well-intentioned groceries in your fridge. Challenge yourself to avoid the grocery store and deplete your cabinets. It will be fun and cheap! And make you feel a little more resourceful.
Go outside! It’s summer for many of us, take off your shoes and socks and step outside. Feel the earth under your feet and remember that your mother (earth) is always supporting you. She’s right there, underneath it all, holding us up. We should show her some respect for that.
Make up a silly song about something mundane; a musical narration as you get ready for work or an impromptu interlude as you make yourself lunch. You have a voice! You have a brain! You can use them both together to create something! You don’t have to sing out loud, all though it’s more fun.
Give yourself 60 minutes of free movement. Close the door to your office or bedroom and let yourself go! Whether you’re perfecting your #Narutorun, your dance moves, or riffing on the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube-man, you can’t go wrong just moving your body organically. It will make you feel free and we bet you can’t do it without laughing. *Bonus points if you combine 5+6*
Help somebody! We are all capable of helping others and the good news is that we can do this in a variety of ways. Maybe you go big and donate to an NPO you love or volunteer regularly at your local animal shelter. Maybe you run an errand for a coworker or water your neighbor’s plants. Seek out opportunities to be of service because service does not discriminate! Everyone can make a difference. Even small gestures can be extremely valuable.
And then there were two…These last suggestions are critical but can be tough to implement. They will require constant vigilance and call upon the most American of ideals – that we as individuals are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
LOVE YOURSELF. Trust that no one can be you, no one can know you, no one can love and care for you, the way that you do. You matter, you are important, and you are a beautiful part of this world. If a message makes you feel less than, don’t look at it. If someone says something that makes you feel judged, get curious about what THEIR problem is. No one can make us feel inferior without our consent. Stand up fully for the magical awesomeness that is inside of you and others will be drawn into your light.
If you really want to stick it to the man, LOVE EVERYONE ELSE TOO! Sometimes it is hard to do this, especially when people in high places try to tell you what/how to think. It’s hard to avoid judging others, buying into stereotypes or rejecting what we don’t understand. It’s exponentially harder to apply a critical lens to ourselves to better understand our own behavior and prejudice, but it MUST be done. We owe it to ourselves as Americans to SEEK OUT COMMONALITIES that unite us! Make it your mission to be ANTI-HATE, to find good in every individual. We are all, every one of us, somebody’s child.
We may not agree with some (or many or ANY) of the policies and strategies being implemented by our leadership, but that doesn’t mean we should give up and call it a loss. Let’s take things back to a local level. Treat others; not some, or a few, or just the ones you know, but ALL OTHERS, how you want to be treated. Celebrate the joy of being alive today and find gratitude for all that you have.
If you do these things, I can guarantee it will make it a little easier to carry on in this crazy world.
In love and light,