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staying grounded in wild times


What keeps you centered and meaningfully engaged in these wildly challenging times?  As distressing news continually floods our screens, and opportunities for numbness, overwhelm, despair, and fear grow exponentially, I practice re-grounding myself in simple commitments to:

(1) build my capacity to engage more skillfully with conflicts and craziness rather than be a complacent or ineffective witness

(2) explore and own my part of this multi-dimensional mess rather than join the finger-pointing fest

(3) sharpen my discernment and tuning in skills so I can stay focused on where I am most drawn and best wired to serve

(4) remember that I am only one in seven billion and that trying to do more than my part is exhausting and self-defeating, and in the end not as helpful as inspiring and encouraging others to play their part, and making space for their stepping forward.

(5) share what I am up to rather than tell others what to do, so we can support and embolden each other to find and claim our authentic piece of the larger puzzle, which for some may involve being on the front lines, and for others may involve taking care of a sick child, or writing poetry for these times.

(6) be receptive to others’ suggestions without losing my internal sense of direction

(7) track / learn from / support eldersmentorskindred spirits, organizations that are meaningfully, constructively, and skillfully engaged

(8) practice reaching across divides to dismantle prejudices, repair harm, “compare hallucinations” (as my friend Miakoda Taylor puts it in her Fierce Allies trainings), and build bridges rather than walls

(9)  vote every day with my heart, attention, imagination, energy, money, and actions for the world I know is possible, however hidden from sight it may be

(10) fiercely protect sleep, meditation, and a daily walk from the temptations to sacrifice them for any reason

(11) be the hummingbird in Wangari Maathai’s short story, trusting that, in times like ours, even small acts of engagement are better than sitting by the sidelines, lamenting what is happening

(12)  follow my friend Kristi’s recommendation to keep death front and center at all times, to remember what matters most, keep priorities straight, and appreciate all that deserves appreciation, even amidst challenges

(13) learn from those who already know know how to live in the heart of darkness and try to call back those who get lost in the underworld

(14) enjoy every opportunity for a good laugh

(15) stay in close geese formation with kindred spirits, discerning when it is time to step out in front and lead in some way, and when it is time to step back, rest, or be the wind in others’ wings

And how about you?
What keeps you sane and centered?