Shifting into Hope
It's easy to slip into hopelessness. To be paralyzed by the state of the world. To believe that you, and your action, cannot possibly change a thing given the enormity of the challenges the world faces today.
Take a deep breath and place your hand over your heart. Remember, you alone are not responsible to mend the woes of the world. Your work is to address what is in front of you, to address that which speaks to your heart and pulls you forward. To step forward with the hope that your actions, step by step, contribute to a more just and beautiful world.
When you are faced with the overwhelm of the world, consider the following five shifts that can bring you back to hope - and right action.
Five shifts to support hope and right action.
- Resist the urge to go into react and fix mode when you encounter despair. When you react, it’s possible you are simply trying to assuage your discomfort or guilt over what is happening in the world. It is also so much a part of our culture to want to be the ones to FIX ALL THE THINGS. Let's just take a beat and breathe - it's worthwhile to be with the pain and grief you experience. I encourage you to be with the feelings that arise and listen for the wisdom that is available to you.
- Find your vision. What would an equitable, sustainable world look like? How would it benefit you and your descendants? How would it benefit and heal the earth we walk on? Remember, you can look to the remaining wild ecosystems on earth for a felt sense of what is available to us. That can be more than enough to inspire hope and right action.
- With your vision in mind, settle into your heart to listen for what is calling you forward and where you might make the most impact in a way that brings you deep contentment. I tell my daughter all the time, be passionate about what path you choose because every path has challenging, difficult aspects. So please consider what is yours to do through the lens of what you love and what you feel passionate about.
- Become comfortable with the paradox of being part of the problem while also being committed to working toward the solution. It's easy to want to be righteous about where you stand and what you do. In many ways, I think it makes our work less effective if we can't hold the paradox of our position straddling both problem and solution. Humility, humanness, and open-hearted love for a different kind of future heals.
- Find joy in your life, right now. Nourish the beauty and joy in your life - it truly is an act of revolution to enjoy your life. Not only that, but there will likely be no epic, final solution in your lifetime – there will always be more good work to be done. Enjoy what you do and do what you do in good faith that you are acting in the best interest of the whole, which will ultimately be what is best for you and yours.
It's your turn.
What helps you return to hope, and right action, when the challenges we face become overwhelming? Tell me everything.