All week long I’ve felt the rumblings of anxiety in my system. As hard as it is sometimes, I welcome it in. I want to be a safe place for messy feelings to rise and release in their own time.
There’s so much going on in the world right now. Climate crisis. The war in Ukraine. The political polarization of America. And the potential loss of bodily autonomy for women. With all that’s happening at once, I often wake up braced for the next crisis of the day.
Fortunately, I have somewhere to turn – a practice that’s been part of my daily life for more than two years now. Come home sweetheart, I tell myself as I put my hand on my heart. Feel your body in space, your feet on the floor, your breath moving in and out of your lungs. As I settle into the silence, I return to the place where time stands still and peace moves in to calm the anxious chatter.
All week long I’ve filled pages in my journal with what I wanted to say about the state of the world right now. But when I went back and read through the notes today, I realized I wasn’t ready. It’s smart (and responsible) to digest big feelings before committing words to the page.
So I sit here staring at the vibrant green of spring slowly making its way across the hills in our backyard. I listen to the wind pressing against the walls, rocking the bat house outside my office window. I marvel at the visitors who swoop in to the feeder all at once when I step back inside the house – a lemon yellow finch, an orange-breasted oriole, and a bluebird with wings that look like the sky. I wait for the hummingbird’s return after her first visit of the season a few days ago.
As I appreciate all that lies before me at this moment, I find acceptance and peace. Yes, life is complicated and hard. Yes, it’s easier for some to see the world in black and white than face the messiness of gray. And yes, we have a tough road ahead of us on many fronts.
But we also have so much good happening in the world. Innovators are cleaning oceans, producing renewal energy, and changing the recycling game. Countries are outlawing sexual abuse and forced marriages. Communities are saving forests and building gardens, and teaching families to grow their own food.
These events need our attention, too, because they inspire the kind of energy that overcomes great challenges.
Today, on Mother’s Day, when we celebrate those who nurture and support life of all kinds, I invite you to give birth to greater optimism and resilience. For a start, check out the stories in Optimist Daily. Let yourself be amazed and encouraged by all the good humans can do.
PS – If you missed last week’s Zoom gathering about meditation and cultivating a calm inner state, you can watch it (and all of the prior ones), here.