Keeping Perspective in Difficult Times

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As I contemplate the possibilities for the future of our country, I vacillate between fear and hope, despondency and motivation, uncertainty and faith. And what keeps coming up for me is perspective. Everything changes depending on the angle from which or the lens through which I see the world. And though fear, despondency, and uncertainty come faster to my mind (especially when I consume any news at all), it is not long before hope, motivation, and faith prevail.

Because I choose them.

Each day as the reality of the election sinks in, I see clearly what I must do and not do in order to be the most effective and the most compassionate citizen I can be (while also being happy). It’s not very different than how I normally function, but the last few days have given me clarity. 

[Tweet “We are small in the universe but large to one another. For that, may we show humility & magnanimity.”]

*Deactivating the push notifications on my phone from news outlets has lessened the anxiety I’ve (we’ve all) been experiencing these last few months. 

*Focusing completely without distraction on my current writing projects has been incredibly healing. Of course, I feel the need is more urgent than ever to speak on behalf of the animals, and I think that urgency (and lack of distraction) is allowing the thoughts and words to come more easily. 

*Dipping my toe into news in order to stay informed but filling up the space instead with the things that feed me, such as poetry, literature, music, podcasts, TED talks. Instead of turning on the radio when I make lunch in the kitchen, I put on a podcast instead or music. 

*Returning to morning meditation. Mindfulness has always played a role in my life, but admittedly, I’ve gotten out of my morning habit (opting to run early instead), but it’s back. And it feels really good. 

*Creating a action plan. We’ve got a lot of work ahead to make sure the vulnerable and disenfranchised are not left out, to make sure the irreversible isn’t inevitable. But then again, we’ve always had this work ahead of us. I’m ready.

*Keeping it all in perspective. That’s part of the mindfulness, I suppose, but when I think of how small we are in the scope of the universe but how large we are to one another, I feel humility and and overwhelming sense of magnanimity.

Perspective and connection. They’re feeding me right now, and it’s working. 

“We’re small in the scope of the entire universe but large to one another in our human experience. May we act with humility because of the first and magnanimity and compassion because of the second.” 

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