in: Mindful MomentUncategorized

Mindful Moment #09 – Chaos On Your Mind?

Take a deep breath

How to Abide an Atmosphere of Upheaval

Is it just me, or have things seemed a bit chaotic lately?

I don’t mean to make light of any of the serious things we’ve been facing in the past few years, but something’s got to give, and I can’t afford for it to be my sanity. Not again. This has sent me looking for solace and courage in whatever place I can find it. These are some truths I remind myself of when things are looking dismal and hard to face.

1. There is an innate order to things.

Even when it feels like we are falling into chaos, it helps me to remember that we live in a solar system. A “system” is by definition something inherently orderly. Sure, we live on the surface of a planet that has a crust of stone floating over a layer of molten lava spinning through space, but the spinning is measured and reliably predictable. The planet moves in known ways—ways deciphered by the ancients—circling our sun, in a dance with the moon. Our sibling planets have their own ways of revolving around the same sun and have done so long before we were here to bear witness to it. I somehow find comfort in knowing that, in the grand scheme of things, some things are systematically reliable. 

2. You are descended from a long line of survivors. 

If you are reading this, you are the product of ancestors who made it through challenges we can scarcely imagine. I have one grandfather who was born in 1889. That was 133 years ago. He was orphaned somewhere in Europe and made his way to America in 1912.  A few short years later, he was back in Europe fighting in the first world war. Just to think of him wearing handmade boots in mucky hand-dug trenches, somehow surviving mustard gas attacks and a bayonet to the back, makes me realize how resilient humans are. There have been wars, pandemics, famine, and floods since the dawn of humankind, and yet we are still here. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and fearful, but we have to harness that energy to drive ourselves forward, because beyond the struggle, there was also peace and prosperity, unity and progress. There have always been lovers, songs to sing, jokes to tell, and laughter for the sheer sake of joy because even in the worst of times, people kept on going. It is our legacy to survive. 

3. If the Dude can do it, so can you.

I know, it’s just a movie, but some days I really feel like I’ve been dropped into The Big Lebowski. Like someone has peed on my favorite rug and given me a swirly. Sure, I haven’t been wrangled into a kidnapping plot, but I have had my car stolen. I have that overly dramatic friend who makes a big deal out of the smallest things. I have been tricked and swindled and double-crossed. I can also admit to spending way too many days in the same bathrobe. I have also lost someone dear to me along the way. Granted, the Dude uses some coping techniques that aren’t necessarily the healthiest, but at the end of the long, crazy ordeal, “the Dude abides.” He was going to be okay and went on about his life, keeping his commitment to his bowling team in spite of it all. I don’t bowl, but I do have to keep showing up for the people in my life, as challenging as it may be. I can abide. 

4. Make yourself useful.

So, here we are, adrift on a sea of discontent, faced with a litany of problems. If there is anything you can do to help, do it. Grab a paddle and start paddling. I will confess that I am one of those people who wants to help fix everything, but I am also paralyzed by where to start. Not to mention, some of us have been helping for a lifetime and activism fatigue is real. It can feel overwhelming and sometimes disenchanting when the task is so great and the wins so seemingly small or impermanent. The trick to overcome those negatives is stop thinking about helping only in terms of end goals. Each thing you do to help improve injustice, to assist those who need help, to clean the planet, to heal the abused, or to right any wrong is a movement in the right direction. The intention to solve a problem is magnified when you contribute to it, however small it may be. Drop an extra dollar in the tip jar. Choose to purchase less plastic. Write a letter to your congressman. Sign a petition. Plant a tree. Donate to a food bank. Vote. Whenever you can contribute more, hold yourself to it and go. You are making a difference.  

A single candle flame can dispel a vast darkness by merely staying lit. Light your flame and keep it burning. Keep your bathrobe on if you need to, but don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the prospect of the future. It’s a charged atmosphere, to be sure, but we can take that electricity and turn it into something bright.




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That’s all for today, y’all – remember, taking time to focus on you is an act of love.

We hope you found this helpful – don’t hesitate to reply with any feedback on how we can improve future Mindful Moments! We can’t wait to hear from you.


See you next time! 


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