“I doThe Work that Reconnects so that when things fall apart, we won’t turn on each other. ” Joanna Macy
“The central question is not how we avoid uncertainty and fear but how we relate to discomfort. Every day we could ask ourselves: Am I going to add to the aggression in the world? Am I going to practice peace or am I going to war?” Pema Chodron
“The only answer to all tragic events in human history and future is that all violence (economic, religious, political) must be stopped individually, starting from individual minds. From this moment forward, examine the seeds of violence in your mind.” Swami Veda Bharati
This is a big ask! We might object that these people are more advanced. This isn’t possible for regular people. It’s hard enough to practice regulating our nervous system, work and take care of our responsibilities, nurture relationships, and to maybe find some time for fun and creativity.
Let’s start where we are now. Not the hopeless assessment of your inner critic, not the fairy tale view through rose colored glasses, and not the deep denial of overwhelm. If you are reading this, you are already passionate and willing. You are able to more easily regulate your nervous system and value an adult, emotionally mature response to life.
Think of a time when someone offered a kindness to you. Think of a time when you were able to stay grounded and connected enough to release hard feelings and make a repair in an important relationship. Your inner critic might remind you of times when you were too anxious to really be present or when you lashed out then felt bad about it later. It makes us feel uncomfortable or shamed.
You’re not perfect at this, none of us are. It’s our heart and courage that matter and that give us strength and hope. We care and we have enough strength and resilience to stay and keep engaging. Being aware of violent or angry thoughts in our mind is a first step. We become skillful in coming out of fight and into a state of trust and connection. We offer ourselves and others our kind and open heart.
I am open to staying connected and engaged. It is enough to do my part.