How to Get through these times without going crazy
If you just try one of these skills once a day for three weeks, your brain will grow whole new circuitry of courage and positivity.
You may even emerge from the Trump/GOP negativity down the road and feel you became a much happier, stronger, more heart-centered person because of it.
This is heart warrior training. It's how a lightworker personality type becomes a heart warrior.
You are a sensitive empathic person. These times have been brutal for you. But there is a way to become stronger without putting your head in the sand. You could be come more heart and soul-centered than ever.
This is boot camp. It works the same as exercise, in that at first you have to force yourself to do it once a day. But soon, your body (actually it's your brain) wires up the new habit and you find yourself wanting to do it every day. You change from the inside out.
So first understand how the brain works. It grows new circuitry, depending on what you expose it to. Like a vacuum cleaner, the brain sucks up whatever you feed it and then it wires it and feeds it back to you. So feed it positivity. Not pink clouding, but positive attitude. Feed it courage too.
Here are three skills to get you started. Choose one and try it for a week:
1. Gratitude. (If you like gratitude, check out our previous topic on Gratitude that has lots of content).
When you feel grateful, you feel blessed. You feel lucky. You feel happy. You can't be depressed or stressed and grateful at the same time.
So, think of five things you are grateful for each day. Do it right now! Write them down or tell them to someone or say them aloud. Do it! Make it something different each day. Then begin to notice if your brain starts feeding you, without your even trying, thoughts of things you are grateful for.
Second check out this heart-arrestingly beautiful 5 minute video on gratitude. In it the filmmaker Louis Schwarzberg and the narrator, a monk named Brother David, take you through one whole day of gratitude. You will travel around the world and meet wonderful people in the process. This is a big happiness booster.
Third, try throwing gratitude at the things you are worried about. When the GOP confirmed Kavanaugh, I was grateful that the hearings and the outrageous confirmation made the #MeToo movement much deeper, more widespread and stronger than ever. It did.
So try five new things each day for 21 days. See what happens to your mind.
2. Find meaning in your situation.
Exercise: Try finding a silver lining in a situation that upsets you. Then continue doing this once a day for different situations for three weeks.
When people are able to make meaning out of a situation, no matter how traumatic the event, research shows that they begin to rise from it, and even thrive from it.
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl developed a field called logotherapy (meaning therapy). You might want to read his short book Man's Search for Meaning about his four years as a prisoner in Auschwitz during WWII. He found that if we can find meaning in our situation, we can actually thrive rather than be crushed by trauma. He was right.
Exercise: Think of a situation you've been through that has been very difficult. Maybe it's personal or maybe it's this political situation. Now see if you can find a silver lining in it. See if you can find meaning in it. This doesn't mean that we are saying the situation happened for a reason. That would be taking the concept of meaning therapy too far and could end out blaming the victim. No. I'm just asking you to find a silver lining in the situation. How could that situation be seen in the context of something meaningful and even wonderful?
After the war was over Frankl used to tell his audiences that they were the reason he survived. He would tell them that he survived the unsurvivable conditions of Auschwitz so he could teach audiences about the importance of finding meaning in that situation.
Mindfulness is being present with yourself.
It's being wholly alive at any given moment.
When you are mindful, you are in the here and now. Take a breath. Go ahead and do it right now. Then breathe again and feel that blessed air going into your body and flowing through you like a blessing. Feel your toes. Notice your tushy pressing against whatever you are seated on. Breathe some more. Okay you are here now. Finally you are one with your Self if just for a moment. The more you can stay with your Self in this way, the more peaceful and whole (and healthy) you will be. Try just one minute of mindful breathing twice a day.
Check out this free app Insight Timer to set up meditations every day. My favorite is a falling asleep guided meditation by Jennifer called Yoga Nidra for Sleep. There are thousands of guided meditations on the app, and music if you just want music, and a timer that rings a bell. Another app for your desktop is Stillness Buddy that can interrupt your time on the computer and ask you if you'd like to take a meditation break. You set the timing. If you click, yes, then it freezes your screen and plays music while you meditate.
Do you have skills you use to get through?
I will post some other skills later. You can post some too.
If you have a practice you are using to get through these times, share them here as well for the rest of us.
These are things I've learned to do and practice (albeit on and off) and they help me so much. I am married (currently divorcing) to a man with Borderline Personality Disorder. Mine and my daughters' lives were so chaotic and unstable until I left. Throughout though, I relied on a 5 year gratitude journal; now my 5 year old and I write in it together every night. The fact that I can look back and see what was going on and what I was grateful for helps- it also helped because I started documenting his abuse and when I need a reminder of what I chose to put behind me, or how far I've come it's there. Whenever the drama got bad I would remind myself this was a test or a message from the universe- what am I supposed to learn, it always helped me know that it was about leaving him and gave me strength. Finally, I have 2 sweet little girls who have known their dad's scary behavior. When I'm with them, I'm 100% with them in the moment, it brings so much to the parenting experience which is always work but goes so fast. I'm also a teacher and I try to focus on those relationships I'm building with students- I know too, that their lives are sometimes traumatic and making a connection or being seen, heard and liked can be really powerful.
Jeanne, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!
The video brought tears to my eyes, burn the good kind of tears. The gratitude for good people, beauty, and people with heart all over the world and here on this site. Just a lovely post.
Jaidy, blessings to you and your daughters as you walk this path with your daughter. Journaling is one of my favorites things to do. When hard times and hard work filled my days to exhaustion, gratitude journaling filled up my spirit, strengthened my fortitude and courage, and gave me such an outlet for reflecting on the gifts of even the most challenging things.
And oh, how I love,love, love that you share the healing gratitudes with your precious daughter's. . You are walking the heart warriors path together.
Love Love Love
Love, light, and healing prayers,
Jaidy, your daughters are so lucky to have this training early. What a wonderful mother you are.
Michele, I can tell that you’ve had this training for many years. Your posts are deeply steeped in gratitude and you feel so robust and vibrant because of it
My mother in law was a positive person. When she died suddenly earlier this year at 93, we just couldn’t believe she was gone.
Her positivity had made her larger than life. I’ve seen many older people pass over. I accepted and understood that the time had come. But when she passed it was hard for a while to come to terms with it. She simply was so strong and vibrant. That is what positivity does for people.
"This is heart warrior training. It's how a lightworker personality type becomes a heart warrior."
This is the second thing I have picked up on with you today Jeanne. I just wrote for my 2nd day of gratitude (Thankful November journal) how I am inspired by my friends who are lightworkers because they change their communities through love. Then I read your post here.
I don't think it is a coincidence.
Thank you Jeanne for sharing these exercises with us. I knew of them in a different context, but I never really looked at them with a spiritual side of it. Of all days to be reminded, today was the best one.
Jaidy, what you are going through is the result of very courageous decisions you made. Your daughters will thank you for this later. I will pray for you. Like Michele, I think it is wonderful how you go through the exercise of gratitude with your daughter. Another wonderful gift you are giving her.
I've been through therapy a few times. One of the things I was taught to help myself through negative reactions was keeping a cognitive journal. You know: "what is the situation, how you reacted, what you thought and how you felt, etc. It is a very worthwhile exercise, or so I was told.
Actually it works for most people. But I always got stuck at describing the situation and how I felt about it. The more I tried to work through a situation using the cognitive steps, the more these reflections became ruminations! Not helpful at all. But something good came of it.
I have a sense of humour that helps me to not take myself seriously. It helped for a while. Then I discovered a latent talent: drawing. When combined with my sense of humour, drawing helps me work through those difficult situations. As I do my drawings, I work through the harmful thoughts, my feelings become more empowering. I figure out what to do and feel good about myself for making a beautiful drawing or I get to laugh at the stick people I drew.
This topic is reminding me of going back to basics, taking better care of myself, of allowing myself to love me.
PS: An uncle of mine was an artist. He often said you find beauty is in it's imperfection. Drawing helps me see that. Taking back these good habits will help me love myself with those imperfections.
Bright Opal that's art therapy (i'm an art teacher). I'm glad you found a mode that works for you. My students do the same thing all the time without knowing it. Art is so powerful, the mandalas and the scandinavian artist someone shared the other week were inspiring. I love Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger- whose work empowered me a lot while working through my feelings about Kavanaugh and #metoo.
How I love these posts...they are just what I've needed and I will be practicing these exercises. This has been a tumultuous year for me...turmoil, loss, grief, momentous change, gratitude and moments of joy, all playing out against a backdrop of this lunatic political year with it's blatant racism, nationalism, misogyny and increasing chaos.
I've been MIA from this site for several months during a move from coast to coast. During the transition, I've found music to be a great comfort and listen to it daily. I also practice yoga, that union of body and mind achieved through movement and breathing. Yoga meditation is also transformative. Today I took a yin yoga class where you hold poses for extended periods of time. As you go deeper and deeper into the stretches, your body relaxes with each breath until you reach the final savasana and meditation. In that stillness I say a prayer of thanks and often feel the presence of my spirit guide. I am filled with peace.
I love reading about your practices and am so glad you've shared them here. We will get through this period of time and we will do it together. Thank you for inspiring me.
Oh, I am so happy you are with us Bluebelle, you and all the others gathering here.
The rain pushes and pelts us and even as we feel the heavy burdens, we strive, oh so hard, to push upwards and shed its weight, we still feel the sun's warmth and grace. That is you.
You felt it and grew upwards into it. You reached higher and higher, petal by petal opening , your blooms unfurling, until each glory led to another.
It's how we grieve, shed old skin, move into and transform anew.
We open into the love and the joy and then, so full, we overflow.
The tears are liquid sunshine in disguise . They bathe and cleanse us, remove the earthly grime from our inner shiny until the hidden smile we carry is released into purity of fullness. Hard, hard work. The shedding of mortal skin.
I am so glad you have now arrived after so many movings around and that energetically and are now just where you were needing and needed and meant to be.
We are all taking our positions now, like points on a compass or sacred monuments across the globe, holding our power, feeling the call.
We are all getting ready to push into rebirth, first individually then in larger and larger groups and someday, in unity, as one.
Yoga can position us, like acupuncture and other modalities can help us learn to direct the flows and unlock the doors through the stiffness of transition.
Oh it is so lovely. These new energies releasing now. Just like you.
Love, light, and healing prayers,
Love this! I was wondering where to post my thoughts about the negativity all around and what effects that has. What we give off most or hold in our hearts and minds is what we manifest and attract. There has been way too much negative in the world. I only venture into some of the threads here for that very reason. I try to limit the negativity I expose myself to. There is so much on both sides right now. It's not that we don't need to be taking what action we can in these times, but to hold on to the anger, disappointment or other negative emotions right now will only bring about more of the same. We have the right to be suspect, or have negative views of what is going on around us right now. However, the more we envision the positive, the more we find gratitude, or fill ourselves with love and joy, the more that type of energy will be attracted to us, and therefore those around us.
Hello, Jeanne and all of you kindred spirits,
I was led to this site in late November 2016. Until now I’ve hesitated posting in the forums, but I think that these times call upon me to do what I can to change our world for the better.
Jeanne, thank you for this particular topic on getting through these times. This past week I spent a couple of fitful nights experiencing anxiety/panic attacks. I wasn’t sure whether the attacks were caused by the attempted bombings and the horrible events in Pittsburgh, a culmination of the past two years, or maybe even a premonition I was getting about things yet to come. Last Wednesday morning as I was running some errands, obsessing about everything and feeling totally fried, I stopped for a red light. As the SUV in the lane next to me slowly moved up to the light, I turned my head and came face to face with a German shepherd in the SUV’s back seat, its beautiful, big head poking through the window, moving back and forth. Interestingly, he never made eye contact with me. I smiled and thought to myself, “Looks like he’s enjoying the cool breezes.” It hadn’t yet occurred to me that I myself wasn’t appreciating the clear blue skies and clean, fall air! At one point the shepherd suddenly stopped and raised his head, as his large, soulful eyes slowly looking up to the heavens. I decided to follow his eyes upward, only to discover a large flock of birds flying overhead. I silently watched the birds with my canine friend. My eyes eventually moved from the birds back to the shepherd. The shepherd’s head never moved, only his eyes – with an almost contemplative gaze, as if in awe of what he was witnessing. It was a gaze of faith. I was present in that moment, and even though the street was busy, the world around me was quiet. I laughed and said to myself, “oh – okay. Just stop and look up!” At that moment I understood that the universe frequently gives us messages or signs – whether for comfort, hope, inspiration, or direction. We just need to be open to seeing and hearing them. My acknowledgment was confirmed by feeling ‘chills’ (which often occurs for me with such confirmations).
As someone who is personally familiar with dissociation, I’ve come to understand the importance of being present to life. I was born a sensitive, which I believe is a gift, but it can also feel like a burden. My physical health has often been affected by it. So I’ve had to learn how to become present and detached, while remaining compassionate. I can’t be of service to others if I become a sponge to the emotions and situations that are swirling around me. It’s been very hard for me, as it has been for most of you, to witness what’s been happening in our country and not react. It would be easy for me to dissociate – and admittedly, sometimes I still do it to cope with some of the horror we are witnessing. But I don’t like being in that outer space. It helps when I remind myself that life itself is constantly moving and changing. Although our external world appears to be in a bad place right now, our internal world doesn’t need to be. And our inner world is much more expansive than anything we see in the physical world! More importantly, our inner world can outwardly manifest something magnificent – we truly have the power to be a force for healing, peace and positive change.
So … being mindful and present in the moment is the most important starting place to help me cope with the craziness.
Right now I’m going to write down 5 things I’m grateful for – one of which is my profound gratitude to all of you for generously sharing your insights, wisdom, and spirit.
Although our external world appears to be in a bad place right now, our internal world doesn’t need to be. And our inner world is much more expansive than anything we see in the physical world! More importantly, our inner world can outwardly manifest something magnificent – we truly have the power to be a force for healing, peace and positive change.
Wow deetoo, I could not stop smiling as I read through your post. That German Shepard is going to live in my imagination for a long time. Thank you dear soul and welcome to our community. 🙏
Thank you, Jeanne, and everyone who contributed here. It is really a balm for the ravaged spirit... for those of us who are very sensitive and tend to 'internalize' the constant bombardment of all the deeply disturbing events that we are witnessing every day, it is important to cleanse and stay centered.
I am a Dianic soul and thrive in the solitude of wild places, so taking walks in the forest and deep breathing with the trees really helps me to calm and connect with beauty. My heart chakra feels much more at peace and attuned... I am reminded that Nature is very forgiving, and I am so grateful for this.
Hey, it ain't easy being human... lol.
4. FINDING YOUR CHOIR: Here is another practice to help people thrive during these times (or during any time). You might say that reaching out to this community is part of this practice.
To thrive, it is important to surround yourself with people who get you and support you. It is often hard for lightworkers to find their choir because lightworkers are often more intuitive, spiritual, and empathic. than the average. They may grow up in families where they are the most supportive member. While they are good at helping everyone else, they don't always get the support they need or know how to find it.
At some point, however, if you are to thrive, if you are to to follow your true path, then you need to have people in your life with whom you can share your hopes and dreams, those out-of-the-box plans that most people won't understand. You need to be able to take risks to find the life that fits who you truly are, and it is essential to have people who will cheer you on in this effort rather than people who think you are nuts to depart from the status quo.
Finding your choir is not something that comes easy. It's a practice, like meditation or practicing gratitude. It takes time to cultivate the habit.
You may look around you and not have a choir right now.
Here are some tips to getting there:
1. Follow your most fervent interests, no matter how zany, and find at least one person you can be open with about yourself.
2. Stop sharing your hopes and dreams with people whose beliefs do not align with yours. Protect your SELF from people, who, even though they might be family or long time friends, and even though they may love you, they don't really get you.
You can still connect with them, but put boundaries around your deepest self when near them. You don't have to walk this path alone, but you may not be able to walk it with them. If you can, then rejoice! But if you cannot, no worries. There are others who can support you on your journey.
3. Make a list of the people you can tell your dreams and plans. It is okay if one of those is some new person in your life who you met at a workshop. It's okay if it is a mentor rather than a peer, or even someone you haven't met personally but whose work inspires you. It's even okay if you include a dog or a cat or horse in your choir. Animals make wonderful support systems. My dog has accompanied me along my most important spiritual quests.
Take a workshop with someone you admire. I met a whole group of people I felt were kindred spirits at a Joanna Macy workshop. We reconnected many times after that. Joanna also felt like a kindred spirit. It was a life-changing experience to spend time with them.
I have found kindred spirits in this community. You have all helped me through.
I've tacked on to this post a poem I found that may help you feel the importance of finding your choir. Do you know Rumi? He was writing 900 years ago.
Some people punch a hole in your being whenever
They are around, and then you leak out energy and
other kinds of vitals you could have used.
Then, there are people who can connect you to a
depth in their heart and for a moment, maybe an
hour, maybe a day, you will share their radiance.
The china doll in us, at some point, will no longer
break. It is then you will find you have the ability
to heal others, in a way few in this world can.
I'd like to share what happened to me on Election Day, while holding signs. First I want to share something VestraLux wrote in the thread about Armistice Day that is coming up on 11/11.
...But we're being called to hold the light. To cohere the field. To stand in league with beings of mercy and love and true power, beings who've been present in this sphere for thousands of years and have no intention of abandoning us anytime soon. Our work is to raise our frequency, stabilize it, and hold a vision of peace—together.
...11/11/11 is a mystical, powerfully co-creating frequency of high vibration and intense possibility. It's already been raining down a new form of light and expanding the atmosphere all around us. Jupiter moved into Sagittarius today, and that's brought a lot of release and positive movement. We get to stand in all of this new energy and hold the line. We are midwifing an era of peace. There will be intense labor pains, but we are here to do this, and we know exactly how it's done.
This year on 11/6 Election Day I held signs during evening rush hour in the pouring rain. The sun had set and I wanted the cars drove by to see me. So I invited light to come into me from above and illuminate me.
Unexpectedly I felt an angel flow into me. She stood there with me looking out at people driving by.
Instead of wanting the people to see me, I saw them.
I saw them with her compassionate eyes. I saw their hopes and dreams, and their fears.
Mostly they felt caught up in themselves and they felt young as a species and unfocused in the greater picture we face as caretakers of each other and our earth.
I also felt at peace. I had a knowing that we have lessons to learn, but we will learn and we will evolve. We are just so very young.
At the moment when darkness seems to be rising up, even as lightworkers have made so many gains and will continue to fight for what is right, I see that the people just need to evolve to turn it around.
The change will come from within each person until a critical mass has occurred and then the rest will follow. Donald Trump invited us to bring our darkest, most selfish selves to the surface and to act from those dark places. If we do that, then there will be a civil war and a lot will be lost, and little gained.
Instead we each need to evolve. When I tune into the angel's consciousness, I hear just this - that the people will learn from adversity and grow peaceful over time.
Such wise words and a lovely opening to the evolutionary awareness and change that deep inside brings forth our true nature beyond and beneath the endless repeating cycles we sense and are seemingly trapped in now.
"At the moment when darkness seems to be rising up, even as lightworkers have made so many gains and will continue to fight for what is right, I see that the people just need to evolve to turn it around.
The change will come from within each person until a critical mass has occurred and then the rest will follow. Donald Trump invited us to bring our darkest, most selfish selves to the surface and to act from those dark places. If we do that, then there will be a civil war and a lot will be lost, and little gained. Instead we each need to evolve. When I tune into the angel's consciousness, I hear just this - that the people will learn from adversity and grow peaceful over time."
Rising up through the many layers of evolutionary conscious awareness, all of the amazing synchronicity and sense of connection we have with one another, being drawn to different sites of power and feeling the helpers always surrounding us, is such a wonderfully powerful part of that evolutionary process.
Simply by being here, we are joining and connecting with so many beings of knowledge and many gifts and openings are happening among us on a daily basis,
The energies are dramatically shifting and the vibrational energies rising almost instantaneously now.
I am filled with delight and joy as I see so many changes and openings and sharing of inner awareness and personal truths on this site.
Donald Trump invited us to bring our darkest, most selfish selves to the surface and to act from those dark places. If we do that, then there will be a civil war and a lot will be lost, and little gained
As we sense and grow in the Light, we grow in our understanding of our part in the dark co-creation of this time and our place on our beloved planet.
Our eyes of darkness and judgment will also open to the light of concious co-creation and the creation of the beautiful world that Jeanne's work with Joanna Macy opened to all of us and by creating, through Jeanne, this wonderful site, the evolutionary process will further speed up and come to fruition.
And what a glorious world we shall have!
Bless you always for calling us, Jeanne. We heard you and we came.
Love, light, and healing prayers,