Overwhelmed for all that’s calling to be heard in today’s world? Feeling overrun by the suffering, the raw magnitude of tragedies or the daily deluge of cataclysmic events streaming through your iPod or Dumb Phone every morning? Feeling disempowered after hearing the hourly drama that is the present White House and all its intentional interference with American prosperity and peace of mind?
Do what I did: Take a real pause. From EVERYTHING.
Why? Because we all need to see life and all its happenings differently. To shut off the flow of toxins that is our dramatic daily unfolding of everything disturbing our peace of mind. (Even Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh encouraged us to look at the flowers in the midst of war.) Personally, I detached from the up-to-the-minute rants that are Facebook, turned off anything informational — The New York Times and The Washington Post and NPR News Morning Briefings and Political Alerts — unfriended my Trump-voting cousin, blocked my Trump-voting brother, canceled my Twitter account. I severed myself from anything with an emotional charge. As a wildlife advocate and activist, believe me, everything happening right now carries with it an intense emotional charge.
My level – as is the case for most enlightened men and women — of sensitivity for caring about all the things happening had reached a place that my own emotional and psychological wellbeing required a more heightened level of compassionate, conscious and protective care. It doesn’t come naturally to me, and I suspect from speaking with others, it just plain doesn’t come naturally to any one of us.
If I can do it, anyone can. I jumped on my motorcycle, wending my way along flowing river roads, catching my own rhythm and thinking of nothing but the turns in front of me. I found Blanket flowers and Sylvia and Baby’s Breath to plant on my arid mountain valley hillside to nurture the pollinators. I rescued a Bumble Bee that found its way into my barn loft office, following it around from flower to flower, until it recovered.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I crawled into the cave of solitude. I’ve only now begun to feel the breath of life return and the hope parting the dark skies. I haven’t resumed my usual activist or advocacy work, yet, but I’m keeping the phone message from the Wyoming Fish & Game guy handy, just in case I decide I want to talk with him about why they are calling for the heads of 23 Grizzlies this autumn.
And in the meantime, if the skies do indeed fall in, my more detached and logical-minded scientist husband has vowed to keep me informed far enough in advance to load the dogs and cats into the vehicles and head down the Canyon. But for tonight, however, we’re both enjoying sipping a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on our front porch while watching the throngs of hummingbirds my husband feeds daily, while filling out our ballots for the Democratic Primaries…