Empowerment, Humility, & Thankfulness
Fear, guilt, frustration, and numbness seem to be the ways to tackle the day.
But the big, diverse, beautiful world offers us so many other options: empowerment, humility, and thankfulness, to name three.
Look, of course we could use this chaotic and difficult time to lash out, hide away, or melt in a puddle of shame and hopelessness. I'm sure those very human options aren't going away any time soon. Your process is allowed to be messy, and you gotta do what you gotta do to stay sane. I won't judge you. Unnecessary judgment got us here in the first place.
But, if you feel up to some different options, read on.
You know what's empowering? That the current tech and interconnectedness of our flawed society, built on prejudice and negligible hierarchy can inspire change so rapidly. It is scary and heartbreaking to witness injustice, but here we ALL ARE, present with it, taking it in and learning about its roots and clicking/calling through simple ways to make a difference. We have access to every perspective we never had before. We can order a book on the subject with a couple of phone taps or a sentence to Siri/Alexa! We can step outside and peacefully organize, or we can safely watch from live streams, direct from every day heroes. We can go from a state of shock and disgust, to an acknowledgement of what's really important (community, equality, lifting each other up, kindness, innate human worth), straight to an empowering action in a matter of days, or hours, or even minutes. We can experience the gamut of emotions alongside millions of others around the world, and realize we are more together and more powerful than we've been lead to believe.
Humility is not the same as guilt, or shame. Humility is an equality barometer. Humility is understanding that nothing really of note gets accomplished without help, usually a LOT of help. I am a healthy artist with a good home, a modest resume, and a (generally) working sanity. You know how many people and circumstances came together to get me to this place? How many friends and family members, bearers of financial assistance, casting directors, producers, teachers, authors, forum/blog writers, business employees (from skyscraper offices to Home Depot), yogis, nutritionists, scientists, and just moments of small, timely kindness had to come together to create this charmed existence? Thousands, if not more. Do you know how many people have to come together just to publish a single book or release one film? Or design the next version of the iPhone? Or operate a grocery store? Or build a house?
Yes, we always have inner work to do alone, but alone is not what we're meant to be. Embracing humility in our family debates, our group messages and social media engagements, our common interests, and our social movements, is key to embracing our togetherness, and how much stronger and more effective we are when we're aware of and there for each other.
Oh man, this is my favorite option.
What better way to heal and strengthen ourselves for all challenges to come than to be thankful for what's already here? I woke up today in a beautiful, sunny, clean, spacious room, next to someone I adore from the core of my being. I have been gifted time to reorder and rethink my dreams, time to write, time to lose myself in music, time for longwinded calls with people I didn't use to talk to enough, time to cook all my meals and sleep for 8 hours, time to relax, and check in on my own schedule, and organize my space. I have been gifted an easy unemployment approval process, and little gigs here and there to fuel my motivation and finances. I have been gifted rest and delicate body balance in everything from breath devotion and fitness to meditation and self care. I drink filtered alkaline water out of mason jars with lemons from a tree in my yard, and I get my fair trade coffee beans in the mail via subscription. I have every resource at my fingertips: how to garden, how to cook with new ingredients, how to ease my shoulder tension, how to write a script, how to get my eyeliner just right, how to support the causes I'm most passionate about directly, how to properly house dance, how to take/edit better photos and videos, how to lead with compassion in my writing and in person... it's all there, in how-to videos and classes, in talks and articles, and in fun, creative, relatable pieces of educational art, ready to be watched in the timing that works for me. I have the most incredible and kind and talented tribe of friends on two coasts: people who teach me and lift me and accept me in all my imperfect Looshness. People who mutually discover and vibe with me and who seem to pass in and out of my day with divine timing. People who bring such a wealth of perspective to my life and who help me process the world from so much more than one angle. I have a family who loves and supports me from afar, with no conditions or judgments.
I honestly have a life I could barely fathom 10 years ago. The world could not force me out of thankfulness if it tried. There is just too much beauty and joy and good fortune that I've already experienced. I know the world is good, and I will continue to thank it every day, even when sh*t gets really, unpredictably hard. I'll be thankful for the heroes on the frontlines of sweeping change and care for the most vulnerable. I'll be thankful for the growth we're all experiencing. I'll be thankful for the whole damn process and all the people pitching in to make it more efficient.
So that's the option I'm going with today.
Most days, actually.