Yesterday evening Zack mentioned that he noticed I’ve been pretty absent on social media and my other internet networks over the past month…
My response was a combination of, “ I have nothing to say” and, “I’m disgusted by the garbage in the media at large and I have no interest in contributing to it”.
To which he replied, “Well Erin, in the midst of all the negativity maybe you can be one to share something positive, or uplifting, or inspirational”.
I probably rolled my eyes when he said that.
So here I am.
Zack planted the seed in my mind which then gave me the impulse to reach out from my inspiration collecting hibernation in order to share something personal, beautiful, and – dare I say it- something positive.
Emotion as Empowerment
Like everyone else I’ve been an emotional steam train over the past few weeks, traversing through a myriad of emotional landscapes – anger, sadness, and shame being my most frequent stops. And although it’s a little strange to write, I must also admit that my emotional volatility and vulnerability has been a driving force of my personal motivation, self accountability, inspiration, and a real deep rooted recognition of empowerment.
Our deep climbs through the highs and the lows don’t always have to leave us deflated or helpless, these undulations can actually drive us to participate and stay involved in daily actions, global causes and domestic conversations in meaningful and influential ways. Our emotional responses can empower us to feel something, and do something.
What if our emotions inspired us to do the right thing, to research and uncover the facts, to speak up until all voices are heard equally, to show up willing to share and listen, and to support the organizations ( shout out to ACLU) and the individuals who work tirelessly each day to preserve and uphold the values and rights that most of us hold with the highest esteem? What if we allowed our emotions to empower us?
Intention and Attention Arrive Together
Be mindful and be more intentional with what you place your attention on. I’m not saying ignore what’s going on, quite the opposite actually, I’m saying pay attention. Question the inevitability of the story you’re being told or the one you’re telling yourself ( Rebecca Solnit). Refuse to feed your mind the kind of ‘news’ that aims to stress you out far more than it aims to intelligently inform you of meaningful information. You are not obligated to clog your mind with garbage. Let me repeat that, you are not obligated to clog your mind with garbage.
Each day take a pause from it all, step into the light, say a prayer or do whatever you need to do to dig deep and find your inner optimist. Nurture your optimism by spending more time engaged in things that are clear and inclusive, things that reflect your priorities and ignite direct intentions. Spend time with beloved people and animals, appreciate the parts of nature that speak to you with beauty, read books and poems, open your mind, be creative, and spend a little time each day in your flow – that unending stream of inspiration and optimism that’s usually just beneath the surface.
Log Off to Tune In
Take care of business, and take care of yourself.
Don’t be afraid to step away from your computer or your phone in order to actually participate and be an engaged and inspired citizen. While I do actively seek out information on the current state of the world each day, I now refuse to be inundated with the entertainment based headlines and opinions plastered everywhere; and I encourage you to do the same.
Sift through the bull shit, extract what’s important and useful, and churn the residual negative instigation into intelligible action.
While hope and inspiration are sometimes unbearably difficult to allow inside ourselves, especially in moments of conflict, they are such worthy tools to develop. Hope gives us the courage and the motivation to carry on, and inspiration pulls us though the intense clenching of our feelings long enough to recognize that there is always something we can do.
Positive inclusive thinking, interactions, and actions will always outlast and expel negative ones; it’s a clique because it’s true. The many are stronger than the few. And so, when you lose your way or feel hopeless follow the many incredibly intelligent and inspirational people who walk their talk and do amazing things each and every day. Tune into these people, support them, be inspired by them, and allow their hope to inspire the way you engage with the world and live out your days.
And no matter what, do not let a handful of clowns keep you from standing up for yourself, standing up for all others, standing up to protect the natural resources Mother Nature still has left, and standing up for the well being of this small but mighty planet in which we live.