How can we become more self sufficient, feeling more empowered, not less?

These days seem to be full of more questions than answers. The uncertainty can leave many of us feeling like we have no personal agency, much less what will happen in the coming day, weeks, months, even years.

A lot of wise words from my elders roll through my head these days.

Be Grateful.

My mom always reminded us kids to, "Keep your eye on the donut, not the hole." What do you have to be grateful for? Do you have housing? Are you fed? Are you healthy? Be grateful. You can share that health, by keeping your distance, so you and others around you can also stay healthy.

Because viruses just look at human bodies as hosts to keep the virus spreading, we can fight back, by avoiding the opportunity for the coronavirus to jump a ride on a fellow person. We are literally all connected by this, either by infecting each other, or by caring enough to isolate/social-distance for the foreseeable future. What you do does matter.

Just Do Something.

Many people are telling me they are stressed and/or depressed. That's understandable. But if we let the news suck us in, it can leave feeling completely overwhelmed, shutting down, and therefore not taking any positive steps. But as my mother-in-law says, "When you are overwhelmed, just pick one task, and do it."
Create two lists, one of things that you want to do and need to do. The want to do list should be things that are fun or new, that takes your brain off the s*&t of today. Taking care of the need to do items will give you a sense of accomplishment. Both are very beneficial to your wellbeing. So enjoy them both!

Compassion Over Money.

I got just an email from a company with the subject line, "How do we handle stress? Go shopping!" Really, that's your message right now? I took myself off that list and won't buy that product again. Ever.

My father, a man way ahead of his time, left his exciting career at ABC national news, back in the 1960s, so he could be present for me and my sister growing up. His motto was, "If you are only in it for the money, you're not making enough."

We will probably be dealing with the economic impact of these times for years to come.

How we all do and offer our trade, whether in our work or just keeping our communities up and running, is going to be different for a while. The more we can live from a sense of abundance vs lack, will hopefully we can cut down on fear, hoarding and chaos.

What skills do you have that you can share with others? Think of how your offering can ripple out from you. Just off the top of my head, I think of a master gardener helping her neighbors grow food for their families. What skill or offering do you have to trade with that master gardener who just helped you?

There is no more "box."

We started watching Madam Secretary the other nite. Something light for these times, right? Ha! Anyway, in the pilot the US president wants the Tea Leoni character to take over the Secretary of State position. He tells her, "You don't just think outside the box, you don't even know there is a box." I love that. And we are going to have to be a hell of a lot more resourceful going forward. No more watching reality shows, this is reality. We have to think on our feet and come up with solutions that we haven't ever considered yet.  When we have an idea, we often hold our tongues for fear of being considered silly or stupid, or hearing "that'll never happen." Well, most of us never imagined we'd be living in a pandemic either, so  time to wake up to a whole new paradigm.

This could shift us in more positive ways. Who knows. Time will tell, and so will the people.

peace and health to you all,



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