Finding steady ground:
strengthening our spirits to resist and thrive in these times.
To be in shape for the long haul, we have to get our minds and spirits ready, as well as jump into action.
When we’re in bad shape, our power is diminished — we’re less creative, more reactive, and less able to plan strategically. If we intend to stay active and effective in the world, we have a responsibility to tend to our spirits.
Here are 7 behaviors we can use right away to strengthen ourselves, so we can keep taking more and more powerful and strategic actions.
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1. I will make a conscious decision about when and where I’ll get news — and what I’ll do afterwards.
What you choose to pay attention to during the day has an impact on you. Which news sources help you understand the world more fully, and which ones only leave you fearful and despairing? After getting your news, what works for you: moving your body, talking with friends, hopping onto social media? Make it conscious — and if it doesn’t work, don’t keep doing it. Read More…
2. I will make human-to-human connection with another person and make sure we stay in motion.
The goal is accountability, so that we don’t freeze up in the face of overload or despair. Check in to share and reflect on how you are staying in motion (like writing letters, volunteering, creating resistance art, working on virtual campaigns).
3. I will pray, meditate, or reflect on those I know who are being impacted by oppressive policies, and extend that love to all who may be suffering.
Learn to cultivate love. One starting point may be holding compassionate space for your own pain or the pain of those close to you who are being impacted by the policies and politics of the time. In that reflective space you can give yourself space to be, feel loss, grief, anger, frustration, helplessness, and conviction. Then hold your love and extend it beyond, to others you may not know who are also suffering. And lastly, take time to notice that this is not all of your reality: you also may have joys with your folk around you, be surrounded by beautiful music or nature, and take delight in creation. Joy in the face of hard times is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Read More…
4. I will read, listen to, or share a story about how others have resisted injustice.
Millions have faced repression and injustices and we all can learn from them. Stories may be from ancestors, contemporaries in this country, or lessons from those around the globe who have faced more severe and repressive governments. The goal is to become a student of history so that you can take inspiration and deepen your understanding of how to struggle and thrive. Read More…
5. I will be aware of myself as one who creates.
The goal of injustice is to breed passivity — to make us believe that things happen to us, events happen to us, policies happen to us. To counteract this, we need to stay in touch with our sense of personal power. One goal is to see ourselves as people who create, whether it’s cooking a meal, organizing a dazzling dramatic action, knitting a hat, making a sign, or playing the piano. We are more than consumers, and our humanity must be affirmed.
6. I will take a conscious break from social media.
Instead, fill the time with intentional and direct human interaction. You could take a full day a week away from social media as a healthy minimum, but you decide what is right for you. Read More…
7. I will commit to sharing with others what’s helping me.
This is not meant to be a complete list, but rather a baseline for maintaining emotional well-being in hard times. These are keystone behaviors that can help generate new patterns and consciousness. Share this list with others and add your own to it, creating a commitment to health and building accountability as we strive for a better world. Read More…