Stability

Something that helps me when I’m overwhelmed and distressed by the state of the world or when I’m afraid or disappointed is to sit with myself. I get still, quiet, breathe deeply, and let it all go. I think, there’s nothing attacking you right now, you’re safe, just be, you’re not gonna save the world in an afternoon anyway, relax.

Then I pay attention to what I’m seeing and hearing right in front of me. Ah, the air is kicking on, it’s so wonderful to have air conditioning. I let my mind wander to memories of the time when I lived without a/c in the sweltering Louisiana heat, glad those days are over. I see the sun filtering through the window and hear the birds twittering and a dog barking. Everything’s okay, the kids are fine, we’re all doing well. Focus on the right now and everything you’re grateful for, just breathe, let your body get heavier, sink in, all is well here, where you are, in this moment.

Pretty soon I feel this center of love welling up from my chest and peace enfolds me, a warm blanket. I let go of the things I can not control. I decide to focus on what I can control. I then feel less overwhelmed and can cope better. I now have the bandwidth to problem solve and prioritize where I want to channel my energy.

I do have anxiety about the state of the world, how could anyone not? I don’t let it take over though. I have practices that help me maintain emotional stability so I can function even in the midst of crisis.

I still get exasperated at times because people have wildly varying perspectives and behave in horrific ways. It’s unbelievable, it’s shocking and traumatic. But I need to be able to function if I’m to make any difference in the world, so I keep practicing what helps me keep going. We need to take care of ourselves too while we’re doing what we can to help.

When making decisions on what to invest in I ask what matters most and later in life when I’m looking back on this will I be thankful for it?

For example, when I was divorcing I worked a lot so I could maintain stability for the children. I did it so they could stay in the same school and live in a nice house in a safe area. But it was so difficult and took a toll on me, but I wanted them to feel secure, safe and provided for. I wanted their life post-divorce to stay as equal as possible to pre-divorce, it was unsettling enough already.

The thought of them having to go to a different school and to live in an apartment because I couldn’t afford to pay for it all, I couldn’t do that to them. So I chose to work a lot while also going into debt. In the big picture, years down the line looking back, I would be thankful that they had stability and safety. It was more important that they have a nurturing experience. Sure adversity builds character, but in my view, a loving environment is even more important. In a loving nurturing environment people flourish and feel safe to be themselves, explore, and be creative to the highest degree. That’s what I wanted for them, so I chose to stretch myself and have no regrets.

Yes, I’m upset and afraid sometimes, but how do I want to invest my energy, what matters most? Am I gonna look back on this time in my life with appreciation, or will I have regrets? What are some practices and habits that will bring me more peace and relief so I can actually do what matters and make a positive difference?

Some practices and habits I’m thankful for are journaling, meditation, positive thinking, or shifting my thoughts, a vegan diet, daily exercise/walking, reading books, staying curious, flexible and open-minded, reading ACIM, working on personal development/learning and reframing my perspectives until I can attain a measure of empathy, compassion, and forgiveness.

In my day to day now I’m focusing on my health, that’s something that is always a priority because it impacts every aspect of my life and I’m exploring my creativity so I may discover ways to create the most beneficence in my time left in this world. I think my future self would approve.

What are you doing at this time in your life that you’ll look back on and be thankful for? Are you doing what matters most to you? If not, what’s a first tiny step you can make? Take that baby step!

Michelle Miyagi
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