These are dark times, my dears. Dark indeed.
So we will need to call on all our grit, love and fire to BRING THE DAMN LIGHT.
Here are some places to start. Remember, your light doesn’t start out ‘there’ somewhere— it starts deep inside you. Staying informed is important, but so is staying strong and agile and full of hope and energy. We need our light-bringers more than ever right now. So here are five ways you can stay fueled up and keep burning clean and bright.
1. Look at kids’ books.
There’s a reason some books have become classics— it’s because they show us the best versions of who we want to be and who we want our kids to become. Notice that there’s no timeless classic called “Other people are bad so let’s take away their rights.” Nope. Instead we have Goodnight Moon, Where The Wild Things Are, Lily And Her Purple Plastic Purse, Ferdinand, The Gardener, and a hundred other stories about courage, kindness, empathy, and shaping the world with our minds and hearts and hands. This gives me immense hope for humanity.
2. Fill your world and body with things that grow in the dirt.
A bunch of lavender. A fat sassy succulent. A noble carrot. A tree. Hold them in your hands, breathe them in, bathe your eyes in them, lean in and find their heartbeat. This sweet old earth keeps making things for us with wild abandon. She can take the grossest parts of us human animals and transform them into astonishingly gorgeous new life. There’s wisdom there, my friends. And deep nourishment. Our job is to take it in with gratitude.
3. Dress like your best self.
Scour your closet for the best things. That special outfit that you save for when you need to look good. The fierce boots that will put up with zero shit. The scandalous purse. The earrings that make you remember that you were once a goddess. These things are not frivolous; they are powerful symbols, talismans if you will, that signal to the world and to your own sweet mind and heart that you are a force to be reckoned with. You’ll stand a little taller, speak a little more clearly, and be a little more compelling when you dress like the badass you truly are.
4. Give yourself downtime, rest, and silence.
If you’re at all sensitive, you’ll notice that the emotional airwaves are even more cacophonous than usual right now. There is a shit-ton of anxiety broadcasting, and you’re probably picking it up. Your nervous system needs extra rest, quiet, sleep, walking, and processing in order to keep you strong and healthy. (And make no mistake, love, we NEED you strong and healthy.) Turn off the TV, turn off your phone, grab your journal, sink into a book, put on music, go for a walk outside— whatever helps you disconnect from the fray and reconnect with your own wisdom, heart, soul, spirit, and creativity. People who are disconnected from themselves do scary, disconnected (and disconnecting) things. People who are deeply tuned in to their own moral and spiritual compass rarely do. Tuning in to your own heartbeat literally creates more sanity and compassion in this world.
5. Do something kind for someone.
For maximum effect, try doing something kind for someone who probably will never be able to repay the favor. It’ll make you bigger, and stronger, and happier. It could be something tangible, like buying someone a sandwich or shoveling a walk, but it could also be sharing an amazing project that an unknown artist is working on, or writing a great review on Yelp, or writing an unprompted referral or recommendation for someone. This kind of giving is sneaky, because it will end up making you feel almost as good as the person on the receiving end of the kindness. It’s a strange magic that’s an amazing antidote to the divisiveness and fear getting a lot of airplay right now.
Remember, love, that if you are feeling a LOT OF BAD THINGS right now, it’s because you’re a big receiver. Which is a beautiful thing. But don’t forget that you powerful receivers are also powerful BROADCASTERS. I read a New York Times article the other day that said that he-who-shall-not-be-named is saturating our media presence— including Facebook and Twitter— more than any other figure in history. Of the 1000 most-mentioned people, he gets more media hits than the other 999 put together.
In other words, he is broadcasting a big, loud signal right now. It’s like the incredibly annoying high whine of a mosquito, amplified to painful levels. It’s a dark smoke cloud that blocks out the sun and the colors.
So one of the most helpful things we can do for ourselves and the world is turn that signal way down so we can start finding— and then broadcasting— a DIFFERENT signal.
Turn up the music. Paint the world all our colors. Tell the messy, complicated truth. Dance the joyous dances and sing the song of our heartbreak. Keep speaking up and filling up.
We don’t have to start from scratch. The truth-tellers, art-makers, justice-bringers, and light-bringers of the world have been at this for a long time. We’re just joining in to add our part. Because that’s how we always bring the light, loves— one small courage-flare at a time. Your light and my light are tiny little dots on their own— but together we will be the aurora borealis.
P.S. I have been doing interviews, dearhearts. With some amazing visionary light-bringers and rabble-rousers. They’re going to help us all be stronger and fiercer and smarter, and I can’t WAIT to show them to you… so make sure we are connected on Facebook and Instagram so you hear about it FIRST!