Sanity Check!

It’s been about six months since my last post and the world has gone crazy in that time. We’ve had a worldwide pandemic of a virus that first emerged over a decade ago and has mutated so many times the medical community can’t keep up. It has been called a flu, but that’s mostly because it’s a virus. It can have long-term dire effects on the body, or almost none at all in folks that simply carry it from one place to another.

We have seen protests calling for (very much needed) equality among all peoples. And even if these messages don’t fall on deaf ears, it will take education from a VERY early age to rectify that. Since we humans still live with tribal minds of mine-and-yours as opposed to ours, the response to racial equality still seems a long way off. For me, I still don’t understand how twisted and inaccurate most people’s understanding of the First Amendment is. The first amendment allows freedom of religion, expression and the right to petition. Apparently, the first amendment, for many, is all about them and what THEY can do, but not about their fellow man. Weird, I know.

Let’s not get into the power of all forms of civil policing… military police have much tighter restrictions on what they can and can’t do and the consequences of their behavior.

And the last thing I’ll mention is the absurd way the President of the United States has behaved during all of these many issues. Basically, he makes up stuff, backpedals when people call him on it, ignores counsel of those more informed, and plays with the constitution like it is the rules of a board game he absolutely intends to win.

So, what are we to do while we try to stay germ-free, keep ourselves occupied and wonder if our jobs are going to be there next week?

First, stop listening to the news, any news. Dr. Daniel Amen, a renowned neurologist and brain expert lists that as one of the top reasons people are freaking out. Why? Because there is no stipulation anywhere that the news has to be accurate! No requirements anywhere. None. Zip. Zero. Every news source is biased, even if its your mom! If you must feed your news habit, go to reliable sources like NPR, CNN and Reuters.

Two, stop worrying. This is a waste of energy since you can’t do anything about tomorrow or next week because that’s the future. Use that energy in a positive way right now. Today. This moment. Be mindful of what is dear to you – and if it’s something material, ask yourself why! Next, do something. It will keep you and your mind occupied and give you good feelings that you are doing something helpful for yourself or someone(thing) else.

Three, stop living in the past. We all do it. The older you get, the more you want things to stay like they were because that is familiar to you and gives you a feeling of control and understanding. Trust me, you didn’t understand or control what happened 5, 10 or 50 years ago any more than you do today. Living in the past generates resentment and other negative feelings. Let. That. Go.

Finally, my suggestion to you is take this time to slow down. Slow it all down. Get out of the rat race, off the hamster’s wheel and take a break. Remind yourself of who you are. Find something that makes you feel like you. Take a walk. Go to a park. Pet a dog. Play music – or learn an instrument. Sit in the sun. Read a book. Tell a joke. These things don’t cost money, except maybe for a cheap harmonica to play, and will help you reconnect to yourself. THAT is your sanity check.

Personally, I have taken this time to study Reiki and have earned the title of Master. The flow of positive energy fills my day. I am able to do distance reiki as part of my training. If you need a treatment, email me with a request.

Remember, there is NO going back to the way things were. There NEVER was and don’t kid yourself that all your yesterdays were the same. Every single day is different. The universe is different, the earth is different, people are different, YOU are different. Take this moment to begin a new path on the journey of your life, make it positive and beautiful. Allow it to bring you joy. And remember: don’t give someone else power over you by letting their opinion sway you in this pursuit. Smile and nod and then continue on your path while they continue on theirs. You are unique and beautiful and that is all that matters.

About holidays

It is widely known that many people suffer and some even take their lives during this holiday season. And, if you weren’t aware, there is almost one holiday PER DAY celebrated in this ‘season’ throughout the globe. So, while in the US, we often think of Christmas and New Year’s Day – there are MANY others that are also celebrated.

But why do people get so sad? Philosopher Kodo Sawaki put it quite well, I think:

It is not life that causes suffering, but our EXPECTATION that life should be the way we want it.

I have written about being in the moment and letting go, but I know how hard that can be for many people. It, like all things, takes a lot of practice and mindfulness (awareness) to bring your mind and spirit together to be in the moment – and let go of things that don’t bring you joy.

But here is another opportunity. Look at your expectations. Consider that an expectation is your prediction of the future. Realistically, that is impossible. There are too many other factors involved for you to predict what will happen – as opposed to what MIGHT happen.

So, in this holiday season – and all the ones to come – try to manage your expectations. Not every year can be better than the previous one. Focus on a few – or one – thing that makes you feel good and discount what you hoped would happen, but didn’t. Don’t be influenced by big business and commercialism that has just one purpose: to put money in their pocket. “Things” do not make us happy. Experiences do. So if you’re feeling just a little off, take a walk, listen to music, meditate, give a hug, pet a dog, make yourself breathe slowly – just do something that will relax you enough to be in the moment. That, my friend, is a holiday gift you give to yourself.

Live is a journey of ups and downs. Enjoy the ride. And may your heart smile when you do.

Jan