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The Weight of the World

True Living, True Work

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“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard.

Do not let the pain make you hate.

Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.

Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree.

You still believe it to be a beautiful place.” Unknown

 

On Saturday, my five-year-old son and I were getting ourselves changed for the day whilst listening to music on Spotify. A new song came on and my son said, “that’s a sad song mummy, isn’t it?’

He listened intently to the words as the sadness visibly enveloped him, his eyes brimming with tears and his body descending heavily to the floor.

Instantly, I felt his palpable emotion spread to me. I lowered myself down to hold him in my attempt to ease the pain that this precious, emotional sponge was feeling.

Every day we’re bombarded with emotions. Some of these emotions we gladly welcome, whilst others feel like unwanted trespassers invading our space.

From the simple act of looking at the face of another or reading the black print in a newspaper, to watching a sitcom or sitting in a meeting, emotions are everywhere.

We ‘re encircled and right now it feels like it ‘s reaching a new level of intensity on a global scale. Whether it’s Brexit in the UK, racial violence in the US, terrorist attacks world over or political instability, it all takes its toll.

Yet, we can’t carry it all because if we try to we literally become weighed down. We become unstable and unable to function or move freely, or even move at all.

We would never expose our children to all of this, wishing them a degree of innocence and protection, yet we do it to ourselves.

I believe in being informed and having an awareness of what’s going on in the world but not to the extent that we need to absorb it all, solve it all, hypothesise or catastophise every single possibility. Aware but not hyper-vigilant.

Hyper-vigilance leads our nervous system to feel  overloaded and in pain and not long after, so does our body. And that pain leads us in so many directions, none of which are good.

So how do we cope in this global age, this time of uncertainty and pain? How do we lessen the load so we can continue to live unconstricted?

Choose wisely

“No matter what the situation remind yourself “I have a choice”” Deepak Chopra

When we boil it down, we get to choose how we live and this applies to so many areas of our life. Often we forget this choice because we haven’t exercised it for so long, but it’s still there, hidden deep down.

I was brought up in a household where the newspaper landed on our doormat every day and we sat around the television together watching the morning and evening news so we were suitably informed on the state of the world.

For years to come, I felt I had to observe this news hungry routine religiously if I was to be a good person. I forgot to ask myself if it was serving me. I forgot I had a choice.

Now I’m deeply aware of my choices and exercise them with conviction once I’ve got crystal clear on the answer to my guiding question; what feels true for me today?

This goes with everything. Yes, there are some things we can’t change, but most things we have a degree of control over, so be your own friend and choose what you need today.

Power down

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes….including you” Anne Lamott

We live in a world of speed, activity and achievement. A world in which there is little space to be still, to restore and to opt out.

Gift yourself with the treasures that come from feeling space encircle you, comfort nurture you and stillness soothe you every day.

For me, some days that looks like meditation and a walk in nature, others its yoga and a long lunch sat outside whilst others its sleep and a book. Listening to my deep need for rest has been a long journey, one which will never end, but I savour the joyful rewards, deeply knowing that when recharged I can engage with the world in a more grounded and mindful way.

Let it out

“Don’t keep all your feelings sheltered – express them. Don’t ever let life shut you up” Dr Steve Maraboli

When emotion comes in and takes up residence, we can be left with its ramifications for days, weeks, months or even lifetimes. Emotions flow in two directions, inwards but also outwards.

When I was striving hard in my corporate career I forgot this. I forgot to let them out. I pushed them down, drove through them fearful of what might happen if I stopped to fell them.

Then I was forced to stop. Forced to feel. Forced to let them flow in the form of tears on my cheeks, ink on the page and words in the air.

Let them out by giving them the space they need to feel heard and understood. Cry, write, talk, move your body, whatever you need to get them out.

Marvel at the world

“When you look at life through the eyes of gratitude, the world becomes a magical and amazing place” Jannifer Gayle

The world we get to inhabit every day, is a miracle. It’s filled with incredulous beauty that boggles the mind when we allow ourselves to be mesmorised by it.

My favourite way to unravel when life feels stressful is to lie on my stomach in the grass and stare at the blades growing infront of my eyes.

I notice their colour, their uniformity, their differences, their ability to sway in the wind, their gentleness to touch. All of it. So utterly amazing and I feel beyond blessed in that moment to experience it and be grounded by it.

Look around you and be mesmorised by this world, see the goodness and blessings that encircle us and feel cradled by it.

 

I’m not sure how you’re going with the world’s course right now, but I do hope you find your way to listen to what you need and give yourself permission to receive it and take the weight of the world off of you.

For my son, he knows the answer. After a big hug and wiping his tears he asked me to put on a ‘happy song, one that takes the sadness away’.

Everyone’s ‘happy song’ looks different, but knowing where to find it is key.

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