We are living in cataclysmic times. An age where powerlessness has, perhaps, never felt greater and the confluence of significant global events can only add to that feeling.
Powerful and catastrophic wildfires have threatened to wipe-out species and force people from their homes.
Political leaders and governments are willing to push into territory that comes within a hair’s breadth of the law—or perhaps even breaks it—yet somehow they keep the majority.
Long-forged governing unions that have helped to ensure peace and stability across the European continent are being broken apart.
And today, we are dealing with fear and panic caused by the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus with its fast-rising death toll, spread around the globe and complete economic havoc.
The list goes on.
I haven’t even mentioned the rapid environmental shifts that are changing life on earth as we know it. Or gun violence. Or the drug epidemic.
Is it any wonder that over 40 million Americans experience anxiety disorder, and our teenagers are feeling that the literal weight of the world is on their shoulders?
In the face of such powerlessness, what is there to do?
One of my favorite analogies is this… paraphrased from Pema Chödrön. If the stones on the roads ahead hurt your feet, do you wrap the world in leather to protect yourself? No. You bind small pieces of leather around each foot so you can move freely, and without suffering. And then you are free to move, be effective, care for yourself and help others.
So it is that I sit, close my eyes and meditate for 20 minutes first thing each morning. Before reaching for my phone, or coffee. Before being bombarded with more anxiety-inducing news. 20 minutes to try and build a little buffer between me and the world’s happenings, so I can be of use. And feel okay with being powerless.
I invite you to join me.