Kindness to self
This morning I had the wonder of waking up next to the ocean. Taking my cuppa, I wandered along the beach, the new days sun warming me through.
A deep feeling of gratitude and happiness came over me.
It got me pondering. In these crazy times, how many of us are standing in the very moment and recognising all that is amazing. How many of us are remembering to stop and breath, deeply. Grounding into Papatūānuku, allowing her to hold us, even for a brief while.
There’s an old saying ‘where your focus goes, energy flows.’ In other words, consider what you are bringing (potentially without realising it) into your life.
What are you reading? What are you watching? What are you hearing? What are you feeding? Fear or Hope? Draining or Uplifting? Division or Unity? Apathy or Empathy?
Or are you just plain over it all?
I ask at this time, because I am seriously concerned about the (mental) health and well-being of Kiwi’s. I’m concerned about mid to long term impacts, particularly for our children.
It feels that this feeling of fear, that manifests in many different guises, is really heightened at the moment, with what is happening in our own country and around the world.
It’s not that there hasn’t always been challenges, always been something to worry us. There has and potentially always will be – if we choose.
I think one of the greatest things we can do as individuals is learn to only focus on what we can control. And yep, this is an oldy too. But worth reiterating.
Putting energy (worry) into things you can’t control can create unwanted outcomes, including ill-health. We can’t control what others think, do, feel. We can’t control world events. We can’t control the weather.
It’s worth noting that we can choose (consciously or unconsciously) to allow others to control us. And, yes of course, we can manipulate and be manipulated. This tends to only work for so long before consequences reveal themselves. Free will and all that.
If we focus on things we can control, mainly our (re) actions, then we can do something about it. Whether this be recognising unhealthy patterns (and addressing this), what makes us happy (doing more of this!) or just holding the awareness within ourselves (without feeding it).
I know there is a LOT going on at the moment. I’m not saying put your head in the sand and hope it all goes away. What I am encouraging is to take a moment to just be in the moment. To focus on all that is right in your world.
Allow this feeling to fill you. To calm you. To hold you.
Also, maybe take a moment to consider what you are allowing into your thoughts, your mind. ‘Being healthy’ isn't just about our physical being, it’s our mental too.
If you’re struggling to find sunshine in your day, please, please reach out. There is so many people that care for you. Truth.
You do have a choice in all this.
It’s being a time of observation of recent past and current events. Experiencing feelings of sadness, frustration, hurt, anger, hope and aroha – not all at the same time thank goodness.
This world of duality, where we generally have a ‘one’s wrong, one’s right’ approach.
It seems we humans can’t quite get to grips with the idea that maybe both parties are right some of the time. In the current situation, many have valid arguments, have valid fears and are holding strongly to their own personal truth.
The reality is at the mo, it is very difficult to know what the facts are, as we get constantly bombarded from all sides. Most of these experienced experts will be sharing some fact, mixed in with some assumptions, have some omissions and maybe adding a bit of storytelling – we are human after all.
We all have biases. We all see what we want to see. Believe what we choose to believe. And let’s not underestimate the amount of fear that is being currently generated. This too is incredibly motivating (and controlling).
As with all things, people will find their truth amongst this. And who am I to say they are wrong? Who am I to assume I know what they know, have experienced what they have experienced?
The point being, there should be no shame in holding an opinion contrary to others. Isn’t that what freedom (of speech) is all about?
I might absolutely disagree and have my own truths to back me up. But what I have learnt (and continue to learn) is sometimes it’s really healthy to agree to disagree. To allow others to walk their truth, learn and grow from their journey and me from my own.
To offer advice only when asked. It’s called respect.
When the next debate comes along and we find ourselves on opposite sides of yet another dilemma, wouldn’t it be wonderful to know we can recognise that our opposing opinions might be where our strength lies?
Because this is how we learn and grow – as individuals and as a nation. Our decisions can be richer and wiser just through the ability to empathise with others.
This is not to say one shouldn’t stand strongly in what one believes. We absolutely should! Particularly so if there are injustices, which there are.
It is to say we need to be mindful others will have different views and can feel just as strongly about them. And that’s okay. It’s healthy. It’s democracy. It’s also completely normal.
The word advocate and enquiry come to mind. One is to have formed an opinion and then encourage others to think the same. The other is to come with an open mind. To maybe hold an idea but be open to hear and consider what others have to say.
We are at an incredibly important crossroads and the question needs to be asked. What world do we wish to live in, raise our children in?
One of respect? One of building strength and commonality through diversity?
Or one of bitter division?
I would suggest one that we are empowered to think and create. One where transparency, freedom of choice and equality are all highly valued, as this is our right, our strength and our power.
It is time to choose a new path.