On the anniversary of 9/11, I sat on an airplane reading the Economist to catch up on current events. It struck me how much chaos is presently going on in the world – page after page of economic crisis, war, natural disasters and the destruction of our environment. I put the magazine down to consider the condition of our society. Have you ever noticed that the majority of what is reported is bad news? I can’t help but wonder how this affects us each personally.
When I feel over saturated by the headlines, it’s easy for me to feel discouraged and somewhat helpless. These emotions do not call me to action; instead, I want to run and hide. I am fairly certain that I am not alone. It’s as if we’ve come to expect humans to behave badly, or at least it has stopped surprising us. If the news becomes our role model, who are we being as a result? If we are not taken aback by such conduct, will we become numb?
On the other hand, when I attend Telluride Mountain Film, read Ode Magazine or witness citizens gathering in defense of our wilderness, I feel inspired and moved in some way. When I see examples of how people take action on an important issue, or are passionate about a specific topic, I have a sense of what is possible. When I’m shown that humans are capable of changing and influencing the world in a positive way, I’m inspired to do the same. I am in-spirit with what is important to me and I no longer want to run.
I’ve always been a proponent of the good news TV station. If we had a visual avenue to connect with the good things occurring in the world, we might act accordingly. It is important that we each learn to navigate within this complex system and make an imprint on our planet – personally, locally, nationally and/or globally. When we remember to look for ways to be of service, we can see an endless means to be an inspiring example to others. This is the only cycle worth perpetuating.
The following mindsets will bring you into action:
Is the glass half empty or half full?
Where is your focus? When you walk into a room, what do you notice – the flowers on the table or the tacky orange sofa? Where do your thoughts automatically go? We each have a tendency to be drawn in one direction or another and it is helpful to notice what your default mode is. Then ask yourself: where do I want to spend my energy and what motivates me to act upon the concerns that are important to me? Movie: I Am
What moves you?
Pay attention to what you are called to do within each moment. Assuming you have responsibilities and commitments, there remains a list of things you would like to accomplish each day. When the list is long and I’m having trouble choosing, I often ask myself: what am I moved to do? When I go through the choices, I pay attention to which one I actually want to do at that moment. If I can adjust my schedule and honor this voice inside me, I’m more productive and able to approach the task with greater joy and less effort; mainly, because I had the decency to ask (myself). If I can’t change the task at hand, I can certainly shift my attitude. Movie: Harold and Maude.
How can I help someone?
Start small. Years ago I formed this idea: what would the world look like if each and every person woke up and asked “what can I do to help someone today?” Imagine how the paradigm of consciousness would shift if we were focused on ways to be of service instead of hoarding all of the goodies for ourselves. After all, most wars are fought from a place of scarcity and ownership. Notice that when you share or do something nice for others, you feel good and happy inside. This also has a ripple affect and others will be inspired to do the same. Movie: Pay it Forward and Happy.
Living on purpose.
It’s plain and simple, when we believe that we are making a contribution, our life has more meaning. When we experience a deep sense of purpose, it’s easier to get out of bed and feel motivated each day. It starts by putting energy into your family, children and significant other. Only then can you extend yourself into your local or global communities in ways you see fit. There is so much to juggle – including the news – so feed yourself a steady diet that keeps you inspired but does not weigh you down. It’s the delicate balance of life.