I’m not gonna lie, last week was a rough one for me. As I struggled to hold onto hope.
Just when it seemed like the world might finally be shifting for the better, Russia invaded Ukraine. And humanity took a big step backwards.
As I sat glued to the news, watching this tragedy unfold, I felt overwhelmingly sad & powerless.
After several days of feeling this way though, I realized it wasn’t serving me. Or anyone else.
I thought about my recent blog on the power of choice.
And realized I was being called to make another important choice.
To either stay stuck in my fear. Or find a way to move through it. Towards more joy again.
But first I had to ask myself this big question (that you may have been asking yourself, too)…
With so much going on in the world, is it ok to be happy?
A resounding yes!
Because I believe that choosing to show up for myself, my family & friends, & for women like you, helps to make the world a better place.
That we all need to continue sharing our gifts. To spread our joy, our love, our compassion.
So we can continue to lift one another up.
The world needs us to share our light, not hide in the dark.
“Even in the face of everything happening in the world, it’s ok to flourish…in fact, it’s more important now than ever. When you flourish, so do the people around you, & that has a ripple effect that extends out into the world.” ~ Nancy Levin, Author
So if you’ve been feeling anxious about the state of the world, or anything else in your life, I get it.
Here are 6 ways (the same ones I used last week) to help reignite your hope. And reclaim your power:
1) Protect your inner peace:
As my friend & fellow coach Marlene said: empathic women are like sponges. We soak up the world’s pain.
Which reminded me that I didn’t need to soak up any more of it. So I turned off the news. And haven’t turned it back on since.
While I realize that turning off the news may not be *your* thing, I do encourage you to watch less of it.
You might be surprised at how much better you feel when you do.
In addition, I encourage you to limit your time with people who trigger your fear or anxiety, or deplete you in any way.
Setting these boundaries doesn’t make you an uncaring person.
It just makes you someone who’s prepared to protect your own well-being. At all costs.
2) Do some EFT tapping:
As a highly sensitive person (HSP), I’ve been doing emotional freedom technique (tapping) for years. It’s a simple, effective method for calming your nervous system & regulating your emotions. And works for all kinds of physical & emotional issues.
In the midst of trying to feel better last week, I received an email from The Tapping Solution with a free mediation: “Envisioning Peace for Ukraine & the World”. I took it as a sign from the Universe, started tapping, & felt less anxious within minutes.
If you’re curious to learn more about tapping, visit The Tapping Solution’s website for their free resources & an easy how-to video.
3) Connect with Mother Nature:
Last week I spent an afternoon by the sea.
I watched seals play, seagulls fight for food & eagles soar.
I witnessed a beautiful rainbow, the sun steaming through the clouds, & a heart-shaped piece of blue sky magically appear above me.
It wasn’t long before I felt my sense of hope & faith returning.
So if you can, get outside.
And watch as nature reminds you to live in the moment.
Be grateful for all that is.
And to always hold onto hope.
4) Watch/read/listen to something inspiring:
I currently have a song on repeat: “‘Til You Can’t” by country singer Cody Johnson. His lyrics “if you’ve got a chance, take it…if you’ve got a dream, chase it” reminds me to live life to the fullest! Right here. Right now.
I also just listened to an inspiring Sounds True podcast: “Our Evolutionary Leap” with Lynne Twist. In it she talks about “creating a world that works for everyone.” And how we’re being invited by life “to dream big now.”
This wonderful interview shifted me out of my ‘wtf is happening?’ into a ‘we’re part of something so much bigger’ mindset.
And I’m gonna be completely honest here…every night I watch one or two episodes of Friends right before bed.
‘Cuz I know it will make me smile & laugh out loud (I mean, come on, could Chandler beeee any funnier?). Which will help me have a good night’s sleep.
Take it from me, all these little hits of joy & inspiration work. And over the last week, have helped me hold onto hope.
So watch, read or listen to something – anything – that makes you smile, laugh, or dance.
And fills your heart with joy.
Because yes, life is messy. But there’s always something good in it. If you look for it.
5) Practice loving-kindness:
Years ago, while dealing with a difficult in-law (who lived miles away but still wreaked havoc on my life), I came across the loving-kindness prayer.
It goes like this: may you (I) be happy, may you be safe, may you be at peace, may you (fill in the blank with whatever words work for you).
For weeks I repeated this prayer quietly to myself (& to my in-law) & watched as my anger dissipated & our relationship improved.
Years later I used it while going through a difficult divorce. To send loving thoughts to myself & my ex. And it shifted the energy between us.
I’m using it a lot right now.
For the world. For the Ukrainian people.
For all of us.
Never underestimate the power of prayer (in whatever form you choose) to bring positive energy to you & others.
Here’s a link to a guided loving-kindness meditation by The Mindful Movement, if you’d like to check it out.
6) Ask for help:
In the midst of my storm last week I spoke to several good friends who listened to me & validated my feelings.
Which helped me feel more grounded & get back on track.
So if you’re feeling stuck, sad or hopeless, reach out to someone safe…a friend, family member, therapist or coach.
‘Cuz everyone needs help at times.
And you’re never alone.
We’re all in this together.
So don’t give up. Hold onto hope.
And keep looking for the good in the world — because I promise you, it’s still there.
P.S. Need support in finding & holding onto hope? Check out my new course BACK TO YOU: Rediscover Yourself & Reclaim Your Power. It’s for women in midlife who are ready to believe in themselves and their dreams again!