Boom. I have started. Just like that. Thanks to my friend Lisa for forwarding Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper this morning. In it Maria writes what many of us have been asking ourselves, “How do we turn despair into action?” She reminds us that, “We can’t go quiet. We can’t bow out. We can’t believe that we have nothing to add.” A strong reminder of our personal power and responsibility to ourselves and each other. It is a call to action that spoke to me.
While I have been wanting to write and focus my thoughts, my efforts have repeatedly stalled. I have found myself feeling overwhelmed and helpless by the weight of despair, divisiveness, and loss that have headlined 2020. Witnessing so much suffering and feeling powerless to help is distressing beyond belief. Overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of the struggles, I haven’t known where to begin. I see need everywhere and want to cure all that ails us, but my attention is quickly redirected to the next issue or disaster. The past seven months as my days have been full of coaching sessions with clients, I too have been feeling stuck and overwhelmed. Like many of my friends, family, and clients, I want to make a difference in these difficult times. We want to restore peace, security, honesty, and hope to our communities. But day after day, I feel more and more insignificant. The task feels too big. There is just too much to fix.
I sustain myself with peaceful runs, yoga, sunshine, my coaching practice, and beloved family and friends. I ground myself with gratitude. When my mind is frantic with worry, I remind myself that “I am safe right now, in this very moment.” Then I ask, “What is next?” Sometimes, the answer is simple, like wanting to grab a snack or finish an email, but lately the answer has been bigger and broader. “What do I really want to do right now?” “What do I want to do at this moment in time?”
Today, I am returning my attention to a simple question that many of my clients have heard me ask, “What is the smallest thing I can do that will make the biggest difference today?” For each of us the answer is different. I am so inspired by those who are working to get the vote out, distribute food to those in need, and heal lives and souls. I am inspired by those on the front lines and taking care of their families at home. I am inspired by my children advocating for safer streets in Los Angeles, feeding the hungry outside their condos, and compassionately working with patients and families at a Houston hospital.
No one person can heal the world alone, and we don’t need to. At the same time, we must not fail to do what we can.
I am committed to reaching outside my immediate area of influence each day and doing something tangible to make at least one life a little better. I will keep a list of my efforts (large and small) and will hold myself accountable by sharing this intention with you.
Together, our efforts yield compounding results and we begin to restore more light, love, compassion, understanding, cooperation, and peace in our communities and beyond.
Live well/Be well