Be a Hope-a-holic
As much as it is important to stay up to date on news, I am conscious about not getting drawn into the rabbit hole of sad, frustrating, unbelievable spiral of politics. I believe it’s a choice to find the fine balance between staying in touch with reality and maintaining optimism and vision these days. In a recent speech to the Create and Cultivate community, Gloria Steinem coins the term hope-a-holic which feels like the place I want to be in this world.
I especially love her profound and unexpected answer to “What would you say to your 15 year-old self”
When an audience member stood up to ask the trailblazer what she would tell her 15-year-old self, Steinem laughed and said that though age changes, the person inside does not. “You can’t live in future,” she shared. “Hello, you can only live in the present. We only have our five senses in the present.”
Adding, “Here’s the secret of age: You’re still the same person, but after you hit 50 or 60, you’re free like you were when you were a little girl.” Joking, “Except now you have money, and your own apartment.”
Being a hope-a-holic is noticing the chaos and not getting distracted by the three ring circus, it’s turning on our awareness and toning down our reactivity. Being a hope-a-holic is being honest about corruption and not allowing that to be an excuse for a lack of our integrity. It is acknowledging the disillusion and our disappointment, while maintaining our ideals.
This is a time when the practice of meditation and focusing the mind comes into practice. It is not about stopping the thoughts (inside our mind and those out in the world), rather it is a practice of getting still amidst these many thoughts. The practice of bringing attention back to the breath is practice for connecting to our purpose and responsibilities for the day and for our lives. The mantra “let go” makes sense even in these times of news overload and endless analysis of questionable words, tweets (and other “covfefe”), and decisions.
When in doubt, turn to those practices that get us back to our center. Do yoga, get your hands in the dirt of your garden, hold a baby, play with some kids, do art. Don’t just go for a walk, climb to a place where you can get some real perspective. Call a friend who you know to be grounded and level-headed. Some movies to reset my spirit are Shine (1996), Big Fish (2003), A Little Bit of Heaven (2011), Begin Again (2013) (What are yours?). Or take a Stop.Drop.Dance moment. Then get back to work making a difference in this world. We need you!