I Wish It Was Different
I had just finished my lime soda and was looking for a non-existent trash can to ditch my cup when the young slip of a girl next to me motioned to toss it on the ground.
For context I had just taken a slew of young girls out for a refreshing fizzy drink (for the sum total of $1.50 - #India) and was the last one to guzzle up. Even though the past few hours in the heat watching the local Desert Festival were taxing, my bladder was already seriously over-burdened, with no relief in sight.
Hers was a nonchalant gesture, intended to be helpful. But I still felt myself cringe. I didn't know enough Hindi to have a proper conversation about taking care of the earth and it felt meaningless to shout no or otherwise grump. There was too much distance between the worlds that we were inhabiting.
So I shook my head no firmly and folded my cup to put it into my travel bag as she watched. It was a simple thing. And as I watch the goings on of American politics from afar and feel some of that density on social media and an altogether other kind of chaos swirling around me here in India - I feel called to share with you these simple tools for navigating the world when you feel like you are light years removed from those around you... and you wish it was different.
1 - Influence what you can
Your life is an object lesson for others. While the gestures need not be grand, you are leading the way with the choices that you make, however simple. I choose not to throw my trash on the ground in India. No matter how many others around me feel comfortable with it.
And on social media and in response to American politics I'm choosing to lead from hope and focus on the world I want to create, while affirming healthy boundaries and monitoring for transgressions against the rule of law and personal morality. I want to put more energy into what I will build than what I want to avoid (while still maintaining 'healthy fences' and looking for places to use my voice and exercise my power for those who can't).
Where can you acknowledge the power you have and claim the example you are setting?
2 - Mind your own house
Everything that triggers you is a reflection of something that needs healing inside you. And while I am not for abdication of personal responsibility (sometimes you don't need to do your own work, sometimes people need to stop being douchebags, eh?) I am for using the experiences of life to grow and expand profoundly. And that entails taking what is in front of me and pondering how it's happening for me.
I've been triggered like a mofo in the past few months and I've noticed, when I let myself be guided to what needs to be healed, these deep wounds are everywhere. Things that I haven't focused on previously, that really need acknowledging before they can be released. The trash in India flummoxes me but you know what else does? The sheer amount of trash one gal can generate because I had an OBNOXIOUS amount of it the past year. I know I need to reduce my footprint. It feels raw for me here because it highlights how I am out of alignment in my own life. And it will be at the forefront of my focus when I return home and set up shop again.
Where are you being triggered lately? How can you acknowledge and heal the eruption inside your own life?
3 - Keep breathing
The longer I do this personal development and spiritual work the greater mastery I see in simple solutions. These simple tools are enduring because they work. You need only give them a twinge of effort to see how powerful they can be.
So keep it simple. Start with connecting with your breath. These triggers are bringing you into the present moment over and over again. When that happens use it as a reminder to deeply reconnect with your breath. An extraordinary helping of folks in western civilization are breathing shallow so you aren't just feeding your brain the rich oxygen it craves, you are setting a powerful example for others.
What is a peaceful breathing technique that feels good for you?
(If you need some ideas to experiment with, you can score some here.)
4 - Look for the altitude
You aren't just getting triggered by trash or Facebook posts, you are developing new insight into your boundaries. You are building character. (Ick, that one is too worn right?) You ARE connecting with your soul's sense of truth and justice. You are clarifying and committing to life values.
There are deeper, bigger things going on here. It's not just a cup. It's a realization of the hallowed respect for mother earth. And an intention to live differently.
Own the altitude. Claim the depth. You deserve that.
Where can you connect with the larger narrative in your challenges and triggers?
Remember, the difference between beginners and masters is implementation (and consistency).
Did this resonate? Does this help? I'd love to hear your feedback. read every email.
With Love and Light and a Conspiracy of Blessings,