IMG_0754Incredibly intense few days on the planet.

Boston Marathon bombings, a major defeat for tougher gun laws in the US Senate, New Zealand legalized same sex marriage. 
Simultaneously there are bombs and deaths in the middle east that didn’t make mainstream media. There were deaths by gun violence in US cities that didn’t make mainstream media.
And there were a million occurrences of miracles, beauty and kindness happening every moment that may have gone unnoticed. It’s dizzying and disorienting. Information is filtered, not everything gets through.  Emotions are high… and the media plays with our emotions. It’s completely addictive. How do I stop looking at photos, scrolling through articles, listening to news reports? The harder it is to break away, the more I realize the importance of doing just that. This is actually a call to turn inwards.

How do you find perspective? What works for you? Have you found ways to soothe your nerves?

How have you been impacted by tragedy this week? Are you seeing the preciousness of life?

I have a miracle sitting on my dinner table. This orchid was a gift from my friend Philipe for my birthday. For nearly three months all six flowers have bloomed brightly. Three months! Until now I’ve always had orchids die on me after a few weeks. At one point I even checked whether it’s real– which it is. When I can slow down and focus on the miracles my perspective shifts. I have needed miracles to sustain me this week!

When we’re stressed out and in a hurry things look a certain way. We don’t have time to stop and smile at a stranger. Others are irrelevant when things in our world are urgent. We’re so engulfed in our story. When taxes are in the forefront what else exists?

In order to survive every day I know I’ve become calloused to the homeless folks that I pass on the street and all the suffering that I don’t personally walk past. It’s really too overwhelming to take it all in every day.

But when a tragedy occurs, it shakes us up. It clears away the blinders. Suddenly we feel a shared humanity with those that were impacted by the bombings. We feel a connection to the residents of Boston, international athletes, marathoners, maybe even with random people all around–others on this precious human journey.

Suddenly the little dramas of every day life are erased.

How can we keep that kind of freedom from illusion alive every day without needing a tragedy to wake us up?

More importantly, how can we take care of our shaken selves in this moment?

Some things to try:

  • Create a list of little miracles that touch you. Keep it around and read it often.
  • Breathing technique: Sit back from your computer. Take a few breaths in through the nose out through the mouth as slowly as you can. As your brain chemistry shifts, take note of how your body feels.