I used to dislike January, because it came after the holidays. I love the lights, and music, food and traditions of the holidays so much, that January would always seem dreary to me.
But now I love to see January as a time of new light - of renewal and change.
This year in particular, holds the promise for change and healing.
Never, it seems, has there been a year that holds so much potential, so much portent, so much imperative for change, for action and for healing.
How can we help ourselves to be ready for a year that needs us all so much to be present, calm and united?
MORAL OUTRAGE SHOULD NOT BE THE SAME AS PERSONAL OUTRAGE
Those of us who feel deeply, who care about the Earth, about other cultures, people, and animals, feel that 'knowing what is going on' is necessary in order to feel that we are doing something about all the incredibly intense events that are happening daily.
"Knowing what is going on" takes the form of endless media consumption on many platforms. We are bombarded by daily occurrences, most of which we have little to no control over. However, we feel that if we don't listen or watch, then we are not caring. This is not true at all. In fact, we care so much that we are damaging ourselves by exposing ourselves to a constant stream of incredibly upsetting news.
SO, WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
When we listen to disturbing news constantly, our bodies actually begin to physically react. We are either enraged, in which case our minds and bodies feel angered, or we are afraid, and our bodies tremble, our hearts race - in both cases we are adrenalinized.
When we spend a good portion of our day in an adrenalinized state we begin to slowly degrade our own health - we flood our bodies with cortisol, we disrupt our endocrine system, and this can lead to sleep issues, hormone imbalances, thyroid problems, and anxiety - to name a few.
I recently stopped listening to radio programs who 'present both sides' of an issue. I noticed that every time I heard someone on 'the other side' trying to justify defunding children's health, or taking public land, or drilling in pristine wilderness, I would begin to argue with them in my mind, and my body would become enraged. Who is that helping? No one.
I started limiting my news to periodicals and podcasts - venues that I can control; that don't bombard me with every incredibly upsetting thing that is happening, and these sources of news inspire me by focusing on people who are creating positive change in the world. And, most times, in the car I listen only to music or to silence.
PUT HEALING FIRST
We cannot care for others, our community or the world, if we don't care for ourselves. Now more than ever, we need to put self care first. Many of us who care deeply were taught, or feel, that caring for ourselves first somehow meant that we were selfish and not truly working for change. In fact, the opposite is true. How can we help the world if we are burned out, frazzled, overwhelmed, and in a constant state of anger or fear? We won't last long in that state.
PICK ONE (MAYBE TWO) ACTIONS TO FOCUS ON
It is a year that needs all of us. But none of us can do everything. If we each pick one action to focus on (two if you have more bandwidth) we can create wavelike change. Remember, actions that create positive change can be as close as your own home - within your family, your neighborhood, or community. Every act of compassion and social change is valid, no matter how small.
HOMEOPATHY AND OTHER FORMS OF COMPLIMENTARY MEDICINE
Homeopathic medicine works by stimulating the body's immune system to heal itself. As part of your commitment to self care, incorporate homeopathy, herbs, herbal teas, and nutritional supplements into your daily routine. Learning a form of alternative medicine is a gift to yourself and the planet.