Processing the State of the World (+ My Own Issues)

Does this happen to you too?

Every day’s headlines make me tear up. And some days it’s more than just tearing up; it’s a full out big cry that, if I actually wore mascara, would make it stream down my face.

The fires. The hurricanes. The pandemic. The needless and unjust killings. And beyond.

It’s a lot. (This is an understatement).

And it hasn’t let up. The events are ongoing, each one more heartbreaking and anger making than the next. (And I am well aware that I say this from a place of privilege as I have not been directly impacted by any of these things).

On top of that, I’ve got a lot of tough things happening in my personal life right now – caring for sick & elderly family members (I am taking a planned emergency trip to NJ next week), kitchen renovation (which is mostly awesome, but still stressful), and doing my best to make things as easeful and meaningful for my kids during these challenging times.

The truth is that the last few weeks especially, I’ve sometimes felt on a roller coaster of emotions. I ride the waves of grief, anger, determination…and then the inevitable need to disconnect for a while.

Over the last weeks, I’ve at moments found myself feeling very overwhelmed.

Let me pause on that: Sometimes I feel very overwhelmed. I know that transformational leaders aren’t “supposed” to admit that they sometimes feel overwhelm, but I’ve never bought into much of what we are “supposed” to do in this industry.

I’m sharing this with you to let you know that if you’ve been feeling this way too, you’re not alone and it’s OK.

The important question is: what do you do with the overwhelm, the grief, the anger?

Well, first and foremost, don’t avoid the feelings. Allow yourself to feel them. Lean into them. Make conscious space for them. If you don’t allow yourself to connect in with your feelings, they will get bigger and louder in ways that are not so fun.

I allow myself to cry when I need to. I allow myself to rage when I need to. I allow myself to feel overwhelmed when I need to. This helps.

I journal. I write about my fears and consciously from my fears so I can befriend them. I write down my dreams and work with the symbols my psyche brings to me. I write from my Archetypes and get wise advice. I note what is good in the world and in my life and breathe all that in as much as I can. This helps.

I also take care of my nervous system as much as I can. I eat well and balance my blood sugar (as much as I can with a busy schedule!). I get sleep. I take moments to rest and pause. I take supplements that support my cortisol levels. This helps.

And…when I am in the right place, I assess what I can do, how I can contribute, how I can make a difference. And I take action. This helps enormously.

-I get clear on where I could be donating more money, and I donate.

-I get clear on how I can better educate my kids to take care of this world, and I speak to them about it.

-I make sure to vote. (Please, please, please vote).

-I look for where I can take local action in my community.

-I look for the places in my business where I can support leaders to step up more and make more impact.

-I continue to speak about the cycles of the Earth in my work, not just as a self-transformation tool, but as a way of activating more honor and respect for our climate and world.

Does all of this take the grief and the anger the overwhelm away? Nope. It does not.

But it allows me to hold the grief and the anger and the overwhelm in better ways, in more productive ways, in action-fueling ways.

Now, more than ever is the time to take better care of ourselves and take better care of each other and the environment. These are not easy times, but I firmly believe we can transform them into deeply meaningful and impactful times.

With love,
Joanna

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