I stopped following the news as closely as I had been.
Don’t worry, I still get the overall picture. I read the headlines to know which person is being appointed, what mind-numbing tweets have been made, and I delve into some articles to read about the tragedies that seem to happen every single day.
But I’ve pulled back for my sanity, and even bigger than that, so that I can focus on serving. Because I’ve been here before and didn’t pull back, and then I become an angry mess that is not only NOT helpful to others, but can also be damaging.
It is a personal thing to understand and respect your limits (it’s taken me many years of paying close attention to understand mine). This is true in the case of what is happening politically, just as much as it is true when your partner pushes you to go to an event when you don’t want to. We are constantly being pressured by work, friends, family, cultural expectations around our bodies, and a million other ways to take in/on more than we can at any moment.
Sometimes, this aids our growth. Often, it makes us trust ourselves less, going with something that someone else wants for us.
The more you connect to where your limits and boundaries are in any given situation, without judging yourself for where you are, the more you will feel secure, content, and at ease. Some call it connecting to and acting on your intuition, but even if that idea is not your cup of tea, thinking about what makes you feel a sense of calm inside, vs. what gets you all worked up, is essential to your health.
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I’m still working on the focused steps I plan to take as we move forward. I say focused steps, because I did a lot of social justice work in my 20s. I spent a lot of time in anti-war marches. I worked on protests demanding universal healthcare. I spent a lot of my time with “leftist” planners and doers.
We accomplished some things. We also spent a lot of time arguing amongst ourselves.
I understand it’s not easy when you bring together a large group of people who have been oppressed for different reasons for all of their, and their ancestor’s, lives. There is so much that needs to be changed in the world. But I would watch the support of each other fade as demand grew for the focus to be on one area. I witnessed the continued domination by “the other side” because our side could not come to a focused consensus.
So this time, with my Sun in Capricorn, I’m taking a slow and methodical approach to how I intend to affect change (and yes, each of us can BE the change we want to see in the world). For right now, here’s what I’ve got:
- Stand up for people in my everyday life. As a small woman who is a natural introvert, there have been times where things have happened in my life – to myself or others – where I didn’t feel comfortable to speak up. That’s changed. I’m committed to speaking up whenever I see injustice from here on out.
- Donate a portion of CGD+T sales each month to an organization fighting the good fight. There are so many organizations like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, that have been doing amazing on the ground work for years upon years. They’ve faced these battles over and over again, and they take action quickly. We donated 10% of sales from Local Saturday through Cyber Monday to the ACLU, and a portion of December sales will be divided between Standing Rock and relief for the fire in Gatlinburg. Each month in 2017 will see a donation to another organization that makes a big impact.
- Recommit to lifting women up. This has been my work, but it will be in more ways in the coming year.
- Remind myself EVERYDAY of what is happening in our country. I may not be following the news as closely, but I believe it’s important to think about what is going on daily so that the fire stays burning within me. I suggest you do the same, up to your own tipping point of overwhelm. This is why it’s so important to understand your own limits, because one side means being fired up, while the other means being in a heap on the floor.
The other suggestion I would make to all of you out there – make self-care even MORE important than in the past. This time is a call for us to dig into our reserves, but we must keep filling them in order for us to be of any use. Give and receive. Give and receive. GIVE AND RECEIVE.