What an odd question to ask in this horrifying moment. But as Alia said, one focus right now needs to be on self care. In coaching movement leaders, we find that often people can have compassion and commitment for everyone but themselves.
So part of your task today is to find something that gives you joy. It can be simple, like a purring cat, the way the light filters through the trees, a song that moves you, or the memory of a particularly delicious hug from someone you care about.
Magnify that moment. Stick with it. Let it fill you up. Stay with it for at least 30 seconds to a minute. If your mind wanders, that’s fine, just gently come back to your joy.
This is a practice called ‘Taking in the Good’ developed by neuro-psychologist Rick Hanson. Do it a few times a day and it will help.
And go for a walk. Actively do something that gives you joy. I’m a diver and scuba diving is not an option for me in suburban DC, so I settle for long dog walks and meditating to the daily meditations on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Facebook page.
Finally, remember the words desert rat, author and hell raiser Edward Abbey shared with a group of environmental leaders:
“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”
And wash your hands.