Be an Ally

There are so many things going on in the world right now. Difficult things to see and hear. Racism. Hate. Violence. Polarized viewpoints. Challenging emotions. It can feel overwhelming.

When you really think about it, we are all just a collection of individuals living on the same planet together.

There are many who live and let live, accepting everyone as equals. They are the peace lovers. And there are others who feel everything should go their way. They feel justified in a self proclaimed superiority and will control or harm others if they don’t comply with their way of thinking. Sounds a lot like the bullies from kindergarten, does it not?

Every day we make choices. Every day we choose with our thoughts, words and actions who we are and what we stand for.

You may be saying that one individual can do little to counteract so much negativity. How can one person create a better world when there is so much wrong?

We can be an ally.

An ally listens to the stories of others. They read books written and published by others. They learn history from the other’s viewpoint in order to become better informed and understanding.

An ally stands with another even after the protests are over. Sometimes they do big things to make a change. Sometimes it’s little things over a long period of time that make a difference.

An ally may look different on the outside but have the same heart on the inside. They become family, caring for each other, looking out for each other and standing up for each other.

The world needs you.

Be an ally.

Choose Joy

It may feel like we don’t have a lot of choices right now with so many restrictions on what we can and can’t do. But there are important choices that we always have control over.

It is always our choice where we place our focus, how we respond to a situation and while feelings come as they do, we can influence those too.

If you are anything like me, you spent the first part of the pandemic watching the news, searching the internet for stats and generally living in a state of fear and anxiety. Perhaps you are still doing that? While it’s important to stay informed, it’s equally important to live life as well.

I choose joy.

You may say that is impossible as tragedy has come to your home. It has with us too with the death of a beloved family member and others fighting cancer. Of course we grieve. But then we choose to connect with each other, share loving stories and photos and help where we can.

I realize that sometimes it’s hard to stay positive, and we may need a little help. That’s where the choice of focus comes in. There are a few things we can do that make a huge difference in our mental state.

These may feel too simple to make a difference, but I encourage you to give them a try and see for yourself.

  • Get out in nature (even if it’s your own backyard)
  • Go for a walk and listen to the bird’s sing
  • Play your favorite music
  • Sing as you do your daily tasks
  • Move your body – stretch, lift weights or dance!
  • Watch a funny movie or video
  • Do something fun every day
  • Connect with a friend
  • Read a good book
  • Share something funny or uplifting on social media
  • Smile (it activates neural messaging that elevates your mood)
  • Sit quietly with your eyes closed and take a few slow deep breaths
  • Remember how strong you have been in the past
  • Make a list of what you are grateful for in life

Most of all, give yourself permission to feel joy.

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