I want to see and hear about more positive things happening. I want to hear stories of progress, adaptation, cooperation, and kindness. When I watch the news it seems to be filled with bad things that are happening and I start to feel helpless, and depleted. My answer to combat this feeling is to turn it off, not read it and not discuss it. I believe being aware of how much news I am consuming, and how I am feeling as a result of that is beneficial for me, but completely unplugging doesn’t sit right with me. Turning it off stops the influx of bad news, but it also hides the good news from me. It’s putting up a barrier and I feel separate from so much. There is a loss of connection, which I am sure lends itself to the feeling of powerlessness.
My friend, and mentor, Carl Paoli said that if I want to hear and see more positive news than I need to look for it, share it and be deliberate about it. To become the source of what I want to see more of. When I thought about that it seemed simple, powerful and fully in my control. I can become the source as the root is to a plant. I can be the start of what I want to see more of, of what I think we need to see more of. From that start there is possibiity for growth. Carl has reminded me of the difference a single act, a single person can make.
The problems, and the sadness that I see in the news can settle a cloud over the good things that are happening around me. A simple way I can return to noticing joy, and goodness is to purposely look for it and become that which I want to see. This requires my awareness and the responsibility is on me to do so. I have to put it into practice continuously.
Almost one year ago (Sept. 2020) I started the Noticing Joy Together tree in my neighborhood, which lasted until the winter weather arrived. We looked for things that brought us joy and shared it with each other by posting it on a tree. The purpose of the tree was to help ourselves practice noticing the good things (no matter how small) that were bringing us joy, and to share them with others to add light to their day as well. This was during quarantine when the news was scary to watch, but that act of noticing joy together brought about connection and community. I have forgotten how this activity helped me through that difficult time. I have gotten out of practice.
It has taken a reminder, and it will take deliberate practice but this way of being (becoming the source of what I want to see more of) feels fuller, and with direction. I appreciate the chance to begin again.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”Thich Nhat Hanh