How to Stay Human
Being numb, feeling nothing, scares me more than feeling like shit. At least I was feeling something—staying human.
I am not alone in total confusion with the prospect of our President-elect moving into the White House. In waking up November 9th after a few hours sleep, I was grateful I wasn't alone in befuddlement when the time came to get out of bed. Alcohol made it easier the night before - in the morning not so much. A familiar feeling from many years ago consumed my body, my very achy head. At least I was feeling something.
Being numb, feeling nothing, scares me more than feeling like shit.
My friend, Jimmy, put into perspective right off the bat at 8:00am, though we have a horrific situation on our hands, facing some potentially really dangerous horrible times ahead, we are alive and well. Jimmy had learned the day before that a very close friend's brother, at 45, was diagnosed with progressive brain cancer. His friend's time on this earth was limited in a way Jimmy hadn't known earlier that day.
The Future is Unwritten
I am reminded that the future is unwritten. It may seem like it at times, when fear grips and rightfully so. We have a lot of history that doesn't need repeating. To live in fear perpetuates fear. It is up to each and every one of us to be that authentic good caring person we know ourselves to be and never give up. We don't have the answers. I will continue to surround myself with kind loving people who care about humanity. People who don't take living this life on this planet for granted and strive to make it better for everyone. When I am in good company, I feel better and thrive and am able to be a light for others.
Compassion practices like loving kindness, understanding, deeply listening to another without judgement or trying to "fix it" is one way of learning how to be with our own fears. You can learn how to help cope with fears and difficult times through methods taught in The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times. This book was my first introduction to compassion practices. Ani Pema Chödrön, probably the most famous living Buddhist nun whom I've had the honor of practicing and learning from during a week long meditation retreat - front row Zabuton! Oops ... after this morning session, we were asked to not take photos. I wasn't sure about this policy, snapping photos of rock star Buddhist nuns, but I'm glad I got it and I don't think she minded.
Ani Pema Chödrön
Take the opportunity to hug a loved one TODAY. Feel another sentient being's warmth, hear them breathing. Connect deeply with your own existence and how precious you are.
About the author
Kim is a creative New Yorker educated with decades of mindful yoga practice, teaching, and street savvy. She holds an MSW, gonna write that book, and is curating Recipe for Humanity with Chef Marq Hayes on Orcas Island, Wa.