The last few weeks have been hard for me. First with the killing of elderly Black people as they were grocery shopping and now with the senseless killing of children in Texas. It’s been a lot.
Quite honestly, it’s been rage-inducing. None of this should be happening and yet it has become far too common in this country.
I know I’m not alone in trying to find ways for processing the hard things that been happening lately, especially here in the United States. Today, I want to offer you some tools that I hope will feel supportive
First, let me say it’s important for us to NOT normalize gun violence. If you live in the United States, call your representatives and demand they act on gun reform. You can find a simple script to follow here.
Giving is important AND please if you live in the United States, use your voice and voting power to demand change to our gun laws (see above).
Finally, here are additional things you can do to personally work through whatever is coming up for you. I believe these 5 tools will support you in processing hard things:
Feel your feelings
Be angry, frustrated, sad, tired, or anything else that wants to be felt. Ignoring or suppressing your feelings won’t make them go away. However, if you can give them space to be, you’ll move through them faster than you might think.
Move your body
The energy of your emotions needs an outlet. Run, swim, bike, walk or do yoga. Whatever works for you but do something! It might seem simple and yet I promise you it works. You can also hit or scream into a pillow to help move those emotions through you.
When things start feeling like too much, come back to your breath. A simple breath technique I teach my clients is called 5 Breaths. Breathe in for 5 seconds, out for 5 seconds, and repeat 5 times.
Pray and/or meditate
There is no right way to pray. No right way to meditate. There is only what works for you. In whatever way your spiritual practice/tradition allows you to connect to the Divine, use it to ground you in moments like these.
Find your joy
It is possible to hold sorrow and joy. Actively looking for and leaning into joy is one of the things I do when I start to feel hopeless. Finding joy reminds me there is still good even in the face of such evil. In whatever ways you can, find your joy.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. I do, however, hope it gives you some ideas on how to start processing, so you don’t suppress or ignore what’s coming up for you.
To my fellow BIPOC folks and all the parents of little ones, I’m holding you in my heart today.