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In the last few days, I’ve witnessed many shares from people who feel tremendous fear, despair, hopelessness, helplessness (and more) about the devastating situation in the Ukraine.
A member from the Feel Good Life Community reached out to me on Thursday to ask if I’d be willing to share how to navigate this turbulence with what I would call less “suffering”.
So here I go, sharing my way of doing so. Not the right way. Not the only way. Just my way.
1. Know Yourself
We are very different humans depending on whether we are living in the Red Zone (the Stress Response) or the Green Zone (the Relaxation Response). Knowing which Zone you’re in is by far the most important first step that you can take.
When we are in the Stress Response (the Red Zone), we can only:
- act reactively and impulsively
- see the world from a narrow, fear-based lens
- be disconnected, from ourselves, others, Love, etc…
When we are in the Relaxation Response (the Green Zone) we can only:
- act consciously and thoughtfully
- see the world from an expanded, love-based lens
- feel our connection with all of humanity (and beyond)
2. Normalize Your Experience
It is easy (and appropriate) to be in the Red Zone when horrific circumstances arise (like in the Ukraine), when we get to see not only the pain so many people are experiencing, but also the cruelty that so many humans are capable of.
3. Ask Yourself This Question
How can I really and truly most powerfully affect change?
Is it when you’re in the Red Zone and feel reactive, judgmental, impulsive, overwhelmed, hopeless, and helpless?
Or is it when you’re in the Green Zone and feel open, curious, compassionate, present, and trusting?
I choose the Green Zone of course!
4. Stay Open and Then Take Action
Did you notice that I stated “open” as my first Green Zone quality?
It is vital to open ourselves to ALL the thoughts and feelings that are moving through in the face of these painful circumstances. As Patti Digh says in her quote below “feel it fully and deeply—make art from it”.
And then Patti says, “TAKE ACTION THAT MOVES YOU IN THE DIRECTION OF THE WORLD YOU MOST WANT TO CREATE.”
Does this resonate with you? That direction is most wise and powerful when it is taken FROM THE GREEN ZONE.
Trying to create a loving world from the Red Zone NEVER WORKS.
5. Practice Ceaselessly
Whenever you feel turbulent thoughts and emotions, practice the 3 steps of the Methodology (Stop, Breathe, Engage in a Feel Good Habit), shifting yourself back to Green and THEN (and only then) you’ll know exactly what action to take next to make the world a better place.
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