When the world is struggling we can get swept up in the struggle too. Often our first reaction is to let go of joy and playfulness. Of course! Who could care about sparkles when places and people you love are hurting? And I understand that, I really do.
Except I know that diving into the media, the rumours, the updates, the worries, is a recipe for me to feel powerless and disembodied. Which doesn’t benefit anyone. The world needs all of us right now, and doing beautiful things is a way we can add to the joy of the world.
Maybe you are struggling with your own challenges right now. Perhaps your child is ill, or school is hard, or you are struggling with your own medical challenges. That’s tough, I am sending you love and want to let you know, this list is for you too.
There’s a myth our minds whisper to us, that to be effective, we need to be something other than we are right now. We need to have more time, to be richer, to be less stressed, or thinner, or braver etc. I am here to tell you that simply isn’t true.
When you are kind to yourself your internal peace is mirrored in your actions and interactions in the world. You are encouraging gentleness.
The day you pick sparkly shoes, the snazzy hat, could be the day you cheer up someone who really needs a burst of brightness in their lives. I have a friend who used to wear a funny hat to chemo treatments and the moment she stepped into the waiting room everyone would laugh and smile, the atmosphere would change… everyone looked forward to her appointments, patients and medical staff. In putting on that hat she was doing something brave and amazing. Hat power!
If you choose to take 10 minutes in the garden, even though you think it needs 2 weeks and a team of 20 gardeners to get through the weeds, you are gradually tending a corner of your country with love – and that’s powerful.
Or maybe you drop a card in the postbox, send an email or text a smile to someone else who’s struggling, knowing all the while that there’s more you can do and maybe you wish you could do it. Carrying on anyway with the small, loving actions that you CAN take today, that is amazing. That is world changing.
The action you take is more important than all the actions you wish you could take. And I am proud of you for doing it. Thank you.
Want some suggestions of beautiful things to do?
Here you go. Beautiful things to do because the world needs beauty right now:
Make art in whatever form suits you (see my Trailblazer interview with Aviva Gold for inspiration)
Create a festive advent calendar
Wear sparkly shoes
Make yourself a delicious warm drink (I am loving the new Crazy Sexy Juice book)
Tend your home – tidy it, care for it, beautify it, love it
Garden, or make a patch of land beautiful
Put up fairy lights
Comfort yourself, comfort others
Drop some interesting magazines off to the hospital. At one appointment there was a whole stack of fascinating magazines – wildlife, astronomy, physics, sport… what do you read that might be more interesting than the usual? Yesterday I dropped a stack of organic gardening and riding magazines off at the doctor’s surgery – it makes a change!
Donate copies of your favourite book to your local library
Read Prayers for Healing
Donate to a food bank
Donate clothing to refugees
Write for Amnesty International
Volunteer with Mike’s Help from Home
Listen to or make beautiful music
Use and share Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ trauma protocol
Do a little self care in protecting yourself from news
Send cards to people who need support
What can you add to this list? Let me know in the comments…