The times are intense. Has it always been like this? Or are we just overwhelmed, and struggle to catch up with modern life?
There are wars on every screen, daily updates of the latest apocalypse, pension systems collapsing, health systems collapsing, economic systems collapsing – is there anything which isn't collapsing? There's fear of nuclear armageddon, totalitarianism, artificial intelligence, new pandemics, and one of the greatest fears of all: that it will stay as hopeless as it is. On top of that, we need to deal with home office, moody parcel delivery people, crazy relationships, fake news, real news, and a full-blown midlife crisis once a year. People go hungry, people die. How to cope with it all?
The short answer is: I don't know. Why should I know? How could anybody know?
The other answer is: Somehow we cope. We always do. We end up adapting, with the help of time or drugs. Sometimes it's just a matter of going for a stroll in the park, or taking a deep breath. And sometimes we encounter little tools that support us along the way. I had one of those encounters the other week, you may have heard of it already, maybe not. It's called RAIN, a concept developed by meditation teacher Tara Brach:
RECOGNIZE what is happening
ALLOW the experience to be there, just as it is
INVESTIGATE with interest and care
NURTURE with self-compassion
Tara calls it a practice of radical compassion. I've played around with it in a couple of difficult situations and I like it. It's a simple reminder to witness feelings in a non-judgemental way, and it carries the spirit of AHIMSA – non-violence, acceptance, embracing peace.
And well, if this doesn't help you, or doesn't interest you, here's an old video of me jumping in the rain.
Life is mad. And beautiful.