Let’s Chill Out!

Stressed Out.

“Our culture encourages us to plan every moment and fill our schedules with one activity and obligation after the next, with no time to just be. But the human body and mind require downtime to rejuvenate. I have found my greatest moments of joy and peace just sitting in silence, and then I take that joy and peace with me out into the world.” ~ Holly Mosier

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” ~ William S. Burroughs

“Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver

This morning at 7:00 a.m., on the day I’m writing this, I got a ding on my phone. I wasn’t even out of bed yet, because my husband doesn’t work on Fridays and it’s a sleep in day. It was a long Facebook message about Social Security and how I needed to pass this along so that we can protect Social Security … etc., etc., etc. I ignored the message knowing that things may look dire, but I believe I live in a friendly universe, so no matter what, I’m going to be all right. Some people may think I’m delusional. That’s okay. I just see the world differently than they do.

One of the privileges of growing older is the fact that I’ve seen and experienced a lot of stuff. When I was younger I used to get upset when things seemed to go wrong. I’d bend myself out of shape, and make myself sick with what I THOUGHT was going to happen. As it turned out most of the time, what I had imagined never came to pass. I had made myself sick for nothing.

So now I know that, first, nothing is good or bad except thinking makes it so, to paraphrase Shakespeare. And second, especially where governments are concerned, nothing happens over night. They may pass bills to gut Social Security, or take away our health care, or yada, yada, yada, but none of that is going to happen tomorrow. AND there are always people whose purpose it is to safeguard our rights and I can rely on them to prevail.

Over the last few months, I’ve withdrawn from groups on Facebook and other social media that continually post dire warnings. I do this because I don’t see the world the same way they do and I don’t need their negative energy clinging to me throughout the day.

Don’t get me wrong, I will stand up for people in my daily life when they need it, but I’m not going to waste my time ranting and raving about the big stuff that happens, because I am thoroughly convinced that change happens from the ground up. Each individual who chooses to chill out, to get a new perspective, to go with the flow, or even point out inequities, helps us create a friendlier, more stress free environment a little bit at a time.

I think there is an ebb and flow to history. We happen to be in a time when there is a great deal of turmoil. But if you look back at what has happened in the past, it’s often those times, when people with differing ideas clash and cause the most innovative advancements to happen.

Here’s an example. I’m reading a novel right now that takes place in 1150. The church had tight control on almost every aspect of life. One of the characters in my book builds a paper mill. That may not seem like such a big thing, but in 1150, most people did not read, so the church controlled information by telling people what to think. With the advent of readily available inexpensive paper, more people began to have the opportunity to learn to read and write, and not pay the church scribes to create their documents, and make copies of or write important books. Of course, the church did not want this to happen and took drastic measures to retain their control on the flow of information. The creation of inexpensive paper did lead, eventually, to the invention of the printing press. That broke the stranglehold the church held on education and the flow of information. Boy, have things changed since then. Now almost everyone can not only read and write, but the entire world is connected by the media and the most ordinary person can express their opinion for the world to read.

There was a great deal of struggle involved to get us to where we are now. Lots of people died in that struggle, but would you want to go back to having the church control information? I don’t think so. As a result, I thank those who volunteered to push for change both then and now.

Having written all of the above, life is a mystery to me. I don’t know why I’m living a happy fulfilling life, while millions of people are stuck in refugee camps, or live under oppressive regime’s, or on the streets. What I do know is that we each have our part to play, and it seems to me that mine has to do with spreading as much joy as I can.

I know that in the long run if a situation looks really bad, it’s just not worth getting upset about. I’ll do what I can to help, of course, but most of the time, as my dad used to say, “In a hundred years, it won’t make any difference.” And the things that we will remember one hundred years from now will be worth the sacrifice.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your likes and comments.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Published by lucindasagemidgorden

I grew up in the West, the descendant of people traveling by wagon train to a new life. Some of their determination and wanderlust became a part of me. I imagine them sitting around the campfire telling stories, which is why I became first a theatre artist, then a teacher and now a writer. They are all ways of telling stories.

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