“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.”
— David W. Orr, Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World
Since the Fall of 2016 I’ve been living with a car that constantly needs work and a country that continually feels broken. Every few weeks another sensor on my dash would light up – I’ve been spending countless dollars in a perpetual state of irritation each time it needs to go into the shop, not unlike every time I turn on the news.
I’ve always had decent intuition in my life. For example, I’ve been able to predict work issues, conflicts with the kids, and potential budget challenges in our home. I usually thrive in the environment of seeing the shit-storm coming.
This car has been no different. When another light on the dash flickers I can practically intuit if it’s a real mechanical issue or just a faulty sensor. This year I’ve had episodes of tires nearly falling off, a steering column that locked, and a trunk that mysteriously opens while en route. I’ve had sensors lit for no reason except to take me back to the mechanic for them to be reset. My gut instinct on the car has been nothing short of accurate while what’s happening in the country has been alarming and confusing.
This election cycle was excruciating. The country feels chaotic. My insides hurt. Not just achy bones and a terrible stomach, but I’ve felt a spiritual shift that isn’t doing much in terms of transcending my chi.
I’m finding my way through the turmoil.
This year meditations took more effort, writing about holistic health (my personal writing gig) felt like it didn’t hold value, and healing candles, which I use regularly, didn’t seem to add to my enlightenment. Between my broken car and a broken country—I lost focus. By the spring it dawned on me that I should really get in tuned to my self more than my car. I began to question what I chose to nurture and what I subconsciously dialed down. At the end of the day, a car should only use up so much of one’s attention. I have this car with glitches that needs to be monitored.
I need to be monitored.
I turned to social media for distraction, news, or fun but saw people being attacked for their opinions. Marginalized people isolated and hurting. I couldn’t find my root in writing during this turmoil. In trying to absorb and build tolerance to what was happening this year I became quiet. I read more and said less.
Using my voice felt scary and useless, therefore I couldn’t find the strength to share an opinion. I censored my thoughts as a way to cope with the chaos of being over sensored. I write about holistic health with a goal of highlighting local practitioners. The timing of writing about alternative medicine during the car and country’s chaos felt “off,” but the reality is the world needs more voices of health, love, light, and living. People who are hurting need a community behind them and certainly holistic options to help lift them up.
Despite the fact our country isn’t going in the right direction, I dug into the sense that I could drive my own thoughts towards a more positive place. Having control of my own negativity is a holistic practice I’ve been able to manage for nearly 2 decades. I lost that ability amongst chaos (it seems this administration thrives on). Voices of healing, voices of allyship, informed places to fund the fights that matter to humans, and writers, and women, and all of our future need to be heard now. As far as being scared—I wrote about parenting in my 30’s and I was scared every week it was published. Today is no different.
I’ll always have some fear.
I have this group of women, us Renegades, that steer me towards the fear. Straight into it so I can share the holistic information that’s been beneficial to me and so I can believe the people who need to hear it will find my voice. While there are times that we as writers might need to become quiet (and I’m big on “getting still”), I realize I can’t let the chaos or the fear silence me. Sometimes the broken words of one become the healing message of another.
My writing practice does tend to come in waves of commitment. I recognized my own hesitation and realized I needed to change directions – turn this broken car around and keep writing what I believed in. If I have to I’ll write thru frustration, fear and chaos.
I’ll turn the car off, light the candle, and write.