“Live with skillful nonchalance and ceaseless concern.”
~ Prajnaparamita Sutra ~
Fasten your seat belt, it’s 2024 and we’re in for a wild ride.
And the best time to prepare is before the storm hits.
I’m not the only one thinking we’re in for some turbulence. Just check with your favorite pundit, astrologer, social-political analyst, or geo-physicist. Or listen to your gut.
Today’s planetary challenges can feel like a volcanic range starting to shake:
- Humanitarian crises with devastating loss
- Climate change and environmental emergencies
- Divisive politics
- Income inequities and power imbalances
- The proliferation of hate and lies
- Solar flairs and other electro-magnetic disturbances
I’m not predicting that something bad is going to happen. I’m suggesting that we need to be prepared.
With preparation, we can be proactive. We may not stop the next global crisis, but we can prevent it from dampening our spirit and robbing us of our sense of agency.
Without mindful attention, current events can leave us feeling passive, fearful, and hopeless. Those are the feelings that autocrats, tyrants, and crazy pundits and politicians feed on. They feast on their followers’ fears by offering pseudo-solutions that promise a return to an imaginary past where life felt more “under control” and predictable.
We need to call the bluff of fear-mongers by holding on to our inner power, thinking for ourselves, and using our creative juices to generate genuine solutions to tough problems.
Opportunities will be coming
It’s not all gloom and doom. When we hold tight to what my friend David Spangler calls “fiery hope” we’ll see new opportunities arriving:
- Breakthroughs in consciousness
- Scientific discoveries
- Advances in medical technologies and healing processes
- Global connections and partnerships
- Corrections to economic imbalances
- Empowerment of previously marginalized individuals and groups
- Expansion of our personal creative and expressive powers
To support a more positive future we need to manage our mindset and maintain some equanimity.
Which, from my experience, isn’t so easy when a tsunami of anxiety starts to roll in.
It’s time to get into practice—now, before the next set of devastating news. Prepare your kit before a disaster.
My emergency supplies
If you’re thinking you don’t need a kit of go-to practices that can steady you, try saying these phrases and see if at least one doesn’t roil your stomach.
- Presidential elections
- Supreme Court decisions
- Election fraud
- Hate crimes
Getting upset isn’t the problem. The question is how fast can you come back to center?
When a tsunami of anxiety starts to roll in, I can:
- Take three deep breaths.
- Repeat a positive message, mantra, or prayer such as the serenity prayer, or the ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian forgiveness prayer.
- Ground myself. Light a candle, take a walk in nature, listen to music, sing, hum, etc. (A grounding blanket might be a good idea.)
- Remember the micro-delights that put a smile on my face, like the hellebores that will be budding soon.
- Reach out to others or talk to a friend. We’re in this together.
- Practice living each day with more intention. How do I want my day to be? The outcome of goals, such as how many books I sell, is outside my control. My mindset is up to me.
- Contribute in whatever way feels like mine to do. Making a creative offering always steadies me.
- Hold on to my values, including compassion, humility, truth, caring, and love. In a changing world, my values are my anchor.
- Be grateful.
- Let go of having to know how it’s all going to work out; hang on to that fiery hope.
The election cycle of 2024 in the United States is a special opportunity for me to manage my mind and forego months of dread (while doing everything I can to support positive, democratic outcomes).
I don’t say it’s going to be easy—probably not for any of us and certainly not for those who are sensitive to the suffering in the world. Outdated forms of power and autocracy will be breaking down—even though they are unlikely to leave quietly.
It’s an exciting time, even if the flight may be bumpy.
So fasten your seatbelt and prepare your mindset.
There’s a new world starting to be born —and how thrilling is that?