You may not have noticed, but the time I’ve spent in this space has reduced over the last year. Several factors contributed to this, but the most dominant was the belief that my energy needed to be spent understanding the state of current affairs in the U.S.
For much of 2017, I took a deep dive on various topics of the day, and used bike rides as a way to unwind from the dissonance. I thought it frivolous to spend time writing reflections on bike rides and yoga lessons when there was far more significant s&*% happening in the world.
It has been constructive to become a more knowledgeable citizen, but near the end of last year, I reached a point where the larger-than-me issues and the uncertainty and conflict associated with them were managing to erode daily enjoyment of life.
This year I’ve been embracing the belief that peaceful everyday actions we take as individuals can improve the world, and hopefully counter some of the toxic conflict. In that vein, I stopped reading the headlines as soon as I wake up, although I still read them.
I started keeping a journal. I’m trying to be a better listener, understand other perspectives better, and not talk so much (a real challenge for me!).
I’m riding bikes because I like riding bikes and love spending time with my best friend and tandem partner. I keep on keeping on with yoga because it clears my head, stretches me out, and encourages to be kind to myself and others.
I run because it is the one activity where I truly immerse myself in the world. These are the simple actions that embody peace and joy for me most days.
Surprisingly, it took deliberate action to focus on peaceful everyday activities when the headlines and other uncertainties have been contantly calling my name, but now that I have some momentum behind it, I refuse to stop.
Peaceful everyday activities are perhaps not the most direct ways to improve society, but I think they help. Further, they fortify me by smoothing out the dissonance and the clanging of arguing voices over difficult issues.
Unlike complex policy issues, peaceful everyday actions are also within my control, and I’m giving myself permission to write about them again.
Let me know if you have suggestions for other peaceful acts I can add to my every day. I’m all ears.