Unless you’ve been hiding a rock (or meditating on one), you‘ve heard about the government shutdown underway in the United States. While a number of people, programs, and job have been impacted immediately and there are long term implications for any government shutdown, most of us, including news outlets are only able to speculate on the impact that it will have on us right now. This fear of the unknown, speculation into the worse possible scenarios keeps us on edge, afraid, and anxious. Our natural instinct is to want answers, to find someone to blame, to protest and write letters, to force those we see as being in power to make the decisions we see as correct. Although these options may give us some tiny feeling of control for a brief moment, they have no real impact on our peace of mind and power. Here are 3 things you can do to really make a difference and prevent a government shutdown.
1) Identify the power you have in the moment
As you listen to the news or livestream CNN on your smartphone, examine where you power lies. Are you frustrated with the coverage of the news and having more questions than answers? Turn off the TV! Identify what your worse fears are as it relates to the shutdown and take a look at your life in the current moment. Are you sitting next to someone you love reading the paper? Are you eating lunch as you sit in panic worrying about how the government shutdown will eventually impact your monthly bills? Are you laying in a warm, comfortable bed worried about the long term impact on the housing market? Look at what you have in the current moment. If you are safe, warm, loved, and fed you have everything you need and being present and grateful that you have everything you need in this moment provides a powerful place to stand on in every minute.
2) Think solution, not scarcity!
In the case of government shutdown, “The government would not shut down” is not a solution. Come up with solutions that allow you to dream about what would really make a difference in the area of this challenge. If you are stuck with coming up with solutions, try creating a list of possible positives that could come from the challenge. In this way, you switch your brain from focusing on the problem, which is in the past and out of your control, to thoughts about what can be created in the present, the only place you have control.
3) Take a step toward your solution
Look at all of the solutions you’ve suggested and see which of those you could implement immediately. If you want the government to listen to opposing views or be responsible for the vulnerable members of society, write down 3 actions you could take today to do those things in your life. Whose opposing viewpoint could you be open to today? (maybe it’s the government’s!) Who in your life can you be a contribution to today?
Although we may not be able to impact the choices of the government right now, we have the opportunity to impact our own lives, our families, our communities with the choices we make in each moment. Who we are in the world has a ripple effect and we have no idea how far out the ripple extends!
Whether the crisis be with the government or in your life, you always have the last word about how you let it impact you!