After a long walk downtown, I was tired and took the bus home. Sitting behind two young women I overheard this snippet of conversation:
"I find the news so depressing. I don't read it anymore."
News stories are overwhelmingly about things we have no influence over and more often than not, have little to do with our personal reality. No one is waiting for our opinion about this or that problem or is counting on us to solve anything.
When we are preoccupied with our own personal worries or over-busy with our family, friends and work, staying on top of the news feels like one more obligation.
Even trying to understand the many points of view on a particular topic can be daunting.
From global economic, environmental and geopolitical problems such as:
To problems that might feel closer to home such as:
The news does seem catastrophic and depressing.
So why bother?
In our home, news reigned supreme. My father had been a journalist for six years with The Winnipeg Tribune. It was a personal responsibility to be informed, to get the facts and to learn about the world. But at a deeper level, the value of the news was to be aware of the pain and suffering of others.
The news offer these additional benefits:
What is your opinion about the news?
A few years ago my family and work life was keeping me very very busy.
Then my parents got sick and passed away, my children reached the age when they were ready to leave home (and did!), and I was looking for a new professional challenge.
Exhausted and uncertain, I bullied myself about what to do next with my life. I was out of sorts because I no longer filled my established roles as a hands-on mother and daughter .
I was unhappy and made myself even more so while I carried around the monkey of expectations on my back. I leaned into the voice of self-doubt which pestered me all day asking - what are you going to do next?
I tend to work fast. I had to uncover a new self or fashion a new one. I wanted to launch a new career and design a roadmap for this next stage of life.
First: I bankrolled a hodgepodge of therapies to heal my grieving heart. I met with an osteopath, an astrologer, a sensory evolution technique healer, a massage therapist, a deep core energy therapist and an analyst. I participated in an eight-week meditation course. I traveled for a month to India. I took out 20 books every couple of weeks from the library. Some I read from beginning to end and others, only a few pages. I wrote short stories and submitted them to various contests. I listened to inspirational radio interviews and went to Jungian lectures.
Second: I got my coaching certification, created a website and started this blog. I happily coach fabulous people who want to find meaningful work, be productive at work and enjoy their relationships. But deeper than this, I get to help people learn how to trust their inner voice -- the personal authority about what is true for them.
Third: I am giving back. This includes participating in activities for graduate students. I created a workshop - It's About Time - that I give to students and offer to corporate clients. I'm telecoaching a group of people who have specific health and wellness concerns. I'm working with top-notch Montreal oncology pharmacists, who I admire for their depth of scientific knowledge and amazing dedication to their patients, on a new resource for community pharmacists. I’m involved in a project to help health care professionals promote physical activity as a first line treatment in the prevention and treatment of pain.
Fourth: I’m dancing ballroom with an expert teacher. I’m learning about how I learn. And, finding three minutes of joy when I am able to follow.
Fifth: I'm enjoying a new level of relationship with my three children who are now young adults.
James Hollis, a Jungian analyst, has written much about how we grow and evolve to fully become ourselves. I have been inspired by his writings and lectures. In Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, he says, "we assume once we we get it together, with the right job, marry the right person, have children, and buy a home, all is settled and well.” Not so. We find ourselves stuck many times over.
His message is to listen to our internal voice, that which summons us and speaks to us and yearns for attention and expression to be born.
I say: keep asking, seeking and questioning how you can become more fully true to yourself.
My family, relationships, movement, nature, flexibility of mind, exploration of alternative perspectives & openness are central to my life.