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Little Drips of Sunshine: 3 Tips to Restore Some Balance in Your Life

Tell me if you can relate to this at all. The conversation my friends and I seem to find ourselves having more and more these days centers around this challenge:

How do you stay informed about what is happening in our world, and yet not allow it to consume you?

If you think about it, the collective narrative has had us on a progressively intensifying level of high alert for more than five years now. And from what I can tell, there’s no relief in sight.

Not that this is all bad. From the #metoo movement (I see you Spain) to improving LGBTQ+ rights to finally having slightly more meaningful discussions around systemic race disparities, some of the narrative has done its present best to nudge us forward on the human rights awareness scale. We are also seeing more people saying the quiet stuff out loud, as they say. Which hopefully leads to our addressing, resolving, and healing all that simmering anger and hate.

But honestly? Most of what shows up in the feeds has been those highly toxic tidbits designed to inflame our lesser qualities like entitlement, greed, self-righteousness, and fear.

And still, like I said, you can’t live with your head in the sand. You have to be able to gather enough information to do the best you can so that you can do your part in creating a world that’s safe for all of us, both for now and for future generations.

Typically, where I’ve landed in my personal efforts to find some balance is in strategically letting myself tune into the collective narrative just long enough to get a sense of what’s happening, and then I quickly duck back out to attend to my more immediate reality in day-to-day life.

The problem with this strategic dipping approach is this: what do you do when the day-to-day life you depend on for the comfort piece starts throwing you punches?

Yes, there's always the possibility of that. In my recent efforts, I’ve come to realize this:

Just like the best tripods or stools, we need a third option to balance out our approaches. And that missing leg is our connection to something greater than ourselves.

A higher power, oneness, God, Allah, Buddah, our Creator...Whomever or however your culture and upbringing provided you with your personal connection to a higher power and the beyond.

For some reason, this one can be easy to forget. Maybe it's because it’s not in our faces, demanding our attention. And for some of us, the whole business of religion has created more angst than comfort. But I believe that now, more than ever, it’s important that we prioritize and foster that connection for ourselves.

There’s an idea that’s tossed about in the mindfulness circles that basically states: Where your focus goes, your energy will follow.

Recognizing the dearth of positive messages in my immediate environment, I decided to put that idea into practice and intentionally seek out some ways to integrate inspiration.

I started with a gratitude moment which got me thinking about all the people who showed up for me over this past year, and really helped pull me through the emotional upheaval. There are most definitely people who slow-dripped sunshine into my life. Not the “Let me know if you need anything…” and then disappear variety, mind you. But those who really dropped into my personal space sporadically to check on me, to offer an ear with no judgment or opinions, to bring me a laugh, to connect me with new clients, to be kind, to care. For those people, I will forever be grateful.

Thinking of this reminded me that it’s always more of the little things that matter. Simple gestures of love and making space for authentic connection. It doesn’t take much time, or much effort either. It only requires that you put your own life noise aside and pay attention to the people you care about for a few minutes every now and then. Let them know through your actions that their presence here on earth is appreciated.

If there’s one mental note I personally walked away with wanting to remember and share, from my experience of being on the receiving end of caring, it’s this: Other people’s misfortunes are not contagious.

If you don’t want to check in on someone because you think they’ll bring you down, or you aren’t in the mood to hear about it, think again. People in emotional pain aren’t going to reach out and beg you to listen and pay attention to them. They might even have a complete conversation with you and never give any indication of their personal struggles. You have to ask. And then you have to really listen. You have to let them know you see them, and then just simply show you care.

So that’s balance inspiration tip #1: Actively seek out ways to drip some sunshine into someone’s life.

Moving on, I’ve also started intentionally seeking out people who have thoughts that are more aligned with mine, especially as it relates to that connection beyond the here and now. I’m happy to report I have a couple of recent finds to share.

The first two come from none other than Rainn Wilson, who you might remember as the character Dwight Schrute from "The Office." I’ve had Rainn’s work on my radar since I attended a Fast Company Innovator’s conference a few years back and his production company “Soul Pancake" was one of the tours. I was impressed to hear about the ways they were exploring the deeper “meaning of life” questions, and the innovative inspirational content they were putting out, like those pep talks from “Kid President.”

If reading is your jam, you can treat your eyeballs to some educational inspiration in Rainn’s new book “Soul Boom” that explores why we need a spiritual revolution now more than ever and includes some fascinating historical insights. He discusses the book and his story in this NPR interview on All Things Considered. I've plopped the show below in case you want to have a listen.

And I guess since he was on a roll, you can also find him streaming a 5-part series on Peacock called “Rainn Wilson and the Geography of Bliss” that you can read more about here. In a nutshell, Rainn goes around the globe in search of the secrets to happiness. Watching what he finds and how he shares his story is a lovely way to spend a bit of down time. I’m personally intentionally spreading the episodes out over a few weeks. It’s my way of dripping some sunshine into my own life.

So that’s balance inspiration tip #2: Actively seek out ways to drip some sunshine into your own life.

The last source of inspiration found its way to me in the form of an ever-present ad on Hulu’s landing page: The Imagine Dragons concert live from Las Vegas.

I’ve noticed the pop rock band “Imagine Dragons” show up on my Sirius XM Coffee House station over the years, but I’ve never really paid that much attention to them. I always like their songs. I even find myself humming the acoustic version of "Radioactive" from time to time, much to the amusement of those around me. I'm sure it's a bit like listening to someone belt out Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" in their best operatic church choir voice.

So a few Sundays ago, when it was too hot to venture outside, I settled in to see what the concert was all about. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. In addition to being treated to what felt like a front row seat at an amazing concert, the lead singer Dan Reynolds effused what living in a state of connectedness looks like. IMHO he was simply brilliant.

Just to make your life easier, here's the trailer the show. Even in this short, 2-minute reel, there are quotes that move me. Perhaps they will do the same for you.

If you watch the trailer you'll see the way that, beyond the music, he shared so many behind the scenes stories and tidbits about the need for humanity to embrace the power of love. If you read my last post, you’ll know that this struck a chord with me. But it was that “X” he marked on the front of his hand before he went out to sing that really led to my digging around the google machine to see what this guy is all about.

That search led me to a Reddit thread that explained the “X” as an indication of being a “straight edge” meaning, no drinking drugs, and all that other stuff rockers are known for imbibing in. Apparently, it’s a trend with its roots in 80s punk rock bands, but I’ll let you wander down that rabbit hole on your own should you so desire.

Suffice it to say, he's got an interesting backstory, for sure. And while his upbringing gave him a unique lens on the need for more unconditional love and acceptance in the world, I could not be more aligned with this guy’s messages. It was a surprising treat to my eyes, ears, and heart on a hot Sunday afternoon.

Which leads me to balance inspiration tip #3: Make space for more "allowing" in your life to let those magical sunshine drips find you.

I think what I’ve come to realize is that there is still plenty of inspiration around us that will foster that connection to oneness, each other, and our Creator’s higher vibration. It’s just not shouting at us. So if you’re looking for that seemingly elusive balance, make it a priority to tune in for more of what you want to see and hear, and then make space to allow life to surprise you with some magical sunshine drips made just for you.

I hope these tips to restore balance can work for you. And at the end of the day, as we seek this balance together, I share this hope, to quote Dan Reynolds:

"May we spend less time being divided, may we spend more time loving, more time forgiving."


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