A Message From Melanie

Welcome, and I hope your week has been a good one. As you know, we’re in the middle of election season, which surely has the potential to overload us at times with information, headlines, texts, and emails.  In other words, it’s the season of choice, as we ask ourselves what we want our communities, or our country, to be. We can’t choose unless we learn about the issues and the candidates, so to the internet we go (I’m excluding here those who make their voting decisions by examining the yard signs of neighbors they know are on “the other side.”) In addition to election decisions, many profoundly important events are happening in our communities and in our world.

How do you approach this season? Some friends of mine turn off the news entirely, believing it’s all toxic and the only way to preserve peace within is to inhabit a “news-free” bubble. Others (I think I’m in this school) limit internet news time so that we know what is happening in our world but avoid spending the entire day doom-scrolling from one depressing story to the next. There is no upside to that, and it’s a rabbit hole we must avoid.

My solution is to realize that we’re navigating through tough times, and election cycles can exacerbate the stress. For me, this means increased emphasis on a personal daily practice of meditation and silence, combined with time away from anything that is attached to a screen. Electronic-free time brings me back to center and helps me climb out of whatever rabbit hole I find myself in. Others have different practices, but still recognize the need to unplug and take time away.

Be kind to yourself for the next few weeks (or months!) Develop and maintain a practice that brings you moments of peace each day and connects you with those you love and like, in your daily life. Breathe, and smile, especially at the small things each day. How can I not? My daughter just came up and confided to me, with a huge smile, that she had just made her first pound cake. Joy, indeed!

Thank you.

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