The second line of the old song in this blog post title is “No, not just for some, but for EVERYONE!” It’s relevant right now, don’t you think?
Have you been wondering what you can do instead of scrolling down the news on social media, which only makes us anxious? I know I have. I don’t even like opening Facebook anymore. I used to love it, as it made me smile to see pics of family that live far away, or friends buying a new home, or restaurants I like posting their weekend specials. Not anymore. So many scared and angry people are using Facebook to vent.
I’ve decided to limit my Facebook time to ten minutes a day. When I get on, I scroll down and look at only posts from friends and family – and dogs. Can’t skip those cute little pups!
I can and do keep informed about what’s going on in the world by reading NPR or other reliable news sources. And I only read the stories once. In social media they are repeated and repeated and…
What’s going on is really awful! And, being me, I keep thinking that there must be something I can do to help. If you look hard, there is plenty you can do.
I discovered that my own small town has a program of volunteers who are feeding breakfast and lunch to the kids who would have received those meals from their school. They are also supplying games and books for those same kids and meals for the seniors in our community who are homebound. With schools and senior centers closed everywhere, lots of people don’t get lunch unless it’s delivered to their door. These people are getting donations from several local grocery stores, farmers markets, etc., but it’s becoming increasingly burdensome to keep donating products to those volunteer programs. So they are asking for help, but in such a great, creative way. They ask that we get gift certificates at local take out restaurants, small grocers, and our local mom and pop stores, to support the volunteer programs with products, while also supporting local businesses, so that the community as a whole can remain intact through these difficult times. Wow! That’s fantastic. I am so proud of my town!
And, here’s another idea that has caught on! Nursing home pen pals! Check with your local senior villages!
So many of our older friends and family have not been able to receive visitors for months! They are loving all the cards, letters, and photos they receive through this program. Some of them re-read a letter several times! Each time it makes them smile, and isn’t that a MUCH better idea – making someone smile, rather than seeing all the bad news that makes us sad or angry, over and over again, on social media?
And, if you’re not working and wish you were, maybe you’d feel better if you became a Crisis Volunteer.
There is a training program, and no need to leave your own home, yet you could make a difference in so many lives!
And, of course, one of my favorite practices is a loving kindness meditation! In this type of meditation, you first give loving kindness to yourself, then to others. You’d be surprised at how much more calm and peaceful you become after sending love and compassion to those in need, and especially after sending to those who are hard to love. Feeling compassion for those who act unloving, and even violently to others, is difficult, but since only love can conquer hate, it is the most hopeful thing we can do for them and for ourselves.
If you want to find out more about loving kindness meditation, or any type of meditation, please join me on Facebook live at 7 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. No fee. We are a group of around 100 people who meditate together. Newcomers are most welcome!
Here’s a sample of what we do.
Best of Health, Kathi