#4 The immensity of small moments
On my mind
I've heard a lot of people this week noticing their desire to check out. People recognize the vastness of the challenges we face as a society. They're also exhausted by the pace of life, which seems to have recently returned to pre-pandemic speeds. We're all overwhelmed, and our fight response is shifting to flight. Simultaneously, people are terrified to give themselves the small breaks that could help them avoid burnout. There's too much to be done! If I stop, I may never start again!
This reminded me of a philosophical conundrum Jackson and I often discuss: voice or exit. When living within a deeply flawed system, do you use your voice to try to make it better, or do you leave and try to create something better from scratch? This week it dawned on me—what if the answer is to do both? We are moving to Ohio soon, in part to alleviate financial stress so that we have more energy to devote to improving the very community we are physically leaving. Thus I'm pondering a new question: what can we exit (stop doing) that will give us the space to make our voices count?
On my favorite podcast
Brené Brown's Unlocking Us podcast is both an inspiration and a lifeline for me right now. It launched as most of the world was heading into shelter-in-place, and she's managed to interview just the right people at the perfect moment to help us all navigate our brave, new world. The episode that made my week, however, is one she recorded pre-pandemic, with Jay and Mark Duplass. They are brothers, a prolific director duo (my favorite projects are Togetherness and Wild Wild Country), talented actors (Jay was Josh in Transparent), and generous producers (they used their small earnings from early successes to help friends make their own films). I've been obsessed with them since reading this profile years ago. Brené talks with them about their book, Like Brothers, which is about a lot of things (creative collaboration, parenting, athletic feats of earnestness) but especially about paradoxes (Brené's thesis, not mine). A few that resonated with me: professionalism as career killer; the immensity of small moments; and distance bringing people closer.
A Tarot card
Knight cards represent action, while Cups is the suit of emotions, dreams, water, receptivity. Thus this card speaks to a tension. The Knight can be seen as someone who is caught in their dreams, failing to take the action required to turn them into reality. In Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom, however, Rachel Pollack points out that this card can also be a choice between "fancy" and "imagination." The first means distracting ourselves to disconnect from an uncomfortable reality. The second means pausing to look inward with the goal of building awareness and conviction.
What do you need to do to allow yourself to check in rather than out?
Thank you for reading—I know how valuable your time is. If you think this email might be worth a friend's time, please consider forwarding it.
Are you the friend? Please go here to subscribe.