How to Live Through Hard Times

Things have been tough lately, haven’t they? Terrible things in the news, the rise of racism, homophobia, and general cruelty. At least it is here in the USA and it seems to be a global trend. Most of us have been exhausted for the last few years. It’s like an endless attack, and since it comes from the news and the internet, and all around us, it’s hard to fight back.

So I have kind of a radical suggestion.

Stop.

A few weeks ago I found myself scrolling Facebook, infuriated by all the shady crap the government is pulling, the kids in cages on the border, the infringement of public lands, the weakening of every protection. People need to know this, I thought, and I posted a ton of really depressing stuff.

Then my timeline was one long stream of upsetting things. I didn’t like that.

So I changed tactics. I posted good things. Useful strategies. Stories about individuals who made a difference.

Am I sticking my head in the sand? Maybe. I’m still noticing the evils that go on all around. But I’d rather focus on the good.

3. Bait. Inktober2019

We are all inclined to focus on the problem. It’s a human thing. If things are good, fine. But problems are dangerous. So we give them disproportionate attention. And at times like this, there is no end of them. Serious things. But do we really want to give them all that power over us?

I admit, it can be very, very hard to drag ourselves away from the trauma vortex, that endlessly tempting downward spiral of anger, pain, shame, and blame. But it’s worth our while to do so, every day.

What can we do?

Look around. Be in the here and now. Find a nice safe space and take the time to feel safe.

Exhale. Long exhales tell the body it is safe. Exhale to a count of 8, inhale only to 4. It works quickly.

Move. Our dance has so much joy to give. Put on some music, close your eyes and let you body move as it wishes. Breathe with the music and enjoy the physical sensation of reacting to the music!

Be with people. Especially people who help you feel uplifted. Volunteer for your candidate of choice, join a book group (for something fun, of course), or….

Take a class. It’s a great way to be with people while leveling up your skills. Here are some suggestions.

Focusing on the good is why I made Focus on the Feeling. It’s a course about critique. Most folks think of critique as negative. To me, it’s about looking at what’s working–and how to make it better. FoF starts in October–you might find it a good distraction from all the misery–and your dance will improve ; )

Another way of focusing on the good is the upcoming ACE Mastermind. We’ll identify your creative goals, and craft a step-by-step practice plan so you can achieve them, with accountability, camaraderie, and great group of friends.

Even more cheerfulness awaits you with the Online Fun Classes. These start Oct 17. A one-hour, live video dance class designed to be a good time for all levels. Something different every week, a little technique, a combination, some zils or veil, some Dancemeditation–all so you feel refreshed and relaxed.

And there’s the super fun Bellydance Bundle Instagram Challenge, 21 days of belly dance exercises and drills. It’s open to everyone, it’s free, and it’s going on now.

And of course, remember to VOTE.

That’s all for now!

All my love,
Alia

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