Do we have to say again that this year has been arduous? I don’t think so, but it has. Ar-du-ous (said in three slow, long syllables). We feel especially jaded around the continuing impact of COVID rules and regulations, fear stoking articles on second waves and protocols, protocols, protocols. If you are brave, or stupid, enough to venture out into the Twittersphere, you will be appalled by the view it offers of the human race. Inhuman race, more like it. Angry, vicious, mean, sneering and rude. Lacking in all compassion and logic, really.
After a devastating year out of the classroom, for most public schools, the Department of Education is saying they will push all learners in Foundation Phase (Grade R to Grade 3) through to the next grade. My housekeeper is in a rage, “My children cannot be pushed to the next year,” she says, fuming, “They know nothing! They are still young, they need to redo this year.” We seem to be intent on destroying any possibility for improved education for our children.
There’s not much logic out there
As we said, not much logic out there at the moment. The Eastern Cape is a disaster zone, with the Gift of the Givers getting involved, the cops are getting drunk, SAA is threatening to rise again at massive cost to the taxpayer, the SABC wants to tax all screen watching habits and the government is missing in action. Those who can, have their hands stuck firmly in the cookie jar and those who cannot, starve and get angry. Very angry. Us too, we are very angry. And sad. And fed up.
“I just want things back to normal!”, I wail, as I rip off the steaming mask, red faced and itching.
Normal? I hear you ask, what is that? Isn’t it all about the “new normal”? What is the “new normal” anyway? It is all wishful thinking and it makes our stomachs churn and our heads hurt. What to do? What. Do. We. DO?
Some of all of that is in us
Every day when we do our daily practice we open and close the circle by reciting the quote from Hermes Trismegistus: “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” It is a reminder that the only place we can start is with ourselves. So when we point fingers and rail at the unfairness, the awfulness, the unpleasantness “out there” it reminds us that some of all of that is in us.
Our job is to work on ourselves, each and everyday. We can’t change the world, we cannot do anything about Malema’s rants, or Zuma’s disrespect or President Cyril’s silence. We can do something about our own state. Our emotional, psychological and physical state. To care for ourselves, to heal what wounds there may be and to focus on that small circle of family and friends that we have any influence over.
If I attend to me I can make the world a better place
It is useful to remind each other to be more compassionate, that the rants and the disrespect and the silence are all a result of much deeper issues. Issues we all have some responsibility for at some level. It starts with me, if I attend to me, work on me, heal me, I can do something about making the world a better place. As within, so without…
One way to quickly attend to that emotional spike, the hook, or the anger is to use SNAK which stands for Self Nourishing Action Kit. This is a three wing touch and breathe process to bring you back to a calmer state. We tweaked Shape of Emotion to support those who need a quick fix - a SNAK, if you will. Have a look at our latest video, all of 3 minutes long for more information on how it works.
An explanation and guide to using Shape of Emotion SNAK, 5th Place's emotional regulation tool for in the moment relief from difficult emotions like stress, anxiety and others.