“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”Dale Carnegie

You may be sitting at home wondering what to do as the world seems to be unraveling around you. Every day there is a new shock related to COVID-19, climate change, or equal rights.  

It’s hard to catch your breath. To feel hopeful.

There you are in the middle of it, chest tight, heart pounding, looking for answers.

Your business may have been negatively affected.  Performing simple tasks has become unbearable. You’re standing in line gloved and masked, feeling like your world has become unrecognizable.  And new dangers surface as isolation and loneliness challenge your mental well-being.

But the human story has always been one of continuous struggle.  The fibres of struggle and overcoming it are the human condition.

Throughout times of hardship the beacon that has always been the needle drawing the thread forward is hope.  

Hope.

 

Hope can be found in the humblest of places and in the stories of legendary people.  Amazing souls who have taken action and overcome the insurmountable to better the world.

Their legendary words can be so powerful they shift your heart into action through their hopeful energy. 

Here are 4 quotes that I have found helped me shift from fear into hope, and from hope into taking action.

I think they will help you make that shift too.

Quote #1

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa

Even the smallest thing, done out of love, can yield the greatest impact.

Consider Mother Teresa, who became an international symbol of hope for the poor and disaster stricken.  Her small, repeated, daily acts of love transformed the lives of the poor, sick and suffering, giving them dignity, and chasing away fear in the darkest of times.

Her love ultimately spread around the world as a wave of compassionate hope winning her the Nobel Peace Prize.

You may think that in order to make a difference in the events unfolding around you requires money or a big voice with a mega platform like that of Mother Teresa or an internet celebrity.  Not so!

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It’s precisely that kind of thinking that stops you from participating.  

Mother Teresa began her service by giving love and dignity to the poorest of the poor, one soul at a time.  Through every heart she touched she lifted broken spirits, raising the collective consciousness of the world.

Your next brave step can be small but equally monumental.  Make a pledge to yourself to act in kindness and service to others. That service can be as simple as connecting family members through various digital means so that they can see and feel you, even if through a screen. While the sense of intimacy is not the same as seeing someone in person, it is far better than no connection at all. 

Through connecting with others you will also be serving yourself by strengthening your immune system. In serving someone else, your brain releases chemicals that reduce stress and anxiety, bolster your mood, and slow down aging.  The person you’re helping receives the same benefits.

Your head might stop you here and chastise your “tiny” effort but I heard a beautiful story about the wife of one of my favourite podcasters, Follow Your Different voice, Christopher Lochhead.  His wife Kari bought loads of fat chalk sticks and started writing messages on the pavement wherever she walked.  

She didn’t think she was doing much but when she noticed that people started doing the same, writing similar messages back and thanking her, she realized the power of her “small act.”  Something like Kari’s chalk happiness can change a person’s state and maybe even their life

Quote #2

“Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.” Dau Voire

Conversation is the beginning of all things.  It’s the place where ideas are born and worlds are changed.  I believe this time in history is asking us to be brave enough to have courageous conversations, ones you’d rather not have but in doing so you may just change the path of history.

You have that opportunity in front of you now as the systems that have enabled white privilege are being called to task, ripe for deconstruction. I also believe that our “health” care system, needs to be deconstructed from the sick care system that it is into something that serves more powerfully.

Such conversations may be frightening enough to stop you from having them but Catherine Blyth, author of The Art of Conversation, provides helpful tips about how to converse in a meaningful way with others.

  1. Put others at ease
  2. Put yourself at ease
  3. Weave in all parties
  4. Establish shared interests
  5. Actively pursue your own

I would add that a sixth tip would include sharing differing points of view from a place of curiosity. But the point is, having open dialogue is critical at this juncture in history.

You have been invited to participate in the one of the most courageous conversations of all time – the one about race and colour. 

As a guest in this discussion, coming from a place of listening and learning will yield the greatest possibilities for making the change that will hopefully bring resolution, or at the very least, positive change to centuries old issues of racial discrimination.

Remember that great conversationalists listen more than talk. You’ll need to develop a willingness to be uncomfortable, yet open to what others are saying. Make space for listening and learn a new way of being that challenges you to upgrade your DNA, informed by your conversation.

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This is what I learned from having a conversation with my friend and peer in wellness, Sonia Verilli Jabon and her husband Jeffrey.  We sat down recently to talk about their relationship as a mixed race couple raising their teenage children in the US.  Sonia is an Italian-Canadian and Jeffrey is Haitian-American.

The couple talks about diversity with their children, rather than skin colour, referencing her Canadian upbringing, where, she claims, the idea of diversity is part of the Canadian culture. “If you focus too much on skin colour then you get that divide,” she shared.  

The couple also reveals that health is often seen as a privilege, one that many persons of colour do not enjoy. Yet the foundational truth is that health is a birthright to be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of skin colour.

The couple further points out that the conversation around oppression needs to include the notion that food discrimination is a contributing factor. There are places in the USA, and every country, where food apartheid and food deserts are real.  Food and health are basic rights but they aren’t universally available even in this 21st century.

This conversation validated something I have always believed in, that optimal health is your birthright. It fostered the idea that I can do more in my work to promote Eating Clean for a broader demographic.

It also led me to think that some of the greatest conversations begin with simple statements like, “No!” It’s what Rosa Parks said when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on the bus she was on. NO started a revolution.  

Today the conversation might begin with, “Where do I fit in this larger narrative as a white person, person of colour, mother, child, teenager? What can I learn and where can I learn it?” 

Take a page from my young nephew William, who’s reading The Long Road to Freedom by Nelson Mandella. When his father, my brother, asked him why he was reading the book, his son responded by saying “With everything going on right now, I need to know more. I want to be part of the bigger conversation.”  He shares that he believes that people are a product of their environment, not their colour and that he prefers to avoid using colour as a descriptor when referencing people. “Why not call them human? Aren’t we all human?”

William had a lot more to say that so blew my mind, I feel confident his generation will help create the kind of revolutionary change the world has been longing for.

QUOTE #3

“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.” Marianne Williamson

There are only two motivating emotions in life: love or fear.  Everything you do is based on one of those emotions.  

The contrast between them has never been more apparent.  Many of you have been in a state of fear during COVID-19 and the racial upheaval the world has been witnessing, operating out of survival mode.  

It explains why there was a run on essentials like bread and toilet paper in the early weeks of the quarantine.  It also explains why violence is erupting on the world stage but at the same time, most protests in support of Black Lives Matter have been peaceful.

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Fear made you sense that lack was on its way and you had to take action to offset that potential loss.  Fear makes you turn inwards and think only of your basic survival needs. 

That’s natural.  It’s not easy to calm yourself when the tsunami is staring you down.

Yet many have found a way to act out of love instead.  You’ve found a way to stay in your heart, making conscious decisions not to yield to chaos but rather face your truths, as uncomfortable as they sometimes may be, because you know that not stepping up destroys the life of a fellow sister or brother. 

What does that mean? It means that just when the world is splitting apart, love may be the thing that pulls it back together in a more healing and balanced way.  

There will be no going back to the way it was before, before COVID or before George Floyd. And I really hope it won’t. 

What’s being asked of you now is something you inherently know as the right thing to do but to deeply connect with it now as you have never done before.  The quarantine has forced you to go inward, to reflect, to take a pause.  

You know that the world hasn’t been right for a long time. The most loving act you can take now is to educate yourself about how to operate from your heart, meaning feel the feels that go along with every disruption.  

Ask yourself the tough questions.  Why is this right or wrong? What can I do to show up in support of my planet, with my fellow man, with myself? And take action.

QUOTE #4

For the last quote, I leave you with a song. Written in 1971, inspired by Yoko Ono’s poetry and a bible, the song Imagine by John Lennon, stands as one of the most covered songs ever and an anthem to the pursuit of world peace.

There could be no more appropriate song, in my opinion, for the times.

 

 

 

 

 

Lyrics – Imagine by John Lennon

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You, you may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You, you may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will live as one
~John Lennon

Can you imagine?

With peace and love in my heart, I ask you to keep the faith. Let love into your heart. Remain hopeful. You are here for the greater good. It’s time to step up.

Tosca 

Resources you can use while at home to  help you eat clean, exercise, and practice emotional self care during these challenging times.

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Strike Sugar - FitCommit - 3 Es's of Wellness

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