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If one is into opportunities to self-reflect, stretch and grow, this is definitely the year for them! If one would rather reflect on what others are doing instead of themselves, then this is definitely the year for them too!  

The onslaught to the collective psyche these past few days have been a testament to this complex tapestry in real time. Thoughts and feelings surrounding what we have witnessed can be exhausting, let’s be real.  

We are passionate about those we care about and the country we love. But how can we mold this passion into a better way forward? I have been meditating on this subject quite a bit these last few days and have a number of ideas. But for sure, over the long term it’s going to take a concerted effort by all of us. Can one teacher, policeman, chef, leader, or even a President alone tackle the divisiveness we see? When has divisiveness worked to accomplish big goals? I think never.    

Moving upward towards potential all starts with a single step. Or maybe a single breath.   

Sometimes we find ourselves in disbelief or unsure about what is evolving in front of us and lash out at the other side. This of course helps no one.  

An alternative to inner chaos is to live more consciously. Living consciously means preventing our minds from being hijacked with angst that may have us feeling our hearts are seemingly in our throats.  

Below is an exercise I use to live more consciously during a stressful moment thus improving my life and those around me in the NOW.  

Create the second half of the following sentence for yourself:  

The Beauty of…  

Examples may be: ·      

The beauty of…slowing down and taking a deep breath is ease and flow. Then pause and pay attention to how it feels in the body. Surprisingly, this simple affirmation causes a shift in the psyche. Our consciousness opens up to the idea of beauty happening around us and within us right now. Yes, especially during heightened anxiety.  ·      

The beauty of…the laughter of a child. Then pause, visualize a child laughing and loving life. The beauty becomes alive while awakening and healing us.  ·      

The beauty of…God’s love. Then pause, feeling into it by allowing God's love to wrap you in safety and warmth.  

Try it, keep it simple. Pay attention to how your attention shifts moving closer into alignment with the Divine. This shift takes you from being nervous about what is happening to a place where you know all is well. In the big picture, it is what we call Divine Order.  

Rev. James Buchanan