When the world is going crazy where do you find steadiness? This was the question posed to me in “The Stoic Journal” by Ryan Holiday this past weekend. Immediately, I felt that if I could answer this query, I would be better prepared for the current situation we face as a population. At the time of writing this post, there seems to be an endless amount of instability, change and uncertainty. With a wild presidential election looming, fear around the governor’s decision to keep businesses open and the choice around sending our children back to school, steadiness seems to be a rare occurrence. What makes these times especially challenging is there seems to be a complete lack of control over all of these situations.
My wife, who has always been wiser than I, has told me for years that the answer to all of my questions comes from within. Therefore, in looking for a solution to steadiness I started with what I can control. The things that immediately came to mind included the following; my daily habits, thoughts, how I respond to external stimuli and what I consume (physically and mentally). Upon seeing how much I could control, it immediately allowed me to focus and eliminate many of the items that normally cause mind chatter. Examples of mental chatter inducing activities are the following; social media, the news, speaking with an unstable person and devising my own “worst case scenario” thoughts. In contrast to these, diving deeper into my physical and spiritual daily habits has proven to be the best insulator to the external chaos. Behaviors such as daily exercise, meditation, reading empowering books, watching inspiring videos, listening to powerful speakers and taking walks without distraction have been invaluable.
Another place I look to find steadiness is in my family and close friends. These relationships provide a feeling that I am not going through this time period alone. They also give me tons of ideas of how to remain open to the new opportunities that may be presenting themselves. That being said, I recognize that for many people they cannot depend on a stable family. It may be that we can only trust in one person or in one side of the family. I am also aware that our friends can sometimes surprise us and act in ways that knock us down rather than give us strength. However, the people we interact with regularly can provide a rock solid foundation if we are blessed with beneficial relationships.
As the owner of a business that has developed deep relationships with so many people over the past 12 years I hope that each of you feel comfortable in speaking with me if you are feeling troubled. Sometimes, getting the words out and sharing can be a powerful way to begin healing. I hope that this message can provide you with a few ideas on where to find steadiness in the coming months and I look forward to seeing you in the clinic!