“How can we change the broader culture so that we continue to broadcast and be outraged and saddened by acts of cruelty, violence, and dispossession; and yet at the same time begin to equally broadcast and honor tender and inspiring survival stories, as well as people’s acts of care and protection?”
~ Retelling the Stories of Our Lives, by David Denborough
It’s been over five years since John and I headed off on our epic travel journey. We left our old life behind to discover the world in a way we had never experienced before. The journey has been amazing, life-enriching, eye-opening, and continues to be so.
It’s also been over five years since my access to ‘World News’ has been via three main channels: i ) real life, personal encounters with people I meet on my travels, ii) phone calls to Mother, who updates me on worldwide disasters, and stories streamed from her nightly news feed, and iii) my social media feed, which is consciously curated to deliver posts from caring, connected people sharing their experiences of the world.
For five years, while I’ve seen the world face challenges, trauma and suffering, I’ve also experienced a world holding on to hope. I saw and heard and touched a world of beautiful, kind people who choose to project their love onto humanity. I carried a sense of optimism as I travelled about. I saw compassion and empathy run strong beside the trouble. I felt a sense of peace flowing through the pain we carried together.
That was until a recent Saturday morning. Instead of following my usual morning rituals, I was seduced by the television and found myself glued to the screen. I watched an entire morning of ‘News’. I did that again on Sunday. One frame after the next, I was presented with fear-inducing, bad news images and stories …
An angry man punches a police horse in a protest. I switched the channel. I listened to lockdown domestic abuse and suicide reports. In between McDonald’s adverts, I’m fed COVID-19 death statistics. In the final story, an Italian man prepares to close his family’s long-loved coffee shop.
“What a disastrous world. What’s happened to people?” I thought to myself. I felt uninspired about life and disheartened about humanity. I was as deflated as a balloon left two days after the party had ended.
I shouldn’t have been surprised …
In the narrative therapy course I completed last year, I studied the impact of consuming large doses of problematic narratives without a balance of preferred narratives. By consuming a one-sided script, I was momentarily distracted from all the good stories playing out in my life and the world simultaneously ...
How friends here in Cyprus had gifted us with accommodation as soon as they heard we couldn’t return to Australia as planned …
The incredible technology that facilitates real live connections with loved ones while we must remain apart …
The relief works and fund-raisers happening to support people affected by devastating fires nearby …
I flicked off the television and took a walk outside. A stretch in the sunshine and a few moments admiring lemon trees growing along the back fence was like medicine to me.
I was reminded of the importance of being conscious and responsible for what we take into our minds daily. We can choose to broaden the narratives we consume. That way, we can continue to feel supported and inspired even during difficult times. I recommitted to my daily rituals that keep me in balance.
Here’s seven things I consciously do on a daily basis to bring balance to a mostly negative newsfeed. You may find adopting one or more of these practices will also help you feel more hopeful, uplifted and inspired about life. If you have any particular strategies you’d like to share with readers of Daily Inspired Life, please leave them in the comments below.
- Commit & recommit to morning rituals (including narrative journaling) – these provide space to process concerns, bring you back to the present, and also help you see possibility in the future you desire
- Join together with people who show love, compassion, and uplift one another
- Limit the negative news you consume. Be conscious of the information you take into your mind and the effect it's having on your mood
- Consciously consume more inspiring, uplifting stories - like the ones we share here
- Offer support and aid to others where possible
- Let go of situations you cannot change and/or have no influence over
- Recommit to your future story and take another step in the direction of your dreams (no step is too small)
HELP BROADEN THE POSITIVE STORIES BEYOND OURSELVES [VIDEO MESSAGE]
When it comes to stories being shared, what changes can we make, so we continue to receive stories that inform us of the injustice, tragedy and disasters ... at the same time equally receive the positive stories that showcase the good found in humanity?