No news has been good news for a long time. Any spark of good news seems to fizzle away and drown in all the bad news. As a result, too much news is affecting us all. When I see and hear the news, I feel overcome with sadness and a sense of guilt for two reasons: 1) for complaining about my own problems and 2) for being spared of such pain and anguish. We all have our own set of problems. That’s life. But none of us can really fathom all the tragedies happening all over the world unless we’ve experienced them for ourselves. If you’re reading this and you have experienced pain and suffering, I genuinely feel for you and admire your strength to move forward. Sometimes strength is the only choice we have.
This guilt I described is commonly felt among many people paying close attention to the current events. I think it’s great to keep ourselves informed, especially in this age of Netflix and online media. At the same time, I also think it’s unnecessary and unproductive to confront the face of tragedy all the time. Perhaps I sound insensitive in saying this. But hear me out. This habit of narrow-casting can be dangerous. It can either lead us to become so absorbed and weighed down by the news to the point where we forget to live. We become too connected with the outside world and yet disconnected with ourselves. Or the opposite can happen where many of us of choose to live in ignorance of what’s going on in the world. Ignorance is not bliss. I’ve found myself treading along both ends of this continuum at certain points in my life and I can safely say neither one is good. It’s okay to find a balance between these two extremes. In fact, it may be recommended. I firmly believe that being spared from suffering puts us in an optimal position to help others. Something one of my previous clients said just stuck with me. She strongly advocated the concept of self care in saying “you cannot give from an empty well. When you give, you give from your overflow.” In other words, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. It’s not selfish. It’s sensible.
I debated the idea of sharing other content with you because it would seem like an act of self-indulgence. While evaluating each and every category in Cheia de Vida, I considered how I aim to help people rather than seeing what I do as self-indulgent. People need to eat and they want to eat well. Culture and travel help people to learn about the world and how to gain the most out of their travel experiences. Health and wellness is a given part of our existence. We are all seeking those answers to live an optimal healthy life. Sometimes I may go beyond the minimalist aspect of these categories. Because sometimes we want a little something out of the ordinary. Sometimes it’s necessary to escape temporarily. For me, creating content, entertaining the many ideas floating in my head, and discussing ideas with you is the best way for me to ground myself while also indulging in an escape from time to time.
I wonder, in the midst of tragedy and crisis, do artists stop making beautiful pieces? Do film makers stop creating movies? Do musicians stop making music? No. But does their persistence make them less any less worldly or in touch with their surroundings? Absolutely not. They acknowledge the hardships of the world and sometimes they even use those hardships to create something new and inspiring. They acknowledge the important value embedded in providing an escape outlet.
We all need a temporary escape. The important thing is to be mindful of the temporary nature of our escape. Doing so allows us to make the most of time. With that being said, I would highly encourage you to temporarily escape from time to time. It can even be something as small as a quiet cup of tea while everyone is asleep, a yoga class you’ve been meaning to take, or making a conscious decision to make yourself unavailable and unplug an hour before bedtime. Even if you can’t escape right away, try to schedule a time in the near future so that you can at least have something to anticipate. When we give ourselves permission to escape we allow ourselves to better when we return.