Has it ever been harder to figure out how to focus one's efforts for the greater good? Is the world falling apart more or do we just have more constantly updating, dopamine-inducing evidence of what has always been an epidemic of humans behaving
No matter what developmental model you follow, whether Spiral Dynamics and Integral Theory or Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs or cultural and/or individual trauma theory; even if you haven't studied about how human's behave when they are not getting basic needs met for safety, shelter, community, and purpose, it is pretty easy to see that our collective community is suffering.
When these needs aren't met, when our nervous system is aroused in the fight, flight, freeze response, we are virtually INCAPABLE of moral choice making, long-term planning, empathy and other higher-level cognitive functions. So whether our clarity is mucked up due to forces outside of our control like poverty and abuse or via our dedication to constant online updates and righteous responses, we are pretty much doomed to our current scenario of polarization, depression, violence, and disorder. We are disordered. So we act disorderly.
My mind is naturally inclined to disorder, to move in a thousand directions in search of something akin to excitement in the guise of clarity. I know now from my own study of movement, meditation and the study I call "getting my shit together" plus the wisdom of countless others, I won't find clarity by admiring the problem, again and again and again.
I can only take one step at a time. I can only do the next right thing. If I am lucky, right action leads to right thinking. In the end, that matters less as that the next right thing for me tends to be a place of service and community. That's where joy is. That's where order is.
So today the next right thing was to write. First this, then my play.
Tonight the next right thing is to teach movement, to teach a few others how to embody wellness and breath.
Tomorrow the next right thing is to celebrate the successes of women in recovery with the talented staff of First Step Home, to share the True Body Project with inspiring and challenged young girls in the West End, and to spend time with my son, who is making his own difference in a school-based health center.
And so on. It just might add up to something.
What is your next right thing?