If Armageddon is around the corner, there is only one thing to do

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Momentary Bliss, photo by Michelle Thall

The world’s problems are big and have grown exponentially in the past year. They feel giant, like a monster towering overhead, so big they seem to obscure the world around me. Humanity appears on the brink of chaos, the planet is at a tipping point, the world’s future questionable.

What am I supposed to do?

What are you supposed to do?

What are WE supposed to do?

The only thing I know for certain is that if I don’t want to be part of the problems that are taking our world to the edge of annihilation, I have to oppose those problems; I have to be on the opposite side of them. I have to be part of what is propping up the world, instead of tearing it down. …


In the face of fear, hate, and anger… be love

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Heart Held, Mixed Media, by Michelle Thall

I wrote the article that follows on 11/11/20, but I did not publish it.

Why?

I felt it wasn’t ready — I felt I wasn’t ready. Now, two months later, I see that this is the right time, that this is the moment in which I am called to do something big, something bigger than I believe myself capable of doing. But I am going to do it anyway because if I want others to rise beyond their comfort zones, I must do so myself.

I am afraid of what our country has just shown us. I am afraid of the magnitude of hate I saw on January 6th, of what it represents, of the next thing it will manifest. It’s not as if this hate is new, but in recent years it has been stoked and glorified, justified, and honored. This hate is born of fear — fear of “otherness,” of the unknown, of the misunderstood, and the imagined consequences of NOT hating and NOT acting on that hate. …


If you only do one thing for yourself this holiday season…

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I am My Oyster, Beach Pendant & Photo by Michelle Thall

Even if the chaos of 2020 has physically slowed you down, shackled you to your home, isolated you from friends, kept you idle, that doesn’t mean it has stilled you inside, in your heart and your mind. I ask you to consider welcoming stillness inside as well as out.

Slow down. Listen to your heartbeat. Feel your breath flowing in… hold the moment, count to three… let it whisper out. Again, invite the breath in, savor it, let it sink all the way to your toes, then release it, and feel your chest rest into itself.

Find a place of comfort and quiet to be, just be. Practice this breathing seven times. Seven breaths to bliss. Let them fill you, cleanse you, reset your inner clock. Afterward, spend an hour doing something simple but…


Why does the US have one of the lowest voter turnouts?

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Photo by Michelle Thall

In 2008, when 62% of eligible voters cast ballots for the president of the United States it was a 40-year high for US voter turnout. Over those years an average of just 57% of eligible voters chose our president. U.S. voter turnout in 2016 ranked 26th of 32 developed nations surveyed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

What is the story with the other 38–43% of eligible voters…

Over the years I’ve heard things like:

  • “It’s not on my radar.”
  • “My vote makes no difference. It’s hopeless.”
  • “I don’t like either of the candidates.”
  • “It’s not convenient.”

But in the past five years, there’s been a change in…


Not voting is not a choice, it is a surrender.

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Photo by Michelle Thall, September 20, 2019

I am ruminating… have been for a long time. It’s gotten worse this year, but it’s been going on since the lead up to the election in 2016. “How can I make a difference? What should I be doing? Who can help change the trajectory humanity is on?…” These questions and too many others swirl around my head over and over, like a dog chasing its tail. But the answers haven’t come… until now.

I am a writer, and the written word is powerful. I was in the shower a couple of days ago, ruminating, when it hit me. I could canvas or phone bank or letter write, but my strength lies in my ability to strings words together, to transcend misunderstanding and share emotion. …


The word “know” covers so much ground it is fairly meaningless

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

The word “know” is inadequate to say what I mean. I need a word to express knowing something with all of my being when every last cell in my body is telling me something. I’m not talking about what I know in my head or even in my heart; it’s more like when people say they “know something in their bones” or “in their gut.” I’m talking about knowing something with every fiber of my being, in the depths of my soul, and the only choice I have to express it is this little 4 letter word… KNOW.

It isn’t nearly big enough, complete enough to tell people how or why I know what I’m talking about. This is the kind of KNOWledge you can’t get from a book, or a newspaper, a TV, or the internet. It’s a little like the difference between wisdom and knowledge, but there is no active verb form of wisdom. I’ve used a thesaurus I’ve used several, searched online for something that means anything close to what I want to say, and have come up annoyingly short. …


How did we get here and can we fix it?

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Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

I just read an article on Medium “One Book Explains Everything That’s Wrong with America in 2020, “The Secret” inscribed a toxic ideology we must undo.”

It was very well-written; the contents were important, relevant, timely. I clapped. I read the comments. But, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth. Why? Because just as when The Secret came out, I wanted to scream “ ‘the law of attraction’ isn’t her’s (Rhonda Byrne’s) to write about! It isn’t a new concept and she is stealing U.S. Anderson’s work.” Worse, she perverted it, sold it short, made it simple, stupid, and trendy, and got rich at the same time. …


Suffering is universal; could it unite us?

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Photo by Michelle Thall

July 1, 2020 (from a hand-written scrap of yellow paper)

I just realized something. I have been sexually abused or assaulted or whatever the PC term is today. My ex-husband assaulted me. He lied to me for better than nine years about who he was, why he married me, and the hurtful behavior he engaged in throughout our time together. He also exposed me to HIV through his extra-marital partners, and he actually did physically assault me. I just can’t remember it. Either I was too drunk, or he drugged me, but the physical signs of rape were there.

Here’s the point. Until 10 minutes ago I never contextualized or perceived what happened that night with my ex-husband as rape or even assault. But tonight, it was as clear as day and I know why… because I went to my first domestic violence group therapy session — the 1st in my entire life. I felt like an impostor… “My ‘story’ isn’t as serious as their stories. It isn’t as traumatic. It isn’t as debilitatingly horrible as everyone else’s, it’s not as important.” (As I type this on August 26, 2020, I know what I was really feeling… I’M not as important.) …


Hard work = success for some people, but not for me anymore

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“If I work hard they will be happy. If I work hard I will please them and that will equal success for me and then I will be happy. So, do everything possible to please them. Through work hard impress them, show them you can do it all, do everything, please them, show them, impress them…”

This kind of thinking has been in my brain for most of my life, but until the words were written down, and I re-read them, I didn’t realize how insidious, how toxic this closeted thinking really was. It began in Fall 2016 with the realization that I didn’t want to do it all anymore. I was exhausted, burned out, suffering so much that I wasn’t even anxious anymore. I didn’t have the energy to be anxious. I couldn’t be everything to everyone anymore. …


And remember to capture that feeling for next time

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Photo by Michelle Thall

It’s too easy to swing out of balance during busy, stressful times. Too easy to let the negativity of others become ours, to forget we are free to

say no,

be ourselves,

stop the race,

sing a song,

change our minds,

live easy.

Sometimes we just need to stop for a few minutes, breathe, and do whatever reminds us of how it feels to be at peace. We need to return to center… whatever that looks like. We might find it in writing a note to ourselves and sticking it on the bathroom mirror, or in reading a couple of pages of a favorite book, taking a walk, calling a kindred spirit, chatting across the porch with a neighbor, or simply enjoying the art we chose to hang on our wall. Perhaps a hug will right our day, or maybe a puppy kiss. If we cannot be with a hugger or a kisser, maybe just gazing at pictures of loved ones, two or four legged, and remembering we love and are loved will be enough to nudge us back to center. …

About

Michelle Thall

Creator, Teacher & Learner on a journey to become myself — whole, well & happy — and help others do the same. Join the tribe @ TheWholeWellnessProject.com

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