Tragedy. It seems like something we can’t escape it lately. If it isn’t acts of nature it’s acts of a madman. How do we process what is happening and how do we recover and move on? Reducing our anxiety is a start. According to an article in Psychology Today, here are five ways to do just that:
Get in touch with reality. Intense fear and horror make us lose perspective, and suddenly we expect disaster at every turn. Taking a step back from our fear and trying to think about what we know (what therapists call “cognitive reframing”) can help ease our fears, at least a little bit.
For example, in spite of terrible events—such as those in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012—schools are actually among the safest places for children to be, and the vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent. After Newtown, one expert recommended balancing each “worried thought” with a “brave thought” to manage anxiety…
Find safety in numbers. Results from decades of experimental research reveal that as social creatures, the more alone we feel the more afraid we are. Reminding yourself of the people you can trust will help you feel safer in your community.
Help others. Events are traumatic because they destroy our social fabric and disorder our expectations of the world. Giving to others helps strengthen the order in the world through good acts. As Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi recognized, altruism is a kind of antidote to hatred and evil.
Manage your exposure exposure to the media so that you can stay as informed as you want without becoming overwhelmed with anxiety and stress…
Learn to live with fearful events and not in spite of them. This final recommendation to feeling safer is perhaps the hardest to achieve. As we work to understand tragic events, eventually we may be able to accept that terrible, unpredictable, and unpreventable things do occur and could happen to any of us. And despite that dreadful knowledge, we must make every effort to live our lives better, to love better, and to cherish every day we are given. There is great comfort in that.
Excellent advice, in my opinion. And let’s not forget all the stories of heroism and quick thinking during some of the recent tragedies. During and after the hurricanes there were daring water rescues, companies welcoming displaced people into their businesses, and people rescuing pets and animals and finding them homes. During the shooting in Las Vegas, there were people taking off their own clothes to apply pressure to wounds, others helping people over barriers so they could get to safety, and people comforting the wounded and staying with them until help arrived. So while Mother Nature and one crazed individual instigated tragic events, MANY people came together for their fellow men and women (and pets).
So what does the Harvest Moon have to do with all this? First, it reminds us that Mother Nature can be gentle. She can be beautiful. And she can be beneficial, as the moonlight provided by this moon in the past was used to gather crops back before tractors had lights (and probably before tractors).
Secondly, let’s look at how the planets are lining up during this Harvest moon. The information below is from Chani Nicholas, one of my favorite astrologers:
Thursday’s full moon asks us to harvest the wealth that comes from being aligned with the processes of release and regeneration.
On the same day as the full moon, Venus and Mars come together in Virgo. Together these two are a potent mix of erotic and creative energy. Venus magnetizes. Mars seeks out what it desires. Together in Virgo, their passion is put to good use. This combination is driven to perform a task and to do so with incredible urgency. Both planets are on their way to squaring Saturn, however, so the work needs to be done well as it will be tested. Thoroughly.
What could the above mean? Perhaps swift aid for Puerto Rico? Perhaps a serious discussion about assault rifles in the hands of civilians and gun laws? What does it mean to you? Is there something you need to release so you can start again? Is there a task that you have been putting off that has returned to you at this time, asking that it be done now, and done well? I think it merits some reflection, and I intend to spend some time ruminating.
Lastly, and on a lighter note, the Harvest moon reminds me of the song Neil Young sings of the same name. It is a beautiful song, and the video is filled with joy, dancing, and that unmistakable moon. I believe we could use a respite from the negative news, and listening to the loving words of this song and maybe even swaying to the lilting melody are a great way to find refuge. Take five minutes, watch the video, feel uplifted. We need as many people as possible to be living their true, thriving selves right now–our families, friends, communities, nation and world need us.