Apocalyptic Awe — I’m not OK. Are you OK? It’s OK to not be OK

If you’re feeling blue from the apocalyptic orange glow in the Northern California skies or from the pandemonium of the pandemics of #covid #blm #climatechange — you’re not alone, boo.

It’s OK to tell yourself you’re not OK and to ask for help. We are truly in this craziness together.

I’ve been feeling super blue lately, but the unprecedented, eerie, daylong darkness and crazy orange skies yesterday made me feel super sad. I usually go to my Namaste places to shift from the dark to the light, but it was particularly difficult because the light of the sun, literally, did not shine upon us. So I called for backup, yes, prayer. But here’s what else I did to process the blues.

In true #ToanFashion, I got on the phone with folks whom I regularly check in on, and, likewise, loved ones checked in on me. To truly process these challenging times, I talked it out and wanted to share some of my “Toan’s Talking Points” with you.

I hope this #ToanTalks video diary inspires you to put one foot in front of the other as we walk through the fog together.

Rewind to yesterday, Sept. 9, 2020. I went on my @ToanLamTV Instagram Stories to share these thoughts about how dark and ominous it looked in the morning.

What in the actual orange f***?

I woke up this morning thinking that it was still the middle of the night, and before looking out the window and opening it to let fresh air into my bedroom, I checked my air quality app. Yep. New disasters due to climate change are changing our daily routines, like checking air quality apps and wearing masks.

Never in my 20+ years of living in San Francisco have I experienced anything like this. Here’s what I saw when I looked out the window.

In many ways, it feels like we’ve hit rock bottom in the San Francisco Bay Area:

–COVID-19 shuttered many businesses to where I don’t recognize the city and its vibrant energy anymore.

–Many parents worry sending their kids to school is too dangerous, so a lot of youngsters are spending more time with a screen than with their friends.

–We can’t go out regularly for mental health walks and workouts because of the poor air conditions

–Like clockwork, wildfires struck again this season, charring a record number of acres. According to The Sacramento Bee, even though the wildfire season is just beginning, California has already set a record with nearly 2.3 million acres burned this year. “This is historic,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a briefing from Sacramento.

–Yes, it is real. We are living and breathing (trying to breathe) this bad science fiction nightmare that is reality

–Record heat in many parts of the U.S.

–The nation is divided by political pandemonium

No matter which side of the divide you’re on, we can all agree the apocalypse that is 2020 is getting weirder!

As I fielded calls and texts from people checking in on me, I scrolled through my social media feeds to see a flood of photos of the spooky, sepia-toned, orange rust color Bay Area sky. It felt like we are on Mars post-apocalypse and there seems to be no end in sight.

I responded — honestly — to them with, “Not good. It feels heavy. I feel like I’m choking on smoke most of the week. Many people I know don’t have jobs, can’t pay their bills and are sick and some folks have died.”

Credit: Doreen DiSalvo

Credit: Kyna Kellogg

Where do we go from here?

There are more questions than answers:

Where did we go wrong?

Where do we go from here?

How much worse can the world’s woes get?

When will this end?

I tend to be a glass more than half-full, silver lining kind of guy. I’m someone who makes lavender lemonade out of lemons. So I thought, how could we make orange juice out of today’s orange sepia sky moment?

Take Action

I usually go to my default action/reactions when I’m anxious or scared: deep breaths, meditation, exercising (yes, I did all of the above early this morning). But today, I admit it’s harder. I don’t know. I am not 100 percent OK. So I called for backup. I do believe in prayer and calling on friends to share in this unprecedented time.

I do know this…

I’m not alone. There are people who care for me. There are people I care about. I have so many blessings swirling around me.

For me, speaking with beloved folks and spiritual friends helps me change my perspective and remind me of what I do have.

I’m grateful for:
–loved ones
–a good book
–ability to exercise
–mindfulness… and so much more.

So I urge you to:

1. Check on someone you love and talk about the good and the bad, but just don’t get stuck on the latter.

2. Make a list of the abundance. I promise you, more will come.

3. Move your mind (read uplifting content). I know a good place for that 😁 ~ GoInspireGo.com

4. Move your body. Stretch. Take a walk (if you can outside). Exercise. Dance.

5. Know that you are loved and that you ARE love.

6. Breathe. Sit and notice your breath.

When I freak out, I take a deep breath and remind myself that the fog and smog will lift. So let’s take it one day, one hour and one moment at a time.

So, help me, how are you getting out of the this daze-dream-nighmare?
Please share some things you’re worried about (I’ll pray over it for you, promise). Share some things you’re grateful for.

You, me, we, will get through this.


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