My mom loved soap operas on daytime TV. Days of Our Lives, As the World Turns, General Hospital, you name it — back in the 60s and 70s she was keeping up. It always struck me as a little strange, but I see it differently now.
For her, the ‘soaps’ were a way to follow some intrigue and drama from a distance without having any of her own skin in the game. Perhaps it helped to keep her mind off of her own foibles, or at least provided perspective.
It’s only natural to want to pay attention to an unfolding sequence of events, and modern media makes news from afar immediate and instantly updated. I think of my mom when I find myself indulging in up-to-the-minute coverage of the latest global conflicts, courtroom dramas, or political dumpster fires.
It’s hard to avert your eyes from a train wreck in motion. Like bystanders near the tracks, we have little control over the outcome. But unlike my mom’s fictional soaps, these stories have real-world consequences that our kids will live with.
It’s one thing to pay attention to the drama of the day and another to be able to put it in the context of history. At every tumultuous turning point in the past there had to have been scores of people completely wrapped up in the minutia of the moment. But when you zoom out and take a historical perspective, it’s like seeing the shape of the mountains from afar. The granular detail slips away and the larger contours emerge.
One thing is for sure, history will continue to be made day by day, regardless of how much bandwidth each of us expends paying attention to it. We can count ourselves as being lucky and/or privileged to be out of harms way. If we can muster the bare minimum to be informed voters and participate in democracy we’re doing good. For those who are in a position to move the needle towards the greater good, so much the better.
All of the above is a long preamble to the point I’m making today which is this. The flip side to the world-at-large and the dramas-of-the-day is your “bubble.”
Outside your bubble is everything that might draw your interest but that you have little power over. Inside is whatever it is that nourishes you. Your bubble is your space of community, creativity, and meaningful work, rejuvenation, restoration, and self-care. Only you know what’s inside. It’s where you re-connect with what grounds you.
You’ve only got so much attention or activism you can spare before you get out of balance. Everyone’s barometer has a different setting. Some folks with thick skin can handle a 24/7 news feed and historical analysis and still stay cool, calm, and collected in the company of their loved ones. Others sleep better at night knowing next-to-nothing about the news.
What are the soap operas that draw your attention? Are you sure your self-care bubble is supplying your soul with what you need? Can you consciously dance between the internal and external and stay in balance?
If you’re so invested in the news-of-the-day that things feel out-of-whack inside your bubble, it’s time to take a step back and adjust accordingly. Paying attention is the first step in moving towards greater awareness — you shine brighter in the world when you’re coming from solid ground.
In balance with you as always, much love till next Monday!
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine