"There are lots of things, including changing the kind of inner dialog, that can mitigate anxiety." - Scott Stossel
Mitigation is on my mind this week as I commissioned an awesome crew to help me mitigate the property surrounding my new home. I took on this project with a healthy respect for the potential that exists here for wildfires and, more importantly, with love for the land and the trees. I wanted to give them new life, something that removing dead branches does for a tree. I want to be a good steward of this land.
As I began thinking about this week’s post, I wondered ‘just what does mitigation have to do with life’?
Mitigation is defined as ‘lessening the force or intensity of something unpleasant’; ‘the act of making a condition or consequence less severe’; and ‘the process of becoming milder, gentler, less severe’ (thank you dictionary.com).
Early this morning, I noticed that unlike the 48 weeks prior to this one, I felt tense about what to write. I tossed in a dash of ‘should’ (really Cindy, you should start thinking about this earlier). The trust I feel each week about the message revealing itself waivered. Breathe.
Then, as it always does, the message began to come clear: ‘mitigate the pressure on yourself’. Ahhhh, yes, that. First step: the morning walk. This morning the air is clean, crisp, and cool after thunderstorms dropped blessed rain. Breathe that in. Notice how happy the earth feels under my feet, soft with the new moisture. Smell the freshness. Be grateful. Give thanks. Nature has her ways of mitigating tension and pressure. When we allow her to she shows us the way.
Thoughts and ideas began to flow. The process of becoming ‘milder, gentler, or less severe’, personal mitigation starts within. At its best, love is the foundation.
Like the fire mitigation project I completed this week, thoughts anchored in love not fear make life flow with ease. In choosing loving thoughts, I’m better able to walk through life with grace. Love, patience, gratitude, compassion are just a few of the seeds I can use to mitigate from the inside out.
Unlike the fire mitigation project, personal mitigation is an ongoing process. It requires my presence and awareness to notice when dead branches show up as thoughts that don’t serve me. For only with that awareness can I make the choice to replace fear with love, impatience with patience, loathing with compassion, and ungratefulness with deep reverence and gratitude.
Reflection for the Week: Look deep inside to discover any thoughts that need to be mitigated. Insert love to replace each and every one.