Just as we were emerging into the next step of a new normal from COVID-19, peaceful protests as well as violence has erupted across our country, now forcing even some of the essential business to close and sending fear into many. According to news reports, we have not seen this level of civil unrest since 1968 with the assassination of Martin Luther King. Not to mention the concern of social distancing gone to hell and a hand basket.

Is it even possible to find some kind of calm and peacefulness without moving to some deserted tropical island untouched and unscathed by what’s happening in the world around us? A challenge for sure, but not impossible. Here’s what you can do. First, get yourself into a comfortable quiet spot.

When you have found your place, take a few deep breaths and slow down. Now, imagine yourself on that deserted tropical island surrounded by the natural sounds and feel of nature; birds singing to the hearts’ content as they boast their vibrant neon colors of red, blue, green, and purple. The rhythmic ocean waves gently kiss each of your toes before receding back to the rejoin the vastness from where they came. The warm ocean breeze lovingly embraces you as you slowly breathe in the aromatic scent of its saltiness. Above, the few cotton ball clouds against the endless light blue sky calmly and effortlessly drift wherever and whenever the wind decides to take them; no concerns of where and why. Just going with the flow. Now hop on one of those puffy balls of white, and relax into its caring, protective arms and simply float with it. As you lay back, your concerns all left behind, feel, breathe, be love. Feel, breathe, be compassion.

How do you feel? If you don’t feel more relaxed, I suggest trying again to take yourself to the deserted island now that you have read through what to do. When you find yourself in the place of calm in this now moment, remember, you can repeat this exercise any time, any moment, any day.

From a calm place filled with peacefulness and compassion, decide to stay out of the news cycle. Decide not to judge others. We do not know their stories of what they may have had to endure. Decide to show compassion instead of fear or anger.

You may not understand why all this is happening, but you may certainly turn it all over to whatever higher power you believe in. If you do not have those beliefs, that’s okay, too. Either way, let go and just know that this, too, will come to an end. Know that things have to surface in order to be dealt with. The history of this country has proven over and over that with enough time and effort (even if very disheartening at the time), positive changes have resulted. What solves problems is not more fear and anger, but compassion, understanding, and connecting. We are all different, and yet, all want the same thing—to at least have our basic needs met and to be treated respectfully and with dignity.