CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “How To Effectively Cope With Your COVID-19 Anxiety”

As 2020 gets crazier and crazier, emotional self-care is getting more and more important. A lot of people, especially the “plugged-in” types who like to pay close attention to what’s going on in the world, are getting into some looping stress patterns over the COVID-19 pandemic that are unnecessary, unhealthy, and unhelpful.

It’s an understandable web to get tangled in; there are all these alarming news stories and statistics pouring in every single day, many of which speak of dangers which may pose a direct threat to the lives and livelihoods of ourselves and our loved ones. Some people spend hours online combing through all the latest information they can find about this thing, and as they’re doing this a tremendous amount of stress builds up in the background of their experience, ultimately culminating in depression, panic attacks, angry outbursts, substance abuse or other unpleasantness.

You see strategies for coping with this increasingly common problem everywhere online, from common healthy stress management techniques like deep breathing and meditation, to escapist claims that the virus doesn’t pose any real danger, to many people simply unplugging from their news feeds altogether. What people aren’t talking about nearly enough, in my opinion, is the simple yet highly effective practice of consciously feeling your feelings.

You wouldn’t think “feel your feelings” is something that needs to be said; it sounds not just like common sense, but like something that happens automatically without your intention or permission. We’ve all experienced emotions we’d prefer not to experience if given the choice, so we assume emotion arises unbidden like a force of nature.

While that can certainly be true, a tremendous range of our emotional spectrum is often blotted out by a basic lack of emotional attentiveness. Our culture tends to encourage us to put all but our loudest emotions on the back burner and focus on other matters, and Covid-19 happens to feed into that dynamic especially well by giving us a bunch of sparkly news headlines and statistics to focus on while this low-level background anxiety slowly builds unnoticed.

Feelings need to be felt. Not acted out on other people, but felt. They’re like small children; if you just give them a cuddle, let them cry and listen to their grievances they feel better in a few minutes, but if you deprive them of attention they’ll start acting out to get it.

At some point between childhood and adulthood, most of us consciously created strategies to stop our feelings from coming up unbidden. At some point, crying in front of your peers became embarrassing and you learned how to stop it from happening. Most of us never thought to take down those defences after they were installed. Some of us have never even re-learned how to cry again. Letting your feelings flow again will take a conscious effort from most of us.

No matter how much mantra repetition, deep breathing or positive affirmations you do, unless you’ve felt those feelings all the way through you’re just wallpapering over the actual issue. A huge percentage of the anxiety that people are currently experiencing is just a big backlog of feelings that need to be felt.

For some of you, just reminding you of that will be enough. Put down the phone and quietly meditate on it until it bubbles up. Hold your feelings like they’re a little baby newborn. Let them happen until they’re all the way done.

Others might need to try out some different strategies. Here are some of mine.

First, I always check in with my body. Am I clenching anything? Hands, bum, tummy, forehead, jaw? What else is happening? Is there background nausea, or a lump in my throat, or is my heart thumping too hard? I investigate. Close your eyes now and try it with me. Scan around for a few minutes.

Try tapping around with the tips of your fingers on one hand of the areas that you identified are tight. You’ll find spots that are a little bit sore. They feel like a light bruise. Tap on those spots for a little longer until they release. Once you’ve done that, let your fingers tap round your body and find other tight spots. Do this for at least a few minutes.

As you’re doing this, the loud buzz of anxiety releases and the actual root feelings become more clear. Sometimes all you have to do is feel them. You will probably feel embarrassed to feel them. That’s just one of the layers of defence you put in all those years ago. If it feels stuck, use your theater improv skills to exaggerate and try some feelings on until you find the source feeling. Feel them all the way through. Sometimes they feel their way to the other side, oftentimes they end abruptly with a burp, the shakes, a yawn or some other release.

If that doesn’t work, I usually hop up and do a very easy qi gong sequence a dear friend of mine taught me years ago. I think any kind of repetitive energy movement would do though. Basically I do the same movement over and over again with my eyes closed. Once the energy is moving around the body I can sense areas of blockage. I just keep looking at them until I’ve fully seen all the parts of it and then it releases, usually by a big expression of feeling like a roar or something, that usually ends in dry retching.

I know I’m done when I’m at zero again. I don’t stop until I feel totally at peace. I think that’s important to note because some people really get off on having big feelings and having their big feelings all over everyone else. Sometimes people want other people to “own” their feelings. Rather than feeling them, they try to make other people feel them by proxy. They’re usually referred to as drama queens.

The point is to release the feelings so your natural peaceful zero point can shine through again. You are the sky, the feelings are weather. Identifying as the weather will mean you are invested in keeping the weather going. Identifying as the feeling will mean you will be invested in keeping the feeling going. Set the intention to let it speak to you, and then let it pass. That’s where health is.

A lot of people are saying that the fear of the coronavirus is more damaging than the virus itself. I think that’s true, but not in the way they mean it. They’re often trying to say that the coronavirus itself a nothingburger and the fear is being used to manipulate us. I think the virus is a real thing, and also our fear will be used by ourselves and others to manipulate us. We need to clear a path to inspiration by feeling through our feelings and getting back to zero as often as possible. This will help us in the big picture by seeing what’s happening and responding with grace, and in the micro by keeping our immune systems in full relaxed readiness and not tangled up, tripping over itself, fighting ghosts and in panic-mode.

Do the internal work and the external work will follow. This is how we save ourselves.

 

~via Caitlin Johnstone

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “Quarantine Meditations: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix”


 

The world is messed up because powerful people think in terms of narrative control, and ordinary people don’t. Change that and you change the world.

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Hot tip: Dump all stocks and invest in becoming the kind of decent human being who people will want to help in chaotic times.

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Let’s go humans! The sooner we can put aside our differences all around the world and unite to beat this virus the sooner we can get back to exploiting each other over an imaginary monetary system and murdering each other with bombs!

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FYI if your government is pushing the suspension of civil liberties before coming up with a healthcare plan or providing you with financial security in an unprecedented economic crisis, then their desire to suspend civil liberties has nothing to do with fighting the pandemic.

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Protecting the citizenry in situations like this is the thing governments are supposed to be for. It’s the single most compelling argument for their existence, by a very wide margin. Any government which doesn’t take good care of its people right now does not deserve to exist.

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If this virus hasn’t yet caused you to seriously re-evaluate your priorities in life, it should. For better or worse we appear to be standing on the brink of some very significant worldwide paradigm shifts. Where you choose to put your mental energy right now should reflect this.

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Powerful people will work to advance authoritarian agendas which they have no intention of reversing during this pandemic. They are working on it right now. This is not a possibility, this is a certainty.

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I love that so many people are pleading with the Trump administration to end Iran sanctions during the pandemic because it’s killing civilians, but it won’t work. They know it’s killing civilians, and they know it will kill a lot more. That has always been the objective. Pompeo has openly admitted that Iran is being sanctioned no so that its government will change its behavior, but so that the Iranian people will get so desperate from all the suffering and devastation that they rise up and overthrow their government. Sanctions are the only form of warfare where it is considered legal and acceptable to deliberately target a civilian population with deadly force. That’s what they’ve been doing this whole time. It’s what they want. The pandemic only helps them. Every single Iranian who is dying because of these sanctions is on Trump. The MAGA narrative that he’s better on war than Obama has been thoroughly invalidated by every metric.

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Humanity is uniting against this common crisis. We’re uniting in our desire to beat this virus and protect our more vulnerable populations, and in a shared awareness that this thing could technically kill any of us. If ever there was a catalyst for a shift in consciousness, this is it.

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We appear to be watching a confluence of factors on a trajectory to push the world toward vast changes which may leave it unrecognizable in some ways within a matter of months. Maybe we don’t need to pour as much mental energy as we used to into sectarian infighting and petty social media spats.

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Nothing’s the same and it never will be again. F*ck seizing the means of production. Seize this moment. Take back everything they took from us and refuse to give it back. Also seize the means of production because you can and why not.

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Every time there’s a major mainstream narrative shift half my mentions are people going “Caitlin I’m so disappointed in you for saying something I disagree with. Normally I agree with you but now here you are not agreeing with me, like you’re an independent person or something.”

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The nation that is circling the planet with hundreds of military bases and engaging in countless undeclared military operations around the world is the belligerent rogue nation. Everyone else is, at worst, acting in self-defense in response to this belligerence. Governments using force to dominate the planet put every human being on a trajectory toward extinction via nuclear armageddon, and should be vehemently opposed. One government is the worst offender in this area, by a very, very, very wide margin. And it ain’t China.

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Every few weeks, depending on who the empire is targeting at a given moment, I swing from arguing with liberals about a nation liberals hate to arguing with conservatives about a nation conservatives hate, or vice versa. And they always think they’re different from the others.

“Caitlin I normally agree with you, but I don’t know what’s gotten into you supporting Evil Nation X like this!” they say, firmly believing that they’re doing something original and unique.

“This Official Bad Guy is different from all the others, Caitlin!” they say. “This one’s real!”

It’s like listening to a serial loser-dater explain that her new boyfriend with the neck tattoos is actually a really great guy.

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I oppose warmongering against Venezuela and China and they say it’s because I love communism. I oppose warmongering against Iran and they say it’s because I love theocracy. I oppose warmongering against Russia and Syria and they say it’s because I love autocracy. Maybe I just oppose warmongering.

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Rank-and-file Dems unwittingly consented to cold war escalations against Russia out of concern for election interference. Rank-and-file Republicans are now doing the same with China out of concern for a virus outbreak. But both escalations were pre-planned by government agencies.

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The only reason people don’t worry about cold war escalations against China and Russia like they do about hot wars with non-nuclear powers is because we got lucky in the last cold war. But that’s all it was: sheer, dumb luck. No one was ever in control during that time. Not once. Nobody likes to think about the fact that we came within a hair’s breadth of total annihilation on multiple occasions during the last cold war due to communication breakdowns and tech malfunctions. That can easily happen again, but without getting lucky. People have a tendency to believe they succeeded because they were in control and lost because they lost control, but nobody was ever in control. We survived by sheer, dumb luck. With hot wars they take a few lives here, a few lives there. With cold war it’s an all-or-nothing dice roll that nothing goes wrong; no tech glitches, no miscommunications, even when things get very tense. And you roll those dice every single day. And with every escalation you add more dice.

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All arguments the US government makes against any “regime” it dislikes are completely invalidated by its alliance with Saudi Arabia alone, to say nothing of all the other tyrannical governments it’s allied with.

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If you find yourself thinking more thoughts about China’s authoritarian government than about the abusive authoritarian governments of US allies like Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, the Philippines etc, it’s because you’ve been propagandized to align you with US interests.

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Establishment narrative managers aim their publications not at their followers but at other establishment narrative managers, seeking their approval. Alternative media should always do the opposite and address the people; too many also engage in upward-looking approval-seeking.

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Everything’s been in a steadily accelerating pattern of unpatterning for a good while now, since well before the virus. There are people who think they’ll be able to shore up control through this thing, but you have no control in a tornado. Nature, which includes homo sapiens, wins out.

 

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~via Caitlin Johnstone

‘PROBLEMATIC CONNECTIONS’ ~ The Day America Was Punked: “The Trump Presidency May Be a Compromised One”

“Donald Trump has numerous problematic associations with people linked to pedophile and prostitution rings. His business associates include Felix Sater who has been linked to a child prostitution ring, sex trafficking, money laundering, arms trading and fraud. This individual was given honors from the CIA. Trump is also linked to Tevfik Arif, who has been accused of running a prostitution ring. Trump is also linked financially to casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has mob links according to a former associate. Trump is also connected most troublingly to Roy Cohn, who worked for Trump as his lawyer. Cohn has been linked to a pedophile entrapment ring, members of which have been accused of murdering three underage boys. Cohn is alleged to have buried the bodies of the three boys in some place in Connecticut. The investigation into the murders of the three boys was stopped, with the government citing national security concerns. Trump is also linked to Jeffrey Epstein, whom Trump called his good friend of 15 years. Trump is accused, along with Epstein, of raping a then 13 year old girl, who has the pseudonym ‘Katie Johnson’. These troubling associations lead to the question as to whether Trump is being blackmailed with financial threats and is being blackmailed with threats of public exposure of his previous sexual activities. This leaves open the possibility that the Trump presidency may be a compromised one, and that Trump may not be making decisions independently.”

 

~via

Donald Trump’s Problematic Connections

THE REALITY OF US ‘ELECTIONS’ ~ Caitlin Johnstone on “The Rigged, Unplugged Voting Game That Leads To Nowhere”

“In reality, the US political system is like the unplugged video game remote that kids give their baby brother so he stops whining that he wants a turn to play. The problem is not that the system is rigged against the people, the problem is that the system is rigged against the people and the people do not know it. If they were aware just how badly their interests were being actively sabotaged by the loose alliance of government agency leaders and the plutocrats who own the political/media class, they would immediately use the power of their numbers to force real change. But they don’t. Because the political/media class who are paid to protect the status quo upon which their employers have built their respective kingdoms keep assuring that this is all normal and fine. The more people wake up to the reality that everything they’ve been told about their nation and their government is a lie, the closer we get to the possibility of the people discovering the power of their numbers and shrugging off the mechanisms of control and exploitation like a heavy coat on a warm day. Which is all the ruling class has ever been afraid of. Not the Russians. Not the Chinese. Not Donald Trump. Not even Bernie Sanders. They’ve only ever been afraid of you. They’ve been afraid of a sleeping giant waking up from its media-induced coma and knocking down their little empire with a wave of its hand. The actual results of the fake election change nothing in the big picture, any more than it would help the little brother with the unplugged controller if he felt like he was winning at the game. If anything feeling like he’s in control keeps him from glancing down and seeing that the cord leads to nowhere. Electoral politics is not the real fight, waking the public up to reality is.”

~Caitlin Johnstone

 

 

~via

Trump’s “Opposition” Supports All His Evil Agendas While Attacking Fake Nonsense

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Keep Up The Fight: Electoral Politics Was Never Meant To Be The Solution

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “The Great Unpatterning Continues — Make Sure You Take Advantage Of It”

“I often hear people in my line of work saying ‘Man, we’re going to look back on all this crazy sh*t and think about how absolutely weird it was!’ No we won’t. Because it’s only going to get weirder. It’s only going to get weirder, because that’s what it looks like when old patterns start to fall away. The human mind is conditioned to look for patterns in order to establish a baseline of normal expectations upon which to plan out future actions. This perceptual framework exists to give us safety and security, so disruptions in the patterns upon which it is based often feel weird, threatening, and scary. They make us feel insecure, because our cognitive tool for staying in control of our wellbeing has a glitch in it. This great unpatterning is going to continue, in many wild and unexpected ways. And things are going to keep getting stranger. Watch for gaps in the armor of the establishment oppression machine. Watch for gaps in the deluded nature of our society. Watch for gaps in the patterns, and use your wisdom and creativity to assist them in unpatterning as the opportunity presents itself.”

~Caitlin Johnstone

 

In an attempt to contain the COVID-19 pandemic the president of the United States has just announced a 30-day travel ban between the US and Europe, the super-rich are flying off to disaster bunkers, and the NBA has just suspended its season.

If this is the first you’re hearing of this, go ahead and read it again if you need to.

This is all news that came out minutes prior to this writing. There may have been many other immense news stories by the time you read it.

This is a level of disruption that the world hasn’t seen in generations. Normal things that had been a routine part of people’s entire lives are just not there for them now, whether it’s normal socializing, watching the basketball game, or buying toilet paper at the store.

I said the following last month in an article titled 2020 Is Going To Get Much Crazier. Prioritize Your Mental Health.“:

“As I said back in November, things are going to get weirder and weirder throughout the foreseeable future. We’re coming to a point in history where the only reliable pattern is the disintegration of patterns, and 2020 has come storming out of its corner swinging for the fences working to establish this pattern with extreme aggression. We’re not going to hit a point of stability or normality this year, we’re going to see things get crazier and crazier and crazier. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know it’s going to be nuts.”

 

And by Jove if that isn’t proving true in some bizarre and unexpected ways. I certainly wasn’t expecting the coronavirus to play a role in that unpatterning at the time — in fact I was dismissive of it when it first emerged — but we’re seeing a disruption in collective patterns and routines like nothing most of us can even recall.

Here’s what I said back in November:

I often hear people in my line of work saying “Man, we’re going to look back on all this crazy sh*t and think about how absolutely weird it was!”

No we won’t. Because it’s only going to get weirder.

It’s only going to get weirder, because that’s what it looks like when old patterns start to fall away.

The human mind is conditioned to look for patterns in order to establish a baseline of normal expectations upon which to plan out future actions. This perceptual framework exists to give us safety and security, so disruptions in the patterns upon which it is based often feel weird, threatening, and scary. They make us feel insecure, because our cognitive tool for staying in control of our wellbeing has a glitch in it.

When you’re talking about a species that has been consistently patterned towards its own destruction, though, a disruption of patterns is a good thing. Our ecocidal, warmongering tendencies have brought us to a point that now has us staring down the barrel of our own extinction, and that is where we are surely headed if we continue patterning along the behavioral trajectory that we have been on. Only a drastic change of patterns can change that trajectory. And we are seeing a change of patterns.

This great unpatterning is going to continue, in many wild and unexpected ways. And things are going to keep getting stranger.

All of humanity’s problems are the result of our collective conditioning patterns throughout history. Where there is pattern disruption, there is the opportunity for pattern divergence. Where there is movement, there are gaps. Where there are gaps, there is an opportunity for light to get through.

The clear-eyed rebel’s job, therefore, is to watch for opportunities to help lead us as a collective along a brand new, healthy trajectory. There’s no way to know in advance what those opportunities will look like, because predictability is premised on pattern consistency. But they will appear, from unpredictable and unanticipated new directions. Wherever you see a gap, your job is to pour as much truth and wisdom and health into it as you can possibly muster.

Watch for gaps in the armor of the establishment oppression machine. Watch for gaps in the deluded nature of our society. Watch for gaps in the patterns, and use your wisdom and creativity to assist them in unpatterning as the opportunity presents itself.

2020 is still just getting warmed up.

Eyes wide, beautiful people.

 

~via Caitlin Johnstone