Events like the Florida shootings knock the wind out of us.

Our compassion, our depth of feeling…it’s human and beautiful. And so damn hard sometimes to take it all in.

Some of us ostrich. Some of us come a little unglued. Some of us sink into the pain, not sure when we’ll come out. Some of us handle it with purpose in our stride.

There’s no right or wrong way to handle it. There’s only your way.

When my clients look to me at times like this, I make suggestions like the following. If they resonate for you and are helpful, I’m glad.

Please take these with a grain of salt. You know your own process better than I. If you have other suggestions, I would love to hear them:

1. Be tender with yourself. This is a hit that can send us down the Ladder of Well-being to the fear zone, where our brains are hijacked and we can’t think clearly. It requires intention and patience and compassion with ourselves (and with others) to figure out how we want to be in response — even who we want to be in response.

2. Notice how it feels. Don’t ostrich. Don’t go numb. ACKNOWLEDGE it

3. Give yourself permission to FEEL it. Whatever messy emotions come up. They need to come up. Life is messy, and we can’t pretend otherwise.

4. CONNECT – whether to God, to the Universe, to your inner wise self, or to people you love. Whatever or whoever most reminds   you of LOVE in the world — connect to them.

5. SEND PRAYERS, LOVE, LIGHT, COMPASSION to anyone and everyone affected by the events — from the families and loved ones in grief, to their community that surrounds them, to the country, to the world. This act and these feelings will help pull you back to the LOVE-based zone of well-being, where you can affect things from a more empowered place.

6. Remind yourself of how important YOUR role is in the Universe and the field of energy that connects us all.

7. When you are ready, decide how you can take a stand for the light. It is hard to do this from a space of fear and depletion…your best and wisest actions will come when you have pulled yourself out of fear brain and back to a place from which you can be resourceful, creative, loving, compassionate and determined. From there, you can be the love the world needs.

Now, more than ever, find a way to BE THE LIGHT.