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  • Writer's pictureLaura Roeven

Keeping a Calm Mind with News of War

I recognized a negative habit voice that rose up when Russia invaded Ukraine. It was a strong helpless feeling with a voice that said, “What you do does not matter.” It was a gift to finally recognize an old narrative from my cold war youth. In essence, this one line was my attempt to make 10-year-old sense to something enormous happening between Ronald Reagan and Yuri Andropov. Fast forward 40 years and I heard that voice again with a sinking feeling of numb helplessness. My Cold War Kid came up strong and loud since Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. If you can relate to a feeling of unease or helplessness, read on.

I was in the shower when I recognized the pattern of the last few days. I felt tired, slow, foggy. I did not have the drive to problem solve some details in my to do list. I was avoiding. “It’s not going to work. You cannot do all of this.” This Cold War Kid had a strong CAN’T in the message. I got stuck in the belief that I was powerless in the face of the Ukraine crisis. Feeling powerless infected my belief in myself. I forgot. I had to wake up again to the idea that I am powerful in my life.

Meeting this fear, I realized that what I think, say and do…DOES MATTER.

As soon as I recognized what my fear was saying, I could meet it directly. Queue Twisted Sister. “We’re not Gonna Take It”. This is my go-to song to get the blood pumping and shake off what’s bothering me.

What are your go-to songs? This might be the perfect time to make your personal power playlist and crank the volume. The powerless feeling dissolved with the beat and lyrics, and I remembered… I am powerful. I am an agent for life and love. Every day.

One of the aspects I avoided the last two weeks was my leadership role in starting up a big new program in our community this fall. I serve as executive director of Eyes of Hope, Stoughton, Inc. and we collaborated with Mosaicos to bring in three sites of free after school programs with a windfall of a large grant. This is BIG. When I look ahead, I’m filled with joy and pride knowing our community will be adding important support for elementary youth in a new way. (This is my expansive self talking.) But for the last 2 weeks, I was hiding from this project and sabotaged my planning with menial tasks. I fell into the lie that this project was on my shoulders. Notice the singularity of this response. Powerless showed up with the worry that I will fail this important project. No.


This project is hope and support for our future generations. This is what I CAN do to further the good coming into the world. I need to believe in possibilities and good. There are many options and paths to get this project going with multiple volunteers caring to bring this into being. In returning to my power, I remember that I can affect change for good. In times of global stress and heart ache, what is the good you can bring into the world today? Here is where your focus can achieve change. We each can focus our energy on what we want to grow and manifest. We can do small acts with great love. That is never more important than right now.

Here’s my promise:

I’m not going to do things perfectly, but I will try my best to do them with great love.


My Cold War Kid is not going to run my thoughts today. I’m siding with hope and love.

Need help keeping calm and motivated? Reach out.



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