Staying Positive Despite…

Have you watched the news recently?

Don’t tell me. Let me guess!

Either you have and flicked it off saying “What is this trash?” or if you read alternative news sources, probably something like “Ok, I get it. Things are rough. Now what?”

Or is it just me?

I live in NYC for about half the year now instead of full time like I used to, for a few reasons:

  1. I like exploring
  2. This place is a bubble, and I need to know what’s happening elsewhere, what people think like, etc. Basically #1.

And one of the things I find no matter where I go, no matter whom I meet, is that people are fundamentally the same. We all want the same things:

family / friends
a way to support ourselves

Some people I’ve met have no concept of “thriving” at all yet. They are in a reality where they’re simply trying to survive. And this is hard to bear.

I want to shake them and say “You have options!”, and despite what it often feels like, this is true.

But I don’t walk away unscathed. I feel for them – intensely. I want to hug the world and make it a better place. I want to stop deforestation, eliminate hunger, disease, poverty, hate and selfishness. I want to see our planet whole. I want to not meet people who believe war is the only solution. I want people to smile, thrive, do what their soul calls them to do and laugh, a lot.

Sometimes I get so heart broken that I lay in bed weeping, feeling helpless and sorry for myself, thinking “I am but one.”

Yet this isn’t true.

The more I live and travel, the more I meet amazing, like-minded people, the more I realize that there are thousands, no, millions, of people with ideas and implementation to make the world a better place. Every documentary I watch changes me. I learn more; I see my mind evolve; I watch connections being made.

I CHOOSE to stay positive, despite…

Because it’s far too easy to give up and say “We’re f***ed.” It’s too easy to bury ourselves into the minutia and forget that we are a collective. It’s too easy to get scared and run for the hills that are quickly being stripped of trees.

It is too easy to pretend we have no responsibility to ourselves and one another to live lives that are reflective of the current, changing, times, lives of full self expression and generosity that become beacons for others to do the same.

And the actions we take must be in line with what we’re here to do.

For some it might mean simply being kinder to others. For some it might be planting a garden in their neighborhood. For some it might mean choosing to not send troops into death zones. For some it might mean looking about and asking “What can I do?” and allowing the answers to show up when it’s time.

It varies.

But heartbreak as a constant variable is not an option. Not anymore.

We’ve all had relationships that had our knees buckle from pain and loss. We’ve all felt that “This is it. I can’t recover from this.” But we can, and if we want to, we do.

Imagine never allowing love back into your life? What’s the point?

Same thing with the global state of things.

I personally know dozens of people whose lives are dedicated to helping the planet, dozens of people who are involved in major global projects that are MAKING the changes necessary. But I bet there were plenty of people in their world who thought they were absolutely bat$hit.

Someone always said “Relax. Have a beer. Forget.” And they tried, but it didn’t work.

So they got up and went on, despite.

They spoke about their calling, despite.

They made “waves in the pool” as the Russian saying goes (meaning making change), despite.

We can NOT do this alone. We’re not meant to.

So what can we do NOW? Where can we start TODAY? That’s the million dollar question that’s worthy of personal inquiry.

Blessings and godspeed to you all.

  • Allison

    It is easy to give up and say we’re f**ked, but all signs point to it and have for many years. I’m a little older and more worn out, perhaps, so I’m feeling pretty close to being there. I’m tired of being disappointed, and my energy to fight back again and again with little or no results is waning. There are so many things that need fixing, it’s overwhelming. I feel like more people are giving up on kindness, love and compassion. I do feel helpless, especially with regards to government. I try to lower my expectations of people, which helps avoid disappointment. I feel like my family and like-minded friends are the only ones I can count on. I don’t know what to do, either, except try to stay positive about what I have control over.

    • Kat Tepelyan

      And sometimes that’s all we have, Allison – control over how we react. That’s where it starts.

      Then when joy – despite the seeming circumstances – fueled by hope, a blessing still left in Pandora’s box (that we always, always, always have access to) begins to run the show… no matter how *small* the impact we’re making may seem, the impact is being made.

      I know exactly how you feel.

  • I too am older 62, the world has appeared to changed dramatically in the past several years, simply because we are more global and are exposed to it in a gazillion ways. But, there is still so much goodness still weaving it’s way through our lives. The real thing to remember is this: We Still Have the Ability to Choose for ourselves. We can choose to do something productive for the planet, we can choose to touch a stranger’s life, we can choose to support a cause, at the end of the day it really is all about what did I do to make the world a better place?

    • Kat Tepelyan

      Agreed. Thank you.

  • Yes Kat – ‘what action can I take right now?’
    Even something seemingly simple like getting to sleep earlier, so tomorrow, more rested, there’s less likelihood of an angry reaction/comment to the kids, neighbour, shop keeper = less violence in the world.

    • Kat Tepelyan

      I love how you look at things, Julie – down to the brass tacks.


  • Great article Kat. I love everything you write!

    • Kat Tepelyan

      Thank you! xox

  • katya slepak

    The change starts with us. No matter how much my heart breaks, staying informed (as much as I can handle 🙂 and not allowing myself to fall into despair also allows me to see the amazing shifts that are happening in our world, rather than just dwell on the negativity and destruction…
    Life is beautiful and it is a long journey (not too short as the popular saying goes) on which we can create and inspire and share the wonders of this existence.
    Doing our part is more than just staying informed and taking action. To me it also means working on ourselves in becoming fully realized beings, so that the ripples of our light can spread and touch countless others… I know it may sound naive, but this is the awareness that pulls me out of funk every time and allows me to climb over barriers that come on my path no matter how difficult and impossible the climb may seem at times…
    By working on ourselves we are changing the world one person at a time… and keep sharing that wisdom… up and down the grape vine… 🙂
    Thank you Kat for doing your part and inspiring so many ppl… u r love

    • Kat Tepelyan


      Thank you. And thank you for that. Because it’s true: working on ourselves makes the world better. Every time.


  • Thank you Kat!
    I feel like this all the time, I’m constantly shocked and horrified by what I hear and see on the news and the tragedies I witness at work as a nurse. It can be overwhelming, but sometimes we need this to wake us up and make us realise that life is really fricken precious and we can’t take it for granted. We have to live (truly live) every moment and be good people and be good to people, to keep the balance and hopefully make the world a better place.

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